The Shmooze

Joan Rivers, Condo Board President

By Eileen Reynolds

  • Print
  • Share Share
Getty Images

She’s known by Mrs. Rosenberg to residents of the building on East 62nd St, near 5th Ave., but she refers to herself as “the scary lady upstairs.” She once hired a “Jewish voodoo priestess” to scare off a ghost. Her apartment is a $29.5 million penthouse decorated in the style of “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger.”

Could the Shmooze be describing anyone other than Joan Rivers? Of course not. Rivers, the New York Times reports, is one of a very few celebrities to serve on co-cop and condominium boards in New York City, and in her role as president, the bawdy comedian is serious as a heart attack.

Credited with sprucing up the lobby (not to mention chasing out the spooky spirit), Rivers, 79, has served as president of her condo board for 25 years. She claims that she’s hung on to the post for so long because it’s a thankless job that nobody else wants — but it’s also hard to imagine anyone daring to challenge her. The building, according to the Times, was originally built as a mansion and subsequently carved up into just eight apartments — giving the four board members (Rivers included) license to keep “a tight leash” on who can move in.

Her own apartment has been on and off the market for years, but the Times’ description makes clear that she’s made herself quite comfortable there. A fake bookcase conceals a liquor cabinet. An easel and paints stand in the bathroom, ready for whenever inspiration strikes. Hundred of jokes are written on index cards and carefully filed alphabetically by subject.

Rivers told the Times that she leaves her signature caustic one-liners of official building business, but it must be intimidating to have to negotiate with a board president whose most recent book is titled “I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Joan Rivers

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.