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'One Fifth Avenue' by Candace Bushnell (excerpt)

Prologue

It was only a part in a TV series, and only a one-bedroom apartment in New York. But parts of any kind, much less decent ones, were hard to come by, and even in Los Angeles, everyone knew the value of a pied-à-terre in Manhattan. And the script arrived on the same day as the final divorce papers.

If real life were a script, a movie executive would have stricken this fact as "too coincidental." But Schiffer Diamond loved coincidences and signs. Loved the childlike magic of believing all things happened for a reason. She was an actress and had lived on magic nearly all her life. And so she took the part, which required moving back to New York City for six months, where she would stay in the one-bedroom apartment she owned on Fifth Avenue. Her initial plan was to stay in New York for the duration of the shoot and then return to L.A. and her house in Los Feliz.

Two days after she took the part, she went to the Ivy and ran into her most recent ex-husband, lunching with a young woman. He was seated at a table in the center of the room, reveling in his new status as the president of a network, and given the deference the staff showed the young woman, Schiffer understood the young woman to be his new girlfriend. She was rumored to be a concert pianist from a renowned family, but had the glossy appearance of an expensive prostitute. The relationship was a cliché, but twenty-five years in Hollywood had taught Schiffer that men never minded clichés, especially when the cliché concerned the penis. Shortly thereafter, when she handed her ticket to the valet and stood outside the restaurant in her sunglasses, she decided to sell the house in Los Feliz, make a clean break of it, and move back to One Fifth.

Excerpted from “One Fifth Avenue,” by Candace Bushnell. All rights reserved.

This program aired on October 9, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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