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2022-12-27 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine

Avenue's Year in Review: Best of Notorious New Yorkers, 2022

Avenue's Year in Review: Best of Notorious New Yorkers, 2022

One of Avenue‘s most popular ongoing columns, Notorious New Yorkers, tells the story one of our city’s — or Palm Beach’s — more infamous inhabitants. From hustlers to heiresses, these were the rogues we loved learning about this year.

Addison and Wilson Mizner

The Boca Raton Hotel and Club seen in 1954, on the eve of a $2 million restoration
Photo by Getty Images

Brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner blazed a devil’s triangle between California, New York, and Palm Beach, cutting ethical corners but leaving a legacy of landmark architecture and irreverent wit. Avenue reevaluates the fin de siècle bad boys. Read the full story.

Paris Singer

Paris Singer with his onetime flame and baby mama Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer
Photo by Arnold Genthe/Alamy

Soigné Paris Singer was instrumental in the development of Palm Beach a century ago and enjoys a rehabilitated reputation today. But as Avenue discovered, the sewing-machine heir dropped more than a few stitches along the way. Read the full story.

Polly Adler

Adler exiting a police van after being arrested during a raid
Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

During the Jazz Age, drugs, sex, and alcohol could always be found at legendary madam Polly Adler’s “house.” Read the full story.

James Gordon Bennett Sr. and James Gordon Bennett Jr.

James Gordon Bennett Jr., who took over his father’s paper in 1866
Photo via History and Art Collection/Alamy

It’s a father-son dynamic that fans of Succession will find strikingly familiar: in New York’s Gilded Age, James Gordon Bennett Sr. made newspapers while his profligate son Junior made the news. Read the full story.

John Wojtowicz

\Wojtowicz leaves the F.B.I. building en route to his hearing in Brooklyn in August 1972
Photo by NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

The story of John Wojtowicz and the Brooklyn bank heist that inspired the Oscar-nominated film Dog Day Afternoon. Read the full story.

Leona Helmsley

Helmsley photographed by the United States Marshals Service in 1988 at the age of 67
Photo by Jimlop Collection/Alamy

The real-life Scrooge-like tale of billionaire heiress Leona Helmsley, dubbed New York’s “Queen of Mean.” Read the full story.

BONUS: One of My Many Gross Encounters With Ghislaine Maxwell

Last year, writer Christina Oxenberg released the e-book Trash: Encounters with Ghislaine Maxwell. In this exclusive excerpt, Oxenberg recalls the horror of being caught in a party photograph with the convicted criminal. Read the full story.

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