By Martin Fletcher, NBC News Correspondent
KABUL, Afghanistan – Behind a metal door on Flower Street, past a courtyard piled with junk, up some steep concrete stairs and along a narrow corridor with ornate metal railings in the style of Stars of David, lives the last Jew in Afghanistan.
His home is a side-room off the synagogue; a thin mattress laid along one wall is his bed. In one corner, there is a small table with dusty prayer books, three folding chairs, a crumbling carpet, and a few pictures on the wall, including one of a bearded Hassidic Jew. In the corner by the door, opposite the guest’s chair, there is a small blackboard with his name spelled clearly in chalk: Zebulon Simantov. "So that journalists spell my name correctly," he said.
"Who do you work for?" Simantov asked straightaway.
"NBC News," I answered proudly.
"So can you give me lots of money," he said, his tone turning a question into a blunt demand.
"No, I’m afraid not."
"Did you bring me whiskey?
[tzvee: the interview goes downhill from here...]
Charities get inventive with name-dropping
Contribute: Donors pay more, recipients get inventive with named gifts
By Michael Gross
Last year, the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the Lower East Side of Manhattan may have kicked out the frame of the acceptable. We're not talking about a chocolate Jesus or a crucifix in urine, but that my not be too far off.
As part of a $50 million capital campaign, the museum sold a retired venture capitalist, Jerome L. Stern, 83, the right to see his and his wife Ellen’s names writ large — on the museum’s four restrooms. The $100,000-plus loo coup, The New York Times reported, was the first, not the last, naming opportunity the museum would sell to pay for its new home, which opened in December on the Bowery.
Toilets on the Bowery selling for six figures?..
[tzvee: the story goes uphill from here...Gross wrote the wonderful book 740 Park about NY's most exclusive co-op.]