Fun With Panels

First Daughters: Silverstein’s Former Flame; Durst’s Dive Into Mass Transit

helena durst First Daughters: Silversteins Former Flame; Dursts Dive Into Mass TransitConnie Milstein was in a tough spot when once she was asked about the challenge of being part of a prominent real estate family. “A lot of what Connie said was not suitable for TV or radio or anywhere,” said Faith Hope Consolo, who recounted the story at last night’s “The Women Leading NY’s Real Estate Families” panel. But an entire table of Milsteins was hanging on the blunt blonde’s every word, so Ms. Milstein took a deep breath and uttered these cryptic words: “Sometimes,” she said, “you gotta go along to get along.” 

Lisa Silverstein, Helena Durst and Andrea Olshan were similarly diplomatic, on everything but the touchy subject of Ms. Olshan’s shopping habits. 

“I hate shopping malls,” said Ms. Olshan, COO of her family’s Mall Properties. “Your retailers are a lot sexier,” she continued with a nod to Ms. Consolo. “I’m not going to say which ones I’m talking about, because some of you are probably wearing those labels tonight. I’m not into them, but women in Milwaukee are.” 

On plus-sized fashion: “People always ask me, ‘What do you think of Lane Bryant?’ I’m not part of their target market, but thank you…Women are not as tricked by the sexiness of the deal.” 

Indeed, compared to the backslapping we’re used to at such panel events, the market talk was muted and the high-point came when each woman paid tribute to her mother and Ms. Consolo shed tears.

We did, however, hear that Silverstein Properties seems ready to move ahead with the swanky Four Seasons downtown. Ms. Durst’s also confessed that every tourist’s favorite water taxi was actually supposed to be the Durst Organization’s big dive into mass transit. 

But just as The Observer was musing rather smugly that real estate still seems all-too-much a patriarch’s game, Ms. Silverstein confessed that she wanted to be a journalist and travel the world, until she got pregnant at 23 and decided real estate would be better for raising a family. She warned this young scribe: “Enjoy it until you have kids.” 

lkusisto@observer.com 

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