Aby Rosen Is Still Wolfe's Public Enemy No. 1

A year and a half after Tom Wolfe took to the Times Op-Ed page to mock Aby Rosen's tummy and assail his plan for a shiny Sir Norman Foster-designed skyscraper at 980 Madison, he's picking up the hatchet again. At a hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission last night, Wolfe lit into Rosen and Foster's five-story, 152,000-square-foot second draft for 980 Madison, a pared-down proposal that they'd hoped would silence people like Wolfe who were sinking the project the first time around. No luck!

"I think it is incumbent upon the developers to ask Mr. Foster to roam through the great archives of architectural history, or architectural future, and come up with something that has more meaning with the Upper East Side," Wolfe sassed. The white-suit-wearer's vendetta against Rosen might have something to do with the anti-Semitism charge Rosen leveled at him in the Observer last week, which Wolfe today called "sad" and "preposterous in the extreme." (The man has a point: His wife's a Jew.)

The most important lesson to draw from these events? It's definitely still a huge faux pas to bring along your new 20th-anniversary edition of Bonfire of the Vanities to Rosen's next caviar party.