Because the piece was in the New York Times‘s Great Homes and Destinations section, it was less a profile of Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby than it was a profile of Touby’s loft in Gramercy Park. It is an extremely nice loft, and extremely expensive—purchased for $3.9 million in 2009 and since renovated for another $2 million. The loft features what is surely the world’s first “hand-woven leather, chain-mail and fur indoor swing” not expressely designed for BDSM play; a “sprawling sectional sofa” that set Touby and her husband, Jon Fine, back more than $30,000; and a $3,500 coffee table, which is described in the Times as among Touby and Fine’s “relative bargains.” Whenever I read details like this I think about what Joan Didion said rose in her throat when, as a twentysomething, she witnessed the excesses of the moneyed Manhattan elite—a “Veblenesque gorge,” she called it, after the economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term “conspicuous consumption.”

Anyway, Joan Didion’s made her nut; set aside class anxieties and wonder at the free flow of all this specific information, from Touby’s lips to the Times reader’s ear. The author of the profile procured this information with little difficulty, she says, because Ms. Touby’s “policy regarding her affairs is relentlessly open kimono.”