Several years ago, I posted an intriguing old want ad on “06880.” It resurfaced recently on Facebook, courtesy of Paula Schooler.
In an era when so many men — Bill Cosby, Andrew Cuomo, Jeff Zucker, Al Franken, Scott Rudin, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, R. Kelly, to name a few — have been accused of sexual harassment (with serious consequences) — it’s jarring to see this:
La Crêpe was a popular 1970s restaurant at the corner of the Post Road and Myrtle Avenue — where the William Pitt Sotheby’s office is today.
Seen through a 2020s lens, this is just a cringe-worthy look at a bygone era. Mr. Trupin of La Crêpe comes across as pretty creepy.
But — as Peter Blau noted, when I first posted this ad — “Mr. Trupin” was not just a restaurant guy conducting personal interviews with big-busted women wearing short skirts and high boots.
He was Barry Trupin, who went on to — well, let this 2003 New York Post story tell it, in the tabloid’s unmistakable style:
A 1980s wheeler-dealer whose gaudy Southampton castle once turned stomachs throughout the Hamptons was sent to prison yesterday for evading taxes on the sales of a multimillion-dollar piano and some fancy cars.
Barry Trupin, whose worth was once estimated at $300 million, suffered the latest dip in his roller-coaster career after locking horns with the IRS for six years.
Trupin, 67, was sentenced to four years and five months behind bars for evading nearly $1.3 million in federal capital-gains taxes when he sold an 1880s Alma-Tadema piano and three Rolls-Royces.
The tarnished golden boy was convicted in 1999 of lying to the IRS to avoid paying $6.6 million in taxes on the sale of high-end collectibles and fancy property, including his much-reviled Southampton estate, Dragon’s Head.
Trupin became a poster boy for bad development on the East End in the 1980s after he acquired a 55,000-square-foot Southampton mansion and changed it beyond recognition to the horror of long-time Hamptons residents.
The 60-room mansion was on the ocean at Meadow Road.
And quite a ways from La Crêpe.