After six decades, thousands of parties, and enough personal drama to fill a Lifetime movie, Karen Feld is leaving Washington for New York City.
“I’ve always wanted to live there, and I think now is the time, “ said Feld, who’s buying a condo in Manhattan and selling her Georgetown home of 32 years.
One of the more colorful figures in D.C. social circles, the former syndicated gossip columnist (with stints at the Washington Times and Examiner) is famous for carrying a notebook in one hand and one of her toy poodles — Champagne, Cappuccino, Amaretto, Biscotti or Campari — in the other. Her journalism career never got a lot of traction but in her prime, Feld waltzed into six Washington parties a night, sometimes on the arm of high profile bachelors like William Webster or Al Neuharth.
Feld, 64, is equally well known for her bitter, decades-old feud with estranged brother Ken Feld, sole heir to her father’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus empire. Their latest battle — a nasty altercation at their aunt’s shiva — ended up in federal court last year. After two weeks of testimony, Karen lost her bid for $110 million in damages; the jury rebuffed his counterclaim that she crashed the event.
But the family drama wasn’t a factor in her decision to leave D.C. “Not at all,” Feld said. “I’ve been here— and done it.”
Her art, she told us, is pulling her to NYC: Eight of her terracotta figurative sculptures are included in a New York gallery show (“Figurative Moments of Passion”) opening this week. And then there’s Campari’s career to consider: The eight-year-old pup has been going on auditions (“Amaretto did a lot of magazine work,” she explained) and was just voted into one of the top ten spots contending for the “Angel on a Leash” therapy-dog fashion show.
Feld will be in and out of D.C. for a few more months: She’s emptying out her home office before settling into Manhattan permanently: “It feels right.”
Read also: Karen Feld's troubled life highlighted in circus family feud trial, 5/23/11