The Next Donald?

This morning’s New York Times story on the city’s wage divide was, in itself, pretty telling: Real wages for Manhattanites rose 5.4% from 2002 to 2005, while those in the outer boroughs (that would be Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) fell at least 2.9%.

This would sort of explain why pricey joints like Lever House are still packed at lunchtime. It may also explain the latest venture of Barry Sternlicht.

Sternlicht, who built Starwood Hotels into a sprawling global chain, has started an ultraluxury hotel chain modeled after the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, which he bought earlier this year. He plans Crillon hotels in London, Rome, New York, and Barcelona.

“We are going to make each hotel obscenely rich and obscenely beautiful and position them at the top off their markets,” Sternlicht told the Wall Street Journal.

Which is fine, of course. But also sort of…obscene.