Steve Rappaport, age 67, has been a stock trader, a pot dealer, an itinerant hippie peddler, a cab driver, a retailer, and currently, a successful commercial real estate salesperson in Manhattan. He offers a simple rationale for his first novel: "My eldest son, Jack, died at forty, from a progressively debilitating, but unknown neurological disorder. This brilliant boy, a Vassar grad, never got to live the life he deserved. I've infused him with one."
Steve grew up in New York City, where he attended Stuyvesant High School, Queens College, and the New School for Social Research. He started out in the late '60s on Wall Street, as a stock trader. He spent the early 70's driving a cab in Manhattan and travelling in Afghanistan, Crete, and California.
In 1973, Steve and his wife Ellie opened Original Leather, on the site of an historic sandal shop on West Fourth Street in the Village where Bob Dylan wrote "Positively Fourth Street". The business grew into a seven store, luxury leather goods chain. Years later, on a lark, they also created Mary's Dairy, a high end, edgy, ice cream store. The stores garnered extensive media coverage and effusive praise from the food press. Mary's Dairy loyal following packed the stores. Lines flowed out of the door. Money flew out the window. It was a critical success, but hardly a financial one. Tired of thirty five years of store ownership, they closed both operations.
Steve joined Sinvin Realty in 2006 as a broker of retail space. His strength as a commercial real estate salesperson grows out of his a experience as a retailer, and his gift for uniting landlords and tenants as partners rather than adversaries. He takes pride in turning contentious situations into occasions for cooperation.
A second novel, and a collection of short stories, are brewing.