The New York Times Style section caught up with Barbra Streisand at Donna Karan’s East Hampton, N.Y. home, where the gazillion-times platinum artist was promoting her new album of duets, Partners, as well as making some not-so-subtle landscaping changes to her friend’s summer home (“You have to be bold with it,” she says of some juniper).
Streisand, reporter Jacob Bernstein tells us, looks great. “She was dressed all in black, including a pair of stretchy pants and a cardigan-like jacket that she was proud to announce cost almost nothing: ‘$59.95 at an outlet store,’ she said. ‘It’s my favorite.'”
She speaks passionately about current events, especially politics. “She also has an unwavering habit of seeing, in every struggle, a parallel to her own celebrity narrative and her interactions with a sometimes hostile public,” Bernstein writes. She has a few theories as to what was behind the hostility.
She believes many of the journalists who have swiped her over the years are anti-Semitic or anti-female, even when (or especially when) those critics are Jewish or female — or both.
Mike Wallace once did a tough interview with her for CBS. “He had this very powerful Jewish mother, and I thought ‘Whoa!’ ” she said.
Never one to shy away from unpopular opinions, Streisand wades into the minefield that speaking publicly about Israel has become.
Recently, she has been using a spiral notebook to write down her thoughts on Israel, some of which may go into a memoir she’s writing. A paragraph in it began as follows: “The world envies success.”
It’s something that Streisand—who counts Israeli President Shimon Peres as a close friend, and who performed “Avinu Malkeinu,” at his 90th birthday celebration last summer—would probably say about herself as well.