Is the New Broadway Esplanade Really Safe?

REAL ESTATE
• Some people don't feel that Broadway's new esplanade, where people can sit as cars plow by, is the safest place to lounge. "You hear so many accidents of the cars going out of control and all they have here is plastic pots," said one woman relaxing at one of the esplanade's café tables. "We're going to roll the dice and eat lunch here today." [NYT]
• Foreclosures are a problem for HIV-positive renters. Why? We're still not totally sure after reading this article. [NYT]
• At least four lots in midtown are sitting empty, waiting for developers and deal-makers to return from Labor Day vacays. [NYP]

FINANCE
• The credit crisis was supposed to be long gone, but not only is it sticking around — it might also get worse. "It's like an ongoing nightmare and no one is sure when we're going to wake up," says one money manager. [Bloomberg]
• Efforts to overhaul U.S. financial regulation are expected to gather pace … next year? What about now? Sure, there's an election coming up, but doesn't Washington know we're currently in a little bit of a crisis? [IHT]
• Mortgage fraud is up 42 percent in this year's first quarter. [CNN]
• The merger market is the worst it's been in sixteen years. [Reuters]

MEDIA
• Brad Pitt photographed Angelina Jolie for the November cover of W, marking the first time Pitt has been behind the camera on a cover shoot. [Fashion Week Daily]
• With the invention of TiVo and DVR, television watchers are fast-forwarding past commercials. So what are advertisers doing? Making commercials seem like content. Tricky! [Fortune]
• Meanwhile, Google is going to take a stab at television advertising. [Adweek]

LAW
• What if law firms were publicly traded companies? [Economist]
• After lawyer Jeffrey Steiner and seven corporate and finance partners have bailed from Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, the law firm is changing its name to just Thelen. [Law.com]
• Lawyers are tightening their purse strings as the economy withers. "During a recession, cash is king," says one legal consultant. "Clients tend to hoard their cash, which means they delay payments to vendors, which include lawyers — the result being significant slowdowns in collections for law firms, which can cause serious cash flow difficulties." [Law.com]