You're Still Home Till Christmas
The holiday season is time to remember that this isn't such a heartless city after all. For example, city marshals don't usually enforce eviction orders from December 15 until the New Year. "It has been the practice of some marshals to use their discretion and choose not to evict residential tenants during the holiday season," says a spokesman for the City Department of Investigation. "Neither the DOI nor the city has any reason to believe that this practice is disruptive or objectionable." Dawn Sullivan, chair of the Eastside Tenants Coalition, says marshals often have to be reminded of the tradition, and even then, "if a marshal is getting schmoozed a little bit or greased" by a landlord, "then you're going to get evicted."
You've Got Males
After reading the Times Magazine's recent Hollywood issue, directors Allison Anders (Sugar Town) and Nancy Savoca (True Love) sent a brief, outraged letter to the magazine. "In the entire 144-page issue," they wrote, "with over 65 films and filmmakers cited, only three are not white males. (The tally includes passing mentions.) And a heavyweight roster of 66 directors -- Amy Heckerling, Martha Coolidge, Gus Van Sant, Sofia Coppola, and Jonathan Demme among them -- signed it. "Since it was an issue trying to represent 'what's going on, now and beyond,' it's strange that we're not there," says Anders. The idea for the letter came from 50/50, her group of woman filmmakers -- "one of those things that are talked about amongst ourselves." Still, this being Hollywood, some people picked up on the imbalance before others. "Steven Soderbergh said that he only noticed it after he saw he wasn't in the issue."
Now and Forever, but Not Right Now
After a decade of flops, Broadway producer Cameron Mackintosh recently said he's swearing off new musicals. But what with the nostalgia time clock accelerating, how long till he brings back his biggest hit, Cats, which just ended its run in September? "You know, he did say, when it closed, This is only the end of its first life, meaning that it will have nine," notes Andrew Lloyd Webber's representative, Peter Brown. "But I think it's a little early."
Warning: Smelling May Be Hazardous to Your Health
After a Brooklyn woman died in a fire started by a neglected candle, agitated officials declared war on aromatherapy. One told the Times, "This is a dangerous object." Still, beauty editors burn them nonstop, though candles "are against fire code," warns Debbie Reckseik, building-services administrator at Condé Nast. But Big Paraffin is unrepentant. "Most of ours have a warning on them," says the owner of one candle store, which otherwise pushes a softly glowing lifestyle. "But do you really need a warning? It's fire."
According to the New York Post, British scientists have developed a method to test an embryo for low IQ. Given the bruising competition to get a child into a choice private school, we called the head of admissions at Spence and asked if she'd recommend the test for moms-to-be concerned about whether their progeny will be sufficiently exceptional. "Testing's shaky enough when they're 4," says Alice Shedlin. "I don't think that there could possibly be any predictor when they're still in utero."