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November 6, 2000

Donna Hanover, Cindy Crawford, Karenna Gore Schiff, Chris Noth, Anne Heche, and more . . .

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Giuliani Family Law and Disorder
Mayor Giuliani and Donna Hanover have found a private little arena in which to settle their family feuds: the set of Law & Order. A political source tells us that New York's First Lady, who has a recurring role on the hit show as a judge, is fuming about Rudy's recent cameo. "Donna's pissed because, for one, she's the actress in the family," says the source. "And she's the one who had a relationship with the show in the first place. And on top of that, she thinks the only reason Rudy agreed to do the part was to get back at her for embarrassing him when she took that Vagina Monologues role" -- referring to the brouhaha last spring when Hanover accepted, then declined (only to recently re-accept) a part in Eve Ensler's play. And according to the source, "that's exactly why Rudy did take the role -- to get under her skin. Maybe now he feels like they're even." Neither Hanover nor Giuliani returned our calls.

Karenna Takes a Glamourous Licking
You don't have to be a dog to get friendly with a political cutie, but it doesn't hurt. At Glamour's Women of the Year awards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week, Karenna Gore Schiff got some rather lavish treatment while posing for pictures with fellow honoree Cheryl Heppner. "She's hearing-impaired, and she has this assist dog that all of a sudden started licking Karenna's knees," a witness tells us. "It had been well behaved all night, but as soon as Karenna got near it, the dog really went to town. It was a golden retriever, so it was a very blonde-on-blonde moment." Schiff handled the friendly pooch with her usual grace, laughing it off while its owner repeated, "She never does this!" No one was laughing earlier in the evening, however, when Sharon Stone accepted an award for her work with AMFAR. "It just went on and on," says the source. "She became very overwrought and started crying. At one point she thanked her best friend for living 'in the shadow of the glare of my spotlight.' " A dark, dark place indeed.

Baseball Fans Suffer Nothern Exposure
When Chris Noth catches Subway Series fever, Lord help the rest of us. The Sex and the City star boarded the No. 4 train en route to Yankee Stadium for game 2 of the series last week and immediately made his presence known. "He was basically pushing his way onto the train and shouting, 'Get out of the way,' " says a witness. Noth -- sporting a black-and-gold ristorante italiano baseball cap -- was just as concerned about his fellow passengers' movements as he was about his own. According to the source, when a woman had trouble getting through the crowd to deboard at 138th Street, Noth told her, generously, "You can get off if you root for the Mets." The crowd, though, did not snap to, forcing Noth to shout, "Let her off! Let her off!" As the train arrived at the stadium, a satisfied Mr. Big -- whose rep declined to comment on this story -- turned to a female companion, telling her, "You see? I told you this was faster than taking a cab." How do his sexy co-stars resist such charms?

DeCristofaro's Odd Recruiting Style
The lineup of talented people working for Joseph DeCristofaro's upcoming Manhattan Style magazine is quite impressive; too bad some of them aren't actually doing it. Women's Wear Daily was moved to retract a recent story that said New Yorker staff writer Daphne Merkin, photographer Patrick McMullan (whose work appears in these pages), and George Plimpton would all be "featured" in the new mag after we told WWD that all three denied they'd be working for DeCristofaro. According to a rep for Fairchild, which owns WWD, the list was furnished by the former Hamptons Country publisher himself. "I would be surprised to find myself on a list of their writers," says Merkin. "I cannot say it's first on my list of things to do." McMullan says he told DeCristofaro -- who did not return calls -- that he would consider taking on the occasional small assignment, but that the conversation ended there. George Plimpton, meanwhile, certainly will be "featured" in the mag: "I think someone's writing about me for it," he told us. "Which is not quite the same thing as writing for it."

Family Not Prepped for Heche Romance
Even though Anne Heche met her new beau while he was a cameraman for the documentary she filmed of Ellen DeGeneres's stand-up-comedy tour last summer, he's not a Hollywood scenester like the other men (and woman) Heche has been linked to. In fact, according to a source close to the couple, Coley Laffoon's upper-crusty family is less than thrilled by his career choice, his new relationship with the sexually ambiguous actress, and rumors that he and Heche (whose representative did not return calls) are expecting. "His family is so Muffy and Biff," the source explains. "Coley came to New York to be an investment banker, and they were extremely happy about that. But then he went out to L.A., where some of his friends were involved in film. Suddenly, he was swept up in this alternative lifestyle. His parents are going bananas." There goes the trust fund.

Nagtime: Doctorow Fights for Poe Home
Call it Solidarity for Edgars: Hoping to prevent Edgar Allan Poe's onetime residence from meeting the same fate as the House of Usher, novelist E. L. Doctorow is trying to stop NYU from demolishing the building. The ever-expanding university has been barraged with complaints since announcing plans to raze two buildings on West 3rd Street -- one of which Poe lived in -- to make room for an addition to the law school. Despite being a professor at the school, Ed(gar) Doctorow announced his opposition to the plan in a letter to the Times in July, and Woody Allen and Lou Reed followed suit in the paper of record. When Judge Robert D. Lippmann recently overturned a temporary restraining order blocking the school's plans, Doctorow hit the warpath. "I expect NYU to fulfill its obligation as a steward of American culture," he told us. "The university should not participate in the erasure of a literary memory." The legendary author, along with other disgruntled associates of the university, drafted a letter of complaint to NYU president Dr. L. Jay Oliva, and Doctorow will also meet personally with the law-school dean, John Sexton, this week to urge him to incorporate the Poe House into the blueprints for the new law building. "A restored Poe House can benefit future generations by giving them a sense of the man and the times in which he lived," Doctorow says. We wish him luck.

Dreesen's Fifth Avenue?
East Hamptonites may soon be trading their favorite doughnuts for something not quite as palatable. Locals are abuzz that the famous Dreesen's market has sold out to Saks Fifth Avenue for between $4 million and $5 million. The place has been a favorite for 50 years, boasting such devotees as Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow, but according to an East Hampton real-estate source, the market has quietly been on sale for three months now and Saks appears to have made the tastiest bid. While a Saks insider confirmed that the company had been in talks with Dreesen's owner Rudy DeSanti, a rep for the chain declined to comment, saying any sale was "just a rumor." DeSanti first told us, "If I was doing anything major like that, I'm sure you people would hear it directly from me." Then he had no comment. Finally, DeSanti summed up, "When the time comes, you'll know about it." Now, that's something to look forward to.

Broadway Playoffs; Cindy's Disney Turn
PLAY BALL: That rabid baseball fever was in evidence everywhere over the past few weeks: in the streets, on the subway, even on Broadway . . . during the climax of a show. Dearbhla Molloy, currently starring in the critically acclaimed Juno and the Paycock, got a glimpse at just how obsessive some fans can be during one recent performance when she noticed a curious glow emanating from the audience. After a few furtive glances, she saw that the light was coming from a mini-television broadcasting the playoffs. "The man was checking the score of the game!" exclaims the Irish thespian. But unlike some temperamental Broadway stars who stop the show when a cell phone rings, Molloy kept her discovery to herself. "The show was almost over," she says, "and it didn't seem like he was distracting anyone else but me." Looks like those Europeans still have us beat when it comes to etiquette.

BIG DEAL: What does a restaurant have to do to get a 6,000-pound elephant these days? That's the question Marc Packer and Richard Wolf, owners of the new Asian eatery Tao, are asking. The pachyderm in question is Anna May, who was booked to appear at Tao's opening last Thursday night. Although permits had been approved by the Departments of Health and Animal Services, the plans went to peanuts the day before because the mayor's office denied the permit request. The city did not return our calls, but a source close to the situation claims the pachyderm was prohibited because she was deemed "too dangerous." The peeved event planners at Berk Communications, however, discovered that Anna May had previously been approved to work a Saks Fifth Avenue event. Bet that was a big trunk show.

MICKEY MODEL: Now that supermodel Cindy Crawford is a mother, she's embracing Disney -- of course. Starting next week, Crawford will be starring in a series of videos airing on Disney.com aimed at luring families to the Mouse's newest theme park, Disney's California Adventure, giving the ride-laden Six Flags-style affair -- currently being constructed on a parking lot right across the street from the original Disneyland -- a much needed hit of glamour. Crawford's rep credits her "existing relationship with Disney" as her reason for signing on to do the "Cindy Report." These promos should be especially effective at getting men into the park.

Additional reporting by David Amsden, Abbey Goodman, and Paige Herman.

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