July 12, 2004
When Neil Bush left Tortilla Flats on June 22 after celebrating daughter Lauren’s 19th birthday, he told the restaurant’s management that they chose the low-key venue specifically to avoid being written about in gossip columns. No such luck. Bush’s birthday happened to fall on Tortilla Flats’s rowdy weekly bingo night. To help her celebrate, the pajama-clad announcer, Steve Pagnotta, led the restaurant in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday, Lauren.” It was also another patron’s birthday, and the lucky young man ended up sprawled on Bush’s lap while she spanked him with a bingo board. “Lean into it, Lauren!” Pagnotta coached the model. “Swing!” Meanwhile, the president’s brother downed shots and heckled the bingo winners, while his new wife, Maria Andrews, watched.
“Doug [Liman] is notoriously a mess,” says a source about the director of Swingers and The Bourne Identity, who, it turns out, may be featured on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. “Anyone who knows me has recommended Queer Eye for me,” says Liman. “But one friend actually sent me the application, and I filled it out.” “They were going to remake me for my Passover Seder,” adds the director. “But my movie didn’t finish shooting until May, so we missed the window.” This must have been disappointing news for Brad Pitt, who is starring in Liman’s upcoming movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Pitt is a fan of the show and urged Liman to get himself Queer Eye’d as a condition for signing on to do the film. And the admiration is mutual. “We’re all obsessed with Brad Pitt!” trilled Queer Eye’s Carson Kressley. Liman says he may be able to schedule the show next year.
Jason Pomeranc, who opened 60 Thompson three years ago with his family’s real-estate company, is expanding his boutique-hotel empire. Next year, he’ll open two new hotels. One of the properties will take its name from its address—6 Columbus Circle—and will feature 90 rooms and a restaurant. The other hotel, on the Lower East Side, will be called Allen Street and will also feature 32 luxury condos, a spa, and a pool. “Allen Street is an overlooked and neglected frontier,” says Pomeranc.
Just two weeks after selling their $1.35 million two-bedroom on Washington Street, Amy Poehler (Mean Girls) and her husband, Will Arnett (Monster-in-Law), signed a contract to buy a 1,800-square-foot apartment in a new condo development on the far West Side through brokers Michele Kleier and Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern of Gumley Haft Kleier. Uptown, R&B crooner Babyface sold his townhouse at 241 East 52nd Street for $2.95 million through broker Charles Russell of the Corcoran Group, who declined to comment. Babyface’s publicist says the Los Angeles–based singer never got around to using the four-story townhouse, which comes with a recording studio.