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Sign Language

Sean Doyle Boycotts Conde Nast, Bill Sticks With South Beach, De Niro's New Downtown Digs

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September 20, 2004

Sign Language
If Samuel O. Newhouse III (son of Condé Nast chairman Si Newhouse) has failed to notice that the neighbors aren’t happy with his recent apartment renovations, at least one is providing a not-so-subtle hint. At 211 West Broadway, resident Sean Doyle has decorated a window of his fifth-floor Tribeca apartment with the words THREATENED! BY NEWHOUSE CONTRACTOR BOYCOTT CONDE NAST!!, in hot-pink and gold letters. Newhouse, an executive at Advance Publications, owns the apartment above Doyle’s, and is completing renovations that began last fall. Among the annoyances for neighbors: A Dumpster has been parked by the building for months. But Newhouse may not be around to get Doyle’s message—an insider says he’s been camping out on his boat for much of the renovations. Newhouse and Doyle both declined to comment.

Beach Read
Bill Clinton’s quadruple bypass has prompted lots of people around the city to get their hearts checked. But are they still checking out Arthur Agatston’s The South Beach Diet and its army of recipe spinoffs? Clinton had been on the diet—a sort of modified Atkins that’s heavier on whole grains and lean meats and discourages “bad fats”—for more than a year, losing up to 35 pounds. He even talked up the program on Oprah this summer while plugging his beefy memoir. His success story was touted on the guide’s Website—though an unofficial diet site’s more recent link is to a Houston Chronicle story headlined CLINTON LIKELY NOT HURT BY SOUTH BEACH DIET. He doesn’t appear to have hurt the diet, either. On Amazon, the book’s sales rank went down to fourteen on Labor Day but rebounded back to pre-bypass levels—nine at press time. Barnes & Noble reports that “all three South Beach Diet books have had steady sales”—the main book ranking No. 7 last week and No. 6 the week before.

Moving And Shaking
François Payard is opening a restaurant on Mott Street, but it won’t be another French restaurant with a pastry shop in front, like his eponymous uptown spot. Payard wouldn’t elaborate, but his publicist confirms that the new place will open later this fall. Farther west, construction has been delayed until next month on the hotel being developed by Richard Born and Ira Drukier (the Mercer, the Maritime) and Robert De Niro. “There are a couple of technical reasons why we’re delayed,” says Born. “We’re contemplating adding two floors to it, but that’s not going to stop us from moving forward.” Previously, the project on North Moore and Greenwich streets was zoned for six stories.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY BORIS KACHKA


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