While brand-new champions were being minted at last Monday night’s U.S. Open kickoff, Pete Sampras’s retirement was on everyone’s mind at the USA Network’s party. “It’s nice to step down when you’re at the top,” said Sex and the City siren Kim Cattrall, who knows a thing or two about quitting while you’re ahead, now that she’s wrapping up her last season as Samantha Jones. “He had an incredible career and it would have been tough to keep doing it at his level,” added John McEnroe. Of course, if other guests like Lili Taylor, Ellen Burstyn, and Patricia Field had been given that advice when they were young, they would never have reached their peaks. “It’s good to quit when you feel like you can’t do as well as you always did,” said Burstyn, 70, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2001 for her role in Requiem for a Dream. “I myself never considered quitting for a moment.”
North Shore News: Bellport Blues
A nimby battle is brewing in Bellport, where residents like Isabella Rossellini and S.I. Newhouse are joining forces to fight off development in the historic district. Newhouse’s wife, architecture scholar Victoria, recently fired off a letter to Bellport’s Architectural Review Board calling the proposed house on Hulse Street “the worst kind of ‘McMansion’ style... an affront to the historic homes on all sides of it.” Even famed architect Daniel Libeskind weighed in, exclaiming “Oh, my God!” when he saw the plans, says his friend, art historian Marvin Trachtenberg. The “McMansion” ’s architect, Gary Cannella, admits the design may be a little much: “I think the plans will be modified.”
Behind the Scenes: Family Drama
You’d think Peter Gatien’s aspiring-actress daughter, Jennifer, would have easily landed a role in Party Monster, the new movie about club kid and murderer Michael Alig. Much of the movie takes place in the Limelight, the now-defunct club once owned by Peter, who is played in the movie by The Practice star Dylan McDermott. Co-directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato tell us that Jennifer auditioned to play Natasha Gatien, her real-life stepmother. “That,” Bailey told us, “would have been sick and wrong.” The part went to Mia Kirshner. So much for art imitating life.
Sex and the City: Lord of the Rings
There’s no doubt that women everywhere have tried to emulate Carrie Bradshaw’s style. Now it’s the guys’ turn. On Sex and the City, Harry and Charlotte get rings from Harry Winston. Well, Evan Handler, who plays Harry, was so impressed by the platinum rings that he recently popped into the Winston flagship on Fifth Avenue to buy a pair for him and his real-life fiancée, Italian beauty Elisa Atti. The couple, currently vacationing in Italy, are set to wed in October. Will Harry do for Harry Winston what Carrie has done for Manolos?
"I knew there was more to New York than its pizza."
-- Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin after hearing that drinking red wines from New York State may prolong your life span.
Club Kids: Hello Kitty
Lenny Kravitz is making himself quite at home in Kos, the new lounge he’s opening on the Bowery with his cousin Kevin Conner and good friend Denzel Washington. We hear that the three recently jetted to Kravitz’s supergroovy modern mansion on Biscayne Bay in Florida in search of inspiration for the lounge’s design. They ended up shipping one of Kravitz’s own couches and lamps back to New York to be installed in the Kitty Box, the lounge’s VIP room.
Home Front: Life’s a Beach
Ever since financier Ira Rennert broke ground on his his massive—some would say monstrous—estate in Sagaponack, Hamptonites have speculated that he’s building some kind of Orthodox Jewish refuge, a yeshiva or perhaps a spa for rabbis, complete with a 200-car garage. However, Rennert’s rep informs us that, contrary to reports, it simply is not the case and that Rennert would like to set the record straight. He insists that it’s just a family compound, and that each of his three kids (Ari, 25, Nina, 30, Tamara, 32) will get a wing of the 100,000-square-foot house. “He never told anybody what he was doing, and the tale kept getting taller and taller,” says the rep. “It’s just a home for his family.” That makes much more sense.
Honeymoon Suite: Boogie Night
Newlyweds Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich didn’t go far from home for their first night as a married couple. After celebrating with a small group of friends and family at their downtown apartment, they decided to have at least one night to themselves. Moore and Freundlich checked into Soho House, the members-only club in the meatpacking district, where Moore was spotted days before, frolicking with the kids in the rooftop pool. But our snitch tells us that the club will not be offering honeymoon suites anytime soon.
The Italian Job: Chef du Jour
Didn’t get enough of Nick Scotti when he appeared on Sex and the City last season as a delivery man who gets orally serviced by Kim Cattrall? Well, the hottie model-singer-actor has signed a thirteen-episode deal with the Style network for a reality show about him, called Nick Scotti’s Blue Collar Style. Scotti’s native Ozone Park, Queens, will also play a part, with appearances from his sister, Vivian Scotti Fusco, and their aunt, Irene Nucci. And like any good Italian boy from Queens, he cooks. Plans are for the show, co-produced and directed by Peter Marc Jacobson of The Nanny, to have several segments in which Scotti prepares his favorite dishes for family and friends.
A Supermodel Cleans House
Maybe it’s time Gisele Bündchen opened her own store. The bodacious Brazilian recently unloaded some high-end fashions at Ina, the consignment shop on Prince Street. In other words, you, too, can wear boots by Marc Jacobs and Narciso Rodriguez once worn by Gisele. And yes, she gets a percentage of the sales. The supermodel’s stash is available at Ina’s Prince Street, Thompson Street, and East 73rd Street outposts. A rep for Ina declined to comment because of confidentiality agreements with consigners.