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Cipriani Still Living High on the Hog; Another Mechanical Bull Comes to New York

The nation can rest easy in the knowledge that Giuseppe Cipriani is still cruising around in a Rolls-Royce, has kept his private jet, and may even build another yacht in addition to the one he already owns. [NYP] The Shamalian boys opened their rockabilly bar on Essex last night even though it's unfinished, and there really is a bull! [Eater] The Federal Trade Commission has launched their second attack against the Whole Foods–Wild Oats merger vowing that even though money has already exchanged hands that the integration can still be stopped. [NYT]

‘I Am Legend’ the Feel-Good Movie of the Year?

Sure, I Am Legend is a horror movie about the last-living human in a postapocalyptic Manhattan — but what person living in this city hasn't, at one time or another, fantasized about what New York would be like without all the annoying New Yorkers?

Vive la Résistance (to Chain Stores)!

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New York may be becoming a little more Paris-like — we're even going to have sidewalk pissoirs — but we still have a lot of catching up to do. For instance, imagine Mayor Bloomberg railing about the "banalization" of Times Square (or, for that matter, of anything). His Parisian counterpart, faced with the familiar march of megaretail up the Champs-Élysées (Adidas, Gap, Benetton, Virgin), dealt with it in a delightfully French way: He legislated against it. H&M, for instance, was outright banned from opening a branch on the boulevard. "We don't have anything against H&M," the Times quotes the deputy mayor as saying. "It just happens to be the first victim." Of course, this being France, the area's historic establishments — independent movie theaters, for instance — get serious subsidies to stay open. Sadly, it's as hard to imagine the City Hall sniffing at, say, the banality of T.J. Maxx as to see it doling out $40,000 a year to keep the Quad afloat. Megastores March Up Avenue, and Paris Takes to Barricades [NYT]