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Shock: Ghostface Killah in eBay-Nonpayment Drama

Last month the Wu-Tang emcee announced intentions to sell a hat on eBay. When the bidding ended on November 4, the lucky winner of said hat — a fitted "Atlanta Backwoods" cap which, we'd like to remind you, has "been in front of Halle Berry" — agreed to deposit $355 in the PayPal account of Ghostface's intermediary seller. At least that was the plan.

Red Mango to Open December 6 With a Veritable ‘Free-Fro-All’

Official word has come that Red Mango’s first NYC location at 182 Bleecker — long a source of fascination — will open at 4 p.m. on December 6 with “FREE FROZEN YOGURT, GIFT CARDS, GIFT BAGS, MUSIC PRIZES” (emphasis theirs). Obviously they’re trying to trump Yolato which promised free fro-yo at their recent opening only to dole out sample sizes. So will Red Mango be fudging it, too? The publicist assures us “free frozen yogurt” means an honest-to-God half-cup (small-size) serving. We have this on tape (kidding). Gifts, meanwhile, will go to the first 50 people in line and will also be given to people throughout the day, especially people who can answer trivia questions like, “How many calories are in Red Mango?” That we’re not kidding about — so study up! Earlier: Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever

Mike and Barack in Controversial Coffee Klatch

Mike Barack
Hey, while you were standing on the subway this morning with your genitals squashed up against a dude who smells like Gouda, other people were actually doing something important. Like Barack Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, who quietly had a power summit over coffee this morning. CBS reports that the meeting is about "their mutual interest." Bloomberg has long said he'd like to insert himself into the national debate this election season (BUT HE IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT), and he met with Chuck Hagel. We have no idea what they talked about, but we imagine topics of conversation included:
• Hillary Clinton is kind of a bitch
• Rudy Giuliani is kind of a bitch
Al Sharpton is kind of a bitch
• Matt Drudge is kind of a bitch
• Is Hayden Panettiere too young to want to bone?
• George Bush is kind of a bitch
Or maybe they're in better moods in the morning than we are? Obama, Bloomberg to Hold Mystery Meeting [CBS]

Singer-Songwriter Vanessa Carlton Indeed Loves Ruby's in the Afternoon

Vanessa Carlton
In her single “Nolita Fairytale,” Vanessa Carlton sings about her love of “Ruby's in the afternoon”— a reference to her favorite neighborhood hang. “It’s the best people-watching,” she says of Ruby’s. “Everyone looks like they’re out of an editorial shoot for some hip magazine. But it’s not posey.” Other favorites near the “Nolita flat on rent control” she famously exalts? La Esquina (“I love to get takeout or to just sit at the front taco bar”), Freemans (“I think it wins the devils-on-horseback competition with the Spotted Pig”), and N (“the best chorizo I’ve ever had”). We asked her whether this week found her at any of the above.

The New Museum, Unleashed Upon the Bowery!

The Bowery may be moving toward the mainstream, but that doesn't mean there's no room for fluorescent lights and papier-mâché nudes! Towering amidst restaurant-supply stores and flophouses, the fascinating, hyperbizarre New Museum is the Bowery's latest step toward its new, haute identity. We were treated to a preview of the sure-to-be landmark, talked to architects Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, and checked out the locals' reaction to their strange new neighbor. For your viewing pleasure, a sneak peek inside the new New Museum, opening Saturday. Click the image above to watch. Related: Party Lines: Calvin Klein's First Look of the New Museum Art Review: Little House on the Bowery [NYM] Architecture Review: The Gray Ghost of the Bowery [NYM]

Exclusive Comics Excerpt: ‘Ghost Stories’

Today on the Comics Page, we're proud to present an excerpt from Ghost Stories, the second in Jeff Lemire's touching, profoundly human series of graphic novels Essex County, on sale now from Top Shelf Productions.

Comic-Book Artist Rob Liefeld's Most Dubious Achievements

Back in the early nineties, Rob Liefeld was one of the most popular artists in comics, and his distinct style fueled the wrong-headed "Hey, this might be worth a lot of money someday!" market that led to the most spectacular boom and bust in the history of the comic-book industry.

The Salty Wit and Wisdom of Padma Lakshmi

The latest issue of Vanity Fair features a profile of none other than Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who's promoting her new cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet. Amid all the foodie talk, Padma actually reveals quite a lot about herself. A sampling: • On the Top Chef Emmy nomination: "[It] was a big fucking deal.” • On life without her ex-husband, Salman Rushdie: "I'm really fucking sad." • On her new cookbook: "Finishing the fucking book was like being in labor for two years!” • On hosting dinner party: "I pulled this out of my ass." • On an AIDS charity she supports: "…we’re doing a campaign and an event and you should buy a fucking table.” • On telling the press if she had a boyfriend: "My husband would call fucking Reuters." • On a tabloid's coverage of her bra size: "…they said it was 36C. I said, 34C, motherfucker!” • On her current living situation: "Now I’m staying in a fucking hotel with all my shit in storage." Damn, Padma. A Taste of Fame [VF]

Robots Fight Potatoes at the Kaiju Big Battel

Kaiju is a giant-size spectacle, with performers in Godzilla-style monster costumes wrestling one another in a ring strewn with balsa-wood skyscrapers while a spiky-haired announcer cracks wise at ringside.

Model Catherine McNeil Finds Comfort in Chicken Burgers

Earlier this year Times fashion writer Guy Trebay declared 17-year-old Catherine McNeil to be “fashion’s latest crush,” citing her photo shoots for Mario Testino, her campaigns for Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabbana, and her sudden status as the sought-after runway model. McNeil has lived on the Lower East Side since moving from Australia in February and can often be found at expat hangout Ruby’s wolfing chicken burgers like her mom used to make. “It’s chicken breast, and you can put lettuce and sweet chili sauce and stuff on it,” she explains. Not that she did much eating out this week between shoots for Another magazine and Versace. We caught her on the way to the airport (she was flying to Paris for a Gaultier shoot) and asked her what she noshed on.

Norman Mailer Dead at 84

Prolific, outspoken novelist Norman Mailer passed away this morning at Mount Sinai hospital, where he'd been admitted several weeks ago with respiratory problems. A true New York character, both colorful and controversial, Mailer co-founded The Village Voice, penned over 30 books, directed four movies, won two Pulitzer Prizes, and tossed at least one drink at Gore Vidal. A fascinating man with an ego to match, Mailer was nothing if not captivating, and the world of letters won't be the same without his bluff and bravado. Earlier:The Rise of Mailerism [NYM] Father to Son: What I've Learned About Rage [NYM]