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Rats

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Laurent Tourondel's Recipes Feed South Pole Residents; Greek Diner Ownership Declines

• Laurent Tourondel may not be working on a restaurant in Trump Soho, but he keeps himself busy with tasks like advising cooks at the South Pole on how to replicate his recipes. [WSJ] • Saturday’s East Side crane accident leveled Irish tavern Fubar, which fortunately was not open at the time. [NYP] • The owner of Stage Deli, which was shut down for health violations including “a severe vermin infestation,” claims the problems are limited only to the basement level, but last time we checked, rats aren’t really afraid of infesting restaurants at street level. [NYT]

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A New Food Blog From the ‘Times’; Can Dining Alone Get You a Date?

The Times has launched a new food blog called Bitten that’s being written by "Minimalist"-column writer Mark Bittman. What’s in store for readers? "We’re going to look at great food made with everyday ingredients and readily achievable techniques — as The Minimalist has been doing for a decade — not food as something to be admired from afar, but as a part of daily life." [Bitten/NYT] Monkey Bar chef Chris Cheung thinks he deserves a little credit for making black miso cod so popular at Nobu. [Gothamist] Several changes in their dining culture have led the Vietnamese to embark on a “rodent-eating bonanza.” [WSJ]

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Rat-Infested Taco Bell to Become T-Mobile Store

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And here’s the Taco Bell on Sixth Avenue that spurred the Department of Health to strap on its boots and go to war. When we peeked in this morning, it looked rodent-free; according to construction workers, it will soon be a T-Mobile store. Meanwhile, down the block, the Beard Papa store, which was supposed to reopen in mid-October, is still closed for renovations. We have a call in to Papa himself to see what’s up, though his side project, Santa Claus, might be keeping him a little busy these days. Related: Beard Papa Returning Downtown, May Hit the Slope

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New ‘Times’ Tower: ‘It's Like the Dark Ages’

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The soaring new New York Times tower — already known for its weird toilets (when flushed, they apparently sound like a kitten being strangled), its weirder elevators (no buttons, and no indication of what floor they're on), a leak problem (editor Bill Keller's office got soggy in a recent rainstorm), and a mouse problem (reported by Gawker) — still has a few more surprises between the floorboards: maggots. "It's hard to put out a newspaper when you're worried about what might fall on your head," one Times staffer told us this week. "One of the photo editors was sitting at her desk and maggots started falling from the ceiling tile on to her head."

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Metropolitan Diary Exclusive: ‘In the Heights’ Theatergoers Terrified By Ethnic Hair

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The Times' crosstown-bus-riding Metropolitan Diary is a frequently mocked fount of quaintness, and this week, as they say, was no exception. What comical confusion befell women of a certain age? A terrifying one! It seems that during a recent performance of In the Heights, the entire front row "let out a shriek": They thought they saw a filthy, furry rat scurry across the stage. But it wasn't! It was merely the "bobbing black curls of the orchestra conductor at his subterranean podium." Oh, dastardly non-blonde, non-straight hair. Next week in delightful urban misunderstandings: Fantasia briefly mistaken for a "giant panther" on the set of The Color Purple. Metropolitan Diary [NYT]

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