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Alberta Ferretti

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Gael Greene Unmasked and on the Loose in Midtown West

Astoria: Sakura sushi has just opened on Ditmars near 36th Street, and they have quite an extensive menu. [Joey in Astoria] Flatiron: Macaroni-and-cheese porn has been posted to tease an upcoming roundup on the city’s best, and Mayrose already sounds like it has a leg up on the crusty contenders: “Down and dirty, this macaroni. It will fight you on the way down, and you may lose.” [Gridskipper] Midtown West: Gael Greene unmasks herself at BLT Market and is treated to some nice extras. “A note to my pal, Restaurantgirl, ” she writes, “that’s what a restaurant can do when you’re not anonymous.” [Insatiable Critic] Upper East Side: An Alto Adige white on Sfoglia’s wine list does not name the varietals because producer Elena Walch refuses to share what grapes she uses. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] West Village: Julius on West 10th Street is open again after a brief seizure by New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and “crammed with the usual ancient drunkard queens.” [Eater]

What to Wear to Turks and Caicos

Resort Collections
Behind closed showroom doors (and in the Santa Monica airport), designers have been showing off their resort and cruise collections the last few weeks. The lines are bright, colorful, and chock-full of obscenely expensive bikinis. We hit up the target demographic — Fabiola Beracasa and Byrdie Bell — to see what the ladies planned to buy for their next vacations.

As the Tents Turn: Isaac's Back, Marc by Marc's Gone, Look Out for Agyness Dean

With the collections hitting Bryant Park for the last time (please, Mayor Bloomberg, don't make us hoof it to the Javits Center), we're armed and ready for the season's big changes. London calling: One of Fashion Week's hottest invites will be missing this season. Marc by Marc Jacobs is now showing across the pond, coinciding with the opening of the designer's new flagship store. Model down! Runway favorite Gemma Ward is skipping the season to shoot The Black Balloon with Toni Collette. We're not saying Ward was typecast or anything, but she is playing a pretty young thing. Couldn't she work in a coal mine? Target hawker Isaac Mizrahi makes his grand comeback with a new collection and show on Monday, February 5, at 475 Tenth Avenue, near 36th Street. Jeremy Scott is moving his often ridiculous, always outrageous show back to Paris, where he debuted in '97. We'll miss the strip-club after-party. After first canceling his show (his "goods" didn't arrive on time), Stephen Burrows is now hosting a fall press preview. Tara Subkoff and Trovata shows, however, aren't rising from the dead. Trovata split earlier this year citing "creative differences."

Bruce Ratner Will Ensure You Have Overpriced Coffee

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Speaking of the inexorable march of franchised coffee, we noticed something interesting while idly gazing at some Atlantic Yards plans today. While much about Bruce Ratner's project is still up in the air — Miss Brooklyn's size, the project's time line, the exact numbers of jobs it will create and people it will push out of their homes, who will win Daniel Goldstein's lawsuits — one thing, however, is set in stone, at least according to sketches provided by Frank Gehry's office. Atlantic Yards will definitely have a Starbucks. Photos: Atlantic Yards Project [amNY] Earlier: Old East Villager Distressed By Starbucks Influx; Also, Sky Is Blue

Old East Villager Distressed By Starbucks Influx; Also, Sky Is Blue

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As lead-a-counterculture-icon-around-his-old- stomping-grounds pieces go, there's not much surprise in today's Times profile of Dog Soldiers author Robert Stone, whose memoir of the Beat Generation, Prime Green, drops on Tuesday. As the author trundles through the East Village, there's the fond memory of how back in the day you could give a bum a dime to watch your kid; the lament that newly cleaned buildings have ruined the neighborhood's "grimness"; and an odd story about how returning GIs, given their first slice of pizza, put scoops of ice cream on it because they thought it was pie. Still, the biggest watch-and-weep moment comes when the old soldier comes face-to-face with the Devil itself:
Heading toward Astor Place, he discovered that one of his favorite coffee shops had been turned into a Starbucks. Stopping for a light, he said, with less sadness than surprise: "I used to have such a tremendous sense of the city and of this neighborhood, and it's lost to me now."
Well, yes. We all know the Starbucks-is-taking-over feeling. But we'd suggest Stone dig deeper. After all, last time we checked, that Astor Place Starbucks had bathrooms grim enough for any old-timer. Plus, we hear they're doing a brisk business in Venti PizzaCremas. Counterculture Lion, Back in His Tidy Jungle [NYT]

Group Wants to Shape Up New Yorkers, New York

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The Public Health Association of New York City has a new report out, and it's a jaw-dropper. The problem it identifies — only one quarter of us get enough physical activity — is not all that newsworthy; we already knew that New Yorkers, once you get past yoga-crazed downtowners and the Chelsea iron-pumping contingent, are not exactly gym bunnies. What's staggering about the PHANYC report, titled "Steps to Get New Yorkers Moving," is the sheer scope of its remedy suggestions. The Association offers nothing less than a total reengineering of the city under the fitness flag. Proposals start with the obvious (more bicycle routes), proceed to the novel ("enable parks to directly benefit from the property value and property tax increases they generate"), and finally hit the full, glorious WTF. Apparently PHANYC wants the city to build "step streets" in its hilly parts, line the avenues with trees to make them more inviting for joggers, institute diagonal parking because it's more pedestrian-friendly, adopt European traffic-calming measures, close certain streets to vehicles, and reduce speed limits. It's not that we think these things are bad ideas, necessarily; it's just that the plan seems a bit aggressive. What's next, trying to ban all bad fats from our diets? Oh, wait. Agenda for a Healthy New York [PHANYC]