Wednesday would have been Frank Sinatra’s 92nd birthday, and at least one of the Chairman’s old haunts, the occasion won’t pass unobserved. Frank’s favorite New York restaurant, Patsy’s (no relation to the pizza chain), will be serving “Frank’s stuffed artichoke,” “Frank’s veal cutlet Milanese” (“Frank had it made easy on the garlic,” Patsy’s chef Sal Scognamillo tells us), and sfolgiatella, Frank’s favorite dessert, on Wednesday (the last course is on the house). Sal is a font of Sinatra anecdotes, too, and will be on hand to repeat a few of them. If you see him, ask about the night in 1977 when the Yankees came in after winning the World Series, and Billy Martin wanted to know why he didn’t have the best table.
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The year-end rush to give out awards has started in earnest, and two totally meaningless such contests present themselves to us today. On Endless Simmer, the nominations are in for Eater of the Year and include Tony Bourdain, Padma Lakshmi, some locavores, and Joey Chestnut. Are you kidding? Why even ask the question? If Joey Chestnut, having vanquished Kobayashi and established himself as the greatest competitive eater in the world, doesn’t get this award, why bother giving it? The man deserves it just for eating 103 Krystal burgers in eight minutes earlier this year.
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Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek at what your friends and neighbors are doing behind doors left slightly ajar. Today, the Self-Servicing Waiter: 25, male, Long Island City, gay, live-in boyfriend. DAY ONE 10 a.m.: Wake up horny after disturbing threesome dream with Tori Spelling and her semi-hot man. Walk naked to kitchen. Hope neighbors don't mind that we sleep in the buff. Take my daily herbal antidepressant, which I refer to as my "happy pill."
2:20 p.m.: While working on an article from home, my mind wanders to last night's activities. He's a white boy with a swimmer's build and a southern charm. I'm a Hispanic-American with a penchant for tattoos and stylish clothes. We're hot together. Erection.
3 p.m.: Xtube surfing for the last 40 minutes. Finally decide on military men with tattoos.
Kenny vs. Spenny is a new Comedy Central reality show in which two lifelong best friends compete in contests like "Who can wear a dead octopus on his head the longest?" "Who can eat more meat?" and "Who do gay guys like more?"
Media mogul Conrad Black will be sentenced this morning to between six and eight years in prison for fraud and obstruction of justice, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve has said. The sentence is pretty lenient, especially considering that Black, whose Hollinger International company owned more than 100 newspapers, including the New York Sun, was less than endearing during the course of his trial. He referred to the charges that he had used the company to fund such luxuries as trips to Bora Bora and 100 pairs of Manolo Blahniks for his wife, among other things, as "rubbish" and "bullshit" and called his prosecutors "Nazis" and "pygmies." Jail, Black recently said, would be "a bore, but endurable," especially perhaps since Sun editor Seth Lipsky has reportedly invited the best-selling memoirist to contribute articles from his cell.
Conrad Black to Serve up to Eight years in Jail for Fraud [Guardian]
UPDATE: The verdict is in! Black will serve 6 1/2 years.
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With the official news of Dan Doctoroff's departure as the city's economic-development czar, the hunt is on to find a lame-duck replacement for him — one that can carry out the mayor's ambitious NYC2030 plan. So, one source tells us that City Hall recruiters have been feeling around for any takers and have so far reached out to at least two possibilities. One of them is Alan Fishman, the former president of Sovereign Bank who now chairs the mayor's Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. (A call to Fishman was not immediately returned.) The other person that's said to have been asked about Doctoroff's job is Sean Donovan, who now runs the mayor's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “This could be a very good choice,” one politico told New York. “Shaun and Dan have very different philosophical approaches to development. Shaun has a great reputation for working with community groups and community boards and can build allegiances there, and that was always Doctoroff’s weakness. He wanted to bulldoze things through.” Donovan is the choice most frequently mentioned in press reports, but Fishman could be the private-sector outsider we hear that City Hall has been secretly hoping for. Time, and more rushed press conferences, will probably tell. —Geoffrey GrayEarlier:Dan Doctoroff May Still Save UsREAD MORE »
• Bill Keller on Rupert Murdoch: "I don't know Rupert Murdoch, he is a combative 76-year-old newspaper guy with a tabloid soul and more money than God. With those resources at this stage it looks like he will do whatever the hell he wants to do. I don't think he is going to be constrained by some strategic planning consultant telling him what he can do. That makes him very hard to predict." [Media Mob/NYO]
• Meanwhile, the Times gave Sam Tanenhaus still more power, expanding his purview beyond the Book Review to the halcyon halls of "Week in Review." It's hard to tell if this is Keller's endorsement of Tanenhaus's talents or just an absurd overselling of some serious cost savings. [Radar]
• Jon Stewart shows he's a real mensch and begins paying his staff just like all the other late-night hosts (Even though Stewart is paid far less himself.) Daily Show staffers never even missed a check. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]