JPMorgan Chase Profits Fall 53 PercentBut they did better than analysts predicted. That, plus the latest on Hamptons real-estate prices, Condé Nast’s upper echelons, and the “You go girl!” spinner, in our daily industry roundup.
Moynihan Station: All That Doubtful Press Actually a Good SignNegotiation via blind items drives epochal real-estate projects, as well as ballplayers’ contract haggling, and we’ve uncovered reasons to view recent stories about the Moynihan Station struggles as part of an encouraging trend on the project. For one thing, Governor Spitzer has personally entered negotiations. Spokesman Errol Cockfield confirms that last week Spitz convened his first face-to-face meetings with the Dolans (who own Madison Square Garden) and the developers who own air rights to the intended Moynihan site. One player intimate with the negotiations described this as “shuttle diplomacy,” and apparently it’s had an effect.
Rangel Actually Embarrassed by SomethingCongressman Charlie Rangel has always had a sharp tongue, and now he seems to be putting it at the service, so to speak, of Hillary Clinton: Yesterday, he rolled out exactly the kind of red-meat attack on the GOP candidate field that Clinton (whom Rangel supports) would be far too civil to launch. “Two people, six spouses,” Rangel told CNN, referring to the total number of marriages between Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan. “It’s a little complicated if you’re not religious, especially if you’re running against a Mormon.” He added: “There are enough moles on this man that embarrasses those of us who have sought public life.” Wow. First of all, we’re not sure where Rangel was going with the Mitt Romney crack, but it wasn’t anywhere good. And second, moles? Those are not moles — they’re weasels!
Rangel: Giuliani ‘Embarrasses Us’ [CNN]
Michael Jackson Checks Out Other Masks and Wigs at ‘Lion King’Michael Jackson took his three kids to see the Lion King on Broadway, and they were all wearing wigs and baseball caps. An art dealer in Chelsea sued Christie’s for $7 million for allegedly selling him a fake Basquiat. Kanye West’s album is outselling 50 Cent’s, though 50 is still worth more money according to Forbes. Jennifer Lopez may be expecting twins, but that’d be news to Marc Anthony. The Dalai Lama likes eating at Masala Garden on West 79th Street. Vince Vaughn went into Marquee at 2:45 a.m. to hit on some girls. Hugh Grant cruised down a deserted strip of road in Southampton in a red convertible. Representative Charles Rangel subconsciously thinks Hillary Clinton is going to be president.
Spitzer’s New Pal: Charlie RangelOnce upon a time, Charlie Rangel was the kind of entrenched political boss reformer Eliot Spitzer was trying to remove from the conversation. And once upon a time, Spitzer was the kind of steamrolling, prosecutorial, holier-than-thou Ivy Leaguer Rangel snidely termed “the smartest man in the world.” Spitzer ditched Rangel’s lieutenant-governor suggestion at last minute; Rangel dubbed Spitzer’s plan to reduce health-care costs “disastrous.” Now the two are about to step into a joint press conference to present a plan to protect health care for children. Strange bedfellows, indeed. What gives? According to a source close to Spitzer, making nice with Rangel is part of the embattled governor’s plan to reach out to old foes and shore up his political backing. “The governor is now looking to places where he never used to for support,” the source says. And Rangel sees Spitzer’s problems as presenting an opportunity to get a deal he likes, a source close to Rangel says. “The governor is certainly in need of some friends right now,” the source says. In exchange for political cover, Rangel is looking to pick up “chits,” the Rangel source says. “There are a lot of projects in New York that Charlie cares about, and I’m sure the governor is taking that into account.” —Geoffrey Gray
This Movie Is Innnsaaane!Danny DeVito is trying to make a movie about Crazy Eddie. One of Lindsay Lohan’s MySpace friends sold online correspondence between Lohan and Samantha Ronson to Star magazine. Philip Roth complained about showing up in “Page Six.” Jane staffers stole a lot of stuff from the fashion closet after learning the mag was folding. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason may replace Don Imus as WFAN’s early-morning D.J. Gore Vidal is annoyed that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tore out his solar-power system. Congressman Charlie Rangel is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove he went on a “date.” Today show contributor Amy Jacobson was fired from her Chicago post after being caught on tape in a bikini at the house of a woman whose disappearance she was covering. Gisele and Tom Brady PDA’d at Palma on Cornelia Street. 50 Cent canoodled with Ciara.
All in the FamilyBee Shaffer and Austin Bryan, the offspring of Anna Wintour and her boyfriend, Shelby Bryan, held hands at Marquee. Harlem congressman Charles Rangel is likely getting a divorce and may be dating other women. The typewriter that disabled author Christy Brown used to bang out his best-selling autobiography (with his left foot, no less) will be auctioned off tomorrow. New York Yankee Jason Giambi took shots at a club. Sophie Dahl and longtime boyfriend Dan Baker Jr. broke up, and Mick Jagger may be to blame. Lindsay Lohan ex Harry Morton is now dating Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly. Mark Wahlberg and the real-life “E” acted like Vinnie Chase and the fictional “E.” Ronald and Nancy Reagan were once funneled money by a Hollywood studio through an illegitimate real-estate transaction.
Obama Set to Score First New York Endorsement
New York is Hillary Clinton’s home turf, but tomorrow Barack Obama will receive his first formal endorsement from a New York elected official, State Senator Bill Perkins, according to a knowledgeable source. Obama has been able to poach several big-money backers from his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination — he’s got several more fund-raisers scheduled in the city this weekend — but Perkins, a longtime Harlem politician, will be the first elected to formally support the Illinois senator. The endorsement is likely to ruffle the feathers of Harlem boss Charlie Rangel, a Hillary supporter, who recently declared, “I don’t know Obama supporters in New York.” It’s not the first time Perkins has gone against the Harlem establishment: He supported Howard Dean in the 2004 primary, when Rangel was supporting General Wesley Clark. “It’s all posturing, all game playing,” said one Harlem political strategist. “He’s trying to make the eye in the sky look at him.” Perkins hasn’t returned a call for comment. —Geoffrey Gray
That’s Why the Steamroller Is a Tyrant
• That was fast: Spitzer has earned the epithet “tyrannical” for the first — and probably not the last — time in his gubernatorial tenure. Apparently, the Spitz now tours fellow Democrats’ districts to individually rip the legislators for reneging on the comptroller deal. [NYDN]
• Late policeman Cesar Borja became the human face of the post-9/11 illnesses befalling first responders. The Times bursts that heroic bubble today by reporting that Borja wasn’t even a second responder; he never rushed to the site on 9/11 and simply picked up a few shifts there, in December 2001, for overtime pay. [NYT]
• The president, meantime, can’t keep his mitts off another hero — Wesley Autrey, our bunny-hat-sporting subway savior; weeks after his cameo at the State of the Union, he is back at the White House for some sort of George Bush Cares About Black People shindig. (Among other invitees: Charlie Rangel.) [NYP]
• Chuck Schumer, Christine Quinn, and Hillary Clinton pile on Clipper Equity, threatening to block its Starrett City purchase unless they see an ironclad pledge to keep the complex’s 6,000 units affordable. Turns out Clipper “doesn’t have a written plan” for its $1.3 billion impulse buy. [amNY]
• And get ready for actual snow, if you remember what the stuff is; a few inches of it are expected this afternoon. But don’t get too excited: This bit of real winter will quickly be replaced by that post-millennial stand-in — freezing rain — by tomorrow morning. [4 Weather Plus]
You Can’t Spell MLK Without Al SharptonWhen New York politicians think of the Reverend Martin Luther King, they think of the Reverend Al Sharpton. They have to, because Sharpton has built his annual “public policy forum” into a mandatory Martin Luther King Day stop for politicos across the state. Today’s gathering, at Sharpton’s new digs off the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 145th Street, was no exception. Honored guests included Governor Eliot Spitzer, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, several members of Congress, and Attorney General Anthony Cuomo, who joked that he was modeling a Phat Farm suit by Russell Simmons, as the hip-hop mogul looked on approvingly from the dais.
The most popular speech topics were critiques of the Iraq war, police brutality, and racial discrimination, along with repeated praise for Sharpton. Queens congressman Gregory Meeks was the most effusive, calling Sharpton a modern-day Martin Luther King. Indeed, it’s a testament to Sharpton’s tenacious chutzpa that he’s taken the official holiday devoted to Dr. King and fused it with a celebration of himself, a day for some of the most powerful New Yorkers to pay homage to both men in one easy stop. And lest they forget, Sharpton told Spitzer today: “You run Albany, but I run things here!”
Sharpton, who has recently stoked rumors of another presidential run, asked Bloomberg if he would run against him. Bloomberg replied that he already had a New Yorker in mind for the job: Charlie Rangel. If Sharpton’s out campaigning next January, perhaps Martin Luther King Jr. will have the day all to himself. Ari Melber
Although We See More Potential for Murder and Mayhem at Atlantic YardsAward-winning mystery writer S.J. Rozan’s latest book, In This Rain, is about — isn’t everything these days about? — New York’s redevelopment. A standing-room-only crowd turned out last night at Partners & Crime, in Greenwich Village, for a launch reading of the book, set squarely at the intersection of developers, activists, and City Hall in the gentrification of Harlem. (A large portion of Rozan’s research, she said, apparently involved consuming sticky goods at Wimp’s Bakery on 125th Street.) So who gets a cameo in this whodunit? “There’s a character who’s Bloomberg, and people keep telling me they see him in the book,” commented Rozan. “But they also keep seeing Rangel. Poor Rangel! I didn’t mean to have him in there.” No word yet on whether Harlem’s most presidential neighbor gets a role — or whether people think they see him there. — Lizzie SkurnickS.J. Rozan [Official site]
early and often
Bloomberg Announces $150M Plan to Help Poor
They say New York is just for the rich these days, but today one of its richest — Mike Bloomberg — unveiled a plan to help those who aren’t. His Commission on Economic Opportunity unveiled its anti-poverty strategy, and, at a ceremony at the stalwart Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, the mayor pledged a $150 million annual commitment to fund it, including $25 million to be raised from private foundations. That chunk of change will go first into an Innovation Fund, which will oversee the budget and — this is a first, folks — measure programs’ success at actually alleviating poverty. There’s also a new Office of Financial Empowerment, where the poor can make sure they’re getting all the tax credits they’re due (like a new childcare tax credit for parents of children under 3), learn about public benefits for which they might qualify, get basic financial-literacy help, and report scams they encounter, such as predatory lending schemes. But the heart of the effort will likely be at the new Center for Economic Opportunity, which will coordinate the programs between city agencies, from cash bonuses paid to the poor who make it to doctor’s appointments to complicated “career ladder” programs trying to turn low-wage home health aides into middle-class nurses. One more good omen: Representative Charlie Rangel, who’ll be chairing the influential Ways and Means Committee in the House, was standing proudly at Bloomberg’s side — which suggests some federal help could be on the way, too. —Tracie McMillan
• Mayor Bloomberg seems to be making all the right moves in the wake of the 50-bullet NYPD hailstorm that killed an unarmed man in Queens. The mayor called the shooting “unacceptable or inexplicable” during a meeting with the city’s black leaders (including Al Sharpton and Charlie Rangel) — unusually strong language considering that all the facts aren’t officially in yet. [NYT]
• Firefighters doused a fire in the basement of a Bed-Stuy apartment only to find a man’s body duct-taped to a bed. It’s unclear whether the flame killed the victim or was intended to hide the crime. [WNBC]
• Even the most radical proponents of graffiti-as-legit-art would have a hard time defending one Patrick McCormick, whose fifteen arrests alternate between graffiti offenses (his artless tag, seen all over town, is “MAP”) and things like robberies and the murder of homeless people. He is now back behind bars after pleading guilty to a relatively mild crime of smashing a subway window with a hammer. What a guy. [NYDN]
• In Trenton, the heirs of a wealthy couple that donated $35 million to Princeton in 1961 want the money back. Their reasoning hinges on a claim, which they’re taking to court, that the university is misusing the endowment. It’s safe to say there goes that honorary degree. [NYP]
• And the Whitney is jumping on the High Line: The museum has inked a tentative deal with the city to build a downtown expansion that will also function as the entrance to the trippy park. This appears to mean that all talk of expanding its uptown space is now officially over, and the meatpacking district has ornery UES landmarks boards to thank. [amNY]
• A new memorial to American 587’s crash, the second-deadliest air disaster in U.S. history, was dedicated Sunday in Belle Harbor. It’s a curved granite wall with the victims’ names and a line from a poem in Spanish (most of the 265 victims were Dominicans heading to Santo Domingo). On the crash site itself, residential construction is in full swing. [NYT]
• If you lived through the transit strike last year, you kind of hated union boss Roger Toussaint. And that was before you knew he had a secret deal with the MTA while the strike was still going on, as the Daily News reveals today. What a guy. [NYDN]
• A high-powered Manhattan lawyer was found dead near his abandoned BMW in an upstate bird sanctuary — an apparent suicide; the man was out on $225,000 bail on a rape charge he vehemently denied. [NYP]
• The flap over Charlie Rangel’s already-infamous “Who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” continues, with local newspapers there alternately asking the feisty congressman to come visit their fair state and heaving invective on New York. [Gotham Gazette]
• And what’s the Post’s headline of the day? There are plenty of contenders, from “Mick Jagger Rocks On in Grief” to “Bearied!” but we’ll go with Egg Foo Gun, about a handgun smuggled into a hospital in a Chinese-food carton. Well done, Post. [NYP]
• Somebody cut off and stole George Washington’s head. A statue of the first president now stands nogginless at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, with a dollar bill proffered as a mocking replacement. Suspects include leftover British royalists, Republicans driven mad by post-election grief, and, of course, adorable scamps from the nearby Columbia campus. [NYP]
• A city doctor is gearing up to do a uterus transplant, the country’s first (Saudi doctors did it once in 2000). Prospective recipients are being vetted right now. The transplant is meant to be temporary and last only through a pregnancy — still an ambitious goal. [NYDN]
• The Democratic majority has its first scandal! Harlem’s own Charlie Rangel is apologizing to Mississippi for a little zinger he unleashed on it yesterday. The exact phrasing, to refresh your memory, was “Who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” Apparently some people do, and some of those, like Representative Chip Pickering (R-Miss., natch), are issuing angry press releases. [amNY]
• If you see something, say something: A black duffel casually dropped on Bensonhurst’s busy Shore Parkway has revealed an intact human body. The Times story is priceless for the colorful locals’ la-di-da reaction, which includes the phrase “This has always been a popular area for dumping bodies.” [NYT]
• And, let’s just get this over with: The taxi fare hike is kicking in a full month sooner than expected, on November 30. Under new rules, the riders will pay the same rate for slow or stopped traffic as they do when the cab actually, you know, is taking them somewhere. [WNBC]
Dem Congress Is New York’s Gain — and Mississippi’s Loss?
If we accept that essentially everyone in New York City is a Democrat, then Tuesday was unquestionably a good day for New York. And if we accept that the Democratic party — based on the coasts, with liberalish sensibilities and an urban base — likes New York more than the Republicans do, having the Democrats in control of Congress is also unquestionably good for New York. But as metro political ace Pat Healy points out in today’s Times, in even the most practical and concrete of terms, the Democratic ascension on Capitol Hill is a very, very good thing for New York. How so?
In a pre-election week punctuated by acts of contrition, none was sorrier than John Kerry’s mea culpa for seeming to instruct a group of college students to do their homework lest they “end up in Iraq.” Having single-handedly halted Democratic momentum, Kerry said, “I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted.” President Bush, who has lately donned a hair shirt over piddling aspects of his handling of the war, nevertheless vowed never to fire Rumsfeld or Cheney. Congressman Charles Rangel said he was sorry for calling the veep a “son of a bitch,” but showed no pangs of conscience for observing that Cheney hadn’t “shot anyone in the face lately.” Remorseless campaigner Andrew Cuomo showed he had no hard feelings toward ex-rival Mark Green by accepting a $50,000 donation from Green’s developer brother, Stephen, before scolding current opponent Jeanine Pirro’s “shameful” paying of her driver $148,000 in county-funded overtime.