Courtney Sale Ross, founder of the Ross School in the Hamptons and the new Ross Global Academy charter school in the Tweed Courthouse, is not the easiest person to work for (as Phoebe Eaton reports in this week's New York.) Construction on Ann Curry's townhouse on West 71st Street has led to four lawsuits from angry neighbors. Bruce Willis got a make-out session with Courtney Love on his 52nd birthday. Michael Jackson is in talks to build a 50-foot robotic replica of himself in — where else? — Vegas. Governor Eliot Spitzer is liberal with the compliments. Former Studio 54 busboy and current Nobu managing partner Richie Notar will run Ian Schrager's Asian fusion restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel. The former chef at 44 used to serve Calvin Klein McDonald's French fries for lunch, and Klein was none the wiser.
Madonna won't let her daughter dress like, well, Madonna. The U.N. campus has a pretty serious rodent-and-eel problem. Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Building owner Jerry Speyer is proficient with a yo-yo. Oscar presenter Jerry Seinfeld has been asked to host the Oscars next year but can't because of a movie obligation. "The Secret" is Hollywood's new Scientology/Kabbalah. Martha Stewart just bought an unfinished apartment in the West Village for $16 million. Someone stole one of Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel dresses and sent it to Courtney Love to wear. Kathie Lee Gifford has as soft spot for Britney Spears, though her son fancies Paris. Mark Ruffalo is far nicer to the press than he needs to be.
Forest Whitaker and other Oscar revelers celebrated at parties. In New York, celebrity viewers were either at Elaine's, with EW, or the Spotted Pig, with New York. Brandon Davis ruined Paris Hilton's birthday party by harassing Paula Abdul and Courtney Love. Ron Burkle had George Clooney, Beyoncé, Clint Eastwood, and a bevy of other celebs over his house for a private Giorgio Armani runway show. Harvey Weinstein used direct-marketing techniques to get Rosario Dawson and Lindsay Lohan to come to a party. To which Cameron Diaz showed up with Tyrese. Courteney Cox spent at least $750,000 on a Damien Hirst. Josh Hartnett brought Helena Christensen back to his room at the Chateau Marmont. VanityFair.com's Jessica Coen left the Miramax Oscar party because it smelled too good, missed Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren.
In case you’re wondering what we want for Christmas here on Grub Street, we’ve actually gone to the trouble of making a list.
• A Grub Street outpost in Las Vegas. Possibly built in conjunction with Hawaiian Tropic Zone, with David Burke as consulting chef.
• A James Beard Rising Star Chef award. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!
• A bar stool alongside Mario Batali and Courtney Love at the Spotted Pig. Then a hot ice pick with which to blind ourselves.
• A new restaurant which brags about “year-round” ingredients grown “all over the place, and bought from SysCo.”
• A menu that eschews subtitles, credits, translations, geography, or recipes in favor of big, detailed full-color pictures of every dish — just like at Denny’s.
• The permanent destruction of the Cookshack smoker, the last refuge of mediocre urban barbecue cooks. (The Cookshack, a refrigerator-size device that “smokes” with the aid of a handful of electrically warmed chips, is a sad replacement for a real wood smoker, like the ones used at RUB and other major barbecue establishments.)
• An end to “soft openings.” When you’re ready to open, open. Come hard or don’t come at all!
• Three good new Jewish delis, five good new non-gourmet pizzerias, ten good new local Chinese restaurants, and no more gourmet-burger operations.
• Unless, of course, it’s the White Castle on Avenue B we’ve always wished for.
When we spoke to Paul Sevigny about his soon-to-open hipsteraunt (the second coming of onetime West Village speakeasy the Beatrice Inn), he at first told us "it's kind of top secret." (Doorman Angelo certainly wasn't letting us in on the secret when we tried to crash Courtney Love's party there on Halloween night.) But after throwing down with the beautiful people at actor-jeweler Waris Ahluwalia's birthday bash last weekend, we can now let you in on the details of what looks to be the downtown set's answer to the revival of Waverly Inn.