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David B.

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‘Top Chef”s Howie Tastes the Big Time, Briefly, at Gotham Bar and Grill

When Howie Kleinberg, after twice coming to the brink of elimination, returned last week to win a Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef, he was rewarded with a one-week internship at Gotham Bar and Grill, courtesy of the guest judge, Alfred Portale. Kleinberg, whose unremitting hostility originally endeared him to us, has gotten on swimmingly with the chef, we hear. “He’s a very likable guy,” Portale tells us. “He’s a big guy, kinda cuts a pretty wide path through the kitchen, but he shows a lot of respect and poise.”

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When Brooklyn Commenters Attack

Boerum Hill: Brownstoner hates a Robert Scarano building, but commenters think the blogger has a grudge. [Brownstoner] Brooklyn Heights: Costume-makeup-sex-toy emporium Ricky's is promising nervous locals that, when it opens on staid Montague Street in September, it'll keep the dildos out of direct view. [Brooklyn Eagle via McBrooklyn] Dumbo: Transformation of the Pearl Street Triangle has sparked a heated local debate (check the comments) on homeless people in the ever-more-gentrified hood. [DumboNYC] Maspeth: Might St. Saviour's Church be saved from demolition on the grounds that the wreckers have broken federal law by cutting down trees harboring migrating birds? [Queens Crap] South Jamaica: "We're losing our capes!" No, it's not a superheroes' lament. Just locals in this Queens burg mourning the supplanting of cute, small-scale homes with plot-hogging McMansions. [Progressive Southside] Upper West Side: It's overpriced camp season again, which means a lot of bad chords coming from your kid's bedroom. [Copyranter]

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Mario Testino Comes Home

The salon-style, Mario Testino–curated exhibition "At Home" opened yesterday at Yvon Lambert to a crowd of hipsters, models, art world royalty (Rachel Feinstein! John Currin!), Sienna Miller (looking as Edie-esque as ever), and Testino himself.

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Was Live Earth a Failure?

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The conventional wisdom on Live Earth, last Saturday's Al Gore–wrangled series of eight concerts around the world, is developing: It was a big, fat flop, conservative commentators are saying — and they're gleeful about that, because, they say, it's upsetting Gore's supposed "grand plan" (Oscar win to Live Earth to Nobel Prize to presidency, natch). "The organizers … were hoping to attract 2 billion viewers to their cause but managed a slender 2.7 million," writes Nicholas Wapshott in today's Sun. And, yeah, wow, that's quite a failure. Except that Wapshott's number is totally wrong. He cites only the U.S. ratings for the Saturday-night broadcast on NBC. Though a relative disappointment in the United States, the concerts were seen in 178 countries on an array of platforms. Bravo, which carried the shows, registered its best-ever Saturday; on BBC1 in the United Kingdom, it snared 4.5 million viewers against Wimbledon. The shows also set records online, including an all-time viewing high on MSN with 30 million streams. Last but not least, there were also eight stadiums' worth of live viewers. In short, those hoping that Al Gore will "grow another beard," as Wapshott puts it, and skulk away will have to wait a while longer. Until a voting-machine mix-up in Stockholm County sends his Nobel to Rupert Murdoch. Cringe-Making Concerts [NYS] 'Live Earth' Concerts No Big TV Draw [AP]

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Jock Bait Coming to Heart of Lower Eastpacking District

Rumors that Libation was going to become an outpost of 40/40 Club haven’t come to fruition, but now Natasha Navidad, a former manager-barkeep from Bull’s Head Tavern and the Black Bear Lodge is bringing 72 high-definition TVs to the space that was formerly Tenement— an ESPNcroachment the likes of which haven’t been seen since Bounce Deuce put its plasmas all up in the East Village’s face. The sports bar will be called the Blue Seats, after the seats in Madison Square Garden, but the food should be a step up from concession-stand grub: raw oysters and Philly-cheesesteak sliders for dinner (with a “twilight menu” served till 4 a.m.) and French toast for brunch. Have there been liquor-license delays? Yes, of course, but the place expects to open, serving blueberry mojitos, on July 30. The Blue Seats menu The Blue Seats, 157 Ludlow St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-614-1494.

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