• High fuel prices and a soft economy have sent Delta and Northwest Airlines running into each other's arms. The two could announce a definitive plan to merge as early as next week. [NYT]
• Senate Republicans have axed a proposed economic-stimulus bill. The Dem-proposed $158 billion package, which sought to avert a full-fledged recession, came up one short of the required 60 votes. [FT]
• But, no worries. Economists put odds of a U.S. recession at 49 percent, which means we're not technically there yet. Also, for what it's worth, this video is funny. [WSJ]
Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker got into a fight on the platform of the downtown C/E train at 23rd Street. Alpha Media head Kent Brownridge married Hearst publicity head Alexandra Carlin at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Artie Lange tried unsuccessfully to get four Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders to disrobe on the Howard Stern show. A lot of foodies showed up at the preview of Alain Ducasse's wine-themed restaurant, Adour, in the St. Regis. Bruce Springsteen waited a half hour for a lunch table at the Turning Point in Long Branch. Cindy Adams says Heath Ledger once tried to avoid her by saying, "You people from the press are not nice to me," but that he smiled while saying it. Liz Smith approves of the fact that Jenna Bush is getting married in Crawford, Texas, and not the White House.
Mayor Bloomberg calls the oatmeal-raisin cookies served up at Gracie Mansion “addictive,” an opinion not shared by Giuliani, who didn't care for the in-house baker's sweets. [NYDN]
Fresh owner Eric Tevrow pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $1 million in sales and payroll taxes from his restaurants. [NYP]
Tickets for Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s tribute dinner at next year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival have already sold out, despite being $500 a pop. Naturally, scalpers are already reselling them on eBay. [NYP]
Okay, so on Sunday night we went to this Delta event with the Counting Crows, and ever since then our friends and co-workers have been making fun of us because we love that band. But we are not ashamed! Sure, you may have abandoned them after "Mr. Jones" got annoyingly stuck in your head too many times, or even as recently as their "Big Yellow Taxi" remake which was offensive to almost all humans. But we love them nonetheless, and they have a new album coming out. It was supposed to come out in November, but it got delayed. Lead singer Adam Duritz, who has been a New Yorker since their last album, Hard Candy, five years ago, recorded half here and half in his native Berkeley. The album is called Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings, and they've begun testing out some of the tunes — including the ballad "Washington Square" — on concert audiences. And we are excited about it and don't care what you think. At the Delta event, where the airline announced an exclusive collaboration with the band (they'll offer an all-Crows music station on their onboard radio menu and will sponsor the band's tour), we actually got to sit down and talk with Duritz for a while about the album, the music industry, and living in the city. After the jump, we've posted a portion of our Q&A for your enjoyment. Nobody's looking, we promise. You can click through.