Sometimes you read an interview and immediately you wish you were friends with the subject. Such is the case with Metromix’s sit-down with Ron Ciavolino, the head of wine studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, and a man who speaks his mind. Our favorite quotes:
• On modern bartenders: “Most bartenders feel like they’re giving away something for nothing if they’re charming. I want schmaltz. There’s no schmaltz.”
• On the downtown wine scene: “You go to those wine bars in Soho, they’re more bowling alleys — there’s no romance. Everybody’s 12 years old.”
• What happens when a bartender allows ice to melt in a shaker: “You hemorrhage through all of your apertures.”
Days of Wine and Poses [Metromix NY]
• Kent Brownridge picked a new fight with his old boss Jann Wenner, poaching ten-year Rolling Stone vet Joe Levy for the top spot at Blender. Brownridge already stole Men's Journal editor James Kaminsky to take over Maxim. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• The OK! issue with the Jamie Lynn–pregnancy exclusive sold only 900,000 copies on the newsstand, well short of the roughly 1.5 million the mag had predicted. [WWD]
• Steve Cohn on the Condé shake-up following so fast on Steve Florio's death: "It sort of reminds me of The Godfather. They go to the funeral and then they blow everything up." [NYP]
We don't know about you, but to us there's nothing worse that starting our day off reading about some wunderkind who's accomplished more by the age of 21 than we have in our adult lives thus far. Seriously, do teenagers not even smoke pot anymore? Today the Sun profiles David Karp, an Upper West Sider who left behind a "normal childhood" and quit Bronx Science as a sophomore to work on UrbanBaby. Since cashing in on that company's sale, Karp has founded several successful tech start-ups, including a new social-networking Website called Tumblr. It's pretty cool, a combination of a blog and Facebook, which is perfect if you are a chronic exhibitionist like Karp's investor Jacob Lodwick. "The VCs were ready to throw millions at us," Karp tells the Sun, but of course, he's all about the users. "Our focus is not selling it to Google in two years or flipping it," Mr. Karp said. Hm. Yes, but David, are you happy on the inside? Oh really? Are you sure?The 21-Year-Old Behind a 'Darling' New York Web Startup [NYS]
Rachel Roy is pregnant. Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford toasted new friend Carrie Underwood with Cristal at Southern Hospitality. Ew, they serve Cristal at that place? Katie Holmes took Suri to have frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3. 50 Cent and Lance Bass talked smack about each other's books. Anna Wintour skimped on the food (only cheese sticks and almonds!) at her Style.com party on Tuesday. Prince Albert showed up at the "Grace, Princess of Monaco" exhibit at Sotheby's.
The sky didn't fall, even when it opened. The VMAs landed smack in the middle of Fashion Week and threatened to rain on our stargazing parade, but in the end — after all the wailing, teeth-gnashing, and prophesies of doom — neither an awful awards show nor an actual deluge could spoil the celebrity turnout in the front rows. It's enough to make our Grinchy hearts grow three sizes. Or at least keep us smiling through the pain of our considerable blisters.
Without further ado, here's a look at a few of the highlights:
As far as celebrity sightings go, the Diesel show was shaping up to be pretty dim. Things were running 30 minutes late, and nearly everyone had taken his seat, but all the photographers and camera folk were arranged in a phalanx on the runway, each of them hopefully gazing into the distance. They were clearly waiting for an apparition, and they stood in this anticipatory formation for at least ten minutes. We began to wonder who could possibly be important enough to require such special treatment. Madonna? Vice-President Dick Cheney? Perhaps Jesus Himself? Or would it be someone totally anticlimactic, someone we’d already seen multiple times? Like, say, Demi Moore?
No longer just for men at work, the jumpsuit is back; and hugging feminine curves in all the right places. Diesel showed three different variations, but this gray, short-sleeved, futuristic version best sculpted an hourglass shape. Luca Luca’s skin-tight, snow-white suit is guaranteed to get lots of attention. And the baggiest, most utilitarian take belongs to Anna Sui, who added a quirky twist with gold chains and cargo pockets. Jumpsuits: They'll jolt you ahead of the pack for fall.
Here's a nice change of pace: A legendary sports figure has come out of retirement to write a book about the past, and this time we're pleased about it. No, it's not O.J.'s scribblings; instead, legendarily goggled Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has published a work of history. On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance hit the shelves yesterday, according to an NPR report. It's full of fascinating details about upper-Manhattan athletics in the age of the Cotton Club — like that the Cotton Club's main competitor, the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom, hosted its own basketball team, the Harlem Rens. At the Renaissance, the dance floor doubled as a basketball court, and a Rens game reportedly featured the first interracial jump ball in basketball history. But Abdul-Jabbar has harsh words for another rival, Harlem Globetrotters, whose clowning around he associates with the Cotton Club's tradition of catering to a white audience. You can only imagine what he must have to say about the Washington Generals.
The Harlem Renaissance, On and Off the Court [NPR]
The Prada event planners probably slept well last Friday night, sure the amazing Raconteurs show at their Soho store would be the secret-special-musical-guest highlight of Fashion Week. Then they discovered the Diesel after-party booked James Brown. JAMES BROWN. The Godfather of Soul.