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Riding the B Line: Our Favorite Brighton Beach Spot

Somewhere in the world there may be a train line that covers more gastronomic territory than the B and V subway lines, which start in southernmost Brooklyn and end deep in Queens, but if there is, we don’t know about it. For the next twenty-odd weeks, we'll be riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway. This week, the Brighton Beach / Brighton 6 Street B stop

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Who's Choppering to the Hamptons? Rich Families

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Chuck Schumer launched another one of his constituent-pleasing crusades this week: He wants the FAA to regulate the flight paths of rent-a-chopper services that whisk the city's plutocracy to the Hamptons on the weekends. They'd be restricted to "noise-abatement routes" along freeways and over the water, leaving Long Islanders feeling a bit less like they're living in a suburban Apocalypse Now. But are Hamptons-bound helicopters really such a problem? Increasingly so, as it turns out. This year, Blue Star Jets, which books for the area's six operators and their 35 helicopters, reports a 15 percent increase in chartered traffic to the beach; it expects to have booked 500 trips by the end of the summer. Even worse, with the average trip costing about $2,500, the passengers are the sorts of people used to getting what they want. "People will come with eight steamer trunks like they're boarding the Titanic," says pilot Charles Humphries. "Then we have to explain to them that they can either take their friends or their bags."

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Whole Foods CEO’s Online High Jinks Unmasked; Magnolia Bakery Reopening

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has been going online anonymously on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards for seven years to blast rival Wild Oats and talk up Whole Foods stock. [NYT] Related: Did Michael Pollan Throw the Whole Foods Debate? (Just Asking) Magnolia Bakery, closed for less than a day for having only one sink, has now been reopened after promising to install another one. [Eater] Related: A Sad Day for Overhyped Pastries: Magnolia Shuttered [Daily Intel] Anthony Bourdain is warming up to The Next Food Network Star. As a matter of fact, you could say that he’s become a devoted fan: “Whether it's the butterfly mobiles dangling from my ceiling, the onset of early dementia, or long delayed side effects of past drug use drawing me to the tube Sunday nights, I'll be watching.” [Ruhlman]

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How Much for the ‘Post’?

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Question of the day: Why is today's Post 25 cents in most of the city (or at least in West Village, at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, where we checked) and 75 cents in the East Village (or at least at Avenue A and St. Marks Place, where this was spotted)? Your guess is as good as ours.

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Thrice-Married Catholic Not Considered So Religious

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• Only 13 percent of responders think Rudy Giuliani is "of strong religious faith," according to a Time poll — and that's lower than Hillary's number (15 percent). But he once wanted to close down an art exhibit for blasphemy! [NYP] • "The very character of the Northeast is at stake" if greenhouse gases aren't reduced, a new study warns. Poised to vanish: Long Island lobsters and New York apples. What will thrive: smog, pollen, and floods. And, clearly, Claritin sales. [NYT] • An L.A.-to-London flight was diverted to JFK this morning because of a "suspicious passenger." Michael Chertoff's gut told him it was a harmless misunderstanding. [WNBC] • Shelly Silver still won't agree to bring the Assembly to the table for congestion-pricing talks — even as the desperate Mayor Bloomberg says he'll fly to Albany tomorrow. By now, we're just looking forward to Monday, when this mess will be over. [NYDN] • And, starting today, the MTA adds a "Mets express" to its 7 line: a one-stop service from midtown to Shea. It's just for an hour on game days, but funny thing: If they did it year-round, Willets Point might actually be habitable. [amNY]

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Buscemi Always Brings the Pigs-in-a-Blanket

Interview screening. Tribeca Grand, 2 Sixth Ave., nr. White St., 7 p.m.; after-party at Soho Grand, 310 W. Broadway, nr. Canal St. Director-star Steve Buscemi hosts. Co-star Sienna Miller is also scheduled to attend. The verb "host" usually sounds odd in these contexts: We associate hosting a party with guacamole preparation and frantic bathroom cleaning, things that actors and directors probably don't often do before film screenings. And yet, Steve Buscemi … We would not be surprised if he were, at this very moment, elbow-deep in bean dip.

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At ‘Xanadu’ Opening Night, Disaster Is Only Narrowly Averted

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It was opening night last night for Xanadu, the Broadway musical based on what's one of the most disastrously bad movies of all time. So it was only appropriate that the big night teetered on the edge of its own disasters. Things started badly when the NYPD showed up late with the crowd-control railings for the red carpet, prompting three suit-clad PR boys to wrestle the bulky barriers into place just before Olivia Newton-John — who starred in the original movie — stepped out of her limo. She was wearing an off-the-shoulder top that threatened to cause a disastrous nip-slip at any moment. Newton-John laughed through the performance, but she admitted that it brought back bad memories.

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Double Happiness to Get $1 Million Makeover, Reopen to Privileged Few

Club promoter, artist, and former model Emma Cleary has purchased the bi-level space that currently houses Double Happiness and plans to reopen it, by New Year’s, only to those who can get onto the list. Her partner in the sale, brokered by Karma McDermett of Stevens & Co., is a managing director at JP Morgan. Cleary tells us the upstairs, which currently houses Palais Royale, will revert to its former incarnation as a restaurant (remember Wyanoka?) with Ulrich Sterling of 5 Ninth and SushiSamba turning out a ten-item menu of gourmet bar food. “Places like the Box and 205 are catering to the Lower East Side crowd,” Cleary says. “I’m going for more of the models, investment bankers, and celebrities.” Just how that will sit with the neighbors remains to be seen: At yesterday’s CB2 meeting, there were cries that the area outside of Double Happiness had become “party central,” causing Cleary to pen a missive, reprinted here for anyone who cares, laying out her plans for a $1 million swankification.

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