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Fall 2009

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Oscar Futures: ‘Charlie Wilson's War’ Stages a Comeback

Every week between now and January 22, Vulture's Oscar Futures will listen to insider gossip, comb the Oscar blogs, and out-and-out guess when necessary to track who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted nomination.

‘Happy Is the Lawyer Who Dwelleth in the House of Unroch's Blog’

Unroch
You remember William Unroch. He's the lawyer representing possible transsexual Maximilia Cordero in her lawsuits against Jeffrey Epstein and the Post; a blogger; a sometime Daily Intel correspondent; and a genuine crazy person. William read our post earlier on the Wall Street Journal's story about the large percentage of lawyers who suffer from depression and the Websites that have sprung up to help them, and he decided to put his two cents in on the subject.
Lawyers are Sad because they do not read Unroch's blog The Spirit World (you known the site). Guilt and misery are common byproducts of most lawyers. Vicious is as vicious does. The Spirit world will cleanse them. Happy is the lawyer who dwelleth in the house of Unroch's blog.
Hm. Actually, lawyers are depressed because they have insane billable-hour quotas and are constantly fighting with people. That said: Unroch's musings on "dead pig vapor," "Devil Midgets," and Mike Huckabee ("Sounds like a good guy. But does he accept the Space Pig?") do make us smile. Happy holidays, lawyers! William Unroch's Blog [Attorneys NYC] Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of William Unroch and Maximilia Cordero

New Kosher Bistro Drops in Midtown West; Gribene Lovers Wanted on the East Side

Chelsea: Ellisa Cooper returns to Bottlerocket on January 8 to kick off her Tuesday-night Explore Wine Series. [Bottlerocket] East Village: Pyramid Club might become the city’s first "drag landmark." [Villager] Midtown West: The owner of Le Marais and "Bourdain’s former boss at Les Halles," Jose Meireilles, has transformed his Spanish joint Tintol into a kosher bistro called the Clubhouse Cafe. (Tapas lovers can expect Tintol to make a comeback at an undisclosed downtown location.) [Eater] Murray Hill/Kips Bay: 2nd Avenue Deli is hiring! So lovers of gribenes may have found their dream job. [Eat for Victory/VV] Lower East Side: Two thieves stole $50,000 from a safe in the Hotel Rivington but were later apprehended. [NYP]

Malcolm Gladwell: Big Hair, Big Feet, Big Heart?

Upper East Side: Malcolm Gladwell revealed his big feet, gesticulated intensely, said people shouldn't be allowed to say where they went to college, and stole bloggery hearts at the 92nd St. Y the other night. [UES Informer] Bushwick: Now the hipsters are staging Punk Rock Pillow Fights. Will their crazy, ironic, lo-fi fun ever stop? [Brooklyn Rink via the vaguely anti-Semitic BushwickBK] East Harlem: A principal at a high school here sent teachers a memo telling them to dumb down their standards for the kids. Uh-huh. [NYDN] Harlem: Amid its massive, seventeen-acre expansion in the hood's west side, Columbia says it won't tear down the Cotton Club on 125th after all. That's Christian of them. [NYP]

A Sneak Preview of the 2nd Avenue Deli

There's been plenty of coverage of the new 2nd Avenue Deli, but our feeling on Grub Street is that there just can't be enough. Into the Box TV, a real-estate video site, has an advanced tour of the deli. We like the finished interior, especially a mural depicting the old restaurant in its heyday that's an instant classic. And while there's a good video of owner Jeremy Lebewhol, we suggest reading Rob and Robin's more detailed one in this week's magazine. Having Seconds at The Second Avenue Deli [Into The Box] Related: You Can Take the Deli Out of Second Avenue [NYM]

WNBC Plays the Dope

Nomar
Yesterday WNBC beat everyone to the punch by printing the much-sought-after list of doped-up baseball players in the Mitchell Report. They ran their list online at 11:23, nearly three hours before the press conference, smugly scooping everybody but the blog Deadspin.com, which published the same names just seven minutes earlier. Unfortunately for our local NBC affiliate, the list of names was fake. It included Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra, and a whole bunch of other players who weren't fingered in the Mitchell Report. And unlike Deadspin, WNBC didn't publish them with the caveat that they weren't sure it was real. So fifteen players who were on their list, but not in the report, had their names smeared (as yet without apology) for several hours yesterday. The Smoking Gun has the full fake report, and MLB.com has the real one. We don't know who made the screwup of posting the WNBC list, but we're betting they're Yankees fans. Theirs hits the Red Sox much harder than the real one. WNBC's Bogus Steroids Scoop [Smoking Gun] Earlier: MLB Steroid Report Fingers 29 New York Players Update: WNBC has a correction on their site. "There were a number of discrepancies between our list and the Mitchell report, and we mistakenly listed several players that did not appear in the report," they explain. "[Reporter] Jonathan Dienst and WNBC.com regret the error and sincerely apologize for providing the incorrect information."

Cha Cha, Maker of World's No. 1 Cannoli, in Juicing Shocker

Cha Cha
We’ve been known to stop into Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo for a Leonardo DiCaprio Frozen Titanic in a souvenir glass, though we’ve never actually seen Leo as the Website says we might. We do often see proprietor Cha Cha — friend of the Sopranos, former promoter of Tony Danza’s boxing career, and the “Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy.” In addition to the “#1 cannoli in the world” (natch), Cha Cha peddles gutbusters like a Mt. Vesuvius Tort consisting of three layers of brownies, cheesecake, and chocolate mousse — which is why we were shocked to hear, on WOR's Joey Reynolds Show, that Cha Cha has become a health nut and a juicing fanatic and takes most of his meals through a straw. Basta! This is way more disheartening than yesterday’s revelations that Clemens juiced — Cha Cha, say it ain’t so! Cha Cha's In Bocca Al Lupo [Official site]

Macy's Hosts Your Holiday After-party

Macy's

Macy's announced this week that they are going to keep eight of their locations, including the Herald Square flagship store, open at all hours of the day and night from December 21 to Christmas Eve. From the Staten Island Advance:
Shoppers will be greeted with the ongoing sales Macy's has been holding since Black Friday, said spokeswoman Elina Kazan. "The most important thing about being open 24 hours is that it makes shopping convenient to people with different schedules," she said. "This gives everyone a little extra time." Company officials have been planning the shopping marathon for months to ensure there is enough manpower and merchandise.
Everyone is saying this is so nice of Macy's to open the store so everyone, no matter what their time constraints, has a chance to shop. Now, once all the crowds have gone for the day, customers will be able to wade through the dunes of scattered merchandise in peace. What a great Christmas present. And just think of all the homeless people who will have a nice bed of jumbled merino V-neck sweaters! At Macy's, A Shopping Marathon [SI Advance]

Trying to Save Part of Edward Hopper's New York

Art
When much of Greenwich Village was landmarked in 1969, the low-rise sprawl of humble Italian-immigrant groceries and tenements southeast of the neighborhood, along Sullivan and Thompson streets and even Seventh Avenue South, didn't make it inside the designated historic safety zone. The area, while not full of great monuments, has its own quiet claims on history. The artist Edward Hopper lived there most of his life, and his paintings like Early Sunday Morning were set there. On December 10, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the local community board convened more than 100 people inside Our Lady of Pompeii Church to figure out how to get the city to landmark the area to keep its Hopperness intact. GVSHP's Andrew Berman points out that it's filled with gems like Macdougal Street's Provincetown Playhouse, which launched Eugene O'Neill, and a nearby rowhouse where Louisa May Alcott may have worked on Little Women. Parts of the façade are all that remains of Edgar Allan Poe's house on West 3rd, which NYU subsumed into a big new building, raising alarms.

‘CosmoGIRL!’ Parties Like It's Freshman Year All Over Again

Santa
Last night saw loads of magazine parties: The blazered GQ staff boogied down at Passerby, Wenner Media rocked out at Madison in the meatpacking district, and W celebrated its continued existence at Death & Co. We didn’t go to any of those, because we were at New York's own fiesta at the Cub Room. Unfortunately, we can't tell you much about that, partly because we're not allowed to but mostly because we can't remember much — except that we were pleased to learn that our co-workers like to party. And that Jessica Coen will do the splits if you ask her nicely. But we can offer you a report from inside the CosmoGirl soirée, held at the decidedly un-girlie Rumours, a tinsel-decked, wood-paneled sports bar on Eighth Avenue in midtown.

Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’s

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way. This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”