When most kids bring something in for Show-and-Tell, it's something from their home. A pet, perhaps, or a rock collection. Something that's in their house and part of their regular life, that other people might not know about. Also, usually it's small and portable. So it's no surprise that when it came to 6-year-old little Isabella (daughter of Lance) Armstrong's turn to do Show-and-Tell, she decided to bring in Ashley Olsen. Radar reports that the little girl toted in daddy's new special friend. "Celebrities do this all the time," Radar's spy explained — and it's true! Lance himself was once a Show-and-Tell item for his ex-girlfriend Tory Burch's young son in New York. Now, to be completely fair, according to Radar, the story might not be completely accurate. It may have been Isabella's twin sister Grace who brought in the former Full House star. (Wait. They're twins, and the Olsens are twins. Showtime synergy!). Since Radar doesn't provide much more information, we've imagined what little Isabella's introduction would be like.
Community Board 4’s licensing committee met last night to again consider the curious case of the Butter boys’ new project 1OAK. The nitty-gritty on this one: The club’s space is licensed by the SLA to hold a piano bar (probably the plans of a previous tenant); Sartiano and Akiva have now submitted an alteration request reflecting their new plan for a restaurant. The request was met with a 4-4 deadlock that will be mulled over by full community board on December 5 — meaning the club won’t be opening quite as soon as we had hoped.
We can't tell if this clip of Katie Couric preparing for a Nashville broadcast is real or an awesome, purposeful spoof on Dan Rather's unfortunate trench-coat video of last year. Either way, it's a brilliant piece of daytime cinema, in which Katie fumbles with her own coat issues while talking smack about Rather ("Heh, I'm like Dan Rather on You Tube … What? Don't you think he deserves a little payback?"), snorts, decries "nursing home" lighting, mourns her missing Uggs, and calls the production guys "dude" and "bro." As in, "I'm serious, you're moving the camera all around. I'm like, bro, what up." We've never loved her more.
We are so, so torn on the matter of the white truffle. Late last week, we professed our unconditional love for the fungi (and also learned that Alterna offers white-truffle haircare products) but, given that the Waverly Inn just raised their truffle macaroni and cheese to $85 and Le Cirque's massive truffle acquisition and the truffle shortage and the $1,000 truffle bagel and, you know, just the general deluge of "truffles are expensive and awesome"-related media as of late, we wondered if this whole white-truffle business had gotten a little bit out of control. Then our very own magazine came out on Monday, complete with more truffle talk, and we knew that there was no point in fighting. There's nothing we can do but accept the darling 'shroom, regardless of whether we could ever afford it in our lifetimes.
And it's a good thing we've come to terms with the situation, because it just got a lot more intense.
• Another woman joined the federal discrimination lawsuit against Bloomberg LP. After her first child in 2005, her pay fell and her colleagues turned into sharks. One supervisor even asked, "What is this, your third baby?" [NYT]
• More of the same on the Street: Bank of America wrote down $3 billion, Bear Stearns $1.2 billion, and British bank HSBC took the cake with $3.4 billion, largely due to U.S. mortgage weaknesses. Meanwhile, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein laughed in everyone's face, predicting no more write-downs (not that they lost much in the first place) at the Teflon bank. [NYP, NYT, NYT, DealBreaker]
• Is the credit crunch just like Enron all over again? So says Bethany McLean, the reporter who first broke Ken Lay's fraud wide open. [Fortune]
Is Fashion Week about anything other than clothes? Uh, yeah—booze, music, and the best parties to hit town since, well, last Fashion Week. Velvet-rope crashers, beware: These are invite-only, so if your name doesn't grace that guest list, you'll have to read about them next day on Show & Talk.
Last week, the Wellfed Network gave out some food-blog awards. When we saw that we weren't among the nominees, our immediate response was rancor. But then we got that it was an award for individual bloggers, and we found a lot of pleasure in discovering some good ones. Among the winners we liked:
Best Food Blog - New: Pinch My Salt. By a housewife in Sicily, this plain, recipe-centric blog has some of the most dazzling images around and is written in a totally simple and direct style that we wish we saw more of.
Best Food Blog - Rural: Farmgirl Fare. Here at Grub Street, we hear a lot of talk about local cooking and seasonal ingredients, but this blog that is actually about life on a farm. Sometimes Farmgirl lays it on a little thick, but you do feel at times as if you're actually involved with her baby animals and various hay-related chores.
French journalists and top NY chefs and food personalities meet at Franco-American gastronomy summit. The consensus? The world needs fewer haute restaurants, more steakhouses, and to go to war to protect foie gras. [Bloomberg]
Le Binge: Gael Greene's account of her French Eat-a-Thon [NYM]
The city contracted with the nephew of a former acting Gambino boss to run Caffe on the Green, Bayside’s answer to Tavern on the Green. This on the heels of the news that the Colombo family and the Russian mob together operate a golf course in Brooklyn. [NYP]
There are apparently a number of people who are enthusiastic about food and travel constantly sampling it. Among these are Jane and Michael Stern, Chowhound's Jim Leff, and a guy who works for a
management and technology consulting firm. Who knew? [NYT]
Chow provides a sorely-needed molecular gastronomy cheat sheet, which not only explains
spherification, but even tells you how to pronounce the names of the movement’s major
A relatively inexpensive cooking school established in Westchester, boasting a 100% placement rate. Now about those wages ... [7online]
The question of what constitutes “true Japanese” food to be settled once and for all, when the Japanese External Trade Organization begins certifying restaurants. [Mainichi Daily News]
For once, it wasn't a bar that caused an Alphabet City noise disruption; last night the culprit was Con Ed's East River Generation Station at 14th Street and the FDR Drive. Around 11 p.m., the plant began issuing dozens of deafeningly loud blasts of steam every fifteen seconds or so, and imbibers around the neighborhood decided it was a good time to step out for a ciggie and make sure the world wasn't coming to an end. A disheveled man who was awoken by the blasts held his cell up in the air so a friend could hear the ruckus. "You don't know what it is, but you like it," a woman chirped at her excited dog, while someone else likened the steam puffs to those of a volcano. "This hasn't happened once in 25 years," said a woman bedecked in eccentric chinoiserie as she retreated into an Avenue B apartment. "If that thing blows up, we're all fucked." (A transformer at the station did explode, causing a fire and a blackout, in 2002.)
• A single-engine plane crashed into the driveway of a New Jersey home last night, killing the pilot and barely missing a row of houses. Details are still murky at the moment; the flight originated in North Carolina and was headed for the Essex County airport in bad weather. [WNBC]
• Governor Spitzer is about to sign off on a $1 billion government-financed stem-cell research initiative. Before we get too proud, however (or scream godless pinko), let's recall that California is spending three times the amount on the same. And their governor used to kill clones personally. [NYT]
• The NYPD has been cracking down on one of its formerly invincible nemeses — diplomats who use their immunity to park wherever they want. The city's already collected $3 million and is still owed $18 million more, from 77 countries. Worst offender? Egypt ($1.9 million in unpaid tickets). [NYDN]
• Miss New Jersey USA has resigned because she's pregnant, and you can't compete while pregnant. (By the way: Why not?) The runner-up, Erin Abramson, is presumed to be running around the living room yelling "I won I won I won I won." [amNY]
• And a French-born New Yorker got slapped with an insulting "foreigner fee" at Aquagrill; the story is remarkable for marking the first time in the years the Post published a photo of a French person without Photoshopping a weasel head on him. [NYP]
When New York politicians think of the Reverend Martin Luther King, they think of the Reverend Al Sharpton. They have to, because Sharpton has built his annual “public policy forum” into a mandatory Martin Luther King Day stop for politicos across the state. Today’s gathering, at Sharpton’s new digs off the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 145th Street, was no exception. Honored guests included Governor Eliot Spitzer, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, several members of Congress, and Attorney General Anthony Cuomo, who joked that he was modeling a Phat Farm suit by Russell Simmons, as the hip-hop mogul looked on approvingly from the dais.
The most popular speech topics were critiques of the Iraq war, police brutality, and racial discrimination, along with repeated praise for Sharpton. Queens congressman Gregory Meeks was the most effusive, calling Sharpton a modern-day Martin Luther King. Indeed, it’s a testament to Sharpton’s tenacious chutzpa that he’s taken the official holiday devoted to Dr. King and fused it with a celebration of himself, a day for some of the most powerful New Yorkers to pay homage to both men in one easy stop. And lest they forget, Sharpton told Spitzer today: "You run Albany, but I run things here!”
Sharpton, who has recently stoked rumors of another presidential run, asked Bloomberg if he would run against him. Bloomberg replied that he already had a New Yorker in mind for the job: Charlie Rangel. If Sharpton's out campaigning next January, perhaps Martin Luther King Jr. will have the day all to himself. Ari Melber
Has the cold weather got you nostalgic for barbecue? We've got good and bad news, plus fallout from an ugly incident upstate. First, the good: Pitmaster Scotty Smith is now serving two weekly specials at RUB. Mondays it's full-beef short rib; Tuesdays there's spicy Asian pork belly, marinated for a week in a brew of chiles, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and the sweet soy sauce called kecap manis. then smoked for hours before being flash-finished in a hot oven.
We recently came across a poignant email written by a prominent young chef whose flashy cooking has earned him much praise, including ours. Judging by the note, which you can find after the jump, those plaudits weren't enough: The chef pleads with his friends to nominate him for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award (the organization takes suggestions on their Website, as we explained last week). Prepare to cringe. (Identifying details have been removed.)
About a year ago, everyone was atwitter about the opening of modern-day "speakeasy" the Blue Owl: "You'll spot it by an image of a blue owl hanging unobtrusively over a staircase," UrbanDaddy teased. Scratch that: On Saturday, the owners erected the ginormous sign you see above. If business doesn't perk up, they could always turn the place into a Hooters. Daniel Maurer
We recently noted that the notoriously truculent Gordon Ramsay has finally pissed someone off with his new Gordon Ramsay at the London. His neighbors in the apartment building behind the restaurant have been complaining bitterly about the noise and smell produced by the restaurant's air exhausts, among other things. We decided to see for ourselves just how bad they really have it. Our correspondent, who shot the photograph above, was led into an apartment right across from an apparently unfiltered exhaust vent. "A steady, noticeable hum is apparent," he reports. "This becomes much louder when the windows are opened. I can definitely see how it would impact people living on that side of the building within a few floors of the vent." Then there's the smell. Shirley Lemmon, the residence manager, told our reporter that, "We know what they're having for dinner. Sometimes it's bacon, which I don't mind. I like bacon. But sometimes it's duck, and the smell is terrible." (Lemmon also claims that Ramsay's air-conditioning unit has been measured at 75 decibels. History's loudest rock concert — the Who at Leeds — peaked at 120 decibels.) Ramsay's people told us that "the hotel has addressed the problem and is working to resolve all issues." Something tells us they're not taking duck off the menu.
Earlier:Gordon Ramsay Finally Pissing Someone Off
• The Good Shepherd premiere. Ziegfeld Theater, 141 W. 54th St., nr. Sixth Ave., 7 p.m. Director Robert DeNiro and stars Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Billy Crudup, and John Turturro expected. Based on the movie's title and trailer, we're supposing that a white-haired mentor figure will shoehorn some sort of half-assed allegory about sheep into a conversation with Matt Damon's character.
• Partnership for Public Service gala. Cipriani, 110 E. 42nd St., nr. Vanderbilt Ave., 6:30 p.m. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will award Senator Joe Lieberman with the Theodore Roosevelt Award for the Advancement of Public Service. Humorously, Dennis Haysbert will be honored for the "portrayal" of public service but sadly will not receive it from Commissioner Tony Scali.