There's something almost novelistic about Jane Walentas's well-documented obsession with a wooden carousel. The wife of the man who built Dumbo first found the quaint thing in Ohio in 1984, at an auction for a belly-up amusement park; she's been repairing it, piece by piece, ever since. During those twenty years, her husband turned a shady warehouse district into one of the city's more enviable addresses and something close to a personal fiefdom — but it still doesn't have a place for Jane's carousel. The Walentas' ultimate goal is to mount it in the Brooklyn Bridge park, but for now a kid-free indoor installation during the Dumbo art festival will have to do. And no, you still can't ride it. But you can — thanks to the kind bloggers at Gowanus Lounge — at least take a spin on the YouTube.
Jane's Carousel Debuts in Dumbo [Gowanus Lounge]
The smell at the fourth annual Iams Cat Championship hits you before the cuteness does. Held in the Expo room in the bowels of Madison Square Garden, the show — sponsored by the century-old Cat Fanciers Association — featured felines representing 41 certified breeds, booths advertising "world's best kitty litter," charcoal drawings of cats drinking out of toilets, and presentations like "The Secret Sex Lives of Dogs & Cats." (Can't some things stay secret?)
Sunday was time for the Best of the Best awards, the kitty equivalent of Best in Show. (It came after the trained-cat show and the feline agility competition.) The judging took place in the front of the room, before dozens of people on folding chairs, on a stage with a small, pink-beribboned table. The judge, Walter Hutzler, brought out each cat and held it aloft, stretching it out vertically or horizontally into a sort of Superman pose, before setting it down briefly on the table. The crowd oohed and aahed constantly. Two gray-haired announcers — Kent Highhouse, in a tux, and Gail Frew, in a black pantsuit — sat to the left of the stage, keeping up a running commentary.
Alexandre Dumas reckoned that white truffles can, "on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable." We would hope so — the 'shrooms, imported from Piemonte, Italy, were selling last week for as much as $2,400 per pound. If you're going to throw down for some, you best leave their preparation to the city's top Italian chefs. (Or, better yet, go straight to the source — here's our five-point Piemonte Weekend Escape Plan.)
Wait until you hear what these cooks are doing with truffles (hint: it doesn't involve pizza).
We happened to be present when the owner and senior management of a critically acclaimed, major new Manhattan restaurant got their mitts on the spanking-new Zagat guide and discovered that they'd been left off the all-important "most popular" list (which once again featured Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe in the number one and two positions, respectively).
Throughout the week, buyers from Barneys, Intermix, and Kirna Zabête told us which runway looks they planned to stock for spring. Julie Gilhart, senior vice-president and fashion director of Barneys New York, files her final picks.
At the Saks Fifth Avenue "Want It!" shopping event Wednesday night, we were wandering around, lazily stalking celebs, when a hand grabbed us. "Hi, I'm Lauren." Hi, Lauren Hutton, we said, startled to be bum-rushed by the sixties supermodel. Why are you talking to us? She thought we were from the Times. We corrected her. She insisted we were from the Times. We went with it, and, boy, are we glad we did.
The latest bunch of designers to walk were the epitome of New York style: Anna Sui's rocker chic, Narciso Rodriguez's minimalism, and Michael Kors's all-American looks. We round up the critics' reviews of the key New York collections so far.
The crescendo of our Fashion Week celebrity-spotting started slowly with Kristin Cavallari, built with Kristen Bell and Mischa Barton sightings at every turn, and peaked on our final night in New York at the packed Zac Posen show.
Calvin Klein showed twice consecutively today, and it turns out that when you attend the second show, you have a very good chance of running into famous faces who are leaving the first. This is how we witnessed the Fashion Showdown of the Week.
A number of new designers took their first bow on the runway this season. Which ones became instant stars? Did Phillip Lim live up to the hype? We round up the critics' reviews of the important young shows so far. Thakoon is an early leader, while Marchesa and Verrier are tied as the biggest losers.
Behnaz Sarafpour's clothes don't stop traffic, but when spotted on the rack at Bergdorf Goodman, they look like what the grooviest girl in the law firm might wear. Which is to say conservative but polished.