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Best Bet: Scope It Out

This silk tank from Hayden-Harnett is a versatile spring basic.

By Lauren Murrow

Critics Like Chop Suey Despite Themselves; One Star for Ilili

Frank Bruni awards one star to Ilili, establishing the restaurant’s critical reception as generally admiring but far from ardent. Bruni uses it as an occasion to discourse on the current trend of highlighting previously low-rent genres, but he seems to have liked all the food and not found the prices or noise too distracting. [NYT] Steve Cuozzo wanted to hate Chop Suey, he really did. The name was dumb, and he was skeptical of consulting chef Zak Pelaccio, whose “résumé of short-lived eatery associations … is as long as his list of bona fide accomplishments is short.” But he loved the food and its “bold, explosive” flavors. [NYP] Ryan Sutton also plays the “better than it has any right to be” card with Chop Suey, declaring the place as “jolting, gorgeous, frightening” and reluctantly praising its Korean-themed food. [Bloomberg]

Amy Fisher Sex-Tape Story Isn't Over Yet (In Fact, It May Never Be)

Fisher
God love Cindy Adams. "Amy Fisher is an American original," she writes in her column today, reporting that Fisher attended the recent Adult Entertainment Expo Las Vegas to promote her sex tape. "Someday they'll bronze her private parts." Let's hope sooner rather than later, as Cindy also says there's a rumor flying around that the Long Island Lolita and her husband "want their own reality/sexuality show." Shudder. It does seem as though Fisher (who previously claimed her husband sold the sex tape without her knowledge and that she is being forced by circumstance to help promote it) is warming to her new career as a porn star. "I saw the video, and I think I look freakin' hot," Fisher told Adult Entertainment News, adding that she and her husband have a lot more where that came from. There's "probably a thousand hours of video," she said. "Frankly, they could probably make 15 more movies out of the footage that they have." Wait: 1,000 hours? How do these people even manage to do anything else or ever get to work? Oh, right. Amy Fisher Stars in Vegas Porn Con [NYP] Amy Fisher Promotes Sex Tape at AEE [Adult Entertainment News] Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of the Amy Fisher sex tape

Howell Raines Has More to Say

Howell Raines
Howard Kurtz reports today that Howell Raines, the former Times top editor who was ousted in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, will begin having a media-criticism column in Portfolio. At first, at least, the column will focus on the campaign coverage in the press. "It's been refreshing and a bit daunting to try to think about writing something that hasn't been said 30 times," he told the Washington Post. "I don't have any thunderbolts to throw at my former profession." In mid-2006, at the time of the release of his memoir The One That Got Away, Raines went fishing with New York's Philip Weiss. The pair talked about the Times' own political coverage, and whether Raines was hard on Bill Clinton because he was "jealous." Click below for the full story. Fishing With Howell [NYM] Timesman Resurfaces [WP]

Zagat Empire for Sale; New Low-Cal Girl Scout Cookies

The Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT] Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN] Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]

Brooke Shields Shares the Love on ‘Lipstick’

Brooke Shields
Lipstick Jungle may top Cashmere Mafia because Jungle star Brooke Shields is nicer to her castmates than Mafia star Lucy Liu is to hers. Details editor Dan Peres says he's going crazy and putting on weight because wife Sarah Wynter is pregnant. Kid Rock paid a busboy at Southern Hospitality $1,000 after he returned a $200,000 watch found on the floor of the bathroom that belonged to a Rock posse member. Val Kilmer was spotted running around town with Chad Lowe's girlfriend, Kim Painter. Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce refused to use his credit card at Tenjune and left to go find a club where he could use cash. Donald Trump is hosting a Celebrity Apprentice party at Tenjune during Fashion Week. Uma Thurman and boyfriend Arpad Busson were all over each other at lunch at Lever House.

The ‘Times’ Is Back on the Toilet Beat

Toilet
Like you, we go to the New York Times for the thoughtfully written and fastidiously reported coverage of the most important issues in New York and our world. Unlike other media outlets, the Times doesn't pander to popular tastes: It brings you news you should know, rather than news you want to know. Which is why we're pleased that the paper of record has added to its coverage of poverty and genocide another topic that has heretofore gone tragically undercovered: the public toilets of New York. Last week, the paper lingered over the details and craftsmanship of the city's new pay-per-use public toilets: "There are two architectural flourishes, both on the roof: a small pyramid of glass, like a little model of the Louvre, and an anachronistic metal stovepipe, reminiscent of a cozy shanty or an old outhouse with a crescent moon carved into the door," the paper mused, then went on to note: "But no one goes to a bathroom to look at it." And what a shame that is, someone must have decided, because over the weekend, two reporters traveled around the city to examine some of New York's older public toilets, and found that perhaps, some these facilities have been undervalued. Such as the bathroom in the New York Public Library:
Located in a small carved stone building, the restrooms have a large bouquet of sunflowers, Casablanca lilies and eucalyptus in a stone vase near the entrance. They smell beautiful. The bathroom stalls in the women’s room are unusually wide, about eight inches wider than the usual economy-class stalls found in most public restrooms. A sign above a red button reads, “Push RED button for a new, clean toilet seat cover.” A push, and the cover appears.
And at the St. Regis:
The lighting fixtures are crystal and the faucets polished brass. A red flowering plant smells sweet. No one else is there.
Don't have time to visit these architectural wonders yourself? There's a slideshow of them on the. Times Website. Alas, it is not scent-enabled. Less Hype, But At Least These Restrooms Are Free [NYT]