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Has Fashion Defied the Hemline Index?

The fall collections were full of micro-minis, plunging necklines, bodysuits, and slits up to there. Not exactly what we were expecting.

By Amina Akhtar

‘Culinary Conductor’ Reinvents Himself as ‘Gourmet Dude’

Gourmet Dude
A while back we peeked at the audition clips for Bertolli’s online cooking show with Rocco DiSpirito, and decided we loved, loved, loved a clip by Pete Chelala, who submitted a Daily Show–esque spoof called “Food Train.” Sadly his disco-dancing in a carpenter belt loaded with seasonings and spatulas didn’t convince the judges, but that’s okay — geniuses are never understood in their day, and a clip Chelala sends us from his new YouTube show, “Gourmet Dude,” convinces us he is just that. We have to warn you: Nothing much happens in this first installment, but then again nothing much happened in the first five minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey either. We have no doubt that good things lie ahead. Gourmet Dude [YouTube] Earlier: ‘Culinary Conductor’ and ‘Love Chef’ Woo Rocco Online

So, Wait, Was ‘Gossip Girl’ Realistic or Not?

Gossip
Can you believe it's really over? Like, you won't be getting any more Gossip Girl until fall 2008? Why can't we get this for the next ten months instead of the goddamned election? It would prove the same amount of highs and lows, except without all of the unflattering self-judgment. Lucky for you, we're still reeling with withdrawal. So to satisfy your (and our) cravings, we've gone back through all of our obsessed recaps and broken things down character-by-character. Below, witness our Electoral College–inspired evaluation of the reality and fake-ality of Gossip Girl via its most important characters. New York: Don’t tease. Only five years after Sarah Jessica Parker said that Manhattan was the fifth lady on Sex and the City, Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz explained that New York was the, um, twelfth character on his new show. As far as roles on Gossip Girl go, New York's was by far the most violated. Brooklyn geography was mauled like a blonde's left boob on prom night. The Upper East Side's dimensions were exaggerated like a jock's staying power the morning after prom night. And the meatpacking district was pushed around like the returns manager who spotted those mysterious stains at a Mr. Tux the day after the morning after prom night. But through it all, the city was honored with luxurious locations shots, glamorous interiors, and ambitious editing that brought Dumbo, Yorkville, and Williamsburg within arm's reach. Sure, there was that whole Brooklyn real-estate problem. But the producers clearly did their best with Manhattan (arranging shoots at The Box and Marquee? Touché!) , and it was all done with love. Reality Index: 60%.

Keith McNally Sued; Huckabee Serves Clam Chowder in New Hampshire

According to a new class-action suit being brought against Keith McNally, servers at Pastis and Balthazar were forced to foot the bill for customers who walked out on their checks, in addition to being denied minimum wage. [NYP] Frank Bruni, like many other critics, believes a restaurant’s chicken dishes speak volumes about its overall quality. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] E-mails sent by Starbucks Corp. managers reveal their efforts to prevent unionizing among their employees, although labor experts say the activity is not illegal. [WSJ]

Eliot Spitzer Makes Hilarious Faux Pas

Spitzer
Governor Spitzer lauded Kerry Kennedy during a speech his rival Andrew Cuomo was at, knowing that Kennedy and Cuomo went through a bitter divorce after she cheated on him. CNBC "Street Sweetie" Erin Burnett is catching heat at the network for the Men's Health story she wrote titled, "Eight Things That Would Impress Me," which made her look like, well, a girl who likes to be around money. New Jersey Net Jason Kidd's girlfriend, Hope Dworaczyk, is pregnant. Stars and publicists hate working with Men's Vogue because the magazine double-books covers. Jessica Seinfeld may or may not have plagiarized from a third cookbook. Cindy Adams claims a New Hampshire pollster told her before the primary that Hillary Clinton was gonna win by six points.

Obama Is Tired But Not Yet Cranky

Obamarama
Hey everyone! Remember Barack Obama? We know we've been pretty obsessed with Hillary these days, but don't forget, even before she decided to cry, he decided to be black. So we would be remiss if we didn't look into what the hell that guy has planned after New Hampshire. After all, now that the Democratic contest (or, for now, its press coverage) has narrowed to just the two front-runners, Obama is going to receive a heck of a lot more scrutiny (as was so eloquently explained by New York's John Heilemann). As many seem to see it, Obama has two choices: He can, as Time puts it, "take up a sharper knife in his fight with Hillary," and begin hacking at her the way she started slicing at him in New Hampshire. "I come from Chicago politics," the Illinois senator said yesterday. "We're accustomed to rough-and-tumble. We have to make sure that we take it to them just like they take it to us." Or he can stay nice like always.

Hallowed Slice Location Now in the Hands of Grom Gelato

This week we solved one of the great mysteries of Carmine Street — when will Beard Papa reopen? (This week!) Now it’s time to solve another: What’s going into the space on the corner of Bleecker that used to be the beloved Joe’s Pizza and then Abitino’s? Not another slice joint, it turns out. Nicolo de Rienzo, co-owner of Italian gelato chain Grom, tells us he just started construction on a new store that could open there by the end of April. Grom is also in talks to team with Eataly, the Italian supermarket that plans to install its first U.S. store in the Rock Center area at 18 West 48th Street. Cones of Bleecker, you’re on notice!

Don't Bet the Trailer Money Yet: Rather Lawsuit Moves Forward

Dan Rather
Breaking: It looks like former CBS News anchor Dan Rather will indeed get his day in court. On Wednesday evening Justice Ira Gammerman of the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan made a preliminary ruling denying the TV network's motion to dismiss Rather's $70 million lawsuit. "I think discovery should go forward," said Gammerman. Rather's suit, you'll recall, claims CBS unfairly shuffled him off the air after that infamous 60 Minutes Wednesday story about Bush's performance (or lack thereof) in the Texas National Guard. Rather alleges that being shown the door was just the network's misguided attempt to placate the White House and shield CBS's then-parent company Viacom from political fallout. You know, the usual reasons for dismissal from a high-profile media job.

Michael Musto Finds a Blog Home, At Last

Michael Musto
All together now: three snaps up, in a circle. Legendary Village Voice scribe Michael Musto has entered the blogosphere! He told us last night while we were out at (where else?) Beige, but before we could do a scoopy post, his publicist sent out a press release. "Complimenting his immensely popular weekly 'La Dolce Musto' column, readers will be tipped off to breaking news items and get the most crucial news from the world of nightlife, entertainment, politics," explains the breathless missive. Musto will do one post a day, he told us last night. We could not be more excited. Musto is hilarious and raunchy — in fact, he's the only gay writer who makes fart jokes. In the whole world! "I'm really nervous about finding things to write about," he explained, but judging by today's entry, he should be fine. Here's our favorite part of today's post (which does a much better job of selling it than the press release), in which the shy Musto is confronted by gay performer Ari Gold (yes, really) and accused of not giving Gold enough publicity:
Gold feels that as an openly gay artist, he deserves a heaping of attention from me, who champions homo talent all the time. In all candor, I told him I don't write much about music, but he shot back, "I don't buy that" — not the most gracious response to a gracious response, but again, very singular. Another valid excuse is that I don't automatically write about someone just because they're openly gay. If that were an instant ticket to publicity, there'd be a lot more artists bursting out of the closet (which would actually be fabulous — maybe next week I'll plug every single out person there is, but perhaps not the murderers).
Welcome to the blog underworld, Michael! We've been awaiting you. Just don't get injured, ya hear? The Daily Musto [VV]

Alexandra Kerry Weighs In on Hillary's Tears

Alexandra Kerry
At last night's opening of Julian Schnabel's show at the Sperone Westwater Gallery, we ran into Alexandra Kerry (daughter of former presidential candidate John). She was there with BlackBook founder Evan Schindler, who is now running Tar Art Media, a socially conscious arts-media collective. Kerry is working with Schindler on some projects, including a narrative film of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, screenwritten by the author's son ("We're doing a reading of it, actually, in February, with Alec Baldwin and Harvey Keitel and Josh Lucas!"). Since Kerry is a woman and political by heritage, we asked her, naturally, about Hillary's tears. "There has never been a politician who hasn't stood onstage and been moved at one time or another and affected by something emotionally," she told us. "I think it is very human and very normal." How reasonable! But surely it was all a ruse to trick us into voting for her? "The kind of pressure that each candidate is under is not something that I think the average person can understand, so I give her the liberty and the freedom to have her moment," Kerry said. "And I don't think that's something someone would act. I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who is standing up there and running, particularly in the Democratic party. So I honestly have to say that I don't think it's my place to judge what her motivations are. I mean, it may be completely honest." A-ha! It "may be completely honest." Girl, you've got a future in politics. —Andrew Goldstein