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Cab Explosion at Rock Center?

Rock Center
A cab just blew up outside of Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center, as Gawker just blithely reported. So far the wires have nothing that we can see, so we're not sure what, if anything, is up. We'll keep you updated if you do the same. E-mail us at intel@nymag.com if you're in the area! UPDATE: An alert reader pointed us to photos of the fire at WNBC.com. If you ever wondered what "billowing flames" look like, check them out. We've got one after the jump.

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Name Boulud’s Burger, and Win Dinner For Two

Daniel Boulud
The suggestions for a name for Daniel Boulud's new burger place on the Bowery have been coming in to Grub Street, and no one quite seems to have hit on it yet. The ante has been upped, however: The prize for the best entry, awarded by us, is a free burger, beer, and ice-cream dinner for two at the place when it opens. As for the suggestions so far?

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In Which Morgan Freeman Romances Our Intrepid Party Reporter

Morgan Freeman
In Feast of Love Morgan Freeman plays a professor taking a leave of absence to sort out his "issues." In his time off he guides younger characters, including one played by Greg Kinnear, through their love lives in a close-knit Portland neighborhood. We caught him on the red carpet before the screening and asked him about his worst date ever — but he seemed more interested in ballroom dancing with New York's party reporter than answering questions. Freeman: [Taking New York in his arms, to dance] How do you do? New York: [Pause, to be dipped by Freeman] Wonderful. Now you always have these wise roles. Freeman: Yeah, I'm a wise kind of man — look at me. New York: Now since this is a movie about love relationships — [interrupted by another ballroom dip] — Umm… Freeman: Sorry. Greg [Kinnear] didn't do that, did he?

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Sarah Jessica Parker Will Be Watching the Vendies

Sarah Jessica Parker
Last week we aired Chris Noth’s lament about the corporatization of the city. Turns out his Sex and the City co-star Sarah Jessica Parker is also looking out for the little man. During Ralph Lauren’s recent 40th-anniversary party, Parker told our reporter Amy Odell that she loved the magazine’s “Street Fare” feature. “I’ll eat anything if it’s off of a cart,” she confessed — her favorite being a Middle Eastern one on Sixth Avenue somewhere between 47th and 55th. So she’s not worried about hygiene? “I think they’re actually pretty vigilant about it,” she said. “They’ve got these business men standing in line for three hours to get their lunch … and you don’t hear a lot of reports about intestinal issues.” As for her favorite eatery that isn’t on wheels, she admits, “I don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. S-F-O?” Is this how one of the girls ended up at El Cantinero and not Il Cantinori in that episode? Related: Street Fare [NYM]

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The City Lawyers Up

Gary Naftalis
The Bloomberg administration is facing a heap of subpoenas in the wake of the Deutsche Bank fire that killed two firefighters. So the office of the city's Corporation Counsel is hiring a criminal-defense lawyer, Gary Naftalis, ostensibly to help them sort out which documents to turn over to the investigators. This is, needless to say, an interesting move. City Hall's la-di-da press release says it needs "sufficiently knowledgeable attorneys in order to … fully cooperate" (because, you know, that's what criminal defense does, cooperate). Somehow, we're not thinking Naftalis will be doing what amounts to glorified document review. The man is a co-chair of Kramer Levin, a litigation boutique specializing in ultra-high-profile white-collar litigation; he has a rich (weak pun intended) history of getting wealthy white dudes out of massive trouble, having successfully defended Michael Eisner from Disney shareholders and Salomon Brothers from the SEC. Not that we're implying Bloomberg's in trouble over this, but hiring a guy like Naftalis to "cooperate" is like using a chainsaw to "mend fences." City Hires Criminal Lawyer for Deutsche Bank Defense [NYT] Gary P. Naftalis [Kramer Levin]

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Webster Hall's New Project Will Include Over-the-Top Vodka Bar

Daily Intel has the scoop on Hudson Terrace, the nightclub and catering hall Webster Hall’s owner Sean McGarr is opening on 46th Street in November. His partner in the $3 million venture, Michael Sinensky, tells us that in March he’ll bring a Russian vodka and caviar lounge (with a separate entrance and operating hours) to its basement. Sinensky, inspired in part by his Russian wife and in part by Red Square in Atlantic City, says customers will be able to select from over 100 vodkas stored in a transparent walk-in fridge — including, he hopes, a Russian one exclusively distilled for the lounge. The interior will be what he describes as “real over-the-top, like communist Russia back in the day. Lots of gold and arches. We’re planning on putting old Russian uniforms around the place.” Pravda, you’re on red alert. Related: Webster Hall Owner Spending $3 Million to Open a Nice, Quiet Place

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In Knicks Drama, Peyser and Ridley Enter the Tabloid Ring

Pricks
Has anyone noticed that the Daily News is turning senior features writer Jane Ridley into a more reasoned version of Andrea Peyser? Today, the pair take on Isiah Thomas's weird double standard of debasement (it's not okay for a white man to call a black woman a "bitch," but if it's a black man, it's not so bad, goes the logic). "He should have shut up," Ridley writes of Isiah's videotaped deposition. "But his mouth, which matches his outsize ego – if not his brain – just kept on moving." Zing! "A gazillion dollar salary might get you designer suits and the best table in the restaurant, but it can't buy class and judgment," she adds. Pow! "What we saw for ourselves of Thomas yesterday was not only ugly, but pathetic." Splat! We eagerly flipped to Andrea to see her splenetic spin but were vastly disappointed. "Hang in there, Anucha," is all Peyser musters. "They fired the wrong person." Well, well, well. We're sure it was an off day, as Peyser is by far the best in the bile business. But Ridley appears to be gaining – and if she'd just replace her cute, smiley columnist photo with something more ghoulish, we might have a real battle here! Isiah Shows His True Colors – in Black and White [NYDN] The Twisted Racial Logic of a Knicko Sicko [NYP]

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