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The Royalton: New Pillows and a Poison Pill?

The Royalton
Onetime epicenter of cool, the Royalton Hotel, reopens next week after a sweeping redesign aimed at recapturing the film, fashion, and media elite who once swelled its halls. The relaunch has been plagued with misfortune so far, including the resignation of Morgans Hotel group CEO Ed Sheetz after the death of his girlfriend. The week Sheetz resigned, a Morgan Stanley analyst wrote to clients noting that it was difficult to advise they put "fresh money" into Morgans, which also runs New York's Morgans and Hudson Hotels, Miami's famed Delano, and L.A.'s Mondrian, given the economy and debt related to construction of new Vegas properties. Now, the latest news is that Morgans took the unusual step last week of adopting a "poison pill" stock structure that shields the company, largely credited with inventing the chic boutique hotel concept, against a hostile takeover.

The ‘Depreciating Asset’ Strikes Back!

Jessica Seinfeld
Last week we printed an e-mail that was going around, in which a banker (and we think we know who) responded to a Craigslist post from a "spectacularly beautiful" woman who was offering a lifetime of sexy servitude to a hedge-fund type in exchange for a life of uptown leisure. The author of the response took issue with the woman's offer, saying that "in economic terms," she was a "depreciating asset" because her beauty will fade while he was an "earning asset" because his wealth would continue in perpetuity. It was awful and sexist but funny, so we all laughed and then that was that. But now, the "Depreciating Asset," or someone claiming to be her, has written a response to the responseon Craigslist.
If your grasp of finance were not a minority partner with your ego, you would realize that the "outflows" associated with my depreciating "assets" are quite certain, and therefore subject to a low discount rate when determining their present value. In addition, though your concept of economics evidentially failed to move past the 1950s, advancement in plastic surgery is not subject to the same limitation.
Whoever the lady is, she's not as facile with the economics as she would like us to believe — the post reads like she's consulting a textbook. But she does get in some good ones!

J-Vanka Sees Maroon 5, Feigns Normalcy

It's our tireless duty to report that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were spotted taking in the Maroon 5 show at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Judging from the way Ivanka had to coax her boy mogul — who didn't look a day over 18 in his scrappy blue tee — from his seat after a few songs, our tipster guessed that she's the one with a deep appreciation for singer Adam Levine the band's modern funk stylings. To his credit, Kushner remained on his feet through the rest of the concert, although he was totally checking his BlackBerry at the start of "This Love." Putting business before one of the most (annoyingly) addictive anthems of our generation? We knew this kid wasn't as young as he says he is.

John Edwards's Docudrama: The Anatomy of Innuendo (Updated)

Rielle Hunter
One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that rumors and scandal take on a life of their own. No one even needs to report anything! Once a story is out there, it's fair game for everyone else to repeat it, often under the guise of media analysis. The story starts at the bottom of the food chain of credibility. Bloggers and tabloid outlets egg each other incrementally on, until eventually more serious outlets pick it up. We may be about to leave the early stages of such a cycle with the growing scrutiny into the professional relationship between John Edwards and a woman named Rielle Hunter, a.k.a. Lisa Druck, who produced films for his One America prepresidential campaign. Ann Coulter is even involved! The following timeline details the anatomy of an innuendo, including a few steps into the perhaps inevitable future.

Blair Waldorf Had Breakfast at Bendel, Not Tiffany's

Gossip Girl
Earlier today we posted an item that suggested that in Blair's dream sequence during Gossip Girl last night, she was paying a visit to Tiffany & Company. She was, after all, dressed as Holly Golightly. But readers were quick to correct us, pointing out that it was Henri Bendel where the opening scene was shot. Or was it Bergdorf? We were très confused. All the mixed Fifth Avenue metaphors! But now the verdict is in: As you can see from the above photo, the store in question was Bendel. It's "the same place they went in the 1st episode, where Dan and Serena met the first time," explained reader Emily, patiently. "Bendel's is Serena's favorite store she says!" Well, then, it's settled. Until next week, here's to caviar wishes and DVR dreams! Earlier: Daily Intel's treasure trove of Gossip Girl episode recaps, interviews, and dish!

NYU's Bob Shrum Be-Labours Politics Once Again

Bob Shrum
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has sacrificed the popularity with which he arrived in office by choosing not to hold a fall election, writes London political strategist Rupert Darwall in today's Wall Street Journal. Darwall can't figure out quite why the confident and methodical Labour leader would skip this obvious and inevitable next step. It seems like it might be part of a new tack for Brown, which to our minds, actually makes sense. Of late, Brown has been advised by New York's very own Bob Shrum, the legendary speechwriter and campaign manager most recently famous for advising John Kerry and Al Gore on their logic-defying losing presidential runs against George Bush.

Columbus Day: Is There Anybody Out There?

Jamie E
Did you know that New Yorkers were the first people to celebrate Columbus Day as a holiday? Neither did we; we just read it on Wikipedia. But if that's the case, shouldn't it be a bigger deal here? Why are so few of us (except the Scottos) celebrating it today? One could argue that it is because Christopher Columbus not only didn't really discover America but was, you know, a syphilis-riddled dick who, with his buddies, decimated the Native American population. But let's be honest, who examines the historical significance of a bank holiday that closely? (Hello, President's Day?) A day off is a day off. The truth is, there are three real reasons we don't take Columbus Day off anymore.

Gawking at the Gawkers

Nick Denton
JPRESS: Hey Chris! It's Friday, so instead of writing up the Gawker book parties we went to last night, how about we just IM about it and publish our whole conversation? Because, as you know, our readers are interested in our every thought and social maneuver.
CHRISTAL: That sounds great! Because you know I am so hung-over I don't even know how I'm going to get through the day.
JPRESS: Isn't that always the way with blogging? So! You were at Nick Denton's, which in my head I was calling the "adult party" because like, none of the editors were invited. But I guess they crashed?
CHRISTAL: You couldn't crash. There were three girls guarding the door. It was totally awkward when people who were uninvited showed up. Like me.

Community Board Stymies Crobar's Plan to Reopen

All continues to be silent on the West Chelsea front, at least as far as Crobar is concerned. Last night Community Board 4 recommend that the State Liquor Authority not renew the darkened club’s liquor license. The board (which also recommended a denial of Pacha’s renewal application) may reconsider if Crobar submits an alteration application to show that it’s serious about plans to reduce capacity and make the club more loungy when Miami’s Opium Group takes over (it’s said they’re planning to class up the place with banquettes and 3,000 pounds of crystal and run it as an outpost of their megapopular club Mansion). Crobar’s license expires on October 31, but if the club petitions the SLA, which is currently investigating outstanding violations, an extension of the renewal application may still be possible. Sound a little byzantine? Now we know why the phrase “shut up and dance” was coined. —Daniel Maurer Earlier: Crobar Cleans House While Readying for Miami Makeover [Grub Street]

‘In Economic Terms, You Are a Depreciating Asset’

Donald and Melania
It's an age-old question: Why, in this city jam-packed with rich, smart, pretty people, is it so hard for hot ladies to find mates? This week, the definitive answer appeared on Craigslist, where the answers to all urban koans may be found. "I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl," wrote a poster who called herself an "enterprising young woman."
"I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all… I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY… I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them – in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth. What am I doing wrong?"
Well, for starters, "hearth"? Kidding. It's the economy, stupid!

Gay-Porn King Michael Lucas Picks Wrong Time to Laugh at Death

Michael Lucas
We were a little surprised yesterday when the image to the left appeared in our in-box. It's purported to be a photograph of New York gay icon and porn star Michael Lucas. Along with it came a press release that announced: "Michael Lucas Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment." As you can see from the shot, it's actually just a sort of sexy publicity stunt for a new project (a call to Lucas Entertainment went unreturned), which isn't particularly out of character for Lucas. But since Dean Johnson, another New York gay icon and (sometime) porn star actually was found mysteriously dead in an apartment just last week, it seems extraordinarily tasteless. You know, even more tasteless than a pornographic fake-death publicity stunt normally would be. Earlier: Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson Dies

The ‘Observer’ Has a Crush on Ivanka

Jared and Ivanka
Is the Observer turning into a big, pink Valentine to owner Jared Kusher's girlfriend? For the second week in a row, Ivanka's creamy bosom heaved at the lower right-hand corner of our screen this morning. It was a photo from her jewelry launch at the Carlton back on September, part of a slideshow of images that follows readers around the site. And the Trumps are literally in the paper every week — just last week, there was a gentle interview with the whole fam: "Does it bother you being on billboards, Ivanka?"

Fox Business Network: Full of Foxes!

FBN Girls
Rupert Murdoch's new finance channel just launched its Website, and it lends a little insight into what the network will be offering up when it launches on October 15. Namely, foxy young broads!* Almost all of the on-air talent that's plugged on the site are skinny, youthful beauties like Shibani Joshi (a former model in India), Cheryl Casone (a former flight attendant), Jenna Lee (she played Division One softball in college), and Nicole Petillades (she loves slalom waterskiing!). And the best part is some of the foxy young broads are dudes! Reporter Colin McShane (he has 45 first cousins!) is a total DILF, and Cody Willard (he writes songs for a band called Museum of the Horse) has the glorious eyes and hair of a young Jennifer Connelly. Needless to say, we cannot wait until this network debuts. We want to see how long it will take them to fire Neil Cavuto for not being "leggy" enough. Fox Business Network [Launch site] * Every one of these "foxy young broads" is extremely well qualified as a hard-working journalist. We're just trying to imagine why Rupert hired them.

Gadgetoff 2007: Every Invention You Never Wanted

When we heard that a bunch of creative geeks were showing off their new inventions at Liberty State Park for Gadgetoff 2007, we dispatched New York’s Tim Murphy for a sneak peek. Do feel-good glasses work? Is grilling with a modified blowtorch better than coals? And is the rocket-bike as cool as it sounds? Watch the video for more of tomorrow’s gadgets today. It's like Real Genius come to life. Inside Gadgetoff [Video]

Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson Dies

Dean Johnson
Downtown icon and gay performing artist Dean Johnson died last week, friends just learned. The six-foot-six promoter was found dead by authorities in Washington, D.C., but remained unidentified until this week. Police are still investigating the cause. Johnson, 45, founded the iconic weekly party Rock and Roll Fag Bar in the late eighties, and also started HomoCorps, a monthly gay music showcase at CBGB, before the punk club closed. At times a porn star and at other times a rock star (he fronted Dean and the Weenies and later the Velvet Mafia), he was always recognizable by his height (often augmented by heels) and brazen eyewear. Friends say he helped shape the growing East Village art and club kid scene in the late eighties, continuing through to today, with popular and notoriously raunchy parties he's hosted at dive venues like the Hole and the Cock. He had battled drugs "historically," said his longtime friend Joe Birdsong. "But in the past year he had cleaned that up." Friends will celebrate his life next week at Rapture Café and Books on Wednesday at 8 p.m The Velvet Mafia [Official site] Dean Johnson – Death of a Legend [Motherboards] Related: Party Favorites [NYM]

Anna Wintour Has Lips Flapping in Milan

Anna Wintour

So we've been hearing from sources at Milan Fashion Week that something looks a little bit off with Vogue editor Anna Wintour these days. Specifically, they say there's something drastically different about her mouth region (and no, it's not that she's smiling, you crazy comedians). We're not sure we're convinced by the photo evidence, but they're the aesthetic experts. Anyway, isn't it weird to look at her face without sunglasses? It's like she's naked! Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of Anna Wintour (and her burning love for Roger Federer).

A Field Guide to Bill Clinton's Fonzworth Bentley

Doug and Lily
On Wednesday we noted that Clinton’s aide Douglas Band had a no-good, very bad day. He was deemed responsible for hooking the Clintons up with shady real-estate developer (and Anne Hathaway boyfriend) Raffaello Follieri in a Page One Wall Street Journal story (which also made mention of the possibly embarrassing-for-Band fact that one of his duties for Clinton was carrying the President's mobile phone) and busted on Page Six for sending a snippy note to Osso Buco asking the restaurant to take down a photo of the owner and Chelsea, though as it turns out it is the owner’s constitutional right to put up said photo, even if Chelsea does not look that cute in it. But we really didn’t know who this Douglas Band was. So we did some digging around, and it turns out, he's actually a little more interesting than your average wonk.

Albert Ledner Defends His White Elephant

St. Vincent's
Can St. Vincent's Medical Center's O'Toole Building be saved? Moderinist mavens hope so, and many of them, in chunky art-director glasses, gathered in Chelsea last night to hear its architect, Albert Ledner, 83, defend it. Ledner designed two nautical-themed New York buildings for the National Maritime Union in the sixties; one is now the Maritime Hotel, with its slab of porthole windows looking down on meatpacking revelers, while the other, a levitating rectangle that flares at the top with two rows of stylized sea "waves," has long since become the O'Toole Building. St. Vincent's wants to build an energy-efficient, seventeen-story hospital on the site, and many Villagers are happy to see Ledner's boxy, "wave"-bedecked rectangle go. (Its façades are "closed and forbidding," says local activist Zac Winestine.) Ledner's fans, however, want to preserve it.