In case you forgot, on the second episode of Gossip Girl, otherwise known as Statutory Rape in the City, the anonymous narrator really drums it in that this show is based in Manhattan, more specifically Upper East Side.
When Emmy Rossum blossomed onto the New York scene in 2004, with her starring roles in Phantom of the Opera and The Day After Tomorrow (she got to make out with Patrick Wilson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Gerard Butler all in one year, the harlot), it was an exciting day for preppy teenage girls. Here at last was a role model: She wasn't a party girl, she studied opera and dance as a child, and she looked hella good in a Ralph Lauren dress (in fact, that's all she seems to know how to wear). The girl went to Spence, for Tiffany's sake! She was perfect. But predictably, mainstream pop culture wasn't ready for such an iconoclast, so she faded away into general socialite-dom. Until now! Rossum is back with a new music video, and boy is it um ethereal. Rossum's new album, which owes a substantial creative debt to Enya, is described as "ambient pop." When you listen to it, you'll forgive us for being so tempted to make a reprehensible "popping Ambien" pun.
Emmy Rossum "Slow Me Down" Music Video [Just Jared]
Is Martha Stewart's daughter selling her Tribeca penthouse? Looks like she is judging from this $12.4 million Brown Harris Stevens listing for a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath loft. A source in the know says it's indeed hers and that it just hit the market two weeks ago. Apropos for the daughter of the domestic diva, the duplex is Blueprint-mag-pictorial ready (read sleek and clutter-free) and features a super-luxe kitchen with not one but two stainless-steel refrigerators and dishwashers. (There's also some exercise equipment in the mezzanine, but we digress.) Last winter, Alexis, who co-hosts a talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio, bought three floors at the glassy 165 Charles Street, though press reports later pegged that purchase to her mother. It's not clear whether she'll be moving into the Richard Meier building herself. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Normally, editors at the city's august publications roll their eyes when they receive calls from bright-eyed Columbia Journalism School students eager to begin plying their trade. But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance seems to have created an alliance between those young whippersnappers and their journalism elders. Since attendance for the much-anticipated speech has been restricted to students, who had to register for places in advance, and few reporters, the New York Times and the Daily News, among other news outlets, have hired a few enterprising student stringers to beef up their coverage. "I know a lot of people called the papers and offered their services," said New York's own intern-on-the-inside. "It's a great opportunity for us." Aw, that's sweet. But we don't want to be around when the Times stops returning their texts and changes their Facebook status to "It's Complicated."
Was Columbia president Lee Bollinger actually taking his cues from NYU president John Sexton when he decided how and why to host Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a speaker? It seems like that might have been the case and that Bollinger's much-abused decision to host the Iranian leader would have been the same had it been made by Sexton. Ooh, geek synergy! In a November 2004 speech, Sexton outlined the exact protocol that should be addressed when inviting a controversial guest. "It is hard to make a case that the university’s sacred space should be available to the likes of a bin Laden or a Hitler," Sexton said then, arguing that bin Laden and Hitler's disrespect for freedom, safety, and open dialogue should prevent them from taking advantage of a university's adherence to those exact values. But Sexton, who has been accused of censorship himself, outlines how and why an exception should be made to that rule.
William Phillips, the corrupt cop who testified before the city’s infamous Knapp Commission and later was convicted of murdering a pimp and a prostitute, has been paroled. It was the parole board’s fifth vote on Phillips, who is 77, half-blind, and chronically ill. Now a jailhouse lawyer, Phillips has fought his own case and those of his fellow inmates for over three decades. He appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. He later petitioned the state court after the parole board’s repeated refusals. In March 2005, the New York Supreme Court ordered the parole board to reconsider Phillips’s case, calling the denial “arbitrary and capricious.” Today, the board ruled two to one, with a strong dissent from commissioner Lisa Beth Elovich. “Your release at this time would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the offense to undermine respect for the law," she said. "You killed two people in cold blood, one of whom was a 19-year-old female. You attempted to kill a third person." Phillips is scheduled to be released from Fishkill Correctional Facility on November 9. In an interview with New York at the prison earlier this year, Phillips maintained his innocence and frustration with the parole process. "I did my time like a man," he said. Geoffrey Gray
Latina editorial director Betty Cortina has been telling staffers today that she's leaving the magazine, and she's set to be replaced by powerhouse former Vibe editor Mimi Valdes, a source tells Daily Intel. "It seems amicable," says the spy. "There was a new CEO hired in April, and there have been lots of changes since then. But this is the big one." Latina has a readership of 2 million. As far as we know, Valdes hasn't been up to much since she and much of her staff were rudely booted from Vibe last summer, so this is a coup. As is blogging real news after 6 p.m.!
Latina [Official site]
Remember how, in Sex and the City, Charlotte couldn't get pregnant, and the fact that she was just like dying to gestate and have a slimy little person burst out of her like she was some kind of animal became this whole wretched plotline? And she tried substituting that ridiculous dog, and then in the show's final episode, Harry buys her a Chinese baby? Well, apparently that wasn't enough for Miss Goody Two Shoes. A reader sent Daily Intel this little tidbit from the Sex and the City movie, which started shooting yesterday: "I saw a location shoot on 70th and Lex, with Mr. Big and Charlotte standing on the sidewalk of an outdoor café and Charlotte looking extremely pregnant, like nine months plus." The sighting confirms reports from people we know who have read the script, which says that Charlotte becomes pregnant with her own baby at last. But what does this mean? Is the baby Big's? And what will Charlotte do with her Chinese baby? We hear they don't take returns!
Last night, Tom Vilsack made a few small statements about Rudy Giuliani that could signal some big upcoming moves for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Vilsack, who is a co-chairman on Hillary's team, warned that in a national campaign against Rudy, things will get personal. "There's a lot that the rest of the country is going to get to know about Mayor Giuliani that the folks in New York City know," the former Iowa governor said, stifling a maniacal cackle. "I can't even get into the number of marriages and the fact that his children — the relationships he has with his children — and what kind of circumstances New York was in before September 11." Vilsack, by suggesting that the race is going to get ugly between Hillary and Rudy, is broaching a new tactic for the campaign: framing the election as a choice between the two. By subtly encouraging voters to imagine what will happen between Hillary and Rudy, she's helping to anoint herself as the de facto Democratic nominee. Gadzooks!
An alert reader sent us along his very own invitation to be on The Bachelor. '"Apparently they are randomly spamming New York lawyers," says our spy, who works at a top-ten firm. Casting directors are looking for someone "who is successful, good-looking, has an out-going personality, is ready to settle down, is around 6 ft tall and, usually, is between 27 to 36 years of age." Guess you're shit outta luck, shorties! "We've never had an attorney be 'The Bachelor' so we are definitely looking to go that route," the e-mail admits. The producers seem to know a little bit about the law profession — specifically, that good catches are harder to find than you'd think. So they're casting their net wide and offering $5,000 reward to anyone who finds an attorney who could make the show. But though they know a bit about lawyers, it's clearly not enough. Here's the last line of the e-mail: "Please DO NOT forward to the press. We try to make this part of the process as private as possible." Silly casting agents! Don't you know that 50 percent of all law firms' billable hours are spent forwarding private e-mails?
Despite the continuing possibility of a lawsuit from Soho Alliance to try to stop its progress, Donald Trump celebrated the first day of sales in his evolving West Soho condo-hotel project today, riding up the side of the building on an external hoist (with a red carpet, natch, but without a hard hat). A gaggle of protesters gathered outside, led by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. They argued that the high building will change the character of the hood, but everyone was too high up to listen. Atop the project, Eric Trump dutifully explained the rules of the 400-unit, 45-story tower: You can buy a unit but can only use it for a set number of days each month, renting it out the rest of the time. The Donald promised he'd have no trouble finding buyers — "We have over 3,200 applications," he crowed. Ivanka can't wait to start selling, either. "The receptionist constantly hands me memos from people asking," she crowed. "And now we can start to process them." Evidently the Trump Organization has no Instant Messenger. Architect Gary Handel defended the tower in a caucus with reporters: The rooftop swimming pool and street-level arcade, he said, can become modern-day "salons" for city dwellers and provide welcome spark to a dreary stretch of Spring Street. For his part, The Donald took it to the tawdry place: "Who's coming to the party tonight?" he said from the stage. "Tribeca Rooftop, everyone's invited. Britney Spears will be escorted by OJ Simpson!" —Alec Appelbaum
Last night, only hours after the Federal Reserve made its first big interest-rate cut in four years in an attempt to stanch the leaking housing and credit bubble, iconic former Fed chief Alan Greenspan had something to say. On the occasion of his new memoir topping the best-seller list, the finance gnome was grilled at the 92nd Street Y before a packed house — by none other than his wife, veteran NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell. "I'm torn between proving my objective journalistic values and wanting to save my marriage," Mitchell confessed early on. She seemed to favor the former impulse by dogging 81-year-old Greenspan, twenty years her senior, on whether he helped set up the current bust by repeatedly lowering interest rates post-9/11. "Guilty or not guilty?" she asked him. When Greenspan pleaded the latter, she reminded him that other experts had warned that super-low rates might fuel a backfire. "If you had some inkling, why were you so bullish about adjustable-rate mortgages?" she persisted. (Greenspan said that he'd only promoted ARMs on prime mortgages, not forseeing the subprime implosion that's driven the current chill.) Mitchell concluded by asking her owlishly visaged old hub a question submitted from the audience: How do you deal with stress? "Have your wife talk to you nicely and pleasantly," the Oracular One grumbled.
Just when you thought their sexual-harassment trial couldn't get any more damaging for the Knicks, they shoot themselves in the foot. In a taped deposition by Madison Square Garden head honcho Jimmy Dolan, shown yesterday in court, the burly boss explained that plaintiff Anucha Browne Sanders was fired because she made sexual-harassment charges. And incidentally, at the Garden, it's not harassment to use the N-word to describe a black person (this was revealed by aging exec Rusty McCormack. Andrea Peyser, back on her game since yesterday, describes McCormack as having "the complexion the approximate shade of ripe cheese.") Of course, the question blaring from every news outlet is "Why are they still in this trial? Settle already!" The answer is simpler than you think.
New York ran into 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer at last night's Feast of Love screening, and there was a vague sense of embarrassment for having just watched a movie with so much sexing alongside with an elder statesman of journalism. But Morley is a salty elder statesman of journalism, it turns out! “What’s wrong with nudity?” Safer bellowed. “Look, I’d rather watch nudity than violence. A famous director once told me, ‘A tit never killed anyone.’” Ha — it’s always so delightful when the senior citizens say “tit”! Tell us more!
Webster Hall owner Sean McGarr and his partner, Michael Sinensky, are spending $3 million to turn a former stable at 621 46th Street — a space also pursued by Ivan Kane for his controversial Forty Deuce project — into a nightclub and events hall named Hudson Terrace. The community board, concerned about improper zoning and neighboring club Pacha’s plan to open a rooftop bar, has recommended that the State Liquor Authority deny the new club's pending liquor-license application, but McGarr isn’t sweating it. He says that come Thanksgiving he’ll be ready to show off a 6,000-square-foot first floor with a video ceiling and a 4,000-foot semi-enclosed rooftop terrace that will emit radiant heat in the winter and Vegas-like mists in the summer. “It will be a comfortable place to have a cocktail and lounge,” McGarr says, pointing out that 50 percent of his business will be corporate catering, with the nightclub open only during the weekend. “I won’t be installing a Steve Dash sound system like I have here at Webster Hall.” Sinensky and McGarr’s East Village sports bar, the Village Pourhouse, will also be opening an outpost at Amsterdam and 109th Street in November. Cheap pints or double-digit cocktails? Pick your poison. —Daniel Maurer
Gregarious Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz recently sparked the ire of Brooklyn’s gays with his endorsement of former city councilman and fifth-district Civil Court judge candidate Noach Dear. Dear, an Orthodox Jew with a history of anti-gay and anti-choice sympathies (he famously led the opposition against the landmark 1986 City Council Gay Rights bill), has already amassed quite a few campaign dollars; the Brooklyn Heights Courier reports his campaign is worth over ten times that of his sole opponent, Manhattan resident Karen Yellen. "I made a decision [to endorse him], whether it's right or wrong," Marty told New York yesterday, seeming to already doubt his endorsement of the controversial candidate. Given the power of the purse, Dear is widely expected to win tomorrow — when residents of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Dyker Heights, and Parks Sunset and Borough cast their votes. What’s puzzling is that Markowitz has been a longtime ally of the gay community, so the Dear endorsement leaves a lot to be explained. We caught up with Marty (who, incidentally, still says he doesn't know if he's running for mayor) yesterday during the Brooklyn Book Festival and asked him about earning himself a potential fagwa.
Hey – did you hear O.J. Simpson got in trouble again? Yeah, apparently some bad mojo went down in Vegas. The whole mess began when Simpson tried to get back some personal memorabilia that had been taken from him and then was accused of armed robbery. Oddly enough, the stuff (a Hall of Fame plaque, a signed photo of Simpson and J. Edgar Hoover, and some signed footballs) was originally removed from his house to keep it away from the family of murder victim Ron Goldman, says the Daily News. The family is owed $38 million by Simpson, and a friend says Simpson's cohorts were trying to keep the memorabilia from being sold off to help pay the debt. Which is funny, since in trying to get it back, O.J. has inadvertently thrown even more money into the Goldmans' coffers.
The notoriously protective Judi Giuliani's hackles were raised at Tuesday’s 9/11 ceremony, when her lovemunchkin, Rudy, was heckled by members of the crowd for...oh, we dunno, perhaps his relentless milking of tragedy for personal gain? "Rudy kind of took it and just kept walking," a witness told the Daily News of the meanies' taunts. “But [Judi] turned on them and started saying ‘How dare you!’" Interesting! We're not going say we endorse the Giuliani candidacy, but wouldn't it be kind of cool to have a First Lady who wouldn't hesitate to cut a bitch?
Tales From the Pit [The Street]
Is Heath Ledger already on the prowl? It's been just days since the actor's split with Michelle Williams was made public and already we've seen him hit the town for two marathon nights. The first was on Sunday, when he attended a Dazed & Confused magazine dinner at Bowery Hotel with five friends and ended up getting squired around the city by Amy Sacco, who took him to Narciso Rodriguez's tenth-anniversary party on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel, then to the Rose Bar downstairs, and finally to the Box, where he spent quality time in a banquette chatting up a chicly dressed blonde who looked like a taller Sienna Miller.