Last night, reclusive British billionaire Joseph C. Lewis disclosed his acquisition of a 7 percent stake in Bear Stearns in an SEC filing. Turns out, over the past several months, the 70-year-old currency trader (known in currency-trading circles as "the Boxer") used a string of holding companies registered in the Bahamas to quietly acquire $860.4 million worth of shares, surpassing company's beleaguered CEO, Jimmy Cayne, to become the company's largest shareholder. But other than being Cayne's new daddy, who is Joseph C. Lewis? After the jump, a cheat sheet, to be read in the voice of Robin Leach.
Mayor Bloomberg and girlfriend Diana Taylor appeared at Us Weekly's 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers party last night. Bloomberg, an honoree, took the stage and cracked jokes in his usual adorably nebbishy fashion. He suggested a feature called "Mayors, They're Just Like Us!" and advised the audience to "wear what you want, just don't wear red socks to a Yankees game." (Get it? RED SOX!) He said he'd learned a lot about being fashion forward, and as a result owns "business suits in 57 shades of gray." It was admittedly a little corny, but his jokes fell surprisingly flat on the audience of tipsy twentysomething Us Weekly readers. They chatted through his speech, searched for waitresses carrying shots, and rolled their eyes. At one point, he even said, "Hey, it's hard to write this stuff!" We wondered what was going on — usually Hizzoner is a home run at goofy events. But as we looked around at all of the blank stares in the crowd, we realized what must have been the problem: Nobody had any idea who he was.
Ever since the departure of Jared Paul Stern (the disgraced-then-undisgraced "Page Six" writer who also handled book reviews), the Post has been running light on literary coverage. Now, we hear, the tabloid has given in completely, and editors have decided to stop running book reviews. Their last, according to their Website, was printed in late July. This, of course, will cut off an easy source of income for a lot of New York's freelance writers and drinkers. But more importantly, it shows evidence of a fact we've questioned in the past: The Post does know its readership after all.
Just in time for September 11, Father Frank Morales, the activist Episcopal priest and associate pastor at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, trotted out his conspiracy theory about the World Trade Center attacks during a religious service yesterday. Calling it an "inside job," he sermonized to a crowd of nearly 40 during a reading of the Sermon on the Mount outside the church on East 10th Street. The special service was held in the church's west graveyard and garden to commemorate the upcoming sixth anniversary of 9/11. In front of a bouquet of yellow roses sent earlier in the week by Yoko Ono, Morales, a member of New York's 9/11 Truth Movement, called for a new investigation to determine how "nineteen guys with box cutters could have outwitted" the "massive" United States intelligence agencies to wreck havoc on American soil. The priest, who visited ground zero to give last rites to the dying, also asked rhetorically: "How come the FBI hasn't put bin Laden on its Most Wanted list?" —Mary ReinholzRelated:The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll
Maybe New Yorkers are still arguing about whether, six years later, we've mourned 9/11 enough. But judging from the schlock tourists buy, our visitors have already moved on. For a few years after the attack here, you could hit souvenir stores throughout Manhattan and not find a postcard that accurately portrayed the post-terrorist skyline. Instead, WTC towers were everywhere, tall and pristine, as though nothing ever happened to them. They were phantom limbs on the out-of-towner psyche. But when New York visited a bunch of shops last week, it was almost impossible to find any cards or posters with the towers.
Over a glass of Champagne at the Moët Lounge in the Tents on Saturday, we caught up with British designer Alice Temperley just after her runway show. She was relieved and delighted, but revealed that the road to Bryant Park was paved with some extremely sticky flagstones. "Two weeks ago somebody stole £25,000 worth of Christian Louboutin shoes for the show," she said. At the last minute, Temperley had to take her footwear designs for the runway show to a different retailer and have them made quickly. We're glad everything went well in the end, but we have to wonder who was big enough to carry off such a load of shoes, and tasteful enough to appreciate them? Somewhere in London's West End, we're betting there's one really happy drag queen
Earlier this week we got a tip that 42-year-old designer Thom Browne was dating a 19-year-old blond hottie. They met at a launch event for Browne's Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers, and since then have been out on the town together (including a stop at Browne's favorite restaurant, Il Cantinori). The kid, who we'll leave unnamed in case his parents read Daily Intel, is currently studying at Columbia. So we called up Browne's people and asked them what was going on — we were dying to know, after all. Thom himself is adorable, and we heard that this new boy was a partyboy, along the lines of Marc Jacobs' own on-again-off-again rentboy, Jason Preston. We especially hoped there would be similar tattoo branding. But Browne's rep said that the two weren't dating — and had only barely met at the Black Fleece event. Which we believed, until today when we saw the above picture of the twink, lurking in the shadows at Thom's runway show yesterday. Looks cute, huh? Except his pant legs are entirely too long. We hope that's the next thing Thom gets to working on
Thom Browne Brings Wool to the Beach [Fashionista]
It's a strange real-estate market lately, what with all the mortgage-industry-driven doomsday talk, but that's not stopping Über-condo marketer Michael Shvo from hawking his wares. He's set up a swag-stuffed (iPod speakers, anyone?) lounge backstage at the Fashion Week tents to entice celebrities and fashionistas to stop by, all the while heaping them with brochures about his newest project, the 57-story W New York-Downtown Hotel & Residences on Washington Street. (It's opening this fall.) The swank space, all dolled up in red and black by GRAFT, the celeb-friendly — Brad Pitt is a big client! — L.A.-based architecture firm, has had visits from rocker Gwen Stefani (twice!), Demi Moore, and Teri Hatcher. —Jhoanna Robledo
Coy non-campaigns are fun, but this is ridiculous. Michael Bloomberg, clearly toying with us at this point, has a new statement on the "2008 Election" up on his site. It is, without exaggeration, a piece of absurdist writing to rival Ionesco. If we had any money to give away, we'd institute a prize for parsing it. Here it is, complete with our helpless interjections:
"Last week when I was in Washington to discuss poverty in America, I was asked (again) whether I am running for President. As I've said before and I'll say again – I am not running."
DI: He is not running. Also, he is sick and tired of us (note the exasperated double use of "again").
"But, 'Are you running?' is the wrong question."
DI: Oh no, here we go.
Daniel Radcliffe, taking a break from wizarding to star in December Boys, has been exporting small quantities of Donald Trump's bottled water. In the middle of an interview last week at the Trump International Hotel, where he stayed during a promotion blitz for his new indie film, the diminutive Brit heartthrob whipped out a bottle of Trump Ice, whose label boasts a big fat photo of the mogul's face and a cheesy coat of arms. "Trump Ice, right here, Trump Ice. You can taste the Donald," Radcliffe told New York, presenting the container with a swig and a flourish of his pale hand. "I love the coat of arms. Last time I was here, I took about six of these bottles home. I emptied all the liquid out because you can't take it through Customs anymore. I just took them home because they were hilarious." That's 100 points from Gryffindor for propagating the Trump brand. —Mina Hochberg
Judith Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent that pushed all the Bush administration spin about the (so-far non-existent) existence of WMD in Iraq, has finally come home. She's taken a job with the friends of "greater economic choice and
individual responsibility" at the Manhattan Institute. She’s written for their City Journal quarterly before, so look for more stories from her on the cop beat. “The Manhattan Institute is doing pioneering work in policing and counter-terrorism,” Miller said in a release today. “As an adjunct fellow, I hope to continue writing about how best to enhance national security and public safety without sacrificing our freedom and civil liberties.” Or sacrificing her journo ethics — Neo-Con propaganda goes down much better when it's properly labeled. —Geoffrey GrayManhattan Institute [Official Site]
Earlier:New Conservative Worry: Save George Washington High!
Hipster spokesmen the MisShapes want you to stop stereotyping their people. "If you’re wearing black pants and shaggy hair you’re automatically a 'hipster,'" MisShape member Leigh Lazark complains to Daily Intel. "I think it’s just as offensive as calling somebody 'bridge and tunnel,'" adds Geordon Nicol. The pair are out and about promoting their eponymous book, which has sold out after just a day on sales racks. "They’re on their second order!" Nicol told us. We kind of love that a gang of people who just released a coffee table book about hipsters doesn't want you to lump them all together. For what is a hipster, if not counterintuitive? —Maggie GrayEarlier:We Have the MisShapes Book
Ironic that just as the MisShapes book publishes, the club where the weekly party took off has gone under. Luke & Leroy's former co-owner Dino Minelli confirms that there will be no more taco parties, panty parties, or parties of any sort, in what Jarvis Cocker, in his intro to the MisShapes book called "a low-ceilinged, sweaty, black box of a room filled with people of every colour, sexual-orientation, height, weight, dress-sense (or non-sense) imaginable." Minelli has sold his share of the club and moved to Philly, where he plans to open a new spot in November. He writes us, "My crazy partner Elaine was ruining biz by making foolish decisions. I wanted no part of it anymore… It has been sold to a guy who I introduced to her and he is renovating it and renaming or something." With neighbor Movida also dead and gone, where will all the cool kids go? Philly? —Daniel Maurer
Tonight, coyer-than-thou Fred Dalton Thompson finally steps into the Republican race with ads on the always-friendly Fox News, a Leno appearance, a Webcast going live at midnight, and then a multi-state fly-around where he might actually talk with real people.
At the moment, it's unclear whether Thompson is the new Ronald Reagan or another Chauncey Gardner. He was right about one thing: He skipped the first half of Republican Death March to '08, and it so did not matter. Thompson didn't pay hard cash to grassroots get-a-lifers communing with the same seventeen Ames, Iowa, activists. There were no clandestine meetings with the South Carolina black ops guys who did in McCain back in 2000. Instead, Thompson smoked cigars at his Virginia home, played with his kids, and watched the field self-implode.
Hell's Kitchen's legendary Sony Studios closed last week, and its remaining contents will be auctioned off on September 10. It's the latest in a string of big private studio closings (smaller or home recording rooms are now preferred, as they are cheaper and easier for record companies), and some fear it's the death of a creative tradition that fostered unique collaborations and chemistry. “Walking down the hallways, Mariah Carey would be in one room and Marc Anthony in another,” recalls producer Phil Ramone. “There’s a community side to making music, so it’s a huge loss.” Indeed, former Sony manager Tony Drootin recalls Jay-Z and Beyoncé recording in side-by-side rooms (resulting in his rap on “Crazy in Love”), Michael Jackson stuffing a spare studio room with video games and a Stairmaster, and rappers from Busta Rhymes to Lil’ Kim guesting on each other’s records. When Drootin would leave at 3 a.m., “You’d see all these Bentleys and Lamborghinis on the street outside.”
Earlier today, we mentioned to a colleague the annual Labor Day fracas that is Diddy's White Party — yes, that beloved(ish), A-list(ish) fête at the hip-hop mogul's East Hampton home, for which all guests are required to wear white. "Did he even have the party this year?" the colleague asked, suggesting to us that Diddy's status on the social circuit has indeed taken a turn for the worse.
Late last week, the Times published an article directed at New York City's newest denizens, those brave college students who have decided to try their luck at Columbia, NYU, or any of the city's other fine beacons of higher education. The Times piece was a "don't" list for the newcomers, dispensing wisdom such as "don't fall asleep on the subway" and "don't buy condoms" (the latter sparking a debate on the fortitude — or lack thereof — of the city's safe-sex freebies). Helpful as these basic New York no-nos may be, we felt that the list was lacking in lessons on some of New York's finer nuances. As such, we'd like to give our new youngsters some practical advice.
It arrived on our desk today. We've been waiting for this book for quite some time, as with its arrival we hoped to sound the death knell of the fashion-forward hipster. After all, if a coffee-table book has been released about you, you're even more over than if "Sunday Styles" writes about you. But when we picked it up, we have to say, we just couldn't get mad at it. It's pretentious and obnoxious and self-obsessed, sure. But the MisShapes and their editors wisely chose not to include any words in the book, other than those by Pulp's Jarvis Crocker, Legs McNeil, and Vogue's Sally Singer which serve as introductions. They let the people and the fashion and the energy of the party speak for itself. In fact, we even learned something from the book. Read what, and view a couple of pages from the book, after the jump.
Billionaire Ron Burkle's gotta be regretting buying Sky Studios, the spectacular Village penthouse that was formerly a glamorous event space. A judge just ruled that brides-to-be who had previously reserved it for weddings can still use the multi-tiered apartment (which has a rooftop pool) for their nuptials — even though Burkle now owns the space and is presumably itching to move in (or make it nice and sell it). The Post reported that he plans to make it a residential palace. But we're thinking that Burkle will have other reasons to regret the purchase. Last time Daily Intel was there, managers told us that the reason it was turned into an event space instead of a private home was that leakage, heating, and structural problems (not to mention unfabulous service-elevator access) made it virtually unlivable. Though, frankly, for our own rooftop pool in the summer, we'd live in a yurt for the rest of the year.
Wedded Diss to Bliss [NYP]