In her new movie, Interview, Sienna Miller plays an actress who isn't taken seriously because of her tabloid notoriety. And as she promoted the film last week, life (vaguely) resembled art: Coverage has focused on a rumored romance with her friend Sean Combs, with whom she hung out in London just days before Diddy's longtime girlfriend, Kim Porter, the mother of his newborn twins, was reported to move out of their shared apartment.
Chuck Schumer launched another one of his constituent-pleasing crusades this week: He wants the FAA to regulate the flight paths of rent-a-chopper services that whisk the city's plutocracy to the Hamptons on the weekends. They'd be restricted to "noise-abatement routes" along freeways and over the water, leaving Long Islanders feeling a bit less like they're living in a suburban Apocalypse Now. But are Hamptons-bound helicopters really such a problem? Increasingly so, as it turns out. This year, Blue Star Jets, which books for the area's six operators and their 35 helicopters, reports a 15 percent increase in chartered traffic to the beach; it expects to have booked 500 trips by the end of the summer. Even worse, with the average trip costing about $2,500, the passengers are the sorts of people used to getting what they want. "People will come with eight steamer trunks like they're boarding the Titanic," says pilot Charles Humphries. "Then we have to explain to them that they can either take their friends or their bags."
You know John McCain's presidential campaign is imploding. Do you know whose fault it is? John Weaver, the longtime West Villager who was McCain's chief strategist, blames himself. “We had a spending problem, a message problem, a spending problem,” he told New York's Geoffrey Gray in his first full interview since resigning from the McCain campaign this week. “That’s nobody’s fault but mine.” Gray's piece runs in next week's magazine — and on nymag.com today.
Off the Bus [NYM]
Despite charging what some brokers say is an astronomical $4,000-plus per square foot only the likes of the Plaza can top that artist Julian Schnabel's not making it easy to buy an apartment in his shocking-pink West Village condo tower. Madonna's penthouse walk-through notwithstanding, a source says marketing has been nonexistent and that there's neither sales office nor sales agent for the project. To see the units, brokers have to make arrangements with a "construction manager," and there are no brochures or Website to check out floor plans. (Don't even ask about concierge service and other pedestrian amenities.) Still, the spaces are apparently very much worth the trouble stunning and "baronial" and oh-so-grand. At the prices he's asking, they better be. A representative at the project would not comment. S. Jhoanna RobledoRelated:Music at Big Pink? [NYM]
Question of the day: Why is today's Post 25 cents in most of the city (or at least in West Village, at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street, where we checked) and 75 cents in the East Village (or at least at Avenue A and St. Marks Place, where this was spotted)? Your guess is as good as ours.
Jane magazine — the un-women's-mag-like women's mag founded by Jane Pratt in 1997 after her previous effort, Sassy, folded — is dead. Just a few months ago, Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer published How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, which was a love letter not just to the mag but also to its founding editor. (Pratt left the magazine two years ago and was replaced by Brandon Holley.) So what do two Pratt fans think about her more recent project's failure? "You could argue that Jane was the only mainstream women’s magazine that spoke to a less mainstream woman," Jesella told us today. "The slightly off-the-cuff, individualist tone for an independent, twentysomething woman wasn't seen in a lot of other magazines," Meltzer said. Jesella continued: "People don’t feel as strongly about magazines as they used to. I think there's a quote from Dave Eggers that in the nineties, it felt like a magazine could change the world. People don’t feel that way anymore. With Jane, it was the one magazine with a real slash factor: People either loved it or hated it, but it was one of very few that people felt really passionate about." But not anymore. —Emma Pearse
Even before Rupert Murdoch declared his intentions, The Wall Street Journal was already a bit under siege. The paper is full of talent that other publications want, and greedy rival editors — from Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Portfolio, Newsweek, Time, the Times — are drawing up their lists of Journalistas to entice away. After the jump, a speculative shopping list.
The soaring new New York Times tower — already known for its weird toilets (when flushed, they apparently sound like a kitten being strangled), its weirder elevators (no buttons, and no indication of what floor they're on), a leak problem (editor Bill Keller's office got soggy in a recent rainstorm), and a mouse problem (reported by Gawker) — still has a few more surprises between the floorboards: maggots. "It's hard to put out a newspaper when you're worried about what might fall on your head," one Times staffer told us this week. "One of the photo editors was sitting at her desk and maggots started falling from the ceiling tile on to her head."
Williamsburg's new waterfront oasis — East River State Park, it's officially called — opened for business Wednesday, liberating the grass-starved locals to get down to the riverfront. But their dogs remained oppressed. City-run parks welcome dogs, but this state park doesn't. "Look, I understand that when you have dogs here, you're looking to give them exercise and let them play," said Rachel Gordon, city director for the state parks office. "But we don't allow dogs in any of the state parks in the city." One fear, she explained, is that the dogs would damage the new vegetation.
When the C-Town supermarket in Williamsburg wanted to freshen its look in an effort "to appeal to a neighborhood that is now more hip," as manager Jose Cruz says, it rechristened itself Billy's Marketplace and slapped on a high-design, retro-y logo. One little problem: The new logo looks suspiciously like Brooklyn Brewery's insignia. "You would think they would understand you can't just take someone's logo," said brewery president Steve Hindy, who points out that his version was created by legendary New York designer — and legendary New York designer — Milton Glaser. "It evokes the history of baseball in Brooklyn as well represents the new Brooklyn and the future," Hindy said. A few weeks ago, the brewery sent a letter to Billy's asking them to change their logo, but market manager Cruz doesn't see what the big deal is. "They have a 'B' inside a circle, and we have a 'B' inside a square," he explained. "Our 'B' is more of a typical old English 'B.' They're different types of Bs. They're not the same, aside from both having a B." Um, yeah. —Shana Liebman
Our favorite blog-happy pop star, Lily Allen, was arrested last week — but she knew it was coming. "I'm about to be arrested," she told us when we spent a day with her in New York last month, "just as soon as I get back to England." She wasn't coy about what she'd done. "I punched a paparazzi in the face," she said. "There were 70 of them surrounding me. And I left the country the next day. They're saying I'm going to be arrested as soon as I get back." This was the same day Paris Hilton was sent back to prison after briefly being released for unspecified health reasons. "I could be Paris Hilton soon enough," Allen said as she watched the scene play out on CNN from the Heatherette offices. "Oh, my God, her life is so fucking insane," Allen groaned. "She doesn't even do anything. I can't wait until Lindsay Lohan goes to jail. 'Boo hoo. I'm going to jail.' Good. Does that mean you'll stop showing me your pussy now?" Allen clearly thinks herself tougher than those two Yanks. "I bet English jails are nastier than American ones," she said with a hint of pride. We're not sure that they are. —Jada Yuan
The decidedly quirky children's store Peanutbutter & Jane, a nook near the corner of Hudson and Jane Streets for 26 years, closed its doors this weekend, the victim — like many other longtime West Village retailers — of wildly increasing rents. There was no formal celebration, but if you stopped by the shop Saturday afternoon — the last day of the month, and of the lease — there was plenty of misty-eyed reminiscence from nostalgic customers and grandmotherly clerks. “We’ve had customers coming in here for generations,” manager Timmie Reilly said. For the first time in decades, walls were visible in the typically hypercluttered shoebox of a store. Gone was the ruffle of tutus that previously hung from the ceiling, and only two pairs of ruby slippers remained. Moving men hauled off a shelf, and the now-antique light fixtures were sold to a dealer.
Sure, people have been camped out for days in front of the Apple Stores. But they'll be selling iPhones at AT&T stores, too, and — according to a spot check just performed by New York's intrepid interns — Ma Bell is the place to be. At noon today there were 197 people on line in front of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street; a dozen blocks south at the AT&T store at Fifth and 47th, eight people were waiting. After the jump, line lengths at six Manhattan iPhone locations, along with whatever other information we could glean.
The iPhone! This afternoon! Yay. New York contributor Tim Murphy stopped by the Fifth Avenue Apple Store yesterday to check in with the crazies lined up on the sidewalk. What drives them to wait on line for this piece of technology? "It's all about picking up girls, man," one dude tells Tim. "You just pull that thing out, and that's what it's about." Ain't that always the way?
Street Level: iPhone Debut [NYM]
There's a group of Knick fans, all graduates of Regis High School on the Upper East Side, who call themselves "The Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen." They grew famous — or at least became YouTube sensations — with their hilarious mockery of hyperbolic ESPN “analyst” Stephen A. Smith during the second round of last year’s NBA draft. But there is sad news to report about the society: The gentlemen have attended the last six NBA drafts, but, barring a miracle, they won’t be at the Madison Square Garden Theater for this year's picks tonight. Tickets went on sale at 11 a.m. this morning, and the boys were there two hours early. But there were about 200 people in front of them, and maybe 400 behind, and, according to one security guard, only the first 110 people on line were able to purchase tickets before supplies ran out. They'd started lining up at 6 a.m.
When we graduated from high school, our commencement speaker was the valedictorian, a science geek bound for Georgetown who quoted Hamlet's "to thine own self be true." At the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria yesterday, departing seniors heard from Kevin Spacey — and got a visit from Tony Bennett, the native Astorian who co-founded the school through his nonprofit Exploring the Arts. (Clearly, the Sinatra students trump us, if simply on name-drop points alone.) So what did Spacey have to say? There were a few moments of what appeared to be true earnestness in his sonorously delivered speech; he told the kids to “take care of each other” and “recognize that none of us [attain success] alone.” But his shit-eating irony seemed to be intact. “I’m honored to be looking out at all of you fresh-faced graduates,” he intoned at one point. “You should all feel proud and elated, even if you squeaked by like me.” His tone wasn’t lost on the savvy grads. No sooner had Spacey said, “I want to focus today … on friends,” virtually the entire Frank Sinatra Class of 2007 chorused a big, sappy, sarcastic “Awwwwww!” Spacey was no doubt proud. —Tim Murphy
It's no accident Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe grew up to be a leaf lover. His father, Barry Benepe, 79, co-founded the city’s greenmarket network more than 30 years ago, filling parks like Union Square with farmers' goods at a time when they were better known for yielding dirty needles than heirloom tomatoes. (There are now 30-odd markets citywide.) Benepe père then helped found Transportation Alternatives, and for all this urban do-gooderism, the Rockefeller Foundation just awarded him one of its first Jane Jacobs medals, which come with a nice $100,000 prize. The now-retired Daddy Benepe (who lives, appropriately, on Jane Street in the Village with his wife, Judith) talked to New York about the greenmarkets’ gritty early days — and picked a few bones with his son.
Perhaps you prefer bare male chests to bare female ones? Good news! New York contributor Tim Murphy was in Chelsea yesterday for the 38th annual gay-pride parade. Watch Tim ride a motorcycle. Watch Tim discuss the leather scene. Watch Tim plan a wedding with Christine Quinn. And, perhaps most important, watch Tim chat up some near-naked boys. The video is, well, fabulous.
Street Level: Pride March [NYM]
Couldn't make it out to Coney Island Saturday for the 25th annual mermaid parade? Not to worry: New York's Daniel Maurer was there, and he brings you enough sights, sounds, and Marty Markowitz pontification to make you feel like you were on Surf Avenue yourself. Now if only he'd brought us a hot dog.
Street Level: Mermaid Parade [NYM]
Amid the jokes and the contempt and the million-dollar interview deals and the mental distress of prison, who among us will stand up for poor young Paris Hilton? Jerry Stiller, that's who. A soliloquy on the exquisite difficulties of being Paris, delivered to New York Friday by George Costanza's dad:
I have great sympathy for Paris Hilton. I haven't heard one person in the media who feels sorry for a girl who got caught up in the dazzle. No one has gotten down to the reality that she's suffering in a very real way right now. It's almost like she needs to find herself. She's a great lesson for young people who come out looking for the dazzle, and they're not in touch with what the dazzle's all about. I see those girls at the Chateau Marmont hotel, where I've gone for fifteen years with my wife. When they're out at the pool, they're regular people. They take a dip, get out, and read a magazine. They've very normal, and yet they're in this paradise of old-time actors who once came out here. We're still hanging onto that glow, that thing that makes us something we're not in real life. We want to be stars, but, by God, it's not easy to be a star sometimes. It can be a pain in the ass.
But the thing is, Jerry, she can also be a pain in ours. —Arianne Cohen