Citi Habitats just released its latest Black & White Report (named so because, well, we don't know) about Manhattan's residential real-estate market, and — newsflash! — it seems apartments are expensive. That's not news, of course, but there are some great nuggets in the report that get at The Way We Live Now. One revealing statistic: Only 7 percent of Manhattan renters have pets, compared to a national average of about 40 percent for dogs and 30 percent for cats. Another: The average renter is 30, which at first we found unsurprising until we thought of all those hanging on in sprawling rent-stabilized places uptown.
Howard Stern knows a thing or two about getting flak for saying politically incorrect things on air, but Don Imus shouldn't expect any sympathy from his fellow shock jock. "I never was a big fan of Imus," the King of All Media told us at the Tribeca premiere of Adam Carolla'sThe Hammer last week. "I don't appreciate his broadcasting, and I didn't appreciate him back when I worked with him. It’s time for him to take that cowboy hat and the spurs and the chaps, and maybe go to an S&M bondage house or something with that uniform." The two have a long history together, both coming to national prominence on WNBC-AM in the seventies and eighties, where Imus aired in the mornings, Stern in the afternoons, and they became rivals. "It was time for him to go," Stern said last week. —Bennett Marcus
The new trend in clothes-shopping among the city's more environmentally conscious sorts are clothing swaps, like last Sunday's Swap-o-rama-rama (that's not a typo) inside NYU's Eisner & Lubin Auditorium. (There's a smaller swap this Sunday afternoon, from 3 to 5 p.m., at 49 Warren Street in Manhattan.) It's a simple idea: Walk in with a bag full of clothes, pay $10, and walk out with as much as you can carry. This is not vintage shopping in the fashion-y, "curated," sense; rather, swappers peruse tables piled high with disused crap, hoping for the occasional gem. Polyester and pleats considered too weird to be vintage move on to a new life phase: Sewing machines lined the NYU room, and participants were invited to transform unwearable pieces into dolls, bras into handbags, and sweaters into mittens. We spoke to a few shoppers about their finds.
Stop the presses! Here's the most exciting press release we've seen in months, and our excitement has nothing to do with the Michael Shvo development being flacked:
Request For Coverage *INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE*
ICONIC DESIGNER PHILIPPE STARCK AND REAL-ESTATE MARKETING WUNDERKIND MICHAEL SHVO INVITE YOU TO AN EXCLUSIVE PARTY
TO CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF “GRAMERCY STARCK”
WHO: Philippe Starck, Michael Shvo, Jessica Stam (Cover of Vogue this Month-Dating DJ AM), Fabiola Beracasa, Lydia Hearst, Celerie Kimble, Rachel Roy, Jared Kushner (New York Observer “IT” Publisher-Dating Ivanka Trump), Susie Castillo (MTV VJ), Sam Talbot (Top Chef) Greg K, Love Leigh, Geo (The Misshapes), Leven Rambin (All My Children) and a host of other New York VIPs will attend the exclusive event.
The Kush is officially listed as "dating Ivanka Trump"? (The bold was ours, for the record.) Is this final, real confirmation? Has J-Vanka has gone public — in someone else's press release? We called Stephen Rubenstein — Kushner's mouthpiece — to check. "They're still just friends," he assured us. We'll take his word for it. But maybe they're, you know, special friends?
Earlier:Daily Intel's coverage of J-Vanka.
Mayor Bloomberg announced this afternoon that environmentalists' preferred candidate, Janette Sadik-Khan, will be the new commissioner of the Transportation Department. Sadik-Kahn's appointment had been rumored since last week, and her selection puts muscle behind the transit element of Bloomberg's PlaNYC green goals, like instituting congestion pricing in Manhattan. Indeed, the city has submitted a "conditional application" for federal funds to help pay for the congestion-pricing experiment in advance of a Monday deadline, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said at the same press conference, though the state must also join the application and hasn't yet done so. Bloomberg was working the angles. "The geography of New York lends itself to something like this," he said. "It will make deliveries quicker for trucking companies, and it's a godsend for them … This will clean up our air and improve our economy, and the fact that money is available for technology that has been refined in other cities is a lucky thing, so I'm terribly optimistic." If only the road to Washington didn't go through Albany, we'd be optimistic too. —Alec Appelbaum
If you watched January's momentous meeting of minds, when Stephen Colbert appeared on the O'Reilly Factor and later that night O'Reilly made a reciprocal visit to the Colbert Report, you remember that Colbert preserved a memento of the world-historical event: He stole a microwave from the Fox News green room, which he displayed on his own show and then planted on his set. So you can imagine our surprise when we found ourselves in the Fox News green room last night — we were going on Red Eye, Greg Gutfeld's absurdist-stoner take on the McLaughlin Group, and, no, we're not proud — and saw what very much seems to be a Colbert Report microwave. We like to think there was a revenge micro-raid by the O'Reilly staff. True? Who knows. We decide; you report.
UPDATE: A reader e-mails: "Oh, New York Magazine, you disappoint me. Anyone who watches The Colbert Report knows that Colbert had that microwave sent over to Fox and had it tricked it out to with a Colbert Report logo so O'Reilly could never forget from whom it came." Thanks, reader. And now we must confess: Colbert is on past our bedtime, and therefore we don't watch it as often as we should. Then we look dumb.
Earlier:When Stephen Met Bill
Jane Jacobs, the Death and Life of Great American Cities author who revolutionized city planning when she told the world why the best village was the West Village, died a year ago yesterday at 89. Last night, about two dozen hard-core Jane-ophiles (Jacobeans?) gathered to toast her at the Village’s White Horse Tavern, a favorite Jane haunt — she lived just down the block — before she moved to Toronto in 1968 to help her sons avoid the draft. The star of the evening was architect Alexandros Washburn, city planning chief Amanda Burden’s newish design czar, whose lack of press since starting his job in January is notable given that (a) he’s overseeing the Jacobs-y design aspect of most major building projects in the city and (b) he has urbane Greek good looks that had most of the female Janeheads at the pub cruising him in that discreet New Urbanist way.
It's nerve-racking enough to find a nanny in this city — well, at least so we're told — and now it seems you can't even trust the agencies that are supposed to help ease the process. The City Council released a study last week showing that about half the nanny agencies surveyed break the law: A four-month survey of 37 out of the city’s 52 nanny agencies (as well as interviews with a handful of nannies) turned up infractions running from the bureaucratic (leaving license numbers off public advertisements) to the dubious (overcharging both parents and nannies for services; operating without a license).
Dear Mr. Mayor:
We're pleased that you and your planning department are working to ensure New York remains pleasantly habitable in the year 2030. But we think it'd be pretty great if you worked to ensure New York is pleasantly habitable in 2007, too. And you know what might help that? Not sending heavy machinery to tear up streets in residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night, at hours when normal people — like, say, those who have to get up early in the morning to edit Websites for well-respected city magazines — are trying to sleep. (Crazy, right?) We know what you'll say. You'll say you do these things overnight so as not to interfere with traffic. But explain this: Why do you expect traffic to successfully navigate itself around yet another Italian-sausage-and-cheap-socks mid-afternoon street fair but not around this? Or, at least, can't you notify residents that the work will be coming, so we can perhaps make plans to sleep elsewhere? Because it certainly isn't fun to find the above scene — be sure to note the two men with jackhammers — 50 feet outside your bedroom window at around 11:30 at night.
That's all, Mr. Mayor. Hope you slept well.
Daily Intel's coverage of PlaNYC
The Supreme Court decision last week banning so-called partial-birth abortions is causing confusion and apprehension in the city's hospitals. At Bellevue’s Reproductive Choice Unit, for example, unnerved residents circulated stories about the hospital's sordid past, when floors were once full of women who attempted termination on their own. “I don’t think many of us know what partial birth is — it’s not a medical term at all,” said Kiran Chawal, a third-year resident there. “We’ve all looked it up to figure out what they’re talking about. It’s difficult to understand or interpret.”
France will vote in a hotly contested presidential election Sunday, and French expatriates in New York, who vote tomorrow, are both obsessed and ravenous for their shot at making a change. After twelve years of Jacques Chirac, a new face, or at least a prettier one, is a certainty. The three mainstream candidates (out of a field of twelve) in this election are all younger than 60, and for the first time a major-party candidate is a woman, Socialist Ségolène Royal; the other two major candidates are centrist François Bayrou and right-of-center former minister of the interior Nicolas Sarkozy. And, in this tight race, they're all gunning for expat votes. For the first time, the French Socialist Party in New York stumped for its candidate, Royal, trolling for votes at such Francophile events here as the French film festival. And French New Yorkers registered at the consulate recently got personalized e-mail messages from both Sarkozy and Bayrou. (In a campaign promise seemingly tailor-made for New Yorkers, both hinted at increased government scholarships for French private schools abroad.)
Jane Pratt can't seem to take a compliment. Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer are the authors of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time, a just-published 128-page mash note to the dearly departed title founded by the precocious Pratt in 1988. They sent a galley copy to Pratt and might have hoped for a few kind words. Didn't happen. "There has been no 'good job,' or 'I love the book,''" says Jesella. "She spoke to our editor. And she did have a bunch of [factual] changes that we eagerly changed. And then there were some matters of, um, opinion. Which we did not change." But Pratt did make one thing clear when she was interviewed for the project: She — and not former Sassy intern and Seventeen topper Atoosa Rubenstein, whom the authors dub "Jane Pratt #2" — was the younger editor-in-chief. "[Pratt] would note that she was only 24 and Atoosa was, what, 26?" said Meltzer. And another onetime Sassy editor is quoted noting that Rubenstein "was rejected for every position" she applied for at Sassy. Now you know. —Emma Pearse
Mass public whining doesn’t seem to have deterred either George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton’s political trajectories. So, with all else failed, there’s always voodoo. No, really. Writer Turk Regan — the author of such literary classics as Sports Fan Voodoo and Pimp My Cubicle — has heard the masses who “loath,” “despise,” and “fear” Hillary, he explains. And he feels you, if you want George W. “to pay for the sins of his administration,” he says. So he’s teamed up with Running Press to create George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton voodoo kits, complete with rudimentary doll, pins, and 56-page books of “spells” designed to help you, er, “stick it to them.” The spells are less abracadabra, more snarky explanations of each politico’s wrongdoings. Use the “Problem Child Spell” for Bush “to compel W. to turn in his adult suit-and-tie outfits for a naughty schoolboy uniform like the one worn by the guitarist guy in AC/DC.” And since “Hillary’s hairstyles have been almost as instrumental in her rise to power as her clothing,” the “Bad Hair Decade Spell” — involving pinning while humming music by Poison, Flock of Seagulls, or Bananarama — sends Hill into “an extended coiffure crisis.” Of course, regardless of whether the dolls work, Regan doesn’t have much reason to care. He lives “as far from the political fray as possible” in Montana. —Rebecca Milzoff
Greek-born supermarket mogul and top Hillary fund-raiser John Catsimatidis is making noises about an ’09 mayoral run — but it's a weird way to start a nascent campaign by depriving the middle-income seniors of northeast Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with their last nearby affordable grocery.
The city's Law Department yesterday agreed to pay $150,000 to an activist who was kneed in the head by a senior police officer, assistant chief Bruce Smolka, during an antiwar rally in 2003. One reason for the eager settlement appears to be the video of the beating, available on the IWitness site; the victim planned to introduce it as evidence. As it happens, Smolka was also the subject of a 2004 profile by New York's own Janelle Nanos, then an NYU j-school student.
Egads! There's a Republican infiltration of liberal radio network Air America's uppermost ranks, according to the new GQ, hitting stands tomorrow. The ailing talk-radio experiment may have been saved from obsolescence when developer Stephen Green — along with his brother, omnipresent New York Dem Mark Green — scooped it up at a bargain-basement price in January, but it turns out at least one member of Green's team is a Bushie. Quoth Scott Elberg, the company's chief operating officer: "I voted for George Bush. I'd been a Republican since I started making money." Elberg now claims that the Iraq mess has turned him to forces of goodness and light — which, actually, might be the biggest shame of all. Isn't a touch of old-fashioned, GOP, utterly unprincipled capitalism just what Air America needs in its executives?
CORRECTION, April 18: This item originally described Elberg as Air America's "new" COO, brought in by the Greens to run the network, a characterization provided to us by GQ. The Greens inform us that Elberg worked at Air America before the purchase, GQ has acknowledged the error, and we've corrected the item.
Earlier:Daily Intel's coverage of Air America
New York State has a new record-low welfare enrollment. There were 541,503 on the dole at the end of February, the lowest number since 1963, as state welfare officials announced neatly in sync with tax day. While the city has been posting similar trends for the last several years, this marks the state's first big milestone. The state secret? In addition to benefiting from welfare shrinkage in the five boroughs — the city makes up the bulk of the state's welfare cases — state officials are pointing to $665 million paid out via the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, which is available to working poor filing federal or state taxes, plus a new state credit for low-income, non-custodial parents up-to-date on child support.
And so it is the day after tax day. Did you get your returns filed on time? We visited the U.S. Post Office in the underground lair of Rockefeller Center yesterday afternoon, where we found a long and slow-moving line of deadline-finishers waiting to mail theirs. Why wait till the last minute? We asked them.
So it's finally tax day.* To mark the occasion, we herewith present a YouTube video of Steven Zelin, who calls himself the Singing CPA. The 31-year-old Brooklyn native is for the third consecutive year performing his accountant-themed compositions (including "Dear I.R.S." and "Stealing From the Company") to last-minute filers at the James A. Farley Post Office at Eighth Avenue and West 33rd Street. He performed Sunday at noon, and he'll be there again at 10 p.m. tonight. If you want to see him, don't be late — you can't file for an extension. Ha! —Andrew Adam Newman
* And why is today tax day? Well, April 15 was a Sunday, and when that happens, the filing deadline gets pushed back to Monday, April 16. But, as it happens, April 16 is apparently Emancipation Day, which has recently become a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. Longstanding federal law says that D.C. holidays "have nationwide impact on tax issues," according to the IRS. Hence April 17.
Tax Rap [YouTube]
It was no mere typo. There must have been a conscious decision to use "premier" to describe the first issue of Condé Nast Portfolio, which nearly all copy editors, this reporter included, would have called a "premiere." You don't make a mistake like that across the board — on the cover flap ("premier issue"), in the table of contents ("premier issue"), and, most telling, in the promotional letter ("premier issue debuts" [itals added to nauseate]). No, this one seems to be intentional, a style statement by the new publication. Perhaps the someday-to-be- monthly business magazine is indicating that what you hold in your hands is indeed the top of the line, that this is as good as it gets, it's the premier one, the most important, the preeminent, the top, the Colosseum, the best! For a premier issue to debut — well, it's spelled out right there. If they intended the correct "premiere" (which means first, debut), they wouldn't have coupled it with "debut." So they must mean what they say. This is the premier, not the premiere; the best issue you're gonna get. Take it as it is. —Carl Rosen