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Kurt Vonnegut

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Remembering Bobby Van's Glory Days

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Bobby Van, the founder of the popular eponymous restaurant chain, died earlier this week, "Page Six" reports.
While his name lives on at the Bobby Van's in Bridgehampton, as well as at four steakhouse outlets in Manhattan and two in Washington, DC, Van, who had unhealthy appetite for booze and cocaine, was forced out of the business many years ago. "He was reduced to driving a cab. He was on dialysis," said a source who spent many a pleasant evening at the original East End restaurant.
Van was 64. "Page Six" noted that Truman Capote often went to Van's Bridgehampton restaurant to drink his favorite drink, an "orange thingee" (four parts vodka, one part orange juice), and that James Brady, George Plimpton, and John Knowles were regulars as well. But that's not the half of it.

Scalia Digs Torture

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is, not surprisingly, a fan of Jack Bauer's 24 torture techniques. Mark Green is set to join Al D'Amato and Ed Koch on NY1's Inside City Hall program. Jeanine Pirro is set to star in a Judge Judy–esque show. Ellen Barkin and Ralph Fiennes have been canoodling. Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury gave $300 to a homeless man. The Olsen twins trekked to Atlantic City for a Bob Dylan concert. The late Kurt Vonnegut has a role in an upcoming DVD. A gay former CBS News producer filed a $10 million discrimination suit against his former employer because he felt the network didn't want his gay-bashing in St. Maarten to be publicized. Aussie golfer Greg Norman and his ex-wife-to-be have finally come to (undisclosed) terms on how to split up his $500 million fortune. Patti LaBelle didn't need a mike to wow a Carnegie Hall audience.

Kurt Vonnegut at the Algonquin

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At the end of 2000, New York did a "My New York" issue. For it, 50-odd New Yorkers told us about their favorite places in the city, and Kurt Vonnegut, who died yesterday, spoke fondly of the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel. Growing up, he told contributing editor Logan Hill, he'd never been to New York but knew the legend of the Algonquin. When he arrived here for the first time to meet his sister, she asked him where they should meet. Not knowing anywhere else, he told her to meet him there, by the grandfather clock he'd seen in pictures — and in subsequent years that's where he would always meet friends. After the jump, his reminiscence as printed in the magazine.

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

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• Kurt Vonnegut died in Manhattan last night. He was 84 and battling a brain injury after a bad fall, and we won't insult you, or him, with a half-sentence recap of his career. [NYT] • City Comptroller William Thompson is asking the U.S. Attorney General to investigate allegations of Wal-Mart's "chilling and truly outrageous" surveillance of shareholders. Now we're definitely not getting a Wal-Mart. [Reuters] • As expected, MSNBC has killed its simulcast of Don Imus's radio show. The canning, framed in the "we're doing what's right" terms, was an easy call after a whopping nineteen advertisers pulled out. [NYDN] • NYU's wunderkind con artist Hakan Yalincak has been sentenced to 42 months in prison, with a possible deportation to Turkey to look forward to when he's done. Yalincak scammed investors out of $8.8 million through a phony hedge fund. [NYP] • And worried that environmental protests tend to come out "shrill," a group is planning to flood Battery Park this Saturday with a so-called Sea of People — including a fake Blue Men Group and a church congregation dressed as Noah's Ark. Sounds, well, not shrill. [MetroNY]