‘Vanity Fair’: We Are All Africa, Ad PagesThough you might have heard something about maternally inclined stars like Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Oprah caring for some kids in the name of child welfare on the African continent, no superstar has as yet made a really chic effort to solve the country’s problems. Sure, Bill Gates’s wife, Melinda, upped the camera quotient on that couple, but they don’t carry the same paparazzi punch as a face-painted Gwyneth in an “I Am African” ad. Enter Bono and Vanity Fair, which is letting the U2 front man edit the July issue. “Africa is sexy and people need to know that,” Bono said of his editorial agenda. It’s not exactly clear yet how the marriage of Graydon Carter, debt relief, “Pride (In the Name of Love),” and AIDS is going to resolve a few hundred years of turmoil, but whatever happens, no way is it going to be frazzled, blonde, and fifteen pounds overweight: “We are trying to deal with the Sally Struthers thing … When you see people humiliated by extreme poverty and wasting away with flies buzzing around their eyes, it is easy not to believe that they are same as us,” says Bono. So what to expect? Carter claims that “a co-mingling of brands will help sell a tough subject,” so we’re seeing sand to the horizon, Jil Sander on the suffering, and some kind of headdress on Dominick Dunne.
Citizen Bono Brings African to Idle Rich [NYT]
Back of the House
Veselka 2: Electric BoogalooVeselka, an East Village mainstay since 1954, may soon have a twin: Owner Tom Birchard says he wants to open another full-scale restaurant. (Little Veselka, the Houston Street takeout kiosk, opened last year.) He’s looking at several downtown locations, the Avalon Christie complex on East Houston Street among them — the same building Daniel Boulud is thinking of dropping a new place into. But if Birchard had his druthers, he’d head uptown. “The ideal neighborhood would be the Upper West Side, around Columbia,” he tells us. “But I don’t want to be spending an hour going there and back every day. That would just be the most logical place, in terms of what’s there and who my customers would be.” Wherever he goes, the kasha king is sure of one thing: “I am going to re-create the Veselka we’ve had here for 53 years.” Well, sir, you can certainly try.
the morning line
Parts and Labor
• New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has acknowledged giving “large gifts” to union boss Carla Katz, whom he dated shortly before running for the office. How large? Well, the words “tuition bills” and “mortgage forgiveness” come up. [NYP]
• The city is on what the News gleefully terms “pervert alert,” as a whopping 64 sex offenders who had claimed to be living in NYC housing projects turn out to be unaccounted for. (Giving cops a bogus address is a misdemeanor in itself.) [NYDN]
• RightRides, a ride-home service for women who’d rather not walk alone at night in troubled neighborhoods, is giving volunteers camcorders to film their walks; eerie first-person views of deserted streets are intended as evidence but accidentally double as compelling video art. [MetroNY]
• We knew Chuck Schumer was a bit of a compulsive camera hog, but we had no idea why: Turns out the senator’s Rosebud is a triumphant quiz-show TV appearance in 1967, wherein 16-year-old Chuck helped his James Madison team defeat Flushing High. [NYT]
• And it’s on: White Castle versus Mayor Bloomberg! The slider chain, as well as its buddies Wendy’s and Quiznos, are pulling all nutritional info from their menus in defiance of the new NYC law mandating just the opposite. The reason is, supposedly, lack of space, and we’re far too classy for a rat-as-ingredient joke. Or are we? [All Headline News]
‘Times’ Couplets: Urban CowboysWherein we arrange headlines in verse to bring you secret messages from the paper of record.
Man Is Convicted of Attempted Murder as Hate Crime in Village Rampage
Athlete and a ‘Cultured’ Tarzan
Savior of a Crumbling Village, Dies.
‘The Rats Will Not Win,’ Chief Varmint Hunter Vows
Hunting a Killer as the Age of Aquarius Dies.
In the Shootout, Two Stars, One Goal—
More Than Just Two Ex-Cowboys
Hitting the Road for Some Hot Man-on-Bike Action,
Exploring Identity as a Problematic Condition.
Deconstructing the Costs, and Emotions, of Warfare
Everything Crumbles Toward Eternities—
The Big Meltdown
A Suddenly Convenient Truth.
Imagine More Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.
As Night Falls, Farmer Trades His Tractor for the Blues.
the sports section
A-Rod Is Underwhelming, Now Statistically Proven
A slow Friday at the New York sports desk was enlivened by the arrival of this season’s Baseball Prospectus. The massive tome, featuring analysis of every player on every Major League team, down to those with even the slimmest chance of actually seeing big-league playing time, has a reputation for making highly accurate predictions. So what do the gurus think about the New York teams’ chances? You’ll have to buy the book (or subscribe to the Website) for the complete story, but the general sentiment is bullishness on the Yankees (whose off-season personnel moves are praised for their long-term wisdom) and bearishness on the aging Mets (who “may have finally gotten out from under the Braves only to find that they’ve already peaked”). But perhaps most interesting are the comments on Alex Rodriguez.