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Where Lou Reed Peed: Remembering the CBGB Toilet

Toilet
At the end of today's Times feature on the "punk house" — those big, cavernous sticker-encrusted warehouses, in which punks from Brooklyn to Nebraska hold shows and bake and digest soy casseroles — is a small but touching paean to an underappreciated facet of now-defunct club CBGB: The toilet. "The be-stickered, be-fliered and graffiti-emblazoned black hole" was a modern icon, the Times says, and none other than Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore agreed. “That’s the one thing that sears itself into your memory,” he told the paper. “It’s that toilet.” Shudder. Something tells us the contractors working on the John Varvatos store would agree. Anarchy Rules, the Dishes Stay Dirty [NYT]

It's Twelve Degrees and You Have to Deal With the Iowa Caucus. There's Only One Way to Survive Today.

Drinking Liberally
You know what the Iowa caucus makes us want to do? Other than throttle every single smug, pie-eating, overpolled, overfriendly "I's real folks y'all" person who lives in that state? It makes us want to drink. Unluckily for us, we have to follow the caucus all day long for work. But luckily for us, we can drink and follow the action in the Corn Belt. It turns out that Drinking Liberally, the progressively soused political group, will be partying at Rudy's this afternoon. “As long as the Iowans are going to be deciding the fate of the free world out in the freezing Midwest, at least I can be watching it with friends,” DL co-founder Justin Krebs told Metro. They'll even be playing drinking games, like chugging every time Fred Thompson licks his lips. Those liberals: so wacky!. Meanwhile, the young Republicans will be gathering at O'Lunney's, alongside a different Democratic group. They'll be serving drinks in red and blue Solo cups, so you can tell who is supporting whom. Which is all well and good, but we're going to need some serious drinking by the end of the day. We can already tell. If we're going to go through all this anxiety and just come out with an indecisive result, we're going to need to be mainlining Smirnoff by 8 p.m. So, exasperated moderates, meet us at Tompkins Square Park after work to drink yourselves to death. We'll bring the Pong Along. We hear Bloomberg has a mean Beirut drop shot. It's Party Time As Iowa's Set to Caucus [Metro NY]

Shake Shack Reopens Today; Fabio Trabocchi's Last Meal

Sweet glory, Shake Shack reopens today at 11:30! You can call ahead to place your order, but you won’t be enjoying the new heaters until next week. [Eater] The British agree: Adam Platt's term “haute barnyard” defines the prevailing dining trend. [Guardian] Related: The Haute Barnyard Hall of Fame The manager of Sarabeth’s on Central Park South caught a 50-year-old thief taking $27 from her pocketbook over the weekend. [NYP]

Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’s

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way. This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”

Intel Road Tests World's Most Expensive Perfume: How Do We Smell?

Blythe
"The message was brutally simplistic: Don't care about the cost," said Clive Christian at Saks Fifth Avenue this past Saturday afternoon. He was at the department store to celebrate getting into the Guinness World Records book for his fragrance, called No. 1, the world's most expensive perfume. Back in 1999, when he took over Britain's Crown Perfumery, the company's noses instructed him to disregard the sustainability of ingredients and the expense in creating the No. 1 scent. He wound up creating a perfume of Indian jasmine, mandarin, and sandalwood that costs $865 for 10ml and is favored by Katie Holmes, Elton John, the Beckhams, and assorted royalty. We doused ourselves in No. 1 and asked midtown holiday shoppers how classy we smelled.

Tamsin Lonsdale Hanging With Jigga Hov? Not So Much

Tamsin Lonsdale
The Observer today follows up on an earlier story in which Tamsin Lonsdale bragged that her Supper Club got to dance with Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Turns out, according to the Transom’s source, that Lonsdale was hoisted by Beyoncé’s bodyguard as she protested, “Do you know who I am?” The Supper Club’s spokesman insists Londsdale said no such thing and wasn’t manhandled, but still — we’re beginning to see why the snake-eating dinner club stuck to a place that was just a little bit more under the radar. Spotted Pig Oinks At Supper Club Founder’s Tale of Hangin’ With Jay-Z [NYO] Earlier: Misled Socialites Outraged by Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper Club

Rupert's Fingers Already Closing Around the Heart of the ‘Journal’

MEDIA • Rupert Murdoch won't officially take over the Journal until tomorrow, but he's already dipped his tentacles deep into the paper. Rumor has it the Journal will dismiss two or three dozen people, to be replaced with Rupe's cronies, and then go on a hiring spree. Oh, and apparently Murdoch briefly considered dropping "Wall Street" from the title. Tells you something about where the paper's headed. [NYT] • Sadly, Jane Pratt won't actually be starring in a reality-TV show titled American Ugly, as we reported yesterday. C'mon Jane, don't you love us? [Mixed Media/Portfolio] • New York Post "Metro" editor Dan Colarusso, whom Col Allan praised as "a quintessential New Yorker," walked out of the newsroom and quit yesterday. No word on why, but seems pretty quintessential to us. [Runnin' Scared/VV]

Merry Christmas, Richard Fuld!

Fuld
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to a regulatory filing, Lehman CEO and chairman Richard Fuld, possessor of what is probably the most villainous face on Wall Street, received a nice little present this year: a stock grant valued at $35 million. This is way up from the $10 mil he made last year, basically because Lehman's losses from underwriting of mortgage-backed bonds were not as bad as analysts expected. You'd think he'd at least smile. Lehman CEO Recieves Stock Grant of $35 Million [WSJ]

Allen & Delancey Gets Its Two-Star Due; Irving Mill Continues to Uninspire

In spite of lousy desserts and a misstep in the fish department there, Frank Bruni couldn't avoid giving Allen and Delancey's complex, accomplished food two stars. [NYT] Alan Richman, no pushover, was also very impressed by Allen & Delancey, though he noted that the chef's strength clearly lies in the realm of turf, rather than surf. Still, the respect is there: “The visceral satisfaction is high. He piles on flavors, and he does so with assurance.” [Bloomberg] Irving Mill: tired concept, spotty execution. Restaurant Girl joins the chorus. [NYDN]

This Week, Give Cab Drivers a Little Credit

Cab

If you've ridden in New York taxis for a long time, you're probably already wary of the credit-card machines that have been installed in many of them. The ones that have been in cabs for a couple of years now never really worked, and not handing over cash just feels weird. The Post reveals today that cab drivers are also suspicious of the devices. In fact, many of them would do anything to prevent you from swiping. According to the tabloid, they'd rather just grab your cold, hard cash and will lie about broken machines or fake policies to make sure that's how you pay. The Post doesn't specifically explain why some drivers would rather have you pay them in cash, but the implication that most cabbies are cheats is pretty heavy throughout the piece. The problem is so bad that the head of the Taxi and Limousine Commission himself was once prevented from using a credit card by a deceitful cabbie. The cabbies' union claims that the problem is the equipment, not the drivers. After the jump, some technical advice on what to do to avoid this problem.

Win a Date With Thomas Keller; Year-end Lists Abound

Mix up your holiday charitable giving by entering a raffle for a coffee date with Per Se’s Thomas Keller or Ferran Adrià of Spain’s El Bulli. [NYT] Related: Ferran Adrià, Molecular Gastronomist—Who, Me? [NYM] On his No Reservations holiday special, Anthony Bourdain spoke with a veterinarian who explained that foie gras production is not the demonic act it has been portrayed as by animal-rights groups, so eat up! [Eat for Victory/VV] If Amy Sacco didn’t convince you of the growing synergy between restaurants and real estate, consider that Centovini has just struck a deal with luxe condo Soho Mews that offers not only delivery to the building but also the option to have executive chef Patti Jackson provide in-home cooking. [NYP]

Nicole Poree-Zayas Has the Hookup

Nicole Poree-Zayas
Fashion-design student Nicole Poree-Zayas gets bored and then dyes her hair. It was blue, but now there’s some purple in it, which matches her striped shirt and skinny jeans. Poree-Zayas is also sporting some Supreme X Nike Blazers, but it’s not like she had to camp out to get them. No — she knows some people. See what else she knows by watching this week’s Video Look Book. Video Look Book: Nicole Poree-Zayas