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It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

With Halloween around the corner, pumpkins are everywhere — on stoops, in soups, and, of course, at the Greenmarket. (Zoe Singer tells us which ones to buy this week in At the Greenmarket.) Some of the better restaurants around town are getting into the spirit and serving up pumpkin in its many forms. Here are a few we can get behind.

Tom Freston Gets Burned, Again

Tom Freston, apparently insufficiently charred by Sumner Redstone, got further roasted by his friends. A Met security guard once slashed a Rembrandt with a key. Howard Stern pissed off Pete Townshend; Towshend stormed out on Howard. Clint Eastwood had a drink, then went to a rock show. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson are a couple. Petra Nemcova and Russell Simmons might be a couple. Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt used to be a couple, but she still likes his new movie. Sacha Baron Cohen (a.k.a. Borat) will play his Austrian fashionista character (a.k.a. Bruno) in his next movie. George Jones will play Carnegie Hall on Halloween. Debbie Rochon wants more recognition for her contribution to the horror genre. Cindy Adams discovered that London is expensive. Liz Smith discovered that Annette Bening had lunch. An Italian restaurant will stay open.

Of Course, They Can't Find the Moon-Landing Film, Either

This has almost nothing to do with New York, or with New York, except that we happened across it while looking for more information about the biblical floods scheduled to hit our city in 2050. Still, it's one of the more amusing editor's notes we've seen in quite some time. From NASA's media-relations Website:

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Hey, it's not like they're rocket scientists. Press Release Archive [NASA.gov]

How a Restaurant Critic Diets

Like the spavined, dreamy-eyed diet freaks celebrated in this week's magazine, the Gobbler spends a good part of each day obsessing over his calorie intake. Unlike those healthful wraiths, however, he's not concerned about limiting himself to 1,800 calories over the course of a day; he's concerned about limiting himself to 1,800 calories during dessert. (Or, for that matter, 4,000 calories over a modest luncheon at some new, not very distinguished Italian restaurant). Already chubby before becoming a professional eater, the Gobbler got on a scale a couple of years ago and found he'd ballooned to a sumo-size 286 pounds. Ever since that horrible day, he's been forced to exercise, utilize steely self-discipline, and call upon the help of several long-suffering nutritionists. Briefly, a few summers ago, he got down to a slim 225 pounds. Recently, the scale's needle has been drifting back up, so before the Gobbler once again becomes grossly and irredeemably fat, here are a few of his common-sense diet tips.

Cabs, Gays, and Celeb Car Thefts

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• The tabs are aghast at yesterday's taxicab rate hike, with the Post using words like "adding insult to injury" and the Daily News predicting a ruined Christmas. Completely buried in populist outrage: The TLC will also cease requiring cabbies to be legal U.S. residents. [NYDN, NYP] • The Times gets a take on New Jersey's new gay-rights situation from the Gay American himself, the state's former governor, Jim McGreevey. Would he tie the knot with his partner Mark O'Donnell? Yes! [NYT] • In celebrity-crime-victim news, Jesse L. Martin's SUV was broken into and burgled in his hometown of Buffalo — just as the police made a second arrest in the violent theft of Mayor Bloomberg's car in New Jersey. [WNBC] • The MTA says that free hand-distributed newspapers are a major cause of flooding on subways. (They clog the drains.) Earlier in the year, the same papers were blamed for the uptick of underground fires. amNew York to add twelve extra pages for the story's comprehensive coverage. [amNY] • Speaking of flooding: NASA has rigged a computer model to demonstrate how a 2050s New York City would deal with a major storm. Not very well, it turns out. Flooded areas include "the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, lower Manhattan, and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge." Oh, no! Even Williamsburg, too! [Mongabay]

Nathan Lane or Baby Jane

Tonight's boldfaced parties:Butley premiere party. Cipriani 23rd Street, 200 Fifth Ave., 9:15 p.m. Butley, opening on Broadway tonight, is a comedy about a professor distraught when his gay lover leaves him on the same day that an academic rival publishes a masterpiece. In other words, it's a Little Miss Sunshine prequel. Promised party guests include Butley star Nathan Lane, Hope Davis, Ivana Trump, Brian Grazer, Rocco DiSpirito, and Lasse Hallstrom.

New Jersey Okays Gay Marriage

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New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled today that gay and lesbian couples in the state must be afforded "the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes." That could mean same-sex marriage, or it could mean Vermont-style civil unions, and the Court gave the state legislature 180 days to decide which. Only three months ago, New York's highest court punted in a similar case, refusing to give similar instructions to our legislature. We checked in with Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, to ask whether it's time for New York's gays — well, more of New York's gays — to start house-hunting in Montclair. So who'd have thought that side of the Hudson would go first? I haven't read the decision in full yet, but it's not just New Jersey going in the right direction. Every state that borders New York, with the exception of Pennsylvania, has passed a comprehensive regulation or law that protects gay and lesbian couples. New Jersey will soon have probably marriage, Connecticut and Vermont have civil unions, Massachusetts has marriage, and Quebec and Ontario have marriage. We're surrounded by jurisdictions that understand that gay and lesbian couples need protections, and we're alone.

Brick-Oven-Pizza Perfection Comes to Carroll Gardens

Slavering outer-borough Chowhounders have recently been storming the unmarked gates of Carroll Gardens's newest brick-oven pizzeria, a rustic establishment being compared on that contentious, cultlike Website to such sacred pizza cows as Di Fara's. It's not only the posters who've evoked that mythic name — chef-owner Mark Iacono has as well. "My favorite pizza is Di Fara," says Iacono, who looks a little like a Pope of Greenwich Village–era Eric Roberts. "The recipe is pretty much the same. Difference is, mine is made in a brick oven." His pie is also imbued with a feisty smokiness, courtesy of a wood fire, and has a flavorful crust that's comparatively soft and puffy, closer to classic coal-oven practitioners like Totonno's and Grimaldi's than Di Fara's. "I call it old-school-Brooklyn style," he says. "That's what I'm going for."

24-Hour Party People, on Broadway

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At The 24-Hour Plays Monday night, a starry group of actors, playwrights, and other show people — Jennifer Aniston, David Cross, Adam Rapp, Elizabeth Berkeley, Wallace Shawn — got together to write, direct, rehearse, and perform six plays in just one day's time. It was a benefit for Working Playground, which brings arts programs to underserved New York City schools, and in addition to raising money, it gave its audience a night of unpolished but riveting entertainment. Some highlights …

Superflack Howard Rubenstein Doesn't Drive, Lusts for Good Deli

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Name: Howard J. Rubenstein Age: 74 Job: President, Rubenstein Associates; PR man and spokesman for everyone from the Post to the Yankees Neighborhood: Upper East Side Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Lewis Rudin, the founder of the Association for a Better New York. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Steak at Peter Luger, of course — it's my wife's family business. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? I'm on the phone soothing ruffled feathers.

A Very Special Fug Girls

After eight days, 26 shows, and a handful of parties, we are reduced to a sputtering heap (not unlike that Zac Posen dress) on the floor of Newark Airport. Time to recall our favorite moments.

Diesel's Got a Brand New Bag

The Prada event planners probably slept well last Friday night, sure the amazing Raconteurs show at their Soho store would be the secret-special-musical-guest highlight of Fashion Week. Then they discovered the Diesel after-party booked James Brown. JAMES BROWN. The Godfather of Soul.

Choking Down a Media Sandwich

The crescendo of our Fashion Week celebrity-spotting started slowly with Kristin Cavallari, built with Kristen Bell and Mischa Barton sightings at every turn, and peaked on our final night in New York at the packed Zac Posen show.

Fashion Week's Exit Returns

Tuesday was Primary Day, and New Yorkers went to the polls to pick their favorite Democrats. At Bryant Park, capital of the Republic of Fashion, we asked some citizens if they'd chosen a candidate that day.

Heatherette: A Cracked-Out Homage to Aaron Spelling

Picture your high-school production of South Pacific, subtract half the clothes, add some cynical drag queens, and then do three shots of whiskey. Voilà: You have Heatherette's Tuesday-night show.

Surviving Fashion Week

Whether you're a model, a stylist, or a celebrity, Fashion Week can be grueling. Five veterans of the shows gave Jada Yuan their survival tips. High on the list: Eating.