On Friday we dropped by the Plumm for the memorial celebration for Baird Jones — the promoter, art collector, and gossip reporter who was a New York party-scene fixture for three decades before being found dead in his apartment last month. We expected a sea of eighties clubbers, fellow gossip writers, and open-bar-hoppers. We did not expect Lindsay Lohan.
Yet as the aging crowd nursed its final free drink, the starlet arrived and installed herself on a couch in the back. It was surreal yet, in a way, the perfect homage to a man who devoted himself to celebrity gossip and often put random kooks in the same room as A-listers at the parties he threw.
We admit it: We harbor a secret crush on Chuck Klosterman. He has a nerdy hotness about him not unlike what Natalie Portman must have seen in Moby. We even almost joined the Facebook group "If Chuck Klosterman spit in my face, I'd stop taking showers," but then we promised our career counselor we wouldn't. Er, anyway, last night we went to the Highline Ballroom for a reading of his upcoming novel, Downtown Owl (even though we found it a little hard to follow). Over the course of the next half hour, we learned a few things about our little demigod:
• Chuck used to have a few nicknames back in the day: Curtains (after a pair of unfortunate sweatpants his mom made him), Facehead (also interchangeable with Headface), and Joaquin Andujar.
• Chuck does not think that rock and roll is dead. In fact, he thinks "it is pretty good right now."
• No one ever has sex in Chuck's books because he identifies more with people being rejected.
• Chuck is going to be teaching in Germany for fourteen weeks and what he will miss most is his girlfriend.
We raised our hand to ask a question. So, how do nerdy guys get chicks? "Well," Chuck said, "it's like this. You used to be able to tell the difference between hipsters and homeless people. Now, it's between hipsters and retards. I mean, either that guy in the corner in orange safety pants holding a protest sign and wearing a top hat is mentally disabled or he is the coolest fucking guy you will ever know." And in that moment, nerdy Chuck Klosterman got just a little bit hotter. —Lauren Salazar
Since The Real Housewives of New York City debuted on Tuesday, we've been thinking a lot about women who try to do it all. We ran into a gaggle of exactly those kinds of gals at last night's cocktail party to honor Brian Atwood and the charity New Yorkers for Children. Susan Shin, whom we see all over town at the fanciest events, told us it's definitely possible to try to spread one's self too thin. "I think we all have that tendency. It's the era of the superwoman," she said. "Husbands, kids, work, very successful careers, friends, social life, philanthropy. It's hard to do it all." So, Suze, what do you think of Real Housewives? "I don't think it's a true representation of housewives or other women in New York."
While Married Life is Ira Sachs's first full-length feature film that doesn't take place in his hometown of Memphis, he says that he and fellow Southerner Patricia Clarkson bonded on the set. "She tells me I have very good manners," Sachs told us at a Cinema Society screening of the film yesterday. "And you know Chris Cooper is from Kansas City, so we're all from the river towns." "He's such a nice southern boy," Clarkson said about Sachs, turning to the director. "Ah! You have shoes!" she cried, pointing at his feet. To us, she explained, "Do you know Ira called me to tell me, he's such a gentleman, 'Patty, I might have tennis shoes on with my suit'? I was like, 'Ira, it's okay — you're the director!'" Sachs chimed in: "Then I realized I live on 8th Street, so I just went across the street and bought some shoes."
As for Chris Cooper, he says he's left his Missouri cattle-ranching days behind for good. "You know, when I was younger, it was a very physical job, and you were called on at any time of the day or night to tend to the cattle and help deliver and castrate and tattoo and wean and all that business," Cooper told us. "It was a great way of life, but now that I'm a little bit older, realizing how physical it is, I'm glad I stuck with the acting biz." —Bennett Marcus
Part of being in the "new generation of creative people," Ally Hilfiger told us back in January, is being "multitalented" and mastering a variety of methods of artistic expression. But as much as she loves fashion, acting, art, and combining the three in hard-to-explain multimedia exhibitions, she may have a higher calling. "If I couldn’t do the acting, the painting, and the fashion design," she told us at the spring 2008 Men's Fashion Party at Blue and Cream last night, "I would really like to become a healer." Really? Like, what, a doctor? No. "An energy healer and a holistic healer," Ally clarified, explaining that despite her interest in fashion, she's just as interested in what's on the inside as what's on the outside. In fact, she follows Peter D’Adamo's Eat Right 4 Your Type diet, which tells her which foods are okay for her to eat and which are "toxic for my specific makeup." She added, knowledgeably, "It helps your immune system, and it just keeps you really healthy for your geno-type." As for the healing, right now it's just a hobby, something to do in between art projects. "I already do healings on people sometimes," she said. "But I’d really like to get a degree and really have a profession of healing people." —Stephen HaskellRelated: Ally Hilfiger on the 'New Generation of Creative People'
David Gordon Green's Snow Angels is a movie all about the relationship between a teenager, his older babysitter, and her family. So, naturally, at the event celebrating the movie last night at MoMA, we asked the cast if they ever had the hots for nanny. "Like, all of them," Green admitted immediately. "I tried [to hit on them, but] they wouldn't have me! I was a dirty little kid." As for his techniques? "Lookin' up skirts and all that. I tried to [use a makeup mirror to look at her] when she was in the bathroom, and it didn't work," Green said. "She got pissed [and] sent me to bed with no supper. And beat me." Connor Paolo, Gossip Girl's Eric, is just 17 but remembered having an eye on his Iranian nanny's young daughter. Amy Sedaris, however, had a view from the opposite side. She was always the babysitter. She remembered with a shudder that awkward ride home with the dads, who inevitably had "booze on their breath," driving you a distance you could walk. And then! "This one kid once accused me of killing his goldfish. I was leaning over it breathing, and he told his parents I killed it, so they never had me back," Sedaris griped. "I will never let it go!" Man, we wish Amy Sedaris had been our babysitter. Imagine the insanity. And the cupcakes! —Jocelyn GuestRelated:Amy Sedaris Kills Roaches With Her Bare Hands
At last night's launch party for the Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, we asked rapper KRS-One how he felt about some people's assumption that the black vote will go for Senator Obama in the presidential election. The hip-hopper has appointed himself of a spokesman for black culture in the past, most notably when he drew ire in 2004 for saying he "cheered when 9/11 happened." "People should assume [blacks will vote for Obama]," he told us. "And people should assume that KRS-One will vote for Obama For those of us who preach Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, are those who have dreamed of a day of a black president or an African-American president." He was careful to add: "If Obama gets in, it's not like he is going to do anything different. But at least if he gets in, at least we get a chance at the steering wheel." We asked KRS if he would care to take a moment, then, and freestyle about his candidate. He obliged:
I don't know where this is goin'
But KRS-One is right now freestyle flowin'
Me, I'm not into votin'
All that wishin', beggin, and hopin'
Me, I get open
Let me tell you Obama's not a token
Has chronic curser Snoop Dogg reformed his dirty language? At Monday's Hip-Hop Summit Action Network awards gala at Capitale, honoree Snoop Dogg repented for some of the harsh language he's used against women in his songs. "I'm not trying to do anything to offend nobody, but y'all've got to understand, I'm from the East Side," he said. "I worked hard to become a man on my own. My mother showed me how, but she couldn't really teach me how to become a man. My father wasn't there. I never knocked him for that. But the playas that I learnt from, they taught me the wrong way."
So last night New York Magazine threw its annual Oscar party at the Spotted Pig, and even though everyone had promised themselves they would act professionally and not drink too much, by the time Best Picture was announced, Chris was in the corner stroking Alan Cumming's beard and Jessica was wondering if it would be okay to ask Dave Zinczenko if she could touch his abs. Or the abs of Dan Abrams and Bill Hemmer, who were (as always) hanging out with him. Really, any abs would do. Happily, our man Darrell Hartman was there asking the important questions. "So, have you ever drunk anyone's milkshake?" he asked stylist Kate Schelter. "I've shared a milkshake," she replied dubiously. Diane Neal from Law & Order drifted by, looking judicious. "Julian Schnabel has been going to events in pajamas," Darrell said, importantly. "What do you think about that?" Diane replied that she had been wearing pajamas until moments before arriving at the event. "I have the onesie footie pajamas, but they do not have the button on the anus," she said. "I gotta say, the only problem is when you have to go to the bathroom. It gets pretty cold, because you have to take everything off."
During our extensive research in preparation for the premiere of the new thriller Vantage Point, we observed that Matthew Fox, the not-bad-to-look-at star of Lost, grew up on a horse ranch in Wyoming. We kept this in mind as we prepared to interview Vantage's stars on the big night, thoughtfully studying our list of questions, prioritizing some and eliminating others (probably there would be technical difficulties involved in asking Mr. Fox to remove his shirt, for instance). By the time Matthew, who we will always remember as Charlie on Party of Five, reached us on the red carpet, he was overwhelmed by reporters with tape recorders. They all were assaulting him with questions about his role as a Secret Service agent. At a lull, we took a deep breath and jumped in with the number-one question on our finely honed list.
New York: Mr. Fox, you grew up on a horse farm?
Fox: On a ranch, yes. [Ed: Hey, we live in the city. We think every farmer has a "dell."]
New York: Then you must have eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters. [The reporters around us look perplexed. Why didn't we want to know what his summer plans were?]
Fox: [Grinning slightly] Yes, I have. They were very good.
Victory! Another celebrity admits to eating bovine testicles! —Bennett MarcusRelated:Traver Rains Loves Him Some Cow Balls
The fashion, art, and Web worlds seem to be enjoying a tantric threesome as of late, happily tangled in a mutual embrace. First there was the Met Costume Institute's blog.mode exhibit, and now Sartorialist Scott Schuman has his Danziger Projects exhibition.
It looks like That '70s Show's Danny Masterson isn't busy enough being a D.J., radio host, producer, and restaurateur — now he's looking to add boutique owner to his résumé. Teaming up with Ilaria Urbinati, former buyer for chic L.A. boutiques Milk and Satine, Masterson plans to open a shop called Confederacy, a high-end "mini–Fred Segal" in East Hollywood.
Because Daily Intel's pursuit of all things Schnabel is not bound by geography or actually, gravity, we asked Berlin-based reporter Lawrence Ferber to corner Madonna at the Berlin Film Festival this week, where she was promoting the film she directed, Filth and Wisdom, and ask her why she had rejected the Chupi of our dreams. Here is his report:
"What a strange question!" Madonna laughed when we asked her about the Palazzo Chupi. So we laughed too, like "Ha-ha-ha-ha, we're not psycho." "How did you know that?" she asked. Er, we have our ways. Madge confirmed she had looked at the Chupi and decided not to move in. But not, it turned out, for fear of seeing a Schnaked Schnabel slipping into the swimming pool. "I love the house," she explained. "But it's not child-friendly, which is why I didn't end up moving there." Also, she was able to iron out the issues she was having with her co-op board at Harperly Hall. I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she said. She and Schnabel will continue to be friends. "I love [Julian]," she gushed. "He's awesome." We think so too! Maybe we can all be friends! Madge? —Lawrence Ferber
Last night's (Auction)RED at Sotheby's was a complete success, succeeding in raising more than $42 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. It also saw a heavy celebrity turnout: Michael Stipe, Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington, Martha Stewart, Ed Burns, and Dennis Hopper all showed up to support hosts Damien Hirst and Bono. But oddly enough, the money and the star power didn't seem to be connected. Michael Stipe, for example, told us earlier in the week that he had his eye on an Ed Ruscha. But he told us last night he "didn't get a paddle." Even though it was Valentine's Day and he was there with his boyfriend! "We're not going to buy each other $5 million paintings, I'll tell you that!" Stipe said, limping away on his crutch, the result of a go-karting accident. Brian Williams also told us he "can't afford a single thing they're auctioning tonight." But he added, "if there's a collection bowl, I'm good for probably twenty bucks." Even Queen Noor of Jordan said she "couldn't even remotely dream about" buying one of the pricey Hirst pill cabinets on the block. So who's buying all this expensive art, if even movie stars and royalty can't afford it? (RED) campaign co-founder Bobby Shriver cleared that up. "Sotheby's and Gagosian are willing to stage this, with their lists, to their buyers," he explained. "Here, you have a commercial company promoting to their commercial buyers, which is a tremendous asset of theirs, selling products that they could have sold at their normal markup. That's a new platform for raising pro-social money." —Bennett MarcusSee and hear more from Bono, Queen Noor, Christy Turlington and others from last night's (RED) auction.
It's not just common folk tightening the belt in anticipation of the Great Recession of 2008. Socialites, those airy creatures who are thin and rich and go to parties for a living, are also starting to (gasp!) budget. At a party to benefit the East Side Settlement show last night at Mallet Antiques, Melissa Berkelhammer vowed to take the subway more often. "I'm also buying less frivolous things," she said. "I'm not paying $300 for a haircut." Berkelhammer's neighbor, Tana Dye, had a more extreme money-saving strategy: Don't leave the house. "I live in midtown, so I have to stay in my apartment. I walk out my door, and I'm in Bergdorf or Barneys."
With pieces donated by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and many more art heavyweights, the Sotheby's (AUCTION)Red at the auction house tonight is gearing up to be a collector's scrum. Christy Turlington, Dennis Hopper, and Mario Batali are all slated to attend, as is Michael Stipe, who already knows what he wants to buy. "I'll tell you, the Ed Ruscha is so beautiful" he gushed to New York's Fiona Byrne at Tuesday's Edun party at the Desmond Tutu Center in Chelsea "I think it's a 2007, but it's brought what he does full circle, which is part of the reason I am drawn to it. I am tempted to bid; I may well." Elsewhere at the party, Josh Hartnett told us he's watching the pennies after a recent large purchase. "I have to find out if I have any money left," he said, not ruling out the prospect of picking something up from the auction, which will go to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. "I just bought a new place and totally redid it and put in new furniture, but I have to get something for the walls!" Last night at a Gagosian Gallery preview, celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Anna Wintour, Donna Karan, Tory Burch, Russell Simmons, and Ivanka Trump were more hushed about what they wanted. But we think we can guess which painting caught Rupert Murdoch's fancy. He spent the entire night standing in front of Damien Hirst's Where There's a Will, There's a Way. It's expected to fetch between $5 and $7 million tonight. Which, for Rupert, is probably a small price to pay for a piece of contemporary art that embodies your life philosophy.
On Thursday, Fashion Week headed east to Hoxton, London's Billyburg equivalent, where London’s asymmetrically coiffed and skinny-jean-plastered demographic runs free. So we were hardly nonplussed to find their heroes, the MisShapes crew, making themselves at home at Henry Holland’s first solo show — which was held in a venue called, of all things, the Village Underground.
Now, just because we've been all excited about the return of Gossip Girl doesn't mean we've forgotten about another important television occurrence next month: the debut of The Real Housewives of New York City. When we ran into one of the stars of the show, Bethenny Frankel, at Gotham's Black & White Ball, she was all too eager to talk to us about it. Frankel, you'll recall, was on Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice. "We were supposed to do six episodes, and they extended it to seven, maybe eight," the pretty health-food chef told us. Seven episodes! They're really betting the farm on this one, people. "Most of [the other stars] are just women who are letting their lives be a fishbowl," Frankel explains. "But I have a brand, and I wanted to be careful about that." So before she went on the show, Frankel talked to her agents. "All my agents said, 'Reality-TV shows are a train wreck, and they want you to come off a train wreck,'" she explained, adding that she didn't listen. Frankel is confident that she can come off in the ways that she wants to. "I'm the Sex and the City character. I have a career. I have a life, but I want to have kids," she says. "I'm the Carrie Bradshaw meets Martha Stewart. I cook and speak French, but I dress fashionably when I need to and run the circuit." Oh, yes, Bethenny, you'll come off exactly the way that you are trying to. We can't wait.
Related:The Ladies of ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: A Social Examination
Why, we wondered, do some models covet a spot in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? After all, it’s kind of laddish, not exactly a high-fashion affair or a lucrative cosmetics gig. But apparently the opportunity to appear in skin and Lycra for some 4.5 million readers is not the main appeal. “They tell you you better not go on a diet before the shoot," said Bar Refaeli at the 2008 issue launch at 7 World Trade Center on Tuesday.