Exclusive Comics Excerpt: ‘Amelia Rules’All week on the Comics Page, we’re excerpting a special Independence Day issue of Jimmy Gownley’s wonderful all-ages comic Amelia Rules, “The Things I Cannot Change,” a funny and touching story of duty to family, to country, and to friends.
Is Setagaya the Romulus of Ramen?
When we announced the opening of Setagaya, the new ramen spot’s manager Charlie Huh insisted his product was more authentic than that of nearby Momofuku, prompting David Chang to post a snarky sign bragging that his noodles were made with 90 percent American ingredients. The joke, however, may be on Chang: Last Saturday at 9:45 p.m., we were told the wait at Setagaya was 30 minutes, with fifteen people (almost all of them of the Asian persuasion) lined up at the door. At Momofuku, the wait was only 20 to 25 minutes, and there were a measly eight gaijin milling about. We’ll continue to check in throughout the week, though only time will tell whether Setagaya is truly top ramen — after all, you don’t see people lining up at Beard Papa anymore.
Earlier: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku
Related: Ramen War Brewing in East Village: Momofuku 1, Setagaya 1 [Eater]
ranters and ravers
‘New England White’: Mystery Plus the Kitchen SinkLike his 2002 smash The Emperor of Ocean Park, Stephen L. Carter’s New England White is a mystery plus. A mystery plus domestic melodrama. A mystery plus social satire. A mystery plus an examination of the black upper crust. Carter, also a law professor at Yale, borrows from the murder and legal-thriller genres, throws in a governmental conspiracy, and even (as the title hints) takes a few more literary cues from Hawthorne and his New England brethren. Some critics feel the result is a little too much; others think it’s just right.
The ‘Entourage’ Guilt/Pleasure Index: Turtle Gets a What?Remember how Vince selling his house and shuffling everyone out into the streets was going to shake up the foundations of this show? Yeah, not so much. It’s business as usual as the boys crowd into Drama’s condo and resume their familiar antics: Drama blusters, Turtle smirks, E frets, and Vince does whatever it is that defines his character, along with occasionally batting his eyelashes. No wonder this is the one show we can’t stop watching–slash–can’t stop hating ourselves for watching!
All in the FamilyBee Shaffer and Austin Bryan, the offspring of Anna Wintour and her boyfriend, Shelby Bryan, held hands at Marquee. Harlem congressman Charles Rangel is likely getting a divorce and may be dating other women. The typewriter that disabled author Christy Brown used to bang out his best-selling autobiography (with his left foot, no less) will be auctioned off tomorrow. New York Yankee Jason Giambi took shots at a club. Sophie Dahl and longtime boyfriend Dan Baker Jr. broke up, and Mick Jagger may be to blame. Lindsay Lohan ex Harry Morton is now dating Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly. Mark Wahlberg and the real-life “E” acted like Vinnie Chase and the fictional “E.” Ronald and Nancy Reagan were once funneled money by a Hollywood studio through an illegitimate real-estate transaction.
Le Cirque Scrambles for Relevance; P*ONG ExpandingA myriad of consultants and experts are surrounding Sirio Maccioni, giving advice on how Le Cirque can recapture its now-departed magic. [Insatiable Critic]
Dessert bars are a hot enough trend right now that some restaurants and bakeries are transforming themselves at certain hours, while others, like P*ONG, are built expressly for the genre. [NYP]
Related: Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else’s Entire Meals
Speaking of which, Asian dessert guru Pichet Ong will open a shop devoted to ice cream, pudding, and cookies next door to P*ONG on August 17. [Strong Buzz]
So the iPhone went on sale Friday afternoon; America rejoiced, God smiled, and people who’d been waiting on line for three days could finally go take a shower. (We must say our favorite touch is the line of what seem to be Apple employees at left, applauding the dude for, you know, shopping.) Funny thing: After all the hysteria and lines and waiting and so forth, our friend walked into an AT&T store Saturday afternoon, bought an iPhone, and left in about a half-hour.
UPDATE: Aforementioned friend IMs: “Errata! I was in and out of Apple Store in 5 minutes.” Apparently reporting over drinks late on Saturday night doesn’t always yield complete accuracy. Who knew?
Earlier: Daily Intel’s we’re-giving-Steve-Jobs-exactly- what-he-wants iPhone coverage.
‘Yi Yi’ Director Edward Yang Dies at 59Taiwanese director Edward Yang, whose 2000 film Yi Yi won the Best Director award at Cannes and Best Film from the National Society of Film Critics, died Friday in Beverly Hills of colon cancer. He was 59.
Tired, Poor, Huddled
Welcome to July 4 week. We suspect it’ll be a slow one in these parts. Nice weather today, at least.
the morning line
• Crime is drastically down so far this year, with the city on track to set a record in 2007: the fewest murders since the police began keeping track in the sixties. An NYU prof credits an NYPD program that sends crowds of rookie cops to bad neighborhoods — and those rookie cops would be the ones they’re now paying $25k. [NYDN]
• Is Joe Bruno the Alan Hevesi of the sky? The state’s top Republican is under investigation for allegedly steering state contracts to associates; now Spitzer is threatening to look into Bruno’s use of state aircraft — and police escorts — to fly to fund-raisers in New York City. [NYP]
• Those new New York City condoms hit 100 of New York’s 325 senior centers last week. The remaining 225 centers — save for seven apparently run by prudes — will get their rubbers this week, along with pamphlets on HIV prevention. [NYP]
• Bloomberg’s new noise code went into effect yesterday. See, isn’t the city nice and quiet now? [NYT]
• And A-Rod’s wife wore a tank top to yesterday’s game bearing the words “Fuck You” on the back. Perhaps it would have been better to convey this message at home? [NYP]
Prince to Give It Away in the U.K.Prince’s new album, Planet Earth, will be given away for free in British newspapers this summer, angering British music retailers, who had hoped to sell the album in exchange for British money, which is called “pounds” instead of “dollars.”
The Other Critics
Anthos Misses Its Mark; Provence’s First RaveUnlike Adam Platt, who thought Anthos inferior to Dona, Frank Bruni likes it better; he seems almost pained to have to deny the place a third star. But the drab room and overwhelmed fish keep Michael Psilakis’s dream of a three-star Greek restaurant from coming true — yet. [NYT]
Related: Greek Revival [NYM]
Time Out’s Randall Lane hits Williamsburg BBQ Fette Sau and is struck by how good some of the meats are, and how unbelievably bad the sauce is. That’s pretty much in keeping with what everybody else has said, but Lane is the first to make much-needed points about the effect of keeping pulled pork exposed in a chafing tray, and how ill-fit pork belly is for the smoke treatment. [TONY]
Related: Fette Sau’s Weird Williamsburg Barbecue Palace [Grub Street]
Moira Hodgson’s rave makes the relaunched Provence sound really, really good — a great omen for their future critical reception. The old Provence was good, but neither the service nor the food was on a level you would want to face a battery of critics with. [NYO]
Odd CouplingsTwo men bought a date with New York Giant Michael Strahan at an auction. Denise Richards and Richie Sambora finally split. Bruce Willis is dating a 23-year-old Playmate. Former HBO exec Chris Albrecht went out on the town with the girl he allegedly assaulted. The Office stars Rashida Jones and John Krasinski may be dating again.
‘Top Chef’ Talbot Out at Spitzer’s Corner; FDA Too Weak EvenTop Chef runner-up Sam Talbot is out at what was to be his debut restaurant, Spitzer’s Corner. [Eater]
The FDA is facing increasing ire about its having largely abdicated its regulatory role. Even the produce industry wants the agency to do its job; suppliers are “virtually begging for stronger intervention.” [NYT]
Salsa mogul gives the Culinary Institute of America $35 million to advance the careers of Latin cooks and kitchen workers and to “deepen the United States’ relationship with food from Latin America.” [NYT]
Did Judy Use ‘Journal’ to Settle a Score?
Leonard Levitt writes a weekly muckraking column about life and issues within the NYPD. In this week’s offering, he connects some interesting dots about Judith Miller’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed defending police brass after revelations that the department spied on peaceful protesters before and during the 2004 Republican convention. The spying program was revealed in March by New York Times reporter Jim Dwyer. Miller’s piece mentioned Dwyer by name and questioned his reporting: “The material this reporter read,” Miller wrote, “does not show that the police monitored such peaceful groups and individuals because they opposed their political views.” What Levitt is the first to note: “Defectors’ Reports on Iraq Arms Were Embellished, Exile Asserts,” one of the numerous stories to eventually debunk Miller’s prewar WMD work, was written by Jim Dwyer. Merely a coincidence, right? —Ben Mathis-Lilley
The NYPD and Judith Miller [NYPD Confidential]
Lifestyles of the Rich
• The Sabhnanis, a “perfume mogul” couple, have allegedly kept two Indonesian women as slaves in their Long Island mansion. Both prisoners appear to have been subjected to systematic torture. And now, this photo of Mrs. Sabhnani will haunt our dreams. [NYP]
• The perpetrator of last week’s unusually intense clothing-store shoplift, which involved a getaway van and left a security guard near death, is an ex-preppie with Exeter and Yale in his past. The immediate moral falls along the lines of “kids, don’t do drugs.” [NYDN]
• Rudy Giuliani juggled a bunch of softball questions in the second Republican debate, somehow managing to clarify his tortured stand on abortion. Best of all, he got to let loose with the I’ve-been-there indignation when a rival suggested a modicum of U.S. culpability for 9/11. [amNY]
• Finally, a co-op dispute starring Bono! The board at San Remo, his CPW abode, has banned the use of fireplaces, yet chimney smoke keeps drifting into the Hewsons’ duplex. Somehow, Bono strikes us as a guy who sits in on every co-op board meeting. [NYT]
• And, XM Radio suspended its “shock jocks” Opie and Anthony for 30 days for their Laura Bush rape bit. What a pity; we were counting on them for a measured and nuanced Jerry Falwell eulogy. [WNBC]