In a world where the ongoing Red Sox–Yankees “saga” is rudely interrupted by the Tampa Bay Rays, it is no wonder that the artificial construction of a Mets-Phillies rivalry has been so labored and dogged.
Richard Gere has put his apartment in Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi on the market, private-equity execs come down to earth, Sam Zell continues to be wacky, and Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein fight like a couple of queens over 'Project Runway' in our daily roundup of real-estate, finance, media and law news.
Manhattan Moms, an East Coast equivalent of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County, will premiere early next year. A lot of the city's foremost graffiti artists congregated for a book party at Auto in the meatpacking district. Billy Joel is in talks with the Mets to perform a bunch of gigs at Shea Stadium. George Steinbrenner will have a high school named after him in Tampa. Padma Lakshmi was rude to the staff at Soho eatery Fiamma, but Martha Stewart overtipped and was nice. CNN gave out an award to someone for forcing "one of the world's largest oil corporations to pay more than $6 billion to clean up toxic waste in the Amazon rain forest," but didn't name Chevron as the company because they are an advertiser.
There’s no doubt that when the new Meadowlands launches two years hence, the food will be a huge upgrade from the current swill. But will it match the heavenly food court that Citi Field (a.k.a. the new Shea) has in store? No chance, a source close to the action tells us. While both venues are powered by the need to feed luxury-box owners, Citi Field is open to multiple restaurateurs. So not only will there be a Shake Shack and another TBA Danny Meyer restaurant, but Mets fans might also get a Batali-Bastianich joint and a Myriad Restaurant Group offering.
Clinton Hill: Bittersweet has tasty coffee and Balthazar pastries, but there’s no guarantee you’ll pass Keri Russell while you’re there. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Gemma to diners: no I.D., no liquor. [Down by the Hipster]
Flushing: Aramark denies that Shake Shack is in the works for Citi Field. [Food Writer’s Diary] We stand by our story.
Upper East Side: Greek diner Gardenia Cafe has been open since 1977, but the lure of real-estate cash-money has finally led its owners to close. [NYT]
West Village: Crispy Pig’s Ears! Blueberry & Banana French Toast with Crème Fraîche! We have Spotted Pig’s new menus. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: Kitchen Delight on North 8th Street offers the standard burgers and fries alongside a questionable menu item: “Lap Dances.” [Newyorkshitty]
• While A.G. Andrew Cuomo was investigating him, Eliot Spitzer gagged two aides by quickly designating them "special counsels" — which bestowed lawyer-client privilege on their internal chats. Clever, and ever so slightly nauseating. [NYP]
This just in via e-mailed press release: The space formerly known as the Theater at Madison Square Garden, formerly known as the Paramount Theater and even more formerly as the Felt Forum, will now be known as the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. "The name of The Theater will be changed immediately," the release reports, and the deal will include signage throughout the Garden and eleven WaMu ATMs at the venue. (Please tell us this doesn't mean the end of the Chase machines near the Seventh Avenue entrance. WaMu, as we discovered the other night, is now up to a $2 charge for using its ATMs. So much for the buck-fifty stopping there.) Six months ago, the city's three major sports venues — the Garden, Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium, — remained proudly unsponsored. Now the Garden's got WaMu, at least peripherally, Shea's gone Citi, and only one question remains: Which bank will meet Steinbrenner's price? Full press release is after the jump.
• In a turnaround from yesterday, Miss America will testify as a witness in the eleven court cases she helped build by playing a 14-year-old in a televised Long Island sex-sting op. [WNBC]
• The Mets fan who used a powerful flashlight to blind a Braves pitcher has been sentenced to fifteen days behind bars — and a lifetime ban from Shea Stadium — after pleading guilty to "interfering with a sporting event." [NYP]
• Speaking of the Mets, Citi Field now has its own Daniel Goldstein: One (and perhaps the only) inhabitant of Willets Point's "Iron Triangle," 74-year-old Joe Ardizzone, is refusing to relocate and make way for the stadium. [amNY]
• After losing half his blood and breaking a bunch of bones in an SUV crash, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine requested yesterday to be fined for not wearing a seat belt. Today, he is exactly $46 dollars poorer and, presumably, happier. [NYT]
• Here's someone who won't be requesting a ticket: A Queens burglary suspect, fleeing from cops in a stolen SUV, rammed into a bus carrying disabled students. Oh, yes, the apartment he burglarized? A police officer's. [NYDN]
In April, it'll be 60 years since Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, but as the scholarship foundation in his name gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday to hand out awards to modern-day African-American pioneers like Spike Lee, Merrill Lynch chairman and CEO Stan O'Neal, and BET founder Sheila C. Johnson, the speeches were mostly about how little race relations in this country have changed. MC Bill Cosby advised one black college student there to change his last name from Robinson to Robinsky. "They'll think you're white!" Cosby said. "How do you think Stan O'Neal got ahead? They thought he was an Irishman." After the jump, Jackie's daughter Sharon, an educational consultant for Major League Baseball, answers a few pressing questions.
It's October in this baseball-obsessed city, and for one final game, at least, the Mets are the only show in town. But what about the food? The Gobbler (whose sad fate it was to grow up rooting for the Washington Senators) made his way out to Shea Stadium the other evening for one of the recent playoff games. It's good to go to a ball game, of course. But the real purpose of the visit was to overdose on foot-long hot dogs (by Nathan's), to drown in tepid buckets of Bud Lite, to addle himself with withered chicken tenders and $8.50 containers of "Nacho Supreme."