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Downtown Designer Gordon Hull Is a Burger Lover, But at What Price?

Gordon Hull, founder of downtown design collective Surface to Air, proves that “not all hipsters are vegan” (per the headline of a men.style.com video) by riding around in a limo visiting Burger Joint, Rare View, and Corner Bistro. The feel-good video curiously doesn’t mention that about four years ago Hull founded an underground burger club that had its own salute, a screening process that measured a potential recruit’s “burgability” based on questions such as “How many burger joints can you name in ten seconds?,” and a demerit system that resulted in the expulsion of certain members of the club when they failed to show for monthly “meatings.” Sounds cute, right? Except that we’ve heard from disgruntled members that Hull became “drunk with power” and ended up alienating more than one burger lover by enforcing these rules quite stringently and using the club as a vehicle for self-promotion. But, hey, it seems to have worked! See, Not All Hipsters Are Vegan [Men.Style.com]

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The Night We Shared a Moment With ‘The Captain’

Captain
We had just arrived at Morandi last night when a pair of older, Sopranos-looking gentlemen sitting at the end of the bar got into a spat with some other patrons and stomped out. "You wanna start something with me?" the one with a pompadour snarled. "C'mon, Paulie, let's get outta here," his friend said, and they slammed their glasses down and stomped out. "Weird," our friend said, as we settled into their seats. "Do you think Keith McNally paid those guys to be here, like Tony n' Tina's Wedding?" But we were too distracted to ponder this possibility, because right then, at the other end of the bar, directly in our line of vision, was a face that over the past five months and five days we had come to know, and indeed, to love. "Look," we whispered to our friend. "It's The Captain."

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No Ssäm at Ssäm Bar; Neighbors Oppose Carroll Gardens Restaurant

Astoria: Oleput reopened. But does it have a liquor license? [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Residents are opposed to a bar and grill next to Black Mountain Wine House. [Brooklyn Paper] East Village: Is ssäm off the menu at Ssäm Bar? [Eater] Gowanus: Look for a new coffee-and-sandwich shop called the Crooked Tail Café coming soon to Third Avenue and President Street. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: One patron at Greenpoint Coffeehouse wants his anti-brunch message heard. [New York Shitty] Midtown: Combine dinner with people-watching at the food court at Grand Central Station. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Village: The panini at ’ino are salty and sweet. [Gothamist]

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Artist Ingo Maurer's Electric Table

If you haven't made it up to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to check out Ingo Maurer's majestic installation of nearly 40 years of engrossing, cutting-edge light design, book it uptown — you only have until Sunday!

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Alan Cumming, Reporter

Cumming
We know Alan Cumming has had sex with journalists. But would he ever like to try being a journalist, like Naomi Campbell, who recently interviewed Hugo Chavez for British GQ? "I'd love to ask certain questions to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama," he said at the launch of the Italian Commission's Made in Italy ad campaign at the Hearst tower. "I'd like to know where they stand on equal rights for gay people. I'd also like to interview George Bush, just to watch him squirm." (Maybe he could ask him, "You're into your cock, aren't you?") But what about the people who really matter?, we pressed. Which celebrities would he like to interview? "I'd like to find out who all those blonde girls are — there's a whole lot of them who look the same, the ones from The Hills, and that Hayden, um, Pan-i-tare? She's everywhere," he said. "And who's that one, that Kim Ka-shi-shen?" Kardashian? We said. The one who made a sex tape with Brandy's brother and now has a TV show? "Yes! My friend told me she's a skanky whore, and I'm like, 'Wow, she's a lot more interesting than I thought she was.'" Like any ambitious reporter, Cumming would like to land the big story. "I'd love to interview Britney," he said wistfully. Then he changed his mind. "But I'd rather her do it with one of those E! TV people, or Oprah." That's it, Alan Cumming will take care of Hillary and Barack. Let the professionals handle Britney. —Amy Preiser

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Meatpacking Mainstay Florent May Close in May

Yesterday Eater broke news that Florent’s landlord has been showing the building to potential tenants (Eater originally misidentified the landlord, so take that rumor for what it’s worth). Florent’s future has been tenuous for some time now — a June 2007 Daily News item mentions owner Florent Morellet trying to renegotiate his lease while neighbors closed shop. We’re hearing from one source that Florent’s lease is up in May, after which Florent will close. Another source says that Morellet planned to sell the business because his health is worsening (his T-cell count is displayed on one of the menu boards). So was it the Florent space that Anthony Martignetti was referring to when he told us he was considering opening a restaurant near Pastis? Who knows, it may also have been the old Rhone space, abandoned by Double Seven. Morellet wasn’t available for comment today, but we’ll keep you posted on what may be a double blow (remember, Passerby will soon close) to the meatpacking district. Update: Asked whether Anthony Martignetti is considering the Florent space, a rep tells us she has no new information at this time. Note: She didn't say, “No.” Related: SHOCK CLAIM: Florent Restaurant to Close This Year? [Eater] Paris Shaped by the Pen [NYDN] Earlier: Anthony Martignetti Plots a New Restaurant Over Croissants at Pastis Passerby Hasn’t Quite Passed On

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Col Allan Is Not Afraid of Mary-Kate Olsen!

Col Allan Mary Kate

Following our post this morning about how the Post's story on Mary-Kate Olsen being questioned by police turned out to be wrong, we just received this statement from Post editor-in-chief Col Allan, via e-mail:
We confirmed this story last night with an impeccable source inside the NYPD and we stand by our reporting. Almost immediately after the tragic passing of Mr. Ledger, Ms. Olsen’s attorneys began emailing us threatening letters. As has been well reported, there were a number of calls to Ms. Olsen from the masseuse before the NYPD arrived on the scene. We would find it strange if Ms. Olsen were not questioned at all. The New York Post will not be pressured and we find it odd that the chiefs at the NYPD appear to be terrified of 4-foot-11 inch, 90-pound Mary Kate Olsen.
Classic. Related: In Ledger Mystery, ‘Post’ Goes After Mary-Kate. Cops, Not as Much

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Skeletons Found in Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village: Renovations in Washington Square Park have uncovered human remains, and not for the first time in the park's history: The site used to be a graveyard for the poor. [Gothamist] Bedford-Stuyvesant: You all know cool little Brownstone Books in Stuy Heights, right? Well, it's going to take over the bookstore at BAM, too. Wowza. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Carroll Gardens: Some streets here will probably be reclassified as "narrow," rather than "wide," in order to impose new building-height limitations in these quaint parts. [Gowanus Lounge]

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