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The Eternal Smile

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She Was a Day-tripper, Ferry Driver, Yeah!

Coney Island: "Imagine getting on a ferry at Hunt's Point for a day trip" here! That's what Christine Quinn floated yesterday in her big speech. Could it really happen? [Kinetic Carnival] East Village: McMansion mogul Robert Toll's 27-year-old NYU social-work-student son Jacob lives with two of his buds in a $2.2 million condo in his dad's glossy new One Ten 3rd building. How will he pay that mortgage on a social worker's salary? (Cue cynical chortles.) [NYO] Midtown: Wouldn't it be cool if the retired math professor who nearly died of a bondage incident in a sex club here could get his wife in on his S&M thing instead of having to shamefully confess it to her in the Post? Now he's vowing to break his addiction. Why not just go safe, sane, and consensual? [Gothamist]

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Breaking: Beard Nominees Sent to Judges

James Beard Award judges just received their “long lists” — the nominees from which the five finalists in all nineteen categories are drawn. So if you’re not on this list, you’re out. We got a copy as well, so look for your name after the jump.

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UBS Replaces Old Jerk With New Jerker

Jerker
Jerker Johansson, a 22-year veteran of Morgan Stanley and a close ally of former Morgan Stanley co-president Zoe Cruz, who was fired in December, was named the head of UBS's investment-banking operations this morning. He takes over from Huw Jenkins, who left in October after write-downs due to the subprime crisis, and CEO Marcel Rohner, who was serving as the interim head and who last month had the pleasure of announcing the largest-ever quarterly loss by a bank. Also, he is Swedish. Okay, let's face it: Dude will be based in London, so it's not like we care about him that much. We just wanted to say, Jerker. Jerker, Jerker, Jerker. Heh. UBS Names Johansson Chief for Investments [WSJ]

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The Last Days of Café Gray?

Café Gray’s days at the Time Warner Center may be numbered, sources tell us. It’s not clear whether the move, if it comes, stems from the building’s sky-high rent (which doomed Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s V Steakhouse) or because the chef has something else planned. Kunz, for his part, denies that he is going anywhere. "This rumor is completely unfounded," he says, "and business has been brisk." So if Café Gray does vacate, who can handle the tower? We hear a prominent Italian restaurant will fill the Café Gray space. You'll know more when we do.

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The $4 Di Fara Slice: We Break It Down

Dom De Marco raised the price of a Di Fara's slice to $4, and Chowhounders are aghast, reports Slice's Adam Kuban. But do the accusations of making a quick buck lobbed against the Saint of Avenue J have any merit? We did a little research into the cost of ingredients at Di Fara and confirmed our suspicion that De Marco doesn't make much money.

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Rosé-Sparkler Tastings in Clinton Hill; Eat Cake, Not Dinner for Valentine’s Day

Chelsea: The former Daniele’s Piadina space on 22nd Street east of Sixth Avenue sat empty for two years, but it will reopen as a sandwich shop called Ashby’s on Monday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines is hosting a rosé-sparkler tasting tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and bottles of those sample selections are 10 percent off. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: The ‘D’ Space Restaurant at Jay and Front streets serves Indian buffet, but will it raise the bar on local delivery options? [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Shaffer City Oyster Bar & Grill will close February 23 and reopen in March as Flatiron Joe’s with cheaper American fare and a jukebox. [Zagat] Fort Greene: In her list of last-minute Valentine’s Day options, Danyelle Freeman recommends Cake Man Raven if you want to "just forget dinner and grab a few whopping slices of the decadent red velvet cake that made this bakery famous." [Restaurant Girl] Soho: In honor of this romantic week, it’s only right that bananas (and resulting desserts around town) are celebrated for being "not only insanely phallic but also brimming with potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for keeping your sex drive going." But you don’t have to tell your date that after deciding to share Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s top-rated banana split. [Gridskipper] West Village: Pig's-feet and collagen temple Hakata TonTon has been closed by the Department of Health. [Eater]

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Jason F. Is Called ‘Douche’ by His Friends

Question Man
We admit it. We read Portfolio's story on Outsourcing Valentine's Day twice before we realized it was written by the comedian Andy Borowitz and therefore, totally fake. Yes, we're gullible. But aren't magazines supposed to put disclaimers on this stuff nowadays? Especially when they have paragraphs such as this?
Jason F., a risk arbitrageur whose friends call him “Douche” relates a cautionary tale. “My assistant spent weeks researching the perfect gift for my girlfriend and chose a Givenchy handbag that matched her eye color. But as soon as my girlfriend unwrapped it, she smelled a rat — so much thought had gone into it, she knew that I couldn’t have been involved.”
Okay, a Givenchy handbag that matched her eye color — that, we don't buy. But a hedge-fund guy named Jason F. whose friends call him "Douche"? That sounds completely plausible. In fact, we bet that some of you readers know guys named Jason F that are — or should be — called "Douche." Submit their names in comments below. Outsource Valentine's Day [Portfolio]

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The Multi-Orgasmic Woman Test-driving a Potential New Boyfriend

Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek at what your friends and neighbors are doing behind doors left slightly ajar. Today, the Multi-Orgasmic Woman Test-driving a Potential New Boyfriend: 23, female, Greenwich Village, straight. DAY ONE 5 a.m.: Suffering from insomnia, horny. Contemplate how I’ve been single for over a year after an intense three-year relationship, burnt out on casual/drunk/let’s-just-be-fuck-buddies sex. Realize Potential New Boyfriend is just finishing his shift at Über-trendy restaurant. Send booty-call text. 6 a.m.: Potential BF arrives smelling like truffle oil. He suggests he shower, I respond by yanking him on top of me. He tastes like red wine. Excellent sex ensues.

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Batali Calls Out Bloggers, Gordon Ramsay

Gawker unearths a choice quote from Guardian critic Jay Rayner’s forthcoming book The Man Who Ate the World. Excoriating bloggers, Mario Batali tells Rayner:
“It’s just people who hate things. But you know what? If they don’t like my beef cheek ravioli and the rock-and-roll we play on the sound system at Babbo, they can suck my dick. I don’t care.”
Except for the fellatio part, this pretty much jives with what he has told us in the past. Upon reading the book, we found it even more interesting that Batali, immediately before criticizing blogger/haters, decided to call out Gordon Ramsay.

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Karlie Kloss Is Fashion Week’s Top Model

All Fashion Week we’ve pitted the bright-eyed rookies against the familiar runway beauties to determine the Model of the Week. Once again, our complex algorithm took into account the number of each model’s openings and closings at big shows as well as a general buzz factor in the tents.

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Union Rat Invades Gramercy Park, Emerges Victorious

Edwin Booth

After two weeks of unsightly picketing and the (even more unwelcome) presence of a giant inflatable union rat in genteel Gramercy Park, Local 6 of Unite Here and the Players Club reached an agreement Friday afternoon. It reinstates sixteen union members from the club's restaurant and bar operations who were fired as a cost-cutting measure. John Turchiano, a union spokesman, said the terminated union members return to work today with back pay. "They got everything they wanted, and now we will sit down with management and try out to work out any financial difficulty now that they're abiding by an arbiter's ruling," he said, referring to an arbiter's January 15 ruling ordering the Players Club to reinstate the terminated employees with back pay.

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