Charlie Gibson’s ‘World News’ Reaches an All-Time LowBut it WAS over the holiday weekend, so we forgive him. Plus, another dude climbs the ‘Times’ building, Lehman considers Jersey, the Plaza has a big flip, and summer associates get down on their knees, in our daily industry report.
Anne Hathaway’s Humiliation Will Go OnThe beloved actress has an interview coming out in the next ‘In Style’ in which she gushes over her disgraced ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri. That, and the rest of today’s gossip in our daily column roundup.
Inside an Apartment in the New PlazaNew York’s real-estate writer S. Jhoanna Robledo recently toured an apartment in the newly renovated Plaza, and our cameras went along. Once the crown jewel of New York hotels, the Plaza went condo in 2005, and its permanent residents enjoy all the amenities of hotel living. This two-bedroom rental is only $16,500 a month, and comes with a mosaic-tile bathroom and maid service. And if you want a drink, the Oak Bar is right downstairs.
Video: Inside the Plaza
Jimmy Cayne Closes on Sweet Plaza PadFormer Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne is apparently feeling pretty mellow about the fact that Bear Stearns stock is at an all-time low; the 74-year-old bridge-master and alleged pothead and his wife, Patricia, just closed on not one but two adjacent apartments at the Plaza for $28.24 million. Altogether, they’ll have 6,000 square feet, plus room service, maid service, and unparalleled views of Central Park. Yeah. And if you think that sounds sick, you should check it out after a few hits of the Purple Haze. Neighbors include foundering real-estate developer Harry Macklowe, Tommy Hilfiger, and a noted egg lover Joanna Cutler. Which reminds us: Cayne might want to be careful when he’s all stoned up and taking out the garbage. We hear that the trash room on that floor can be kind of a bad trip.
Posh Plaza Purchase [PageSix.com]
Earlier: Joanna Cutler Reunited With Egg After Horrifying Ordeal
Socialista Back in Business; 2nd Avenue Deli Still DeliversSocialista, now rid of that pesky hepatitis-A problem, is once again hosting celebs like Sting and Josh Hartnett. [NYP]
Conflict-of-interest alert! The soon-to-be-new president of the Obesity Society had to step down after drawing criticism for his paid consultant work for the restaurant industry, for whom he produced a puzzling affidavit asserting that posting calorie info on menus could have a negative effect on obesity. [NYT]
Good news: The 2nd Avenue Deli still delivers anywhere in town. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
in other news
Real-Estate Broker Joanna Cutler Reunited With Egg After Horrifying OrdealYou won’t believe what happened to top real-estate broker Joanna Cutler! She went through a horrific ordeal! The other night, Joanna went to deposit her trash in the trash room on the fourteenth floor of the Plaza, where she lives, when all of a sudden the door slammed shut behind her and there she was, stranded all alone with a bunch of dirty Lean Cuisine cartons and empty bottles of Chardonnay. She shoved at the door, she told the Post, but it wouldn’t budge. “Then I started using my feet on the door, then banged with my hands, my back, and my butt.… I kept trying to free up whatever was jamming the door with the tips of my fingers. I was trying to slip them underneath the door, but something sharp cut them,” she said. She screamed, but no one heard her. She was alone. But that wasn’t the worst part. No. The worst part, the part that Joanna could not bear, was knowing that she was separated from her Fabergé egg and thinking that she may never see it again, since she had left her apartment door open and thus feared the robbers might come. Joanna loves her Fabergé egg, as you can glean from the photo above; loves it even more, probably, than Astrakhan vests, Versace throw pillows, and the smell of Christian Dior’s Poison. In fact, no one knows this, but she has secretly named the egg Karl. During the seven hours that she stayed awake in what the Post calls her “dank hell,” it was the thought of Karl that kept her alive, until at last a building worker heard her screams and let her out, blinking, into the light.
Horror Night at the Plaza [NYP]
Charlie Trotter Details Emerge; Frank Bruni’s Cross-Country TripThe first details on Charlie Trotter’s still-unnamed restaurant on Madison Square Park emerge: It will have 80 seats as well as a bar and lounge. [NYT]
Merkato 55 may be turning New Yorkers on to African cuisine, but there have been plenty of excellent, albeit under-the-radar, restaurants offering the continent’s cuisine for years. [TONY]
Related: Merkato 55’s Most Popular Dish: Doro Wat
The Modern’s new wine director, Belinda Chang, is the kind of sommelier we want to be someday: “I’m definitely obsessed with magnums. They’re so fun to pour!” [NYS]
The Plaza Will Soon Let You Throw Money at It AgainGowanus: The Gowanus Village is on the market for $27 million, and Curbed has a photo gallery, including shots of the “beautiful canal waterfront.” [Brownstoner]
Lower Manhattan: Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The visitor center down there will have a public program at 7 p.m. in remembrance. [WTC Visitor’s Center]
Midtown: The Plaza’s final opening date is scheduled for March 1. It starts at only $1,000 a night. But that comes with wireless! [NYT]
Stribling’s Luxury Report Says That Triplex on Fifth Isn’t Getting Any CheaperStribling’s Luxury Market report has bad news for buyers, at least if you’re the type who needs three bedrooms and a library on Park. Prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, says Kirk Henckels, director of Stribling Private Brokerage (the luxe firm’s ultraluxe arm), who spoke to us today. Already, there have been four closed sales above $20 million this year — writer Georgia Shreve’s duplex penthouse at 1060 Fifth Avenue that sold for $46 million is one of the more memorable deals, given that it still needs work. And nine more blockbusters are in the offing. (Last year, we had eleven total!) “We’re already ahead of pace,” Henckels says. The under–$20 million market’s also percolating. “There’s just so little [available]. One came on yesterday, and it’s priced significantly higher than one across the street that went for $17 million last year — and it won’t last long.” Why all the action, despite continued ambivalence about the economy’s future? Though some buyers, spooked by talks of a slowdown, may have left the game, plenty are still on the lookout for their next mansion, Henckels says.
Batali’s Celebrity Cookbook; Gisele Offends Football Fans With CabernetFor the second year in a row, Barilla has released a downloadable cookbook featuring Mario Batali’s recipes for cooking for celebs like Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci. You may have to fill out a stupid survey to access it, but for every download Barilla is donating $1 to America’s Second Harvest. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Food Network chef Robert Irvine, whose bulging muscles put together meals on Dinner: Impossible, turns out to be huge liar, having fabricated a past that involves being a knight in England and being a full-fledged White House chef. [St. Petersburg Times via Gawker]
Irritable chef Gordon Ramsay likes to relax with a Sunday supper of roast beef, over which he likes to emphasize manners and social skills with his children. [WSJ]
At the End of the Day, Nicole Kaplan Likes Ring Dings
We told you on Wednesday that Nicole Kaplan was leaving Del Posto for the Plaza, and today we can tell you why: She’s not crazy about cooking Italian food. “I guess I just missed my style; I wasn’t loving Italian food as much as I thought I would. My style is American food with a strong French–training influence.”
Oak Room Gets New Operators; Illegal Fish Trade GrowsNight Sky Holdings, which formerly operated Windows on the World at the World Trade Center as well as the Rainbow Room, has signed a contract to run the Oak Room and the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel. Also, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s former sous-chef Didier Virot will be helming the kitchen at the hotel’s other eatery, the Palm Court. [NYP]
Sushi chef Hiroshi Nakahara has left New York’s BondSt to run the kitchen at a new outpost in Beverly Hills. [PR Newswire]
Chipotle will be serving 200 million meals using naturally raised meat this year, a 40 percent increase from 2007. [The Grinder/Chow]
This Just In: Manhattan Still Expensive!Some of the city’s biggest brokerage firms released their fourth-quarter reports on the Manhattan real-estate market this week. And the news? Holdouts hoping for a slump won’t get their reward quite yet. The breakdown:
• While other cities sink into subprime hell, the borough remains stubbornly bullish, buoyed in part by tight inventory, especially in co-ops. If you’re still looking to buy, an apartment in the borough will set you back an average of nearly $1.44 million, 18 percent more than what you would’ve paid the year before. (That’s according to valuations guru Jonathan Miller’s Prudential Douglas Elliman survey; Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens’ numbers come in slightly under at $1.43 million.)
• Prices were up pretty much across the board, with large spaces being the most in demand. (No surprise, they saw the most gains; according to Miller, three-bedrooms spiked an impressive 39.8 percent in value over the same period the previous year.)
No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for LunchboxGraydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
Who Do You Like?As Indian summer continued its extended run last week, some of the most popular kids in town found themselves getting the cold shoulder. A federal lawsuit charged Bloomberg LP discriminates against pregnant women, and BMOC Mike Bloomberg promptly reminded us that he no longer runs his namesake company. (Later in the week, a little red in the face, he admitted he regularly talks to senior executives there.) Onetime Most Likely to Succeed Barack Obama fell 33 points behind Hillary Clinton in the latest presidential poll.
Fireworks, Cake, Paul Anka: Nothing at the Plaza Could Heal Matthew Broderick’s PainThe Plaza Hotel’s 100th anniversary last night ought to have been a joyous celebration. The Orchestra of St. Luke’s played a forties-Hollywood soundtrack. Yitzhak Tshuva, the Israeli mogul who turned the hotel into condos, smiled and laughed among some 200 family members and his favorite singer, Paul Anka. Gucci brought really cool fireworks — they even shot rockets off the roof of the building — and a twelve-foot, one-ton Ron Ben-Israel cake in the building’s image was admired and then eaten. And it was good. And yet, Matthew Broderick, there to toast the happy occasion, could barely contain his sorrow.