Food Candy is as simple as a baked potato: It's the Foodie Friendster (or, as you cutting-edge types would probably prefer, MySpace). The strange thing about the site is how happy, normal, and attractive the people look. Can these really be the same hard-core geeks that we've eaten with? Or is this the food version of JDate, which for the longest time showed you pictures of one Sarah Silverman after another, only to deliver Golda Meirs? We appreciate how the site brings together established bloggers like Daisy Martinez with obscure but worthy writers we didn't know about, like the farm-loving Pease Porridge and the admirably focused Burrito Blog. (Restaurant Girl and Famous Fat Dave had already made fans of us.) We just hope this social phenomenon reflects the foodie community's increasing obsessiveness, not some attempt at reintegrating with normal human society.
It's always a sad day for Francophiles and nostalgists when yet another beloved old-school French restaurant shutters its doors, but in the case of Provence — which served its last bowl of bouillabaisse on Saturday — it could be a lot worse.
Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer, the owners of Cookshop and Five Points, have taken over the space with plans to completely gut the kitchen, redo the dining room, put in a raw bar, and reopen by January as — guess what? — a nice French restaurant called Provence.
Early and Often brings the exciting news that state comptroller Alan Hevesi's name has received the greatest of honors. It has been verbed. To "hevesi" apparently means "to illegally convert governmental assets or resources to one's personal use; and, when caught, to offer to make full restitution and public apology."
It also reminded us of another issue we've had about Hevesi's whole hevesi-ing episode. Namely, that he claimed he'd used the state employee to chauffeur his wife both due to security concerns and also because his wife is — as all the papers say — "ailing." Why is the comptroller so concerned for his wife's safety? And, more intriguingly, what ails Carol Hevesi?
• Bruni dropped in on a restaurant wearing a fanny pack and riding a scooter? No wonder he needed some R&R. [Eater]
• davidburke & donatella gets a new chef de cuisine (Eric Hara, doing bacon-wrapped duck) and pastry chef (Monica Bellissimo, standing by her egg cream in an eggshell). [NYO]
• Some October-November openings via ZagatWire: The former Tocqueville space is turning Japanese; Anne Burrell, sous-chef to Batali on Iron Chef, takes over the kitchen at Centro Vinoteca. [Zagat]
• John LaFemina of Ápizz and the Orchard recounts the joy of applying for a liquor license in an excerpt from the forthcoming A Man and His Meatballs. [Eater]
For a very long time at Shea Stadium last night, nothing happened. Pitchers Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver defied age and mediocrity, respectively, and went back and forth like Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson. Albert Pujols, the world's best hitter (and, according to scientists, the fastest finger-tapper since Babe Ruth), struck out and lined out. The Mets took turns politely grounding out to second base. It started raining. Ugly Betty pulled at the remote from two channels up. You could feel the crowd getting more and more nervous the longer Glavine pitched — it was like watching the makeout scene in a horror movie.
Then, finally, something did happen, the first potentially defining moment of the Mets' playoffs.
• Blackouts, school closings, downed trees and power lines — and that's just on the first day of snow! Bewildered Buffalo registers two feet of the white stuff, making for the snowiest October day on record. An auspicious beginning, that. [AP via NYT]
• Hey, you know what hasn't happened on the Upper East Side in a while, if by "a while" you mean 48 hours? Raging flames and mass evacuations. Behold, then, a three-alarm fire in a historic — and thankfully unoccupied — townhouse on 70th and Park, six blocks from the Lidle crash and eight blocks from the Bartha place. Does God not like UES anymore? [AP via amNY]
• Istithmar, a Dubai-based investment firm, buys the W Hotel in Union Square, paying a per-room rate that beats the prices paid for the Plaza and the Essex House. The company already owns the Knickerbocker and Helmsley hotels and could well be the final bidders for Stuy Town. Cue the eighties-style the-foreigners-are-taking-over-New York hysteria. [NYS]
• Some Muslims are reportedly offended by the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue, finding its architecture too similar to the Ka'ba, the sacred edifice in Mecca. They should see the Rubik's Cube. [ZDNet via Curbed]
• And Con Ed has released a "definitive," 600-page report on the July blackout in Queens. We'll only need six words to capture the gist. It was all someone else's fault. The cited number of affected customers (6,800) also differs wildly from the city estimates (over 100,000). Damage control? On it. [WNBC]
We're not saying they're open to the public, and we're not saying you'll necessarily be able to get in if you show up. But here are the big-name parties on tap for tonight. Expect to hear about them in the next few days' gossip columns.
Only a few days in, we've already figured out that the New York party scene seems to support three distinct boldface events a night. There's one for Hollywood types, moguls, and Lou Reed; there's one for socialites, fashionistas, and their patrons; and there's one for people who surreptitiously scan Us Weekly looking for their own names. Events in this last category typically seem to be planned by people who didn't quite "get" Zoolander. Beyond these, it's all desperate gimmicks swimming in search of party reporters. Without further comment, then, tonight's events:
• 2006 Directors Guild of America Honors. DGA Theatre, 110 W. 57th St., nr. Sixth Ave., 6 p.m. Promised guests: Don Cheadle, Danny Glover, Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford, Jack Valenti, Michael Apted, Julie Taymor, and, sadly, not Lou Reed.
Mayor Bloomberg and his St. Louis counterpart, Francis Slay, have made the traditional my-sports-team-is- taking-on-your-sports-team-so-let's-show-off-our-local- delicacies bet, dependent on the fate of the Mets-Cardinals series (finally) kicking off tonight, as Gothamist notes this afternoon.
So what are the local delicacies in question? Should the Cards win, Bloomberg will send over a tasty — if not quite healthy — Big Apple cornucopia: Italian subs from Leo's Latticini and Mama's of Corona, ice cream from Eddie's Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, a pizza alla vodka and the Smokin' Goodfella pizza from Goodfella's Pizzeria on Staten Island, a case of Brooklyn Lager, and a tub of lemon ice from the Lemon Ice King in Corona. Generous, right? Now consider what Mayor Slay is promising Bloomberg in the event of a Mets win: "two Imo's thin-style pizzas, toasted ravioli from the Pasta House Company, and a gift basket from Bissinger's Chocolate." Is it our imagination, or is that obviously stingy? And, more than that, does it have anything to do with the Gateway to the West? Come on, St. Louis, throw in some barbecue or custard or something.
A Nelly CD, at least?
Mayor Bloomberg and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay Announce Friendly Wager on National League Championship Series [NYC.gov]
Mr. Met Wants A Better Bet Friendly Wager [Gothamist]