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West Chelsea

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Mansion’s House Is Not Entirely in Order

Last week we brought news that the Crobar space is set to reopen (with sex toys!) as Mansion. But before we celebrate the return of big clubbing to Manhattan, let’s remember this: The space is operating under a SAPA letter that allows the club to serve alcohol, despite its expired liquor license, while the State Liquor Authority considers whether to renew its license. Obviously the new owners are banking on the fact that Crobar’s alleged violations in 2006 — including inadequate supervision, five noise violations, three assaults, and eight instances of drugs on premise — won’t cause the SLA to revoke the license. However, a spokesman for the SLA says that revocation is a possibility. Though the community board has previously indicated a willingness to work with Opium Group (whose owner Eric Milon is, ironically, a teetotaler), district spokesman Bob Banfatto says the board has not made a recommendation to the SLA and doesn’t expect to until after the SAPA investigation is resolved. That could be a matter of months, but we’ll let you know if there’s anything new after one of the violations is addressed in an SLA meeting this Wednesday. ABC’s Notice of Pleading for Crobar/Pink Elephant Related: Mansion Will Bring Sex Toys to Crobar’s Old Home Next Friday Community Board Stymies Crobar's Plan to Reopen

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Cameron Diaz to Invade Chelsea

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Cameron Diaz is looking to buy an apartment in West Chelsea and also hooked up with Felicity's Scott Speedman in the Bahamas. Samantha Stein-Wells, daughter of murdered real-estate broker Linda Stein, is turning her 35th birthday into a charity event in her mom's name. Padma Lakshmi told Dave Zinczenko that she'd cover her body in chocolate if he put her on the cover of Men's Health. Portfolio magazine named Newsweek fashion scribe Dana Thomas its European editor. Michelle Williams has pulled out of her upcoming movie with Ryan Gosling because she's too beat up over Heath Ledger's death. Maybe-pregnant Angelia Jolie went shopping at a baby boutique in Tribeca.

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Suzie Wong Gives Us a Case of Déjà Vu

When we first told you about Suzie Wong, the lounge “nightlife lord” JE Englebert and his partners are opening this Thursday in their old Pre:Post space at 547 West 27th Street, we noted that Lotus once had a café named after the fictitious hooker with a heart of gold. That said, you’d think Lord Englebert would make sure his logo looks nothing like Lotus’s! Or are we the only ones who see the resemblance? And are we the only ones who are hesitant to visit a sake lounge that spells it “saki”? Sure, it’s technically an acceptable alternative, but we’re not surprised it’s the preferred spelling of someone whose other club is Myst [sic]. Earlier: Club to Open in (Rather Than Flee) West Chelsea

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Cobble Hill Shall Only Remain Yea High

Cobble Hill: In a last-minute about-face, Councilman Bill De Blasio said he'll vote to deny developer Two Trees the right to build ten feet over the height limit in the quaint hood. [Brooklyn Eagle] Coney Island: The deal has been inked, folks. Starting in March, Astroland will be open for one more season before the bulldozers roll in. [NYDN] Flushing: Yeah, we know this blog features hideous new architecture around Queens every day, but these specimens are particularly heinous. What's that thing atop the building in the first picture, a big brick handle? [Queens Crap]

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Club to Open in (Rather Than Flee) West Chelsea

Thought West Chelsea was dead? John “JE” Englebert and his partners at Pre:Post, Retox, and Myst (where Flava Flav hosts a party this Saturday!) apparently disagree: In October they’ll open a 4,000-square-foot lounge called Suzie Wong’s (no relationship to the restaurant, also serving light Asian fare, in London, or the late-night cafe that used to be in Lotus). They’re not saying where in the neighborhood it’ll go, but we’re thinking it won’t be the Cain space: We wouldn’t be surprised if it replaced Pre:Post just like Myst and Retox replaced their onetime club Quo. The fact that the waitresses will be dressed as geishas is nothing new — remember the ones at G Lounge? (Probably not) — but there is one relative novelty: JE is avoiding the bottle-service route by simply charging a $50 table fee that will include a bottle of sake and a platter of appetizers. Call it bottle service 2.0.

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West Chelsea Car-Elevator Apartments: Going Down?

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No doubt you remember the hype: Architect Annabelle Selldorf's design for 200 Eleventh Avenue included private car elevators, which would lift owners, still in their vehicles, to their apartments. Selldorf was allegedly inspired by the body-shop flatlands of West Chelsea, but it was no coincidence that this extra layer of privacy made the building attractive to celebrities; there was a report that Madonna was scouting a unit. But now the Fire Department might put an end to all that fun. Howard Hill, FDNY's chief of fire prevention, in early February wrote to the city's Buildings Department, to object to the plan. "For obvious life-safety reasons," he wrote, "this design concept and use should be prohibited."

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French ‘Vision Machine’ Starts Rising in Chelsea

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"Nothing has ever been built like it in NYC," says Jean Nouvel's publicist of a project the French starchitect has designed for 19th Street and the West Side Highway, and though it's a publicist's job to say that, she might actually be right. Nouvel, a perennially mentioned Pritzker Prize contender, announced that construction has begun — and released the first renderings — on the same day Richard Rogers won the 2007 prize. Is it a recyclable takeout rice container? No, it's a "Vision Machine," an energy-efficient skyscraper in which, to quote the publicist, "every single pane has been figured out to correspond to an interior space and no two are alike."

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A Different Kind of Glass Tower for Chelsea

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A sales office opened today for — surprise, surprise — a luxury condo building at 459 West 18th Street, and it's a glass-sheet building worth noting both for what it is and who's building it. While most of the city's megabucks glass-façade condos hide occupants and cover hurry-up construction with ornamental window barriers, this one gives glass a fresh role: using huge panes to push out like stages rather than hang like curtains. Perhaps the architecture's interesting because the project, by the Dumbo firm Della Valle Bernheimer, is the very rare case where the architect is also serving as developer. "We emphasized it as a view tunnel north and south by keeping living and dining rooms as clean as possible," says Jared Della Valle. From the street, Della Valle says, the huge glass insertions — delivered from China, where they've got the capacity to produce at that size — should reflect sunlight and emphasize connections between occupants and passersby. "It's meant to disarm people," he says. Okay. Disarmed or not, we think the renderings (there's another after the jump) look pretty cool. —Alec Appelbaum

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Danny Meyer May Not Be So Down on New Restaurants After All

Eater is reporting that Danny Meyer is preparing to start building a new restaurant at 100 Eleventh Avenue in West Chelsea, to be opened sometime in 2009. If true, color us unsurprised! When Danny Meyer tells you in an interview that “I haven’t opened a new restaurant since 2004. I just want to keep getting more deeply into the ones I do have right now,” take it with a grain of fleur de sel. You don't get a world-class restaurant empire by showing your cards to everybody who asks. Update: The hospitality king is sticking to his story: “This is not a deal I even knew we were contemplating,” Meyer tells us. “It’s unbelievable! I have a partner whose full-time job consists of looking for these projects, and this is not something I even remember us having a lengthy conversation about.” West Chelsea Slated to Get a Danny Meyer Restaurant [Eater] Earlier: Danny Meyer on Shake Shack 2.0

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Crobar's Second Verse: Same as the First

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With BED freshly closed and rumors floating that Bungalow and Cain are looking to flee West 27th Street, it's good to know Crobar, for one, is soldiering forward. It reopened last weekend as a new venue — now it's called Studio Mezmor — and it's doing double duty as an arts and events studio, and possibly a rock venue. (Don't tell that to the Bowery Ballroom guys, who are looking to open a music venue in the space that once housed Exit.) But other than the name, not a lot has changed. A few columns have been knocked down, sound systems upgraded, and the annex that was once cluttered with bamboo reeds will now be called the SideBar. The picture above is of the new, awfully familiar-looking VIP mezzanine. After the jump, the new, even more familiar dance floor. —Daniel Maurer CORRECTION, Feb. 22: We've been informed that the above photograph is actually of the SideBar, which does indeed look quite different now that the bamboo has been chucked. Which basically undermines our whole argument here. Sorry about that.

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Drug Business Picks Up in West Chelsea

Brooklyn Heights: A restaurant owner accuses his former partner of anti-Semitism. Their restaurant was Kosher. Rim shot! [The Brooklyn Paper] Hell's Kitchen: Conjure your inner urban planner on Saturday afternoon by suggesting new designs for too-busy intersections. [Streetsblog] Midtown East: Gotham Book Mart has gone fishing for good. Now it's for sale. [Curbed] West Chelsea: Call your dealer! Sol and Crobar will reopen this weekend. [Brooklyn Vegan] Williamsburg: The four condo towers of "The Edge" will start construction in February. If you weren't already sure it's over, it is. [I'm Not Sayin, I'm Just Sayin via Gowanus Lounge]

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Cain's Not Moving, Just Expanding to the Bahamas

Earlier this week a broker revealed to us that GoldBar, the new project from Cain's Robert McKinley and Jamie Mulholland, would resemble Pangea, prompting a PR rep to vehemently disagree. "Whoever said anything about bottle service?" the rep writes. "Couldn't be farther from what this project is about." (No word, of course, on what it is about.) Meanwhile, Mulholland himself refuted industry rumors that Cain is considering a move from West 27th Street, saying business is stronger than ever and he looks at three or four spaces a week only because "it's good to have your ears to the ground." One move we can tell you to expect: If all goes as planned, a Cain Beach Club will be opening in the new Cove luxury hotel complex on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Now we know where Bobby Flay, who's opening a Mesa Grill on the island, will be throwing down. —Daniel Maurer Earlier: Cain's Secret Project to Bring a Whole Lotta Bling to Little Italy

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Ah, to Quaff Eggnog Fireside in Long Island

For an entire year, this thread on Mouthfuls has been tracking the best of the Upper West Side. It's all wrapped up in this year-end post. [Mouthfuls] A quick roundup of new West Chelsea eateries. [NYT] Hankering for a meal by a roaring fireplace? [NYP] Related: Have Dinner With an Old Flame If you do wind up sitting by a fire, you're going to want some eggnog. [NYDN] New cookbooks that make fine gifts. [NYDN] Related: New Cookbooks You Might Actually Open Even in Long Island, people like to eat Christmas dinner out. [Newsday]

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