You know what's wrong with society today? This: Even the dude photographed in Central Park for a New Yorkers–are–relaxing–on–a-sunny–summer–Friday beauty shot is busy working on his cell phone and laptop. Well, that and the Bush administration.
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Is a commercial-property baron in the Fire Island Pines micromanaging his cute young staffers' personal lives like an old-school MGM matron? A few years ago, gay fortysomething developer Eric von Kuersteiner bought, for a rumored $7 million, most of the cedar-shingled business strip that abuts the Pines' ferry landing. Each summer, he hires a slew of twentysomething male hotties, many of them out-of-towners, to bartend and wait tables (often shirtless) at his establishments, most notably the Pavilion, a late-night disco. But several longtime Pines-goers and former staffers say that he forbids the boys from entering a neighboring rival club, Sip 'n' Twirl, off hours. They also allege that Von Kuersteiner discourages them from dating patrons, fires them capriciously, and kicks them out of his housing and off the island.
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We can't decide if this dude — photographed by dedicated Daily Intel reader Simon Curtis last night at Broadway and West 55th Street — is actually, really, legitimately working from his car (which would be kind of cool), making some sort of statement on America's automobile culture or the high rents in midtown Manhattan (which would be less cool but still sort of interesting), or simply engaging in a PR stunt (in which case we've been suckered). It was a nice night for it, at least.
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Back in October, the Observerreported that third-time's-the-charm Radar magazine was thisclose to moving into a permanent office. And it wasn't just any office; the space near Columbus Circle was home to Esquire until the new Hearst Tower opened. “I think it’s all but signed,” Radar editor Maer Roshan said at the time, noting that old Esquire posters still dotted the walls and that the space came with "the apparatus of making magazines." But he also told Off the Record reporter Michael Calderone that he wasn't taking the space in an attempt to ape the venerable men's mag's success: "I’m a great fan of Esquire, but it didn’t really play a role in our decision." And a good thing, too, judging from the mass e-mail just arrived from Radar senior writer Jeff Bercovici.
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The battle of Saigon Grill rages on. Two weeks after the Vietnamese mini-chain locked out its delivery workers, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 36 of those workers — and today a gaggle of New York politicians joined the Chinese Staff and Workers Association's daily protests at the Upper West Side location. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called conditions for delivery workers "a dirty secret that needs to get exposed." "Being paid $1.60 an hour, sometimes getting robbed and told to reimburse the employer … is unacceptable in today's society," he said. State Senator Eric Schneiderman, who spoke in both English and Mandarin, said he believed there was "strong evidence" that Saigon Grill's Chinese-Cambodian owner, Simon Nget, was trying to get the workers to sign "an illegal contract" before he locked them out. A state assemblywoman and a city councilwoman were there, too, and Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Charlie Rangel sent representatives. And while all of this is going on, there's also this bad news: There's still no delivery service. —Mary ReinholzEarlier:Labor Troubles at Saigon Grill Mean No Delivery for YouREAD MORE »