The Plaza Turns 100The Plaza Hotel turns 100 on October 1, and she’s having a birthday party. MTV nixed having the stars of The Hills go to the Gossip Girl premiere party at Tenjune. On NY1’s Wiseguys, Ed Koch and Al D’Amato berated lefty Mark Green over MoveOn.org’s “General Betray Us” ad. Alina Shriver, sister-in-law of Maria and wife of Anthony Kennedy, just debuted a clothing line. A Pontiac had to be removed from the stage of 50 Cent’s concert at Hammerstein Ballroom because it had gas in the tank. Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Violet played in Sheep Meadow. Eartha Kitt, better known as Catwoman, says she’s 80 but still “burning.”
Damn You, John StosselAt Live Earth, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and John Stossel continued their public feud over global warming. Ron Perelman and Gina Gershon are hanging out on Perelman’s yacht off the coast of Italy, but they may not be dating. Eliot Spitzer and Charles Schumer are weekend telephone buddies. Former Bronx congressman Mario Biaggi no longer holds a grudge against Rudy Giuliani, even though Giuliani successfully prosecuted him for bribery twenty years ago. Al D’Amato is happy he’s going to be a father again. Mel Gibson bought a $39.5 million estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. NBC accidentally featured Katie Couric in a Today-show promo. Hillary Clinton is hosting three Hamptons fund-raisers the first weekend of August.
Scalia Digs TortureSupreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is, not surprisingly, a fan of Jack Bauer’s 24 torture techniques. Mark Green is set to join Al D’Amato and Ed Koch on NY1’s Inside City Hall program. Jeanine Pirro is set to star in a Judge Judy–esque show. Ellen Barkin and Ralph Fiennes have been canoodling. Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury gave $300 to a homeless man. The Olsen twins trekked to Atlantic City for a Bob Dylan concert. The late Kurt Vonnegut has a role in an upcoming DVD. A gay former CBS News producer filed a $10 million discrimination suit against his former employer because he felt the network didn’t want his gay-bashing in St. Maarten to be publicized. Aussie golfer Greg Norman and his ex-wife-to-be have finally come to (undisclosed) terms on how to split up his $500 million fortune. Patti LaBelle didn’t need a mike to wow a Carnegie Hall audience.
Harvey, Hillary, and Michael MooreMichael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko, points out how much money Hillary Clinton raises from health-care companies, and Harvey Weinstein tried to get him to remove a scene about it. Angelina Jolie claimed she was sorry Fox News was banned from her A Mighty Heart premiere, but then she banned Us Weekly and Life & Style (but not People and OK!) from the print-press roundtables. Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey might adopt a kid with his partner. Rosie O’Donnell really wants to host The Price Is Right, but the show’s producers may not be into it. Lindsay Lohan may spend her 21st-birthday party in rehab because she is taking it seriously this time. That, or because Pure won’t host a party for her. Former senator Al D’Amato may play a judge on Law & Order.
in other news
Stand Clear of the Ringing PhonesFour companies submitted bids back in January to wire the subway for cell service — that is, depending on your point of view, to either modernize your commute or to make it a living hell. And say what you will about the MTA, but it’s certainly taking the proposal seriously: It’s been “in discussions” with the bidders for ten months, without any visible result.
But as today’s Times tells us without really telling us, there’s a presumptive front-runner in the process, a company called Transit Wireless, which has hired Al D’Amato as a “consultant” (not, mind you, as a lobbyist). The former senator, the company says (and the Times poker-facedly passes on), will limit his input to “strategic advice” and a litany of grade-A connections, including his close friendship with MTA chairman Peter Kalikow, from whom his company rents office space. Oh, and Al’s been pushing for subway cell service since 2004, arranging early meetings with the future bidders and the MTA. But other than that, advice only.
So, anyway, what have they accomplished in ten months? Well, not much. The MTA hasn’t even decided if it’s wiring the whole system or just stations. But of course not: It’s too busy putting enough cameras to shoot a sitcom on every bus. Not to mention pottering around with little projects like linking the trains to airports, getting the L to run on weekends, and, oh, yeah, planning that little line on Second Avenue. Priorities, priorities.
Cellphone Service in Subway Stations Is Still a Gleam in the Bidders’ Eyes [NYT]