A-Oh-HellAs you may have heard, AOL is coming to Manhattan, and bringing G-d knows how many Virginians with them. To Astor Place, no less, where, like everyone else who comes to this city from down there, they will attempt to reinvent themselves — as a hip company with a new focus on online advertising. We’ve been ignoring this news because it is frankly kind of embarrassing for everyone involved: AOL’s trying to be hip sort of reminds us of that episode of Entourage where Johnny Drama tried to impress his young co-stars on Five Towns by buying the hat with the pot leaf on it. We just want to look away. The move is also embarrassing for downtown New York City. But enough about them! Let’s talk about you. How will having a trying-to-be-hip AOL in your midst affect your life?
in other news
Anything Levin Can Spa, Case Can Spa Better
Something odd must have been coursing through the AOL Time Warner watercoolers around the time of the disastrous merger that created the company. As Seth Stevenson reports in this week’s New York, former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin — who disappeared shortly after the merger — has reinvented himself as the director of Moonview Sanctuary, a “holistic healing institute” complete with drum circles and equine therapy. Meantime, a New Yorker “Talk of the Town” item this week notes that former AOL chief Steve Case — you know, the one who conned Levin into the merger — owns Miraval, an Arizona spa that peddles scalp rejuvenators and “seven kinds of Oriental bodywork.” The New Yorker quotes Case describing his ultimate goal: the creation of “the Nike of Wellness.” (Not the AOL of wellness, we can’t help noticing.) And the company’s post-merger COO, Bob Pittman? He bought DailyCandy. Doesn’t that leave his chakras out of alignment or something?
The Believer [NYM]
Spa Man [NYer]