Robert A.M. Stern Likens New Larry Silverstein Development to the ‘Titanic’Developer Larry Silverstein says his new deal to build a Four Seasons hotel and condo tower downtown will help steer lower Manhattan through the banking industry’s crisis, but not everyone in his circle is matching his strut. At a civic-alliance breakfast this morning, Silverstein presented his plan to replace the stately former Moody’s headquarters, up Church Street from the Woolworth Building, with a 912-foot stone tower by 2011, creating the city’s tallest residential building. The building’s design is by neoclassicist Robert A.M. Stern, who worked up 15 Central Park West — which, Silverstein crowed, “broke all records for sales.” But this morning, after some lukewarm talk about assisting in the rebirth of lower Manhattan “in a way that I’m comfortable with,” Stern betrayed some major butterflies. “I never thought when I was growing up in New York that I’d get to design a building taller than the Woolworth Building,” he told us. “That makes for sleepless nights and exciting mornings — I’m like a guy on the Titanic, and I just hope we don’t crash.” —Alec Appelbaum
in other news
The Jungle of Magazine SubscriptionsToday’s Times reveals the hellish life of a traveling magazine crews — you know, those kids who go door to door selling subscriptions to Reader’s Digest and Rolling Stone “to earn points for a foreign trip.” The sellers, mostly troubled teens trying to escape gang life, are wheeled from town to town in vans and given less than $10 a day in food allowance, their wages held hostage for later payment that may never come. At the end of a ten- to fourteen-hour shift, they’re dumped in fleabag motels — the day’s lowest seller sleeps on the floor — where they kill time ingesting industrial quantities of crystal meth and rutting like rabbits. If that is sounding in any way appealing, there’s also this: Crew managers also administer savage beatings.
Tom Brady Does Not Love New York, or Bridget MoynahanTom Brady put his New York pad up for sale as soon as he found out ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan was pregnant. Speaking of officially pregnant: Naomi Watts. Speaking of maybe pregnant: Christina Aguilera. Hillary Clinton, or someone from her office, got mad at David Geffen for throwing a party last night for Barack Obama. Former As Four designer Kai Kuhne flipped out after his credit card was denied at Sway. A Chelsea nightclub doesn’t want handicapped customers upstairs.
the sports section
This week’s revelation that Derek Jeter and A-Rod are no longer BFF has thrown New Yorkers into a collective inner turmoil unseen since the darkest days of the transit strike. Although the relationship’s psychological subtleties have been parsed exhaustively across the nation’s sports pages, much of the city remains confused and distracted. In an effort to facilitate some kind of public catharsis — and, frankly, to explore our own emotions on the subject — we’d like to offer a one-act play, Joe Torre’s Come and Gone. It’s after the jump.
Wanna Buy the Freedom Tower?
• Guess what Port Authority is going to do with the Freedom Tower once the construction is over? What every owner of a half-built property dreams of doing: Flip it. By its completion in 2011, the skyscraper may be up for sale, say Spitzer and Corzine. [Metro]
• Meet Mathieu Eugene, the City Council’s newest member and the first Haitian to fill the seat. Eugene won a low-profile, low-turnout special election in Brooklyn after his predecessor, Yvette Clarke, moved on to Congress. [NYP]
• Busta Rhymes, on trial for kicking a fan and beating up a former chauffeur, rejected a deal that would land him in jail for a cred-building six months. The alternative: probation, anger management, and two weeks of lecturing kids about violence. [NYDN]
• In New York, we wage our war on Christmas all year round — and we’re winning it, too. The U.S. Supreme Court washed its hands of the Brooklyn-filed case that challenged the citywide ban on school nativity displays. (Menorahs and Islamic crescents, however, are totally okay). [FoxNews.com]
• And in New Jersey, a similar battle with a techie twist: A public-school history teacher is in hot water after a student taped him proselytizing (“If you reject [Jesus], you belong in hell,” etc.) and saying that dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark. [NYT]