Dancing With D.E. Shaw and Drinking With BarneysDid anybody watch Matt and Meredith play Guitar Hero on the Today show? Did it make you want to kill yourself? If so, you now know exactly how you will feel if you try to make it through your office holiday party without getting shitcanned. As your co-workers get increasingly merry and begin acting decreasingly pubescent, you have a choice: either get in there and do the Cabbage Patch or run home to your new Battlestar Galactica DVD set. Fortunately, you’re only required to go to one company party. We, on the other hand, have been crashing as many as possible. Last night’s events included the Details shindig at Bowery Bar, the Domino party in some editor’s apartment, and the fabulous annual Marc Jacobs costume extravaganza. We didn’t go to any of those, but we did sneak into the Barneys New York hoedown at Bar Martignetti and the sumptuous D.E. Shaw extravaganza at Cipriani. After the jump, who parties better: finance geeks or fashionistas?
Video: Barneys’ Holiday Windows RevealedRight about now, Barneys will be unveiling their legendary Christmas windows, and our own Fabiola Beracasa traipsed uptown to get a sneak peek. This year’s theme is Give Good Green, and for it, Barneys creative director Simon Doonan invented “Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer.” “The only sort of iconic visual associated with [the environmental movement] is the drowning polar bear,” he told Fab. “Which wouldn’t be very festive!” No indeed. Click above to see the windows, and hear Doonan explain why his Barneys staffers were gathering bottle tops from bars in the East Village and buying bottles from homeless people.
Making Barneys’ Holiday Windows [NYM Video]
Goldman, Merrill Open Books, Loosen CollarsFINANCE
• The SEC is investigating whether banks and brokerages are hiding subprime lending losses. Goldman and Merrill are the first to be scrutinized. [WSJ]
• This is how bad the market is right now: Even music bloggers are worried about it. [DealBreaker]
• KPS Capital Partners is ditching its MetLife Building penthouse for a two-story space on 66th and Lex that leaves room for expansion. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Bear Stearns Execs Cashed Out Before Stock DroppedFINANCE
• James Cayne and three other top Bear Stearns execs cashed out $57 million in stock before the bank took a nose dive, pawning off $16 million in losses on regular investors. [TheStreet.com via DealBreaker]
• With Ellyn McColgan’s departure, Fidelity president Rodger Lawson has gone from new guy in town to likely successor. [Boston Globe via DealBook/NYT]
• Blackstone raised $21.7 billion for its latest private-equity fund. Apparently drumming up the last $6 billion was pretty tough. Cue the violins! [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Goldman Shrugs Off ThreatFINANCE
• “Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us,” say nine letters mailed from Queens to newspapers across the country. The letters were signed “A.Q.U.S.A.,” but law enforcement isn’t too concerned. [CNN/Money]
• UBS CEO Peter Wuffli takes the fall for Dillon Read Capital Management by leaving the bank. Marcel Rohner is the new chief. [NYT]
• Lehman wants to hire as many summer analysts as possible in order to avoid those dreadful college-recruiting visits. [Bankers Ball via DealBreaker]
A New Bid for BarneysFASHION
• Jones Apparel is entertaining an unsolicited $900 million bid for Barneys New York. The department store was promised to the government of Dubai last month for $825 million. [Reuters via NYT]
• Cathy Horyn’s next grand feature will be on LVMH’s Sidney Toledano. [Fashion Week Daily]
• Claudia Schiffer is Karl Lagerfeld’s muse in the new Dom Pérignon ads. [British Vogue]
it just happened
How Much Is a Shopping Spree at Barneys? About $825 Million As expected, Barneys was sold today for $825 million. The high-end clothing store was purchased by Istithmar, an investment arm (weirdly) of the government of Dubai. Jones Apparel bought the chain in 2000 for $400 million. Dubai also invests in Loehmann’s, Perella Weinberg Partners, 230 Park Avenue, 280 Park Avenue, and 6 Times Square.
Barneys is Sold for $825 Million [NYT]
Hedge Funds Open to Petty CommonersFINANCE
• Steve Schwarzman’s company may be public, but the Blackstone head retreated and declined to ring the opening bell at the NYSE this morning. [NYP]
• The Supreme Court made it harder for investors to sue companies and executives for suspected fraud. [NYT]
• The Wharton School hired a marketing guy as its next dean. Rich alums, hold on to your wallets. [DealBook/NYT]
in other news
‘Time’ Magazine, and Al Gore’s Relaxed RearThe new Time Magazine — now out on Fridays! — has a cover hagio-profile of Al Gore. It’s full of good detail on what Gore’s up to these days, just how popular he seems to have become, and whether he’ll maybe maybe maybe run for president. But the key quote has got to be this one:
Al and Tipper Gore’s home, a 1915 antebellum-style mansion in the wealthy Belle Meade section of Nashville, is laid out a bit like Gore himself: a gracious and formal Southern façade; slightly stuffy rooms when you walk in the door; and startlingly modern, relaxed, informal living spaces to the rear.
We think it’s also saying he’s got a fat ass.
The Last Temptation of Al Gore [Time.com]
early and often
Harlem Pol: Bloomberg Should Sell Congestion Plan as Health Issue
Mayor Bloomberg has said he wants the State Legislature to act on his congestion-pricing proposals this session — which means in the next month, as the session ends in mid-June — and an influential state senator thinks that it’s doable if the mayor stresses the public-health benefits of the plan. Senator Bill Perkins, a longtime Harlem pol, told us outside a panel discussion this morning that Bloomberg should stress how decreased traffic can lead to cleaner air and lower asthma rates, as a similar plan did in London. Kids’ health is indeed one of Bloomberg’s passions, but Perkins says that point hasn’t gotten through in Albany. So far, he said, “the message has a businessman’s flavor to it.” A shift in rhetoric, the state senator said, could well lead to the needed legislation. “It’s difficult, but it’s possible,” he said. —Alec Appelbaum
Staten Island: Look to the Harbor for Value and SpaceAn honest-to-goodness Colonial with clapboard siding isn’t something you see every day in Manhattan or Brooklyn. But Staten Island isn’t like the other boroughs. Perhaps by virtue of its isolation, it has managed to retain a decidedly suburban vibe. Working Girl notwithstanding, Hollywood production companies eager to replicate a small-town feel without having to invade one have been known to shoot there instead. (See Richard Dreyfus’s The Education of Max Bickford) Critics belittle Staten Island for being so different too different? from the city, but fans of the hushed streets and verdant corners say that’s precisely why they love it. Prodigal-borough status aside (the name of a local blog of course), Staten Island has much to offer buyers. First, many of the spaces are huge, as in four to six bedrooms. Plus, they’re shockingly affordable; with one exception, all the properties listed below are priced at under a million. The open houses listed after the jump are in the northwest neighborhood of Mariners Harbor or the North Shore itself, which means you won’t be too far deep in the heart of the island. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. S. Jhoanna Robledo
‘Times’ Couplets: Watch Where You’re Going!Wherein we arrange Times’ headlines in verse to bring you secret messages from the paper of record.
The Troubles: A Walking Tour
No Sleep Is Part of the Ordeal.
Passing Mile Markers, Snapping Pictures
Woman Falls Through Sidewalk Grate.
Going Like 60 (Tick Tick Tick)
The Suns Forge Ahead Without Stopping for Pity.
Rescuers Try to Lure Lost Whales With Sound.
5-Year-Old Marathoner to Walk 300 Miles —
Not for Kids Only, Seeking Buccaneer Bliss.
A Long Road Ahead,
The Last Eden. Paradise Preserved — in a Restless Continent.
Standing Up for Double-Parking Rights in the SlopeBoerum Hill: Neglected Thomas Green Park could become a $4 million skate park. [Brooklyn Paper]
Forest Hills: There’s a stop-work order on the demolition of a historic 72nd Avenue townhouse, but will the developer behind the demo honor it? [Forest Hills 72]
Harlem: A cute black and white Chihuahua named Bugzy has gone missing. Have you seen the adorable uptown critter? [Harlem Fur]
Park Slope: The 9th Street bike-lane opponents fear they’ll lose their ability to double park. [I’m Seeing Green]
Times Square: Even with guns, drugs, and hookers freely traded there, the Aladdin Hotel is still not the worst-ranked inn in the city. [NewYorkology]
Williamsburg: It came in the night. The long-dreaded pile driver for massive Billyburg condo devo the Edge, that is, heralding a massive project that will deprive locals of their waterfront view. [i’m not sayin’, i’m just saying’]
show and talk
Nutritious, Delicious Couture
What could be better than fashion and food? Yesterday we rushed to Vanderbilt Hall to catch Tim Gunn hosting the Wish-Bone Salad Show. Designers Richie Rich and Traver Rain compared the experience to summer camp, and the models looked bewildered. “There’s some lettuce going on there. Or maybe some other vegetables,” the Asian Salad said vaguely. Backstage, one model sported onion shorts while another counted the string beans on her dress. Gunn said he preferred to accessorize with food, but our favorite model embraced the whole aesthetic: “I am the carpaccio salad.”
Wish-Bone Salad Fashion Show by Heatherette [NYM]
early and often
She’s a Genie in a Pantsuit: Xtina, Jenna Back HillaryThe race to line up celebrity star power behind the presidential campaigns rages on, and Hillary Clinton has scored a coup, booking pop star Christina Aguilera to play a special fund-raising concert at Capitale next month, the Clinton campaign has confirmed to New York. The backers of the event include Harvey Weinstein; Steve Bing; Aguilera’s manager, Irving Azoff; and Ron Burkle, according to promotional materials from the Clinton campaign, but it’s unclear what Aguilera has planned for the event. (We’re guessing the act will more closely resemble something from her more humble Back to Basics era than something from the pierced, tattooed, and flesh-baring days of her Stripped tour.) And in arguably related news, Hillary yesterday gained the endorsement of porn star Jenna Jameson. “I love Hillary,” Jameson said in an interview. “I think that in some ways she’s pretty conservative for a Democrat, but I would love to have a woman in office. I think that it would be a step in the right direction for our country, and there would be less focus on war and more focus on bettering society.” —Geoffrey Gray
Breakups and the CityFormer Sex and the City partners Candace Bushnell and Darren Star are no longer speaking after Star sold a show similar to the one Bushnell was working on to a different network. Matt Lauer once had an awkward bathroom experience with Tom Brokaw. Kate Moss will launch her clothing line at Barneys on May 8. Alt Coffee on Avenue A is being turned into a stroller shop. Britney Spears may give Allure a tell-all regarding her family infighting. Lesley Stahl denies being the source of anti-Katie Couric rumors. On her way back to New York City, real-estate queen Barbara Corcoran boarded the wrong flight and ended up in Syracuse. Tyra Banks ate with Clay Aiken at Jean Georges. Andy Dick accosted two employees at a Chelsea club.
The Guy With the Biggest Birthday Party WinsFINANCE
• Birthday parties aside, Stephen A. Schwarzman tops Fortune’s private-equity power list. [Fortune via CNNMoney]
• Jeff Dorman, a senior managing director of prime brokerage services at Bear Sterns, resigned late last week. Poor guy didn’t even last a year. [DealBook/NYT]
• Is Jim Healy, head of fixed income at Credit Suisse, about to resign because of friction with new heads Brady Dugan and Michael Ryan? [DealBreaker]
Department Stores Don’t Know It’s Christmas
The consolidation of department stores a trend cooling only because there’s nothing left to merge leaves Manhattan as the last hospitable environment for that Norman Rockwell tradition, the holiday window display. The city’s flagships Barneys, Bendel, Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Macy’s began unveiling their windows over the weekend, and, as usual, they’re secular spectacles. Out: Santa, model trains, gingerbread men. In: scary, postmodern vignettes.
So which ones are worth wistful gazing? We’ve rated them according to four categories: holiday cheer, narrative, a sense of childlike wonder, and set design. Check back daily for three installments, culminating on Wednesday when the winner is revealed.
Soup Is Good ArtAs if last week wasn’t big enough for Andy Warhol — the late Pop artist’s works pulled in more than $88 million at auction, including that Mao silk screen that went for a record $17.4 million — on Friday he also got a brand-new tchotchke. Barneys will this year be celebrating a “Warhol-iday” season, including just-unveiled Christmas windows at its Madison Avenue flagship rife with Warhol-inspired paraphernalia featuring, more ironically — limited-edition Campbell’s Soup Cans all dolled up with bright Warhol-esque labels. Stop for a moment to savor the double-reverse appropriation going on here (as Warhol himself no doubt would have): He famously made art by faithfully reproducing the iconic soup cans on canvas, and the soupmaker is now putting his art back onto the cans. Campbell’s has an ongoing relationship with the Andy Warhol foundation, according to a company spokesman, with gift-shop kitsch like plates and scarves already on the market. These new cans — containing actual, real, good-ol’-fashioned tomato soup — will be available exclusively at Barneys stores nationwide (and online). At $12 a pop, we’re sure it’ll be delicious.
— Rachel Wolff