Quiz: Which One Costs More?Each neighborhood in New York City has its own assigned personality. And the Upper East Side carries the distinction of being associated with, say, exorbitantly expensive spa treatments and diamond-encrusted dog collars.
Pop Quiz: Know Your Media LadiesYesterday and today, the Times profiled three women in media: Julia Allison, Arianna Huffington, and Lauren Zalaznick. Despite differences in their ages and careers, the three of them seem of a type.
The Ladies of ‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: A Social ExaminationWe’ve been hearing bits and pieces about this for a couple of months now, but the Daily News has busted the story of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City wide open. With pretty pictures of the pretty ladies, and quotes from all of them about what the show is going to be like (“We work hard and then we party hard!”), their coverage has succeeded in getting us really amped up about the new show. Since it starts out all the way in March, we plan on doing a little buildup research in the meantime. Maybe, if it turns out to be good, we can try being obsessed with it like we were with Gossip Girl. They’ll have to earn it, though, we don’t go through two bottles of wine, a box of tissues, and a Klonopin once a week for just any show. And from what we can scrounge up so far, we’re not yet sold. Below, what a quick scan of Nexis teaches us about these so-called socialites:
• Fashion entrepreneur Ramona Singer has zero appearances in the gossip columns and only one appearance on Bill Cunningham’s page in the Times (though it was in the Hamptons so that surely earns her some points). But she has eight mentions or pictures on newyorksocialdiary.com, which is technically more legit.
• Alex McCord, who lives in Cobble Hill and is therefore the only cast member not filming from the Upper East Side, has appeared once on Cunningham’s page (from a Metropolitan Opera opening) and only twice on NYSD.
The Return of Aleksey VaynerFINANCE
• Aleksey Vayner, everyone’s favorite bizarre self-promoting video maker, is back with a new Website and perhaps a book! Impossible may be nothing after all. [Gawker]
• Goldman Sachs set new records with their $20.2 billion bonus pool, including $67.9 million for Lloyd Blankfein, but rumor has it the bank decided to stiff their back-office employees. [NYP]
• Blankfein’s salary still pales in comparison to hedge-fund kings like John Paulson and Paolo Pellegrini, who raked in more than $1 billion each in 2007 betting against the housing market. [NYT]
Hedi and LVMH: Together at Last!FASHION
• Hedi Slimane is back in talks with LVMH to launch his own fashion house. Everyone, commence jumping up and down. [WWD]
• IMG is behind Bravo’s new model show but won’t be giving the winner a contract. [Fashionista]
• Not even Cavalli can rev up H&M’s sales. [NYP]
Live Like a Supermodel, But With a Better ApartmentComely wannabes looking to launch their modeling careers usually bunk up in tiny apartments to make ends meet until they land that elusive cover. But not apparently the contestants for Make Me a Supermodel, Bravo’s upcoming reality series. A tipster says scouts for the show, slated to hit the air early next year and hosted by the easy-on-the-eyes Tyson Beckford, recently checked out a luxe (read camera-ready) 4500-square-foot penthouse on West 20th Street with five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and a roof deck. It’s currently on the market for $8.2 million, though apparently also available for rent for somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 a month. Listing broker Darren Sukenik of Prudential Douglas Elliman declined to comment. Needless to say, it’s not your average apartment, for models or otherwise. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
129 West 20th Street [Prudential Douglas Elliman]
Padma Leaves a Bad Taste in Fiamma’s MouthManhattan Moms, an East Coast equivalent of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County, will premiere early next year. A lot of the city’s foremost graffiti artists congregated for a book party at Auto in the meatpacking district. Billy Joel is in talks with the Mets to perform a bunch of gigs at Shea Stadium. George Steinbrenner will have a high school named after him in Tampa. Padma Lakshmi was rude to the staff at Soho eatery Fiamma, but Martha Stewart overtipped and was nice. CNN gave out an award to someone for forcing “one of the world’s largest oil corporations to pay more than $6 billion to clean up toxic waste in the Amazon rain forest,” but didn’t name Chevron as the company because they are an advertiser.
Is Jay McCarroll Homeless? He Sure Said So (and So Did His Publicist)
In this week’s cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo’s reality shows, New York’s Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway’s first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: “His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane’s so defensive we don’t know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We’ll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
Padma Lakshmi Introduces Dismemberment, Cannibalism to ‘Top Chef,’ Our FantasiesThe freakazoid highlight of last night’s Top Chef premiere, provided by host and Salman squeeze Padma Lakshmi in response to a contestant’s decision to fry a snake:
“Anything can stand up to frying. You can fry my toe and if you batter it right, it’s going to taste good.”
We don’t know if we’re hungry, horny, or nauseous.
The Soho Grand Is a WonderlandRumors of the demise of the John Mayer–Jessica Simpson relationship may be greatly exaggerated; the two spent Sunday night together at the Soho Grand. (Mayer is also still doing the stand-up comedy thing). Today show correspondent Jill Rappaport owns eighteen acres in the Hamptons. Johnny Damon hung out till 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, but he still hit a two-run double later in the day. Ivanka Trump and Zach Braff exchanged numbers. (Uh-oh. Does Jared Kushner know about this?) Warren Buffett, David Remnick, John Kerry, Ted Turner, and Jann Wenner, among others (ahem), were all rejected from Harvard. After asking for $5.5 million, Stone Phillips sold his penthouse on West 72nd Street for $4.35 million. Times managing editor Jill Abramson is suing the truck driver who ran over her foot.
Oh, the Absurdity!
Last night’s double-length 24 meant twice the time to finally wind up this season’s plotlines — or twice the chance for ridiculousness. Would they take the responsible route and finally let us know whether Palmer is alive or dead? Whether Logan is alive or dead? Whether Audrey will ever say anything other than “Help me, Jack, please don’t let them do this to me”? How the Russian president turned in like three hours from best buds with crazy Mrs. Logan to the guy ready to start World War III? Alas, the answers there are nope, nope, nope, and nyet. Instead, dirty old Veep Daniels absurdly led the country further down his reckless path of destruction. Over at Vulture, Ben Wasserstein runs the finale through the Absurd-o-Meter.
The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: So Long, Jack Bauer. Until We Meet Again. [Vulture]
If They Don’t Win, It’s a Shame
As we write this, the sun is shining, the birds outside the window are chirping, and last night, on six and a third solid innings from Chien-Ming Wang, the Yanks beat the Sox, 6-2. It’s a good day to be a New Yorker.*
* The whole nine-and-a-half-games-back thing notwithstanding.