‘Times’ Wants College Students to Turn Down That Damned MusicNewspapers face all sorts of problems, not insignificant among them that younger people don’t so much read the paper. Then today we saw the cover story of the “Metro” section, “Welcome, Students. Now Watch It,” geared toward the college students — and, we should think, potential new Times readers — newly arrived in the city. It includes such useful tips as “Don’t fall asleep on the subway,” “Don’t play chess for money with the hustlers in Washington Square Park,” and “Don’t drink too much beer and use the street as a toilet.” Plus, this gem, from the end of the “Don’t light up in a bar” tip: “And besides, if you’re not 21, you shouldn’t be in a bar anyway.” We have no idea why “Make sure to clean your room” and “Just say no” weren’t included as tips, but, yeah, we think we understand why kids don’t read the paper.
Welcome, Students. Now Watch It [NYT]
College Humor Kids Party Like College Kids (But With Publicists and Money)Between the beer pong, the constant encouragement to chug our drinks, and the delivery pizza, last night’s College Humor party celebrating the Website’s recently selected “America’s Hottest College Girl” felt almost like a real college party — if your college parties were held on gorgeous midtown rooftops, organized by the high-powered publicists at Sunshine Sachs, and paid for by Barry Diller. As the sun set, College Humor editor Ricky Van Veen was working the crowd in a set of scrubs (no, we don’t know why) and The Office star B.J. Novak admitted that the girls at his alma mater, Harvard, weren’t quite as “wonderful” as the guest of honor, the University of Delaware’s very articulate Amber S., who, when asked to make a speech, settled on “I love you all!” followed by some giggles. She’d better love everyone: Winning the contest, in which College Humor users voted on the most-attractive college girl through an NCAA-style bracket competition, brought Amber $10,000, which she says she’ll put toward student loans. Soon enough, the free booze ran out and the party wound down. The true partyers forged on, as those college types do, to greener pastures downtown. —Lillien Nathan
in the magazine
Sex Diaries: The Crazy Co-edIt’s the Sex and Love issue of New York this week, and for it six New Yorkers kept Sex Diaries that chronicled their sexual lives (or lack thereof) over a period of seven (or in this case, six) days. Daily Intel has even more diaries, and we’ll bring you a new one each day this week. Today, the Crazy Co-ed: female, 22, undergrad, Tribeca, “disappointingly straight.”
3:00 a.m.: Guy I’m dating is out of condoms, again, despite knowing that I was coming over. Me: Unimpressed. Instead he undresses me, handcuffs my hands behind my back, blindfolds me, and places clothespins on my nipples. He proceeds to go down on me like a starving man. There are spankings, but they are weak.
Noon: I wake up to feel the guy placing my hand on his morning wood. Five minutes later, I go back to sleeping.
6:00 p.m.: Thinking about watching porn, but there are people at home and I’m running late.
9:00 p.m.: Attend party. Somehow results in me topless with four to six other girls.
11:30 p.m.: Decide to go to fetish party. Dance my ass off on stage, eventually stripping down to my skivvies and covering my tah-tahs with makeshift pasties. Bump into a friend and her boyfriend, make out with her boyfriend, make out with her, then make out with an innocent bystander.
in other news
Introducing Haute BarnardNew York is already prohibitively expensive to live in — why not make it prohibitively expensive to go to school here, too? In what looks like a domino effect started last month by NYU (where room and board now clock in at almost $50,000 a year), just about every institution of higher learning in the city has upped its cost by between 5 and 10 percent. Columbia will charge $37,410 in the next school year; Barnard is a bargain at $35,190. Fordham is yours for $32,530, Pace is just a little over $30,000. (Pace? $30K? Wow.) Combine this with a Pell grant program that’s gone rather stingy in the Bush years, and it’s clear that New York’s reputation as a rich-kid playground is about to get another boost. Which is to say: You know we’ve always loved you, our new 18-year-old midwestern overlords, right? Can we buy you a soda pop?
New York City Universities Hike Tuition, Fees [Crain’s]
in other news
Searching for ‘West Bushwick’
Oh, wacky, naïve college kids. The New York blogosphere had a lot of fun last week with the wide-eyed musings of Cornell senior Erin Geld, who had recently discovered the magical, hipster-filled wonderland that is Brooklyn. Actually, she’d specifically discovered “West Bushwick” — the first we’d ever heard of this neighborhood. So we headed to the notoriously slippery-to-define East Williamsburg — we presumed some overlap between the nabes — and asked folks outside Gimme Coffee, on the corner of Lorimer and Powers Streets, for directions to this enchanted land. They weren’t much help.
the sports section
New York’s Greatest Tourney Tradition Is DeadThe NCAA announced its tournament brackets yesterday, and now, finally, March is duly heading into Madness. To commemorate the occasion, we asked Will Leitch — the editor of Deadspin and, we hereby proclaim, Daily Intel’s senior bracketologist — to share with us his tale of a New York tournament tradition now, sadly, lost to history:
A week ago, one of those only–in–New York traditions bit the dust; the famous “Jody’s Pool,” based out of Staten Island watering hole Jody’s, will be discontinued this year. The pool was notorious for its massive pots; last year’s grand prize was $1.5 million, making it the biggest pool in the country. The problem is, when you have a pool that’s worth that much, people tend to notice. First, the press; then, the IRS. And with three words from grizzled owner Jody Haggerty — “Definitely no pool” — it was over.
in other news
NYU Paper Reveals Secret, But Apparently University-Run, Red Dragon Society
Find NYU lacking in a certain snobby, Ivyish je ne sais quoi? Maybe not anymore. Turns out the little Washington Square college that could has a positively Yalesque secret society of its own. Today’s Washington Square News brings word of the Red Dragon Society, a very hush-hush alumni organization into which notable NYU seniors are inducted. It’s not quite as cloak and dagger as the Bush boys’ New Haven hangout, but it’s still worth something. “If you are a dragon,” one member conspiratorially tells the student paper, “you have connections to certain people that can make things happen.” Yes, to certain people like … NYU’s dean of arts and sciences, who issues the invitations to join. Very underground, that.
A Century of Secrets [WSN]
in other news
College Kids Like Obama More Than Hillary, ‘Desperate Housewives’
The big newspapers tell us the currently important dramas in the 2008 presidential race are the “money primary” and the “talent primary.” But what about the college kids–clicking–on–things primary? A story published on The Nation’s Website last week on Barack Obama’s appeal to young people mentioned that the Facebook group “One Million Strong for Obama” boasted 272,000 members. In the five days since the story was published — covering a road-trip-friendly three-day weekend — the group added 17,000 new members. (Any Facebooker can join the group, which is unaffiliated with the campaign and features information on rallies and donations and so forth.) “One Million Strong for Hillary,” meantime, has held steady at around 3,700 members. That’s about as many people as Obama attracted in each of the last five days — or, put another way, about 24,000 Internet-savvy college-age kids less than are “Addicted to Grey’s Anatomy.”
Obama’s Impressive Youthroots [The Nation]
in other news
Judith Regan Stopped in the Nick of Time?So who was embattled, mezuzah-violating, rat-metaphorizing book publisher Judith Regan about to sign just before she was fired? According to Mediabistro’s GalleyCat, none other than the most famous power-lifter, tennis champion, tango lover, spy, and Yalie ever to apply for an i-banking job and hit YouTube: Aleksey Vayner.
You know who he is, right? If not, go read up. And then tally another reason why Rupert made the right call.
For Judith Regan, Impossible is Nothing [GalleyCat]
Previous Incident Reported Involving a Fired Publisher [NYT]
the morning line
Suicide, Fire, Not a Hero
• Indie actress, director, and screenwriter Adrienne Shelly, just seen with Matt Dillon in Factotum, was found hanged in her Village apartment. There’s no suicide note, and cops are checking up on unidentified sneaker prints in the apartment, but suicide is cited as the likeliest scenario. [NYP]
• A blaze broke out in a Bronx apartment in the wee hours of the morning, killing a 5-year-old girl and sending three other people to Jacobi Medical Center. The survivors can thank the girl’s 13-year-old brother, who woke everyone up. The cause of the fire is being investigated. [WNBC]
• Major karmic points are apparently not enough for Robert G. Seckers, the mate of a tugboat that aided the Staten Island ferry during the infamous 2003 crash. Seckers wants more tangible compensation for his good deed ($2 million to be exact) under an ancient unwritten law called “pure marine salvage.” “I don’t need to be a hero,” said Seckers in an interview. It appears you just took care of that part, sir. [NYT]
• Hitler Kid, post-collegiate edition: A 23-year-old Greenpoint city employee (probably a hipster who applied for the job ironically) penned an essay in the Haverford alumni mag calling the Polish “vermin” and the nabe “even uglier than the morons who work there.” The piece is clearly Borat-style satire (the author dreams of a Greenpoint of “lawyers and investment bankers”), but — shock — subtleties of dry sarcasm are not a Parks Department specialty. [NYDN]
• Three, two, one, stop. The city is testing out streetlight timers at intersections, visibly counting down fifteen seconds until the light turns red. Now, finally, the pedestrians will have something other than the road to look at! [amNY]
New York Rap Institution Turns to the Ivy LeagueNew York’s most revered independent rap label is banking on a pair of Ivy League rappers to resurrect it. Rawkus Records — founded in 1995 by Horace Mann grads Brian Brater and Jarrett Myer with $10,000 from Rupert scion and Harvard dropout James Murdoch — introduced Brooklynites Mos Def and Talib Kweli to a mass audience, made it into the big leagues, and then disappeared, dropped by Geffen Records in 2004. But this week saw its first major release since then, with School Was My Hustle, by the two-man act Kidz in the Hall, coming out on Halloween. The duo’s 22-year-old emcee, Penn alum Naledge, admires the label’s history. “You bought their records because of the brand,” he says. “It wouldn’t matter what the artist was; you knew if it was Rawkus, it was top-shelf.” And founder Myer thinks Kidz lives up to the tradition. “Right now,” he says, “investing the right artists can make Rawkus way bigger than it ever was.”
— Amos Barshad
Looking for Love on a Listserv (Or, in All the Wrong Places)We’re all familiar with the almighty alumni listerv — that source of mild e-mailed irritation, delivering a steady stream of requests for apartment leads, neighborhood advice, and, inevitably from a onetime rush chair, attendance at a really! fun! drinks night. For j-school alumni — like, say, those who attended Northwestern University’s Medill — that standard stew is further flavored with discussions of journalism ethics and occasional pleas for help finding sources. Which is why an inquiry to that list yesterday stood out:
From: Mandy Stadtmiller
Date: Nov 1, 2006 2:35 PM
Subject: Looking for love in NYC, okay on the apt situation
To: [MedillNY listserv]
Any leads send them my way — thanks!
Was Stadtmiller — a features writer at the Post — really using her alumni list as a no-fee Nerve personals? (Online dating is sexy; online dating with journalists is sexier?) Or was this maybe — please! — just a gimmick for a story?
in other news
New York College Kids Are Too Fat or Too Thin
Two new studies out this weekend — and reported in the papers today — unveil the welcome news that there’s no such thing as the “freshman fifteen,” the mythical fifteen extra pounds a student packs on in his first year of college. But don’t get too excited: It turns out instead that students just put on weight gradually, five to seven pounds in year one and another two to three as sophomores. But we noticed that the study looked at all college students, on a nationwide basis. Surely here in New York, we figured, where there’s a gym on every corner and we’re all obsessively appearance-focused, things couldn’t be so bad. In fact, we more expected to hear of the opposite problems — anorexia and the like. So we went digging through the archives of the Columbia Daily Spectator and NYU’s Washington Square News and, sure enough, we hit pay dirt. Just one month ago — on September 26 — the Washington Square News quoted a New York psychiatrist, Dr. Joanne Labiner, who said that 20 percent of college-age women have an eating disorder.
Then again, of course they do. A new study just proved they’re too fat.
— Doree Shafrir
Studies: College Kids Packing on the Pounds [AP via NYP]
Columbia Delivers Pornless Porn MagWhat good is having sex if you don’t, like, talk about it? So asks Outlet, an online magazine that proves Columbia students not only work hard, they play hard — or at least think about playing hard — too. Though the kids of Morningside Heights are a little late to the Ivy League sex party — recall that H-Bomb, “Harvard’s Magazine About Sex,” came out in the spring of 2004 — the editors of Outlet claim their approach to the dirty is different. “H-Bomb is an erotica magazine as such, meaning that its main purpose is titillation,” says Outlet editor-in-chief Kimi Traube ‘08. “Outlet seeks to focus more on cultural, sociological, and political issues surrounding our generation’s experience of sex and sexuality.” A tad more titillation might have done some good: Visitors who click on the site’s “Porn” link expecting to see Columbia students in various states of undress instead encounter 38 pages of vaguely intellectual undergraduate musings on topics from the faux feminism of the Suicide Girls to the shortcomings of sex ed in American schools, all set in a decidedly un-sexy Courier New type. Unlike H-Bomb, Outlet is currently a Web-only venture — it soft-launched earlier this month and filtered into student consciousness this week — though Traube hopes the magazine will generate enough publicity to make a print version financially viable. One hopes Traube and her team haven’t forgotten the golden rule of marketing: Sex sells, but only when you show it.
— Neel Shah