Matt Lauer Shows Us FDR’s Secret TrainCheck out the abandoned subway stop beneath the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where VIPs could travel in their own private train cars that, we assume, didn’t smell like urine.
Jay-Z: From Marcy to Madison AvenueJay-Z has been shilling brand names in songs and commercials for his entire life. But now that he’s retired from Def Jam, he’s decided he might as well make a career of it. The Times this morning reports that the rapper-mogul formerly known as Shawn Carter is partnering in a new ad agency, Translation Advertising. An offshoot of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, overseen by Interpublic, the agency will help mainstream advertisers like Hewlett-Packard and McDonald’s be cooler about dealing with the consumers the Times alternatingly calls “minority,” “multicultural,” and “urban.” “There are people who don’t understand the culture,” Hova told the Times, referring to a cell phone commercial “that shows guys break dancing in the phone store … not something we do.” The work, Hova told the Times, is “part of the natural growth” of his career. Now, if only Fergie and Gwen Stefani would transition already.
A New Venture for Jay-Z, on Madison Avenue [NYT]
Because He’s SchnabulousThe list of reasons why we love Julian Schnabel are many and varied — he is large and hairy, but has a funny Mickey Mouse voice; he constructed a large pink castle in the middle of the city and named it Palazzo Chupi; he can often be found in pajamas and sometimes a skirt; he has more progeny than we can keep track of; he appears to have no filter whatsoever. Perhaps most importantly, he is one of a diminishing number of personalities from an era when New York City, even on its worst days, felt like more than just a collection of Duane Reades and bank branches clustered on a chunk of concrete. And now we add to our list an exchange from the Daily Telegraph’s profile of the Schnab, which we have transcribed below.
Schnabel: I kid around a lot. I have a lot of fun. But most people don’t have a sense of humor.… And then I read in this other thing that I was name-dropping all the time. Well it just so happens that the people I know are famous. You know, they work in the movies with me. They’re my friends. It’s like if I said… What’s your name?
Reporter: (Thinks: My name? We have been talking for the past two hours.) Mick.
Schnabel: Mick what?
Reporter: Mick Brown.
Schnabel: Okay, so I could say I was talking to Mick Brown the other day — I might well say that. (His tone sounds doubtful.) But they might not know who Mick Brown is.
Reporter: (Thinks: Maybe they will after I become famous for murdering a famous artist/director.)
Julian Schnabel, Larging It [Daily Telegraph]
Rosie O’Donnell’s Broadway Awakening? Rosie O’Donnell has started rehearsals for a one-woman show, directed by Michael Mayer of Spring Awakening, Cindy Adams says this morning. Well, that’s what we think she said since, as usual, we needed special decoding glasses to read her column. It seems that Rosie wrote the as-yet-untitled show after leaving The View, and like her book, Find Me, “It’s based on her life story,” Cindy says. “Her first one. She’s lived many lives.” It also may not be a one-woman show in the traditional sense. According to Cindy, “An actor or two onstage with her may include Tom Hulce.” Hulce, the Tony-award-winning actor who played Mozart in Amadeus, is very good. But we can’t help but worry for him: It seems like Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be a very challenging role.
Everything Rosie Coming Up [NYP]
Video: ‘Daily Show’ Audience, Writers Face Off
One week ago, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report returned to production, without writers. Would the shows be any good? Would anyone watch? The reviews were mixed, as were the ratings. But what about the audience? Daily Show diehards, who have waited months for their free tickets, now receive unexpected lessons in labor relations. Plus, they have to face picketing writers while waiting outside the studio. Awkward! Late last week, we sent intrepid video correspondent Tim Murphy to try to broker peace. And while the strike continues, at least the audience doesn’t have to feel scabby about it.
Video: Comedy on Strike
Related: The Daily Show: Jon Stewart Displays His Strike Guilt, Unibrow
Blogging the Colbert Report
Woody Allen Doesn’t Mind That No One Puts Him in Their Movies. Really!Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream, which opens Friday, is his fourth movie in a row that was shot outside of New York. The city, he thinks, is losing its character. “There are certain areas that have not been encroached upon too much — Carnegie Hill, the West Village, Tudor City, places that are still lovely to look at,” he told the Daily News this weekend. “But once they put up those big new buildings, it looks the same as Houston.” Despite his disapproval, he’s preparing a new movie that will shoot here this spring, although he hasn’t said what it’s about, or whether he’ll be in it. He is not in Cassandra. Which brings up a funny point: Even though he’s starred in plenty of his own films, people don’t really think of Woody Allen as an actor, and he’s only been in a couple of movies he did not direct. Why not? “No one ever really offers me anything,” he told the Daily News. “I think I’m an ideal person to fill a certain void,” he said. Maybe it’s because he always plays himself. But even that could be funny, in the right role. “If you were casting a guy vaguely my age and wanted either, you know, a slimy little New York bookmaker or a New York sportswriter or a psychoanalyst or a professor … there are any number of things that I’d be very right for, and could be amusing in,” he said. “But for some reason — and again this is not something that bothers me, just mentioning it as a fact — no one ever calls me for anything, ever.” Well, it seems like someone should cast Woody Allen as something. How about as a revered but aging filmmaker who ends up marrying his own adopted daughter? Now that would be amusing.
Woody Allen Sounds Off [NYDN]
‘Schneighbors’ Goes to the Dark SideYou remember our favorite reality program, Schneighbors? It stars Julian Schnabel and a rotating cast of members of New York’s aging bohemian bourgeoisie and is set mainly at the Palazzo Chupi, the pink palace in the West Village where Schnabel lives with Richard Gere. Right, the show that exists only in our heads. Anyway, we normally think of Schneighbors as a heartfelt comedy, Cocoon–meets-Friends–meets–Three’s Company. But the other night, it took a dive into Six Feet Under territory. “When I die,” Ross Bleckner said to Webster Hall’s Baird Jones at Schnabel’s opening for his series “Navigation Drawings,” at the Sperone Westwater Gallery, “I want my ashes to be mixed into paint and have my friends use that paint in their work. I will be given to my friends like Julian Schnabel, Eric Fischl, Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Lucian Freud, and Tom Sachs.” That’s funny! Us, too!
Now That’s Art to Die For [NYDN]
Any Takers for Big Lloyd?Artist Geoffrey Raymond, who has in the past peddled larger-than-life paintings of Maria Bartiromo, Dick Grasso, and Rupert Murdoch on Wall Street, was out on the Street today with his latest work, a portrait of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein titled Big Lloyd II (Now More Than Ever). The painting, an acrylic rendering of a smiling, multicolored Lloyd (“an excellent example of Mr. Raymond’s drip technique,” according to the artist’s statement) with the words “Big Lloyd I (.6 Billion)” lingering in the space above it, is indeed big, at four feet, five inches. It is available on eBay at a starting price of $3,999. “I painted it in acknowledgment of Mr. Blankfein’s stewardship of Goldman Sachs through a recently difficult environment on Wall Street,” sayeth the artiste. “It is either homage or fromage — whichever isn’t the cheese.” So far, there are no bids.
Big Lloyd Hits the Street [Year of Magical Painting]
Big Lloyd II (Now More Than Ever) [eBay]
Rebuilding the Temple on the Lower East Side
In the magazine this week, architecture critic Justin Davidson considers the recently restored Eldridge Street Synagogue, calling it a “splendid relic of a more deprived age.” Now a museum and Jewish cultural center, the synagogue opened in December after a decades-long restoration. We took our camera for a grand guided tour. Read the review, watch the video, and then take a trip downtown to see for yourself.
Reconstructionist Judaism [NYM]
Video: Inside the Eldridge Street Synagogue
Jose Mugrabi Has a Lot of Toys He Never Plays WithIsn’t it weird how people, especially, it seems, men, have this impulse to collect things? The Journal today profiles Jose Mugrabi, the owner of the world’s largest private art collection in the world, of Andy Warhols. The son of a grocer and a textile importer, Mugrabi tells the Journal that “art became a refuge” for him while growing up in Bogota, Colombia. His first major Warhol get was Marilyn Monroe (Twenty Times), for which he paid a record-breaking $3.96 million in 1988. Although he has been offered much, much more for it since, he still has it. And how many other Warhols has he amassed?
Mr. Mugrabi furrowed his eyebrows and stared off into a corner of the room. “Esty!” he bellowed. “Warhols, how many do I have?” Less than a minute later, his longtime assistant, Esty Neuman, popped through the door from the reception area holding a printout.
“Eight hundred,” she said, matter of factly.
Mr. Mugrabi, looking slightly surprised, smiled and glanced over at his sons, who were sitting across from him. “So many,” he said quietly.
You see, he keeps them all in a warehouse in Newark.
Julian Schnabel’s Hands Would Like ‘GQ’ to Run a Correction
Julian Schnabel has a bone to pick with Andrew Corsello’s Schnabulous profile of him in GQ this month, one Boston Globe reporter found when he went to interview the director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Perhaps, you might say, Schnabel took issue with being called a “fat, famous, hairy, rich, name-dropping blowhard”? Not so much. What troubled him was something else.
“Look at these hands,” he urges, laying them flat on the table. In the profile, Andrew Corsello describes Schnabel’s hands as “thick, unpretty, blue-collar” and his fingers as “scratched, filthy with dirt and paint, medium-sized.”
“Do these look blue collar?”
Even after the Globe reporter assures him that Corsello was way off and honestly in the dark someone might mistake his fingers for those of Muffie Potter Aston, Schnabel is still clearly obsessing.
He puts out his hand for a shake, and then holds on. It’s actually not much of a handshake. In his grasp, Schnabel keeps the embrace for a good 10 seconds, making sure he’s able to show the softness of the skin.
“These are delicate hands,” he says.
Big Man on Canvas (screen, too) [Boston Globe]
Earlier:Julian Schnabel is Numero Uno!
Julian Schnabel Is Numero Uno!So this weekend we finally read Andrew Corsello’s profile of Julian Schnabel in the current issue of GQ, in which the two gigantic personalities ride around the Hamptons in La Schnabe’s newly purchased 1975 Eldorado, eating and farting and picking at themselves. Other than not being online, much is wonderful about the piece, but our favorite part is the description of Schnabel’s tubby magnificence, which we’ve faithfully, and perhaps illegally, transcribed for your pleasure:
I only now register the absurdity of what he’s wearing: Slippers, a blue-and-gray checked wraparound skirt that may or may not be a old tablecloth, and a grubby white vest, unbuttoned, that may or may not be Naugahyde and may or may not have been part of a three-piece suit worn by Don Johnson in a Miami Vice episode. His belly, ample, ruddy with sun, parts and displaces the flaps of the vest so that they hang to the sides, putting on glorious display the salt-and-pepper Afghans that are his chest and back hair. Look at him, the bear on the outside and the satyr on the inside. Is this a man capable of making a movie with the word butterfly in the title? The look of a man capable of making a movie as powerful as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — powerful not only in the sense of exalted emotions, but in the way it takes your assumptions about what movies are for, assumptions so fundamental you aren’t even aware you have them, and turns them inside out? No. This is the look of a man living off the dregs of a modest fortune made in the 1970s publishing a magazine called Heavy Shaggin’
The New Museum, Unleashed Upon the Bowery!
The Bowery may be moving toward the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for fluorescent lights and papier-mâché nudes! Towering amidst restaurant-supply stores and flophouses, the fascinating, hyperbizarre New Museum is the Bowery’s latest step toward its new, haute identity. We were treated to a preview of the sure-to-be landmark, talked to architects Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, and checked out the locals’ reaction to their strange new neighbor. For your viewing pleasure, a sneak peek inside the new New Museum, opening Saturday. Click the image above to watch.
Related: Party Lines: Calvin Klein’s First Look of the New Museum
Art Review: Little House on the Bowery [NYM]
Architecture Review: The Gray Ghost of the Bowery [NYM]
The Halloween Dance Party to End All Halloween Dance Parties
Last night’s New York by New York event was a costumed dance party of sorts at Judson Church. Chromeo, Dan Deacon, and Kudo provided the beats for All Hallows Madness, and revelers wore their creative best. There was “crazy-ass Britney” and “bad mommy Britney,” as well as sexy Albert Einstein (no equation hotter!) and the fashionably disaffected Kate Moss and Pete Doherty. The cash prize of $750 went to a well-lit octopus, and everyone enjoyed the open bar and their subscription to New York long into the night. Still looking for a costume idea? Get some inspiration from the video.
Video: All Hallows Madness
New York by New York: Upcoming Events
When Peggy Met LizaPublicist Peggy Siegal was on Barbara Walter’s Sirius Radio show today — we know, right? Everyone has one of those things now — talking about how the best thing she ever did for her first client, Liza Minnelli, was, er introduce her to controlled substances.
I walk my way up and I get to the rope [saying] “Liza’s in the car, Liza’s in the car” and there was Steve Rubell who owned it who I went to Syracuse with he said go get her I take her to the velvet rope — opens up — he grabs her, he kisses her, he gives her God knows what in her pocket, they go off into the sunset and they forget to open the rope for me and that’s how Liza met Steve Rubell, that’s how all that trouble began with Studio 54 and that was probably the only good thing I did for her.
But one imagines that night at Studio 54 wasn’t just a turning point for Liza, but for Peggy Siegal. Picture her there, standing in front of the closed velvet rope, abandoned by her famous friends, left literally and metaphorically out in the cold as the beautiful people float by her. What was young Peggy saying to herself, do you think? That moment, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of moment that makes a publicist.
Josh Hamilton, Diviner of Pot
Josh Hamilton was our dream boyfriend back when we first saw Kicking and Screaming — the Noah Baumbach movie, not the Will Ferrell movie — and it turns out he is still cute! Kinda mangy beard, though. Which may or may not be related to his preternatural ability to find pot. “I’ve always had this weird thing where I find drugs on the street; I think I just look down a lot,” he told Gothamist. Really? We look down a lot, and all we see is smushed gum and tumbleweaves. Tell us more!
“This one time I think I was in sixth grade and I was walking home from my junior high school on 17th [S]treet. And I noticed these shady guys putting one bag into another bag and then putting it into a garbage can in a kind of weird way. So I watched them do that and then go into a corner store. My friend and I then opened the garbage can and discovered that it was a big paper bag filled with ounces of pot. We stuffed it into my knapsack and ran down into the subway and looked at what we had. And I mean it as a lot of pot. I wasn’t a big smoker then but we kept our junior high school high for the whole year. That could probably happen in a lot of places other than New York but that was a very New York experience for me. The guys were literally two doors away in a store for one second and I always kind of felt bad about how much trouble they must have gotten into. That’s typical me: I do shit like that and then worry about the drug dealers.”
Right. Well, those guys probably got shot in the face. But Josh shouldn’t feel too bad. He will soon be starring in Ethan Hawke’s play, so it’s kind of like the universe has realigned itself.
Josh Hamilton, Actor [Gothamist]
P. Diddy Assaultee Still Pissy, Sort of FatEven though Diddy skipped his appointment to talk to cops yesterday about the choreographed-seeming fight he’d had Saturday night in Soho over, reportedly, a woman, the Daily News assumed everything was getting smoothed out, because they saw Diddy and the guy he’d punched, Steven Acevedo, together at Butter last night. They even quote a police source saying, “A little money will change hands, and the punch will be like it never existed.” But the Post, gumshoes that they are, tracked down Acevedo and found out that in fact all was not well in Diddyland.
“Definitely not,” he said outside his Manhattan apartment, before slowly drawing his finger across his throat in a menacing gesture directed at the hip-hop mogul, who is a longtime acquaintance.
P. Diddy Fights Increasing Irrelevance With His Bare HandsSean “P. Diddy” Combs punched a dude this weekend at Kiosk, presumably because he doesn’t have ladyparts to flash and this is his way of getting attention. He’s expected to “turn himself in” today, meaning we guess he’s going to walk into the police station and slap a wad of cash on the counter. We don’t know much about the guy he punched, except that he is called Steven Acevedo, he is somehow involved with fashion, and according to the Post, which wrote about the incident as though it were a scene from West Side Story the two were “love rivals.” Other than a minor mention linking him with dubiously employed Steve Aoki, he’s pretty unGoogleable, which is odd for a fashion guy. Which means getting clocked by P. Diddy is probably the best thing that ever happened to him. If he’s not in talks for his own reality show right now, he’s probably auctioning off his face on eBay. Because isn’t this just the land of opportunity?
Diddy to Turn Self In on Club Punch Rap [NYDN]
Steve Aoki Is an Artist! (We Think)
We’ve long been confused by what exactly Steve Aoki’s deal is. Does the Benihana heir live here or in L.A.? He’s always here, but then he’s always in L.A.! And is he actually a D.J.? And a record-label owner? And a clothing designer? Or is he really just like the male Asian hipster version of Paris Hilton and all these “business”-type things are really just a sideline to his real gig, which is going to parties and hanging out with famous people? He is friends with Lindsay Lohan, after all. Well. We’re even more confused by his presence on Fashion: The Life, the Pepsi-sponsored online MTV micro-series about start-up designers, since Aoki’s Dim Mak clothing line is actually designed by other people. Hell, even he seems confused: “I’m an artist for art’s sake,” he explains in the first “Webisode” (click above to see). “My entire goal is because I’m an artist.”
Related: Rocky Aoki’s Family Horror Show
Video: What Happened at Controversial West Village Leather FestNew York reported last week of a neighborhood kerfuffle over a leather-fetish fair on Weekhawken Street. The community board quietly approved the event, and neighbors felt they’d been duped. So how scandalous is a leather fair on your block? On Sunday, New York’s Tim Murphy took a camera to find out. Sure, there were whips and dominatrices, but there was also a tickler from Teaneck. Watch the video to see the friendly side of fetishists.
Related: Leather Invaders Rankle Some Villagers [NYM]
Anna Wintour à la ModeZut Alors! The French are just as crazy for Anna Wintour as we are! Today’s “Thursday Styles” introduces us to our new favorite show, Signe Anna!, in which two extremely excitable Frenchies follow everyone’s favorite Vogue editor around to fashion shows with a grainy handheld camera, eventually catching her out for wearing the exact same outfit twice in one week. SCANDALE! We haven’t loved European TV this much since Jean Paul Gaultier’s dearly departed Eurotrash, which peaked when it featured naked New Age Germans walking on their hands and eating their own poo. Click the above image to see it (Signe Anna, not the poo-eating Germans). Oh, and it doesn’t even matter if you don’t speak French — it’s still easier to understand than it is to wrap your mind around the cracked-out online show Atoosa Rubenstein is doing.
Sacré Bleu! The Stalking of an Editor [NYT]
Agyness Deyn Is America’s Oldest Top ModelWe can almost hear Nigel Barker, “noted fashion photographer” and America’s Next Top Model’s resident ageist, wincing. Today the Daily Mail revealed that British model/D.J./Lower East Side dweller Agyness Deyn is not, as she has previously claimed, 18 years old. Nor is she, as she has claimed, 21 years old. In fact, it appears that she is actually—brace yourself—24 years old. “Her listing on the Companies House website, under the name Laura Hollins, shows her birthday as February 16, 1983,” the Mail reports. We have no idea what the “Companies House” website is, but it sounds serious. But not as serious as this: In model years, 24 is practically an old coot. What effect will this have on Agyness’s career, we wonder. Will the MisShapes kids not want to hang out with her, considering her advanced years? Will the Fashionista girls turn this into her James Frey moment? Or, is she still in the running toward becoming America’s next top model? We know we’re staying tuned.
Is Model Agyness Deyn — the New Kate Moss — Really Three Years Older Than She Says? [Daily Mail]
Aguness Deyn [Model Page]
Kanye Can’t Get No SatisfactionOnce you reach a certain level of success in the entertainment industry, it’s considered déclassé to admit to reading your own press. Kanye West, however, is not so coy. Those who saw his outburst at the VMAs earlier this month, or have heard his recent album, Graduation won’t be surprised to learn that the “starcissist” not only reads all of his reviews, he occasionally picks up the phone to chastise the journalists who he thinks don’t fully appreciate his genius. One editor at a prominent publication told New York that an editorial assistant he worked with recently fielded such a call. “Kanye complimented him on a small piece he’d done on the album cover. Then he asked to talk to the reviewer who had given it kind of a middling review,” he said. The assistant attempted to stave off the rapper. “The kid was like, ‘Um, I think some people have different views? And you know people have their opinions.’” The editor said he’d heard Kanye’s publicist had been patching through a lot of similar calls. “At least the guy really cares about his album.” Indeed.
Related: Kanye’s Grammys Rant [SpikeTV]
Previously: Not Gangsta
Buffy Is Glad to Be Back Among the Educated PeopleIf you saw an adult lady bicycling around Manhattan on a pink bike with a bell and streamers and a Hello Kitty sticker on it, you’d probably think it was, you know, a Special Person. And so it is! It’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, who just moved back here from Los Angeles. “I felt a little suffocated,” she told Self of living in Hollywood. “All I did every day was drive to work and back. I was losing my conversation skills.” Right, because Buffy is smart. Remember that time she wrote that letter published in the New York Times? We do! Because, uh, that’s how smart we are.
Todd P Needs YOUIndie concert promoter Todd Patrick, known in young Brooklyn-ish circles as Todd P., is looking for interns to help run his burgeoning empire. Because free labor is, like, the DIY way, you know? (That’s Do-It-Yourself to you old heads.) The Toddmeister’s looking for “peeps” who “love independent music and DIY ethics” have copyediting experience (snarf) and who also happen to “own a laptop” and “aren’t working another serious job.” In other words, trust-fund hipsters or liberal-arts majors who don’t have to put in hours at the library in order to pay for their books (Mr. P will sign off on college credit!). Fortunately for Todd P, it’s September, and Lord knows there are plenty of those around.
His e-mail is after the jump.