Ralph Lauren to Open Hamptons Eatery, No Doubt to Be Filled With Old-Time AmericanaAt last, there’ll soon be a chance for East Enders to actually eat at Ralph’s. Designer Ralph Lauren, who owns the steak-and-seafood joint RL in Chicago, is taking over the space in East Hampton that for 25 years has housed the popular, unprepossessing, vaguely surf-themed Blue Parrot. “They signed the contract, and we should close in a couple of weeks,” confirms Parrot owner Lee Bieler, who is moving to L.A. to pursue an acting career. “They said they wanted to renovate the building and do a restaurant. His designer said it would be a concept similar to the Ivy in Beverly Hills.” The restaurant, complete with outdoor patio, is next door to the Polo player’s East Hampton boutique. Word is it’ll be open for business by the spring. —Beth Landman
Elite Enclave in Midtown EastMake no mistake: Beekman Place and its nearby blocks are as rarefied as the moneyed thoroughfares of Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. No matter that it’s just minutes away from unpretty Second Avenue with its fratty bars and dusty traffic. (Why else would the Rockefellers, the Barrymores, and the Vanderbilts have roosted here?) One Beekman Place is the queen of this tiny kingdom, a highly selective, white-glove building with stunning river views that’s supposedly terribly fussy but, without a doubt, grand. Open houses are unlikely there (it’s that exclusive), but a walk through the enclave and the few buildings hosting showings there this Sunday (listed below) will be enough to give you a hint of the good life. S. Jhoanna Robledo
Indie Rockers Losing Death Grip on WilliamsburgBoerum Hill: Atlantic Yards’ next sin? Illuminated billboards that are fifteen stories tall. [Gowanus Lounge]
Chelsea: The High Line might not make it north of 30th Street after all. [Blog Chelsea]
Park Slope: Park Slope Towers is really a dorm, not a condo building. [Curbed]
Upper East Side: Meet the Gael Pub Quizmaster, David Jacobson. [Upper East Side Informer]
West Village: On Saturday, join the memorial ride for Eric Ng, a 22-year-old bicyclist who was killed December 1 by a drunk driver on the West Side bike path. [onNYturf]
Williamsburg: Parks Department placates angry residents by promising to diversify McCarren Park Pool concerts with Colombian and Polish music. [Brooklyn Downtown Star via Brooklyn Record]
Last Night, Morocco Came to Miami
MIAMI BEACH — The celebrities at Art Basel Miami Beach are rich collectors and powerful gallerists, for the most part, which means the sightings are usually less than glamorous. (Look, there’s Tony Shafrazi in orange swim trunks!) But one bit of Hollywood celebrity hanging around has been Keanu Reeves, who was spotted last night by the bar at the Standard and quickly ushered into the dinner there hosted by Yvonne Force Villareal and Mark Fletcher. When a photog tried to snap his picture, Reeves begged to share a smoke instead, offering up a menthol cigarette as a consolation prize. It worked.
Inside, the art stars were lounging on $50 beach towels designed by Richard Phillips, Marilyn Minter, Rob Pruitt, and Alex Katz that are sold through Target to benefit Force’s Art Production Fund. It was very Morocco meets Miami, and everyone looked good in the low candlelight.
in the magazine
Cops Catch Up With Brooklyn Rabbi
Rabbi Joel Yehuda Kolko was arrested yesterday in Brooklyn and charged with child sexual abuse. Back in May, New York’s Robert Kolker detailed allegations against the rabbi that went back at least two decades, noting that the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office would often defer to Orthodox authorities instead of investigating complaints. But David Framowitz, a former student of Kolko’s, sued the rabbi and his Flatbush yeshiva for $20 million in federal court in May. Kolko now faces other civil suits filed by adults who claim they, too, were abused. “The bottom line is that abuse is a universal issue that closed communities hide because it threatens them,” one former Lubavitcher who said he was abused told Kolker. “Whether it’s Jewish or Amish or Mennonite or Catholic or Muslim, it doesn’t make a difference.”
On the Rabbi’s Knee [NYM]
Sex-Rap Rabbi is Busted in Brooklyn [NYDN]
Peter Blake, 1920–2006Peter Blake, New York’s first architecture critic, died this week at the age of 86. An architect himself, Blake was known for his stylish, refined orthodox modernism (even though he hated “modernism” as a term). His writing for the magazine, as a columnist from 1968 to 1976 and then on and off for another twenty years, was similarly polished, a refined voice in an age too often given to unrefined buildings. Here’s his witty conversation with the late Philip Johnson, published on June 9, 1996, shortly before Johnson’s 90th birthday.—Christopher Bonanos
Magic Johnson [PDF]
Peter Blake, Architect, 86, Is Dead; Designed Houses in the Hamptons [NYT]
More Actual Progress at Ground Zero!
Could it be? Yes, it could. A mere three weeks after real, genuine construction started at ground zero — the concrete foundation was finally poured for the much-delayed Freedom Tower — there’s set to be some more real, genuine progress today. Five years after it was badly damaged and rendered uninhabitable by the attacks, the long-shrouded Deutsche Bank building is finally coming down. The AP is reporting that the building’s façade is being removed starting this morning; once that is gone, the steel-and-concrete infrastructure comes next. One of the new WTC towers is set to be built on the site, plus a new Greek Orthodox church. Don’t start rushing to say your Greek prayers, though: It’ll be a year till the current building is gone.
Work Begins Friday to Take Down Damaged WTC Skyscraper [AP via Newsday]
Earlier: Freedom Tower Construction Finally Begins, Boringly
Spitzer Feels Good (Just Like He Knew That He Would, Yeah)Eliot Spitzer’s New Year’s Day inauguration will feature James Brown and Natalie Merchant but not Alan Hevesi. Yes, Beyoncé threw Jay-Z a big birthday party in St. Barts. No, they’re not getting married, at least according to Rush & Molloy. John Kerry threw a dinner party for Democratic donors at his Georgetown home, at which he may or may not have shilled for his party’s 2008 nomination. Paris Hilton may be engaged to “student” Stavros Niarchos. Tinsley Mortimer’s sister-in-law is getting married to the director of Syriana. The reigning Miss Universe, also Miss Puerto Rico, is dating a fellow Puerto Rican. Mandy Moore had dinner with former flame Wilmer Valderrama. The director of scary when-scuba-goes-bad flick Open Water is set to direct another movie about sharks. A lot of people went to go see Annie at Madison Square Garden, and not everyone got in on time. Celebs donate time, company to an auction run by Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest son. Colin Firth is a picky eater. Lindsay Lohan’s former assistant, now Jessica Biel’s assistant, was the subject of much of Lohan’s vitriol in the rambling e-mail she wrote two days ago. Eddie Murphy and his ex–Spice Girl ex-girlfriend continue to disagree over whether Eddie is the father of her baby, according to “Page Six.” (The News has this Murphy-Spice “exclusive,” too, worded the exact same way.) Britney Spears bought expensive lingerie, Dakota Fanning bought a dog, and Courtney Love is moving to London. Liz Smith claims John Stamos will be on an upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, based on his affinity for tango. Molly Sims got stung by a bee in Hawaii.
27th Street Shuffle: West Chelsea Nightlife Mogul Snatches Plagued MegaclubWhile Amy Sacco may or may not be selling Bungalow 8, Jon B, owner of cash cows Home and Guest House, is in contract to purchase another slot on the coke-dusted Monopoly board that is West Chelsea. Having convinced the yoga-loving owner of Spirit, Robbie Wootton, to abandon his fight to reopen since the club’s forcible closure in August, Jon B says he’ll take over its West 27th Street space and bring an upscale crowd to rock shows and big-name D.J. performances. “I intend to operate it totally differently,” he says of a space that has been under scrutiny since its days as Twilo.
Of course, Jennifer Moore, the New Jersey girl who was murdered in July after a night of clubbing, spent her last hours at Jon B’s Guest House, and the subsequent nightlife crackdown raises question about how easy it’ll be to transfer Spirit’s liquor license. After Wootton pays off the estimated $6,600 in State Liquor Authority fines, Jon B estimates it’ll be two or three months before a transfer is granted (a year-end freeze on new licenses in the area has caused a backlog of applications). After that, he says, it’ll take another few months to turn the place into something “very different than what everybody is used to.” And what’s a suitable name for this new club, something that outclasses even Jon B’s other venues, Home and Guest House? Alas, Mansion is already the hottest club in Miami. Daniel Maurer
the morning line
Bloomberg Succeeds in Prying Guns From Warm, Live Hands
• Bloomberg’s novel anti-gun initiative — going after out-of-state dealers — is paying off. (It also shows an unusually, um, national-minded thinking from a city mayor). Six gun stores in outlying states have agreed to let court officials monitor their sales; twelve more are being sued into agreement. [NYT]
• The Daily News has a cover story that would drive O. Henry to suicide: A Staten Island woman gets the news of her fiancé’s death in Iraq, followed two hours later by a FedExed engagement ring from him. We don’t normally fall for the human-face-of-war stuff from our tabs, but Christ. [NYDN]
• D.J. Carl Blaze of Power 105.1 is in the hospital after getting shot “at least 13 times.” The details are murky, and the shooter took Blaze’s $20,000 gold chain, but the hail of bullets appears far too excessive for a robbery. [NYP]
• A Brooklyn rabbi was cuffed and jailed on child-molestation charges last night, after the lawsuit against him made the papers earlier in the week. The alleged victim is a 9-year-old who claims to have been abused for two years. Neighbors say the rabbi “doesn’t fit the criteria.” [WNBC]
• Demolition is set to begin in a couple of hours on the iconic, conical Revere Sugar Refinery in Red Hook. Thor Equities, which is also building on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint and Coney Island waterfronts, snatched up the factory in a less-publicized deal for $40 million. [amNY]
Hasselhoff Continues to Show Up at Things• High Fidelity opening night. Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., nr. Broadway, 5:30 p.m. Nick Hornby, Hope Davis, Alec Baldwin, Rachel Dratch, Lauren Bacall, Bebe Neuwirth, and David Hasselhoff expected. Free premise for aspiring “Shouts & Murmurs” writers: What if Nick Hornby had written Baywatch?
in other news
‘Time Out’ Likes Our Critics! They Really Like Our Critics!So Time Out New York is out today with a big cover story rating and ranking all the city’s cultural critics. It must be said: We give two thumbs up to this review of the reviews. Of course, why wouldn’t we? New York’s critics fared well (if not quite as well as Time Out’s own critics, who did — surprise! — fabulously). Our Peter G. Davis was the No. 2 classical-music reviewer, Adam Platt came in third for foodies, Jeremy McCarter was named the fourth best theater critic, and Mark Stevens was No. 6 among the art experts.
The one exception was our esteemed film reviewer, David Edelstein, who ranked an unimpressive eleventh. Why is that? Well, according to his Zagatian write-up, it’s because he’s insufficiently attentive to independent film. “If you were to read only his column, you’d never know that foreign-language films and independent documentaries were opening,” wrote one panelist. “A fine critic for first-run films. I wish he was able to write more about off-the-beaten-path films,” wrote another. And just what industry experts came to these damning conclusions? Well, from the roster of reviewer-reviewers provided, we can pick out the director of the Film Forum; the publicist for the Film Forum; the publicist for the IFC Center, who was formerly at the Film Forum; the publicist for the Museum of the Moving Image; and two independent publicists of indie films. Hey, at least they know about indie film.
Judgment Day [TONY]
Iraq Study Group: Perhaps Monkier Than We Thought?
The Iraq Study Group report is out, obviously, and now, it seems, all the important players have weighed in: Bush says he doesn’t want to decrease troop levels and the Post says the panel’s chairmen are “Surrender Monkeys.” Clearly it’s time for another 20-Person Poll. New York’s intrepid interns hit Madison Avenue to ask three questions.
Question No. 1: The Iraq Study Group says “the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.” Does that come as a surprise to you?
Big surprise: 2; no surprise: 18
Question No. 2: Who has a better plan for Iraq, President Bush or the Iraq Study Group?
Bush: 3; ISG: 12; neither: 5
Question No. 3: Are James Baker and Lee Hamilton, the chairmen of the Study Group, in fact surrender monkeys?
Yes, monkeys: 6; no, not monkeys: 14
Nothing Gets Between Dakota and Her Jacobs
Marc Jacobs, it seems, likes ‘em young. He has unveiled his new ad campaign — it breaks in February issues of fashion mags, and you can see two of the shots above — featuring 12-year-old actress Dakota Fanning, as WWD reported today. Slightly skeevy fashion advertising, of course, is nothing new, but, still, this one manages to be, we think, a bit creepier than shaved pubic hair (Gucci), awkward celebrity stand-ins (Versace), or emaciated models (pretty much all of the major labels). Perhaps Marc’s avant-garde taste is more attuned to European tastes: WWD also reports that he’ll be showing Marc by Marc in the London shows for the first time this February. —Kendall Herbst
On Your Marc [WWD]
Christmas Trees Look Good in Chelsea, Struggle in the Slope• Chelsea: The Hotel Chelsea gets festive in the lobby. Or at least more so than the Allerton. [Living With Legends]
• Coney Island: So which is worse, Thor Equities or Forest City Ratner? [Gowanus Lounge]
• Flatbush: With Yvette Clarke on her way to Washington, the fiasco to fill her City Council seat begins. [Daily Gotham]
• Flatiron: No more feeling inferior to every other area of Manhattan with an H&M. But we’ll miss Daffy’s. [Metroblogging NYC]
• Park Slope: This place has questionable Christmas trees, at best. [Brooklynian via Daily Heights]
• Sunset Park: How long will one man’s fight against litter last? [Cloud Starchaser via Sunset Parker]
XBox Beats PS3, Saves Relationships
At the PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 Challenge at the Apollo Theater yesterday, H3TV — apparently “the only high-definition flat screen that allows players to simultaneously compete on both gaming systems” — allowed players to, well, simultaneously complete on both systems. (The crowd seemed to prefer the cheaper XBox.) Juelz Santana of Harlem’s beloved Diplomats rap crew — also known as Dipset — sat down for a spirited game of Madden and was all business, dodging both autograph requests and an aggressive pass rush from his opponent, an anonymous Dipset affiliate he swore was the crew’s resident gaming ringer. Santana came up short, but he made it out of the loss with his swagger intact, turning right around to sign those autographs for his patient fans and to extol the virtues of the H3TV. “If you’re always playing your game, your girl can watch Lifetime or something. She ain’t got to leave the room. It’s good for relationships!” Armed with that, we’re sure you can finally convince your girlfriend to let you buy a high-def flat-screen. Amos Barshad
Doing Good at Ralph Lauren; Eating Late With David Bouley
MIAMI BEACH — Fashion met art at Art Basel Miami beach last night, and this was not necessarily a good thing. The worlds collided in David Bouley’s place — specifically, his gorgeous new South Beach restaurant, Evolution, where Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon was throwing a fête for the Whitney. The problem: There were other, nearly as important places to be, and stops at those other events made everyone very late for this one. What were the rivals? A Russell Simmons dinner at the Delano penthouse, and a lush UBS-sponsored dinner, where billionaires were as common as palm trees. At the packed and chaotic Ralph Lauren party to benefit RxArt, which was one of the rare and welcome charity events at the otherwise largely venal Art Basel, the wife of a hedgie, bearing an invitation, was initially denied entrance — to a store, she noted, annoyed — because she hadn’t RSVP’d. (Once she got inside, she’d find Andrew Shriver, Nikki Haskell, Gene Pressman, Bob Colacello, the lovely mom of Ralph Lauren exec David Calle, and some nice clothes.)
But what about back at swanky Evolution?
Paying for Drinks, Partying With Deitch
MIAMI BEACH — South Beach started to resemble spring break last night — but with much more money, and with Europeans. There was a preview of the actual art at Art Basel from 6 to 8, which gave everyone a chance to check out the maze of work from galleries all over the world. A VIP collectors’ suite was actually for collectors of other expensive things, like jets and beachside condos. Cipriani, Related, Netjets, and Bulgari had outposts to offer consolation prizes if you couldn’t get the art you wanted because it had already been bought or, more likely, because the gallery wanted to sell it to someone better than you. Unlike New York corporate parties, however, there were no free drinks flowing to impair inhibitions. These companies may have had enough marketing cash to be in a classy place, but there was a cash register set up on the bar. Not classy at all.
But later things got classier.
in other news
Managing Traffic for Efficiency and Hilarity
We noted several weeks ago the city’s ambitious new plan to dedicate whole lanes of traffic to ultrafast buses with their own curbside turnstiles. And how would these buses battle unauthorized motorists slipping in and out of the lanes? By snapping pictures of them and ratting them out to the city. Nice. But not nearly as effective as a high-tech — yet awesomely brutal — solution implemented in Great Britain. Marvel at cars getting mauled by weight-sensing, automated retractable bollards.
Bollard Porn [StreetsBlog]
Earlier: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a … Bus!
M&M’s Opens Times Square Store, Tortures Willing Pedestrians
If you’re anything like us, nothing attracts your sweet tooth like “heavy, thin, old and young New Yorkers” sprayed in candy coating. So when we received a press release from the M&M’s people announcing that they’d be marking the opening of their new Times Square location by spraying those folks in their favorite M&M’s colors — and then branding their chests with an M, candy style — we knew we’d have to attend. Intern Everett was on the scene, where he snapped some pix and reported that nothing says yum like bikini-clad people, standing in 40-degree weather, getting sprayed with cold paint. Hey, at least the victims froze in their mouths, not in their hands.
Taxi Driver Speaks: ‘An Asshole Tax’Think this latest taxi-fare increase — which doubled the cost of standing time — sucks for passengers? Think again. Cab driver and self-styled livery-industry pundit Alexander Stone Dale calls us from time to time to give us his take on the business. Here’s his latest insight:
The new fare increase — it’s brilliant. It’s an asshole tax! Only four of my passengers paid more than they normally do. And all four were totally stupid assholes who didn’t want to hear about it, wanted to go the way they always go, weren’t concerned about my fucking convenience, weren’t concerned about anything. And all four freaked out. It was amazing. If you’re not an asshole, cab fares have remained unchanged.
An asshole tax? That we can get behind.
Taxi Fares Rise, and Only the Oil Companies Win
Are Taxi Drivers Metering All the Way to the Bank?
Amy Sacco Is Still Probably Not Selling BungalowLindsay Lohan wrote a long and incoherent e-mail, which for some reason referenced Al Gore and Bill Clinton. Amy Sacco says she’s actually not selling Bungalow 8, the Observer’s reporting to the contrary notwithstanding. (Daily Intel readers already knew that.) Mary-Louise Parker may be dating her Weeds co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Pataki consigliere Charles Gargano says he’ll keep his seat on the Port Authority board, even with his man gone from Albany. Frustrated Knicks fans, here’s your chance to vent: Garden chief Jim Dolan is performing with his band tonight at B.B. King’s. (It is, however, a cancer benefit, so don’t be too mean.) Paramount/Dreamworks execs are pushing Beyoncé over Jennifer Hudson for a Best Actress Oscar nod, and Jennifer Hudson is okay with it. Lenny Kravitz went to the dermatologist. Anna Wintour found The Devil Wears Prada “entertaining” and has had the same haircut since she was 15, she tells Barbara Walters during her “10 Most Fascinating People” interview (in which Wintour actually does wear Prada). TomKat didn’t invite Oprah to their wedding, and they didn’t invite her to their post-honeymoon bash, either. Kevin Federline showed up at a book reading for the free booze. Jordan’s Queen Rania and King Abdullah are on the rocks. Damon Wayans was fined $320 for dropping the n-word sixteen times at L.A.’s Laugh Factory. Jessica Alba and the Duff sisters are hosting a New Year’s Eve party at a club in Miami and are doing it for free. Ellen Pompeo wants to gain five to ten pounds, because they’d go straight to her boobs, she told Playboy. Robert Evans is suing the electrical company that installed a screening room in his home that mysteriously burned down. Liz Smith cried at the end of Dakota Fanning’s Charlotte’s Web.
in other news
The New York ‘Post’ Will Never Cut and Run (We Hope)We have nothing to add to today’s Post wood. We just wanted to make sure you saw it. And we wanted to make sure you realize how much poorer life in our fair city would be without the delightfully gleeful nut jobs at the Post. Thank you, Rupert, for this philanthropic contribution to city life, and may you never — even in the face of continuing multi-million-dollar losses at the paper — become a surrender monkey.
Iraq ‘Appease’ Squeeze on W. [NYP]
the morning line
Everything Good Is Bad for You
• A massive, almost Gangs of New York–style group fight in the unlikeliest of settings — Union Square’s Greenmarket — left one teenager dead. The two bands of high-school rivals, numbering around 50, wielded “canes, belts, fists and more.” Another teen is in serious condition at St. Vincent’s with multiple stab wounds. [WNBC]
• Vegetables are bad for you, part two: Two more Taco Bells closed, both on Long Island, amid region-wide E. coli poisonings (99 to date and counting). The infection has been traced, surprisingly, to the scallions the company sprinkles atop its ground mystery meat. [amNY]
• Reading is bad for you: P.S. 150 in Queens is pulling a young-adult book about coming out, a poetry collection that uses naughty words, and other titles. [NYDN]
• Tishman Speyer, taking a break from its historic buying spree, casually set another record by selling 666 Fifth Avenue — which the company bought six years ago for about $500 million — to the Kushner family for $1.8 billion, the largest sum ever paid for a single building. [NYT]
• And the Times runs a thoughtful piece about the perils of taking the little ones to Broadway shows. In a case of unfortunate placement, however, the article is rendered unbelievably gross by its proximity to another report: “Broadway Actor Denies Sex Charge.” Yet another peril. [NYT]
Boldfaced Names Flock South for Art Basel WinterArt Basel has sucked New York’s boldfaced types down to Miami’s $4.99 early-bird dinner buffets. We are left with a surfeit of socialites, a David Mamet play without David Mamet, and Geraldo.
• Ugg Australia grand opening. 79 Mercer St., nr. Broome St., 7 p.m. Guests scheduled to include Molly Sims, Jacinda Barrett, and Dr. Lisa Airan, who’s the only socialite in the Socialite Rank Top 20 with a medical degree. She’s an emergency-room trauma surgeon in the South Bronx. Just kidding, she’s a dermatologist.
Trump’s Soho Plan Foiled by Internet?
Will Donald Trump’s quest to build his Spring Street condo-hotel be trumped by his own Website? Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, certainly hopes so. Berman fired off a letter today to Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster and Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden calling attention to what he says is “is further proof that Mr. Trump and his development partners have every intention of violating the law.” The area, zoned for manufacturing, is not generally open to construction of residential buildings, but hotels are allowed. Last month word spread that the city will approve Trump’s project with a provision that will restrict stays there an apparently hotel-like 100 or 150 days. But visitors checking the TrumpSoho.com Website today to find out how they can live downtown Donald style were asked to indicate whether they plan on using the units as a “primary residence,” “secondary residence,” or “investment property.” That section has since been removed (Curbed has a screen shot), but Berman and his crew, whose past successes include downsizing the far West Village to ice out hulking towers there, hope the snafu will make city officials examine the project much more closely. For the record, no permits have been issued yet. —S. Jhoanna Robledo
Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation Letter [pdf]
CurbedWire: Trump Soho’s Delicate Question [Curbed]
The Strange Thing We Learned About Ryan Adams This Week
He’s apparently a big Friends fan.
A fan inexplicably yelled “Monica!” between songs at the first of the prolific troubadour’s three Town Hall shows Monday night, and that was all the cue Adams needed. “Don’t get me started on the Geller family,” he said, and then got started. On a monologue: “Why can’t they keep it together for America? And, I mean, he wants to go play a sergeant on Broadway?” Adams was referring now to David Schwimmer’s recent and not particularly acclaimed stint in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. “No one’s gonna believe you’re a sergeant, man. They’re just waiting for Chandler to walk in!” No one, thankfully, asked him about Joey. —Rebecca Milzoff
At This Year’s Art Basel, Not All VIPs Are Created Equal
MIAMI BEACH — Money walks. And strides. And even pushes, as it did when the huge metal doors swung open at Art Basel Miami Beach today and several thousand collectors poured into the art fair. Soon enough, developer Aby Rosen was chatting with Larry Gagosian by a Lichtenstein nude, Benedikt Taschen was inquiring about prices for most of the Zwirner booth’s works, and Keanu Reeves was drawing a small, neck-turning crowd as he shopped. The Miami Beach Convention Center was so crowded that some dealers from rival fairs closed their booths for the afternoon. “Everybody’s here,” said Robert Goff, of the buzzy NADA fair, where Steve Cohen and Charles Saatchi are usual shoppers.
Art Basel is expected to attract 40,000 shoppers over five days, and a quick look at its wares shows how radically the art market has changed since last year’s event.
in other news
Amy Sacco Might Be Done With Bungalow, and Fabian Basabe Will Happily Dance on Its GraveToday’s Observer brings the sad news that Bungalow 8, the West Chelsea lounge you’re nowhere near famous enough to get into, will likely soon be divested from club queen Amy Sacco’s empire. “I’m gonna do whatever I feel is necessary for myself,” she tells the paper. “But I’m not going to stay if I can’t get my customers to walk down the block.” Mother of mercy, is this the end of Bungalow?
We asked someone who’d know: Party boy about town Fabian Basabe, who was a Bungalow regular until he filed a pesky little lawsuit in August after he was denied entrance and subsequently, he claims, punched by the doorman. Basabe was less gleeful than we’d have expected, but he also got right to the point:
I think that when certain people started going and other people stopped going, it died. There isn’t that kind of exclusivity on 27th Street anymore. The Gramercy Hotel and Double Seven blow Bungalow away.
Presumably, of course, those places are still letting him in. — Brian Niemietz
UPDATE: Sacco calls back to tell us that reports of her desire to sell Bungalow are “total bullshit.”
A Nightlife Queen Gets Ready to Sell Her Chilly Hotspot [NYO]
Bungalow 8 Update II: Sacco Maybe Just Airing Frustration, Maybe Not Selling [Eater]
To Boldly Go Where No Toque Has Gone BeforeYou thought NASA wanted to establish a base on the moon just to further the causes of science and exploration? Hardly. The space race is back, baby, and this time the enemies challenging America’s rightful dominance are — zut alors! the French. Pardon? That’s right. Apparently bored of Tang and freeze-dried ice cream, NASA will soon be sending astronauts to space with meals crafted by Rachael Ray. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys, however, have contributed menus to the International Space Station, via the European Space Agency, by none other than multi-Michelin’d Alain Ducasse. Grub Street has the details — and, now that the battle is joined, will no doubt imminently have news of France’s surrender.
Ducasse, Ray Feeding Astronauts [Grub Street]
Markowitz Gets to Talk About Brooklyn Some More
Bushwick: Goodbye, Enequist Chemical Factory. We look forward to breathing your toxic dust long into the future. [JustiNYC]
Dumbo: Marty Markowitz turns on the first borough-sanctioned light display (above) in Brooklyn Bridge Park. [DumboNYC]
Greenpoint: Cautionary note: Don’t ask a blogger to feed your cat while you’re away. You just might find pictures of your filthy apartment online, with commentary. [New York Shitty]
Long Island City: Condo construction displaces more artists, but at least now there’s a ceramics sale. [Joey in Astoria]
Tribeca: Buster’s Garage appeals to the liquor control board by talking up the bitchin’ $10 happy hour. [Tribeca Trib via Curbed]
in other news
A Brief Rant Occasioned By Talk of a Potential Takeover Attempt at the New York Times Co.
Speaking of loving the Times, this seems as good a time as any to make a few points about Hank Greenberg, dual-class ownership structures, that prig Hassan Elmasry at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and the great, good benevolence of the Ochs-Sulzberger family. It’s simple, really: Notwithstanding whatever noise to the contrary you’ve been hearing lately, the New York Times Co. will not be sold. Say it again, together: The Times Co. will not be sold. The Sulzbergers have all the power, and — much as one might like to mock their current leader, Arthur Jr., and much as he may have made a series of a stupid strategic decisions — they’re not going to let anyone else buy it.
And that’s a good thing.
in other news
The ‘Times’ Answers Our Financial QuestionsSee, this is why we love the Times. (And why we love our readers, who called the Times piece to our attention.) Yesterday, while bestowing due huzzahs upon the delightful news that the MTA will not raise fares in 2007, we were tripped up by an unexplained statement in the Daily News. “The agency gets revenues from real estate transactions,” New York’s hometown paper baldly asserted, going on to claim that the mammoth Stuy Town sale will result in a windfall for the Transit Authority. How, we wondered, does this happen? In today’s Times, William Neuman, bless his metro-y heart, explains:
Mr. Kalikow spoke yesterday at a meeting of the authority’s board, at which officials announced that a tax windfall from the sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village would help pay for new paint jobs in 200 subway stations.
The $52 million needed to paint the stations will come from a total of $81.6 million that the transportation authority will receive in mortgage and transfer taxes from the sale, which totaled nearly $5.4 billion. The authority receives a percentage of the transfer and mortgage taxes collected on real estate sales in New York City, and the taxes have become an important part of the agency’s financing.
And now you know.
Walkway Between Subways Is Promised for Transit Hub [NYT]
Earlier: MTA Won’t Raise Fares, Thanks, Somehow, to Stuy Town
in other news
Dick Parsons Continues to Maybe Plan to Run for MayorYou might have seen yesterday’s news that Time Warner chairman and CEO Dick Parsons, speaking at the Reuters Media Summit, did not explicitly reject the possibility that he might run for mayor in 2009. (“[W]hile saying he was not running for the job, he suddenly sounded a lot more like a man who wants to keep the option open,” is how the Times put it.) You might also have seen Cindy Adams told-you-so-ing that “I told you this months back, at which time Mr. Parsons said no-no-a-thousand-times no.” We’ll just quickly point out that Ms. Adams’s item, from April 19, merely said “Time Warner big mouths … [were] salivating over boyohboyohboy what a shot this African-American multimillionaire businessman would have.” And we’ll further point out, while these told-you-sos are being told, that Geoffrey Gray reported in August 21 issue of New York, that “[i]nsiders say that it’s all but official: Richard Parsons, Time Warner’s chairman and CEO, will run for mayor.”
Business Chief Hedges, a Bit, on Running for Mayor [NYT]
A Movie Star Goes for Moore on B’Way [NYP]
Is Parsons the New Bloomberg? [NYM]
Dear God, Not the McSweeney’s!Clinton Hill: Living in a storefront means big windows and your very own pull-down gate. [ClintonHillBlog]
Dyker Heights: You’ve never heard of this neighborhood, but you’ve gotta see the Christmas lights. [Gowanus Lounge]
Harlem: Finally, white people have a place to turn for answers about neighborhood real estate. [Bagel in Harlem]
Park Slope: Mail carriers no longer making it to the top of brownstone steps; issues of McSweeney’s lost to the elements. [Brooklyn Record]
Seek and Ye Just Might FindIt’s only two days since Mayor Bloomberg vowed — for the second time — to devote more attention, time, and manpower to sweeping lower Manhattan for 9/11 debris, including human remains. And today brings a brutal reminder that more than mere conscience-cleaning formality is at stake: Three more victims were identified from remains found at ground zero. The city released the names of two; one of them, miraculously, turned out to be Karen Martin, a flight attendant on American 11 stabbed by the hijackers for putting up resistance. The other, Douglas Stone, was a passenger on that same flight. Their families had submitted DNA samples back in 2001 but hadn’t heard anything in years; their reactions, as told to the Daily News, betray mostly surprise. “This is really nice,” said one relative. “This comes out of the blue,” said another.
So why isn’t the Bloomberg administration trumpeting this news as a major forensic success and a large step toward closure — all thanks to our managerial mayor? Because the city appears to have had all the pieces of the puzzle in place for quite some time – the remains and the families’ DNA samples – without bothering to do anything about it. Oh, wait. The Bloombergians are trumpeting it anyway. We’ll spare you the unseemly chest-beating, but read the last paragraph of the News article if you just can’t help yourself.
More 9/11 Vics ID’d [NYDN]
Earlier: Bloomie Promises a Thorough Search, Again
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?
Mark Foley on Screen; Brad Pitt in His BoxersBefore Mark Foley discovered IM, he discovered acting. (Straight to DVD, natch.) Brad Pitt is pissed he’s on the cover of Vanity Fair in rain-soaked skivvies. Angry Tiki Barber is retiring at the top of his game? Blame his wife! Lydia Hearst was denied entry to Scores, partied elsewhere. Sharon Stone backed out of a Children Affected by AIDS Foundation benefit over an ill-designed Barbie doll. Weatherman Dave Price might be the next host of The Price is Right. Bill Clinton sang “Happy Birthday” to his assistant. Elle Macpherson bought 200 iPods. Bette Midler threw a Halloween party; guests dressed up. A bunch of Truman Capote memorabilia is up for auction. For the love of God, “Page Six,” we get it: You guys beat the Daily News in circulation. Back to the real gossip, please?
Bette and Joy’s Happy, Raunchy Halloween
How does Bette Midler celebrate Halloween? If her tenth annual Hulaween Gala at the Waldorf the other night was any indication, by lacing into a string of good-natured obscenities to browbeat other celebs into supporting her New York Restoration Project, which cleans up, replants, and maintains neglected city parks.
It was a crowd of well-heeled, big-drinking nature lovers, all of whom had enough money to buy some fabulous costumes, like the man dressed as a Christmas tree covered in ornaments and the half-dozen Andy Warhols roaming about, including an unrecognizable Michael Kors, who’d added a prosthetic forehead and nose to his face. “What are you, Golda Meir?” Harvey Fierstein, dressed as John from Peter Pan, asked Midler’s co-emcee, Joy Behar. “No! What? I’m the Queen!” she replied, hitting his arm. “I’m the blues,” said Willie Nelson, dressed in a black suit and looking exactly like Willie Nelson. “I’m Flora, the goddess of the garden,” said Midler, her thoughts trailing off. “Who are you?” she continued. “Oh! It’s Shalom. Goodness, what are you, dear?” Shalom Harlow, in a bikini, satin robe, Afro, and abdomen full of bullet wounds, said she and her date were dressed as Scarface. As she reached to say hello to Midler, she spilled a sizable amount of “coke” all over the Waldorf’s pristine carpet. Midler laughed. No one bothered to clean it up.
the morning line
It’s Springtime for Hitler Kid
• You’ve got to hand it to the Hitler Kid: After getting ejected from school for donning the costume on Halloween, yesterday he wore it again — this time for the media, and purely in protest. This is quickly turning into the lamest ACLU case ever. [NYP]
• You do not cross American Girl Place. The Mattel-owned dainty emporium has filed a complaint against Actors’ Equity that says AEA has been goading its employees to unionize. This is going to be like On the Waterfront, except with Barbies. [NYDN]
• ExamGate! Staten Island high-school administrators may have tampered with grades on Regents exams and directed teachers to do it as well. A whopping seventeen science teachers came forward with the accusations. Better late than never, we suppose (the exams were administered in June). On a lighter note, but on the same theme, a Brooklyn high-school principal has distributed a pie chart explaining her new grading system — with the slices totaling more than 100 percent. [NYT, NYDN]
• A Bronx man is DOA at St. Barnabas after a police shootout. According to the cops, two plainclothes officers clearly saw the gunman armed and assaulting another man; the DOA fired first. [WNBC]
• And, it’s beginners’ luck for the Knicks, who eked out their first win (against Memphis, 118-117) under coach Isiah Thomas. In a more disturbing portent, it took them three OTs to do so. [amNY]
Movies, Movies, and StatesmenTonight’s boldfaced parties:
• Casting Society of America Awards. Caroline’s, 1626 Broadway, nr. 50th St., 4:45 p.m. Presenters include John Krasinski, Swoosie Kurtz, Bob Martin, Annabella Sciorra, and Joe Pantoliano; the lifetime-achievement prize is going to casting director Juliet Taylor for her work on Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, and many other films. We’re skeptical: Wouldn’t those movies have been better if De Niro and Allen switched roles?
Even With Big Circ, ‘Post’ Gets SuedPlaintiff: Christopher Capanelli
Defendants: NYP Holdings, doing business as New York Post; K. Rupert Murdoch; Joseph Vincent; Lloyd Vasquez
Accusation: It’s a lovefest at the New York Post this week, but, as always happens, someone is trying to ruin the party. In a lawsuit filed October 25 in Bronx Supreme Court, Rupert Murdoch and his Posties are accused of launching an aggressive campaign of intimidation to squeeze out the Pressman’s Union.
Luc Sante Prefers ‘Linner’ to BrunchName: Luc Sante
Neighborhood: Ulster County (but formerly Park Slope, Lower East Side, Upper West Side)
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Bartleby the Scrivener.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Salt-and-pepper shrimp at a place on the Bowery below Canal, the name of which I no longer recall.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Put together sentences.
Ellen Barkin Did Not Sleep With George Clooney, ProbablyEllen Barkin claimed she slept with George Clooney; she was kidding. Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton went to a party together. Shaquille O’Neal saw The Departed, groaned loudly. If Diddy (Puffy? Sean? whatever) gets married, it’ll be to Kim Porter, he says. Denise Richards sleeps with her dogs. Mort Zuckerman fired Lloyd Grove to save money. The Shah of Iran’s son got a phone number at the Plumm. Steven Spielberg’s self-proclaimed niece dropped his name for fashion-show tix, didn’t get them. Luke Janklow had a party, made stair-climbers remove their shoes. Demi Moore will be the face of Helena Rubinstein cosmetics. A Mets fan got beat up at Dodger Stadium, and Tommy Lasorda called him to apologize. Cialis advertises on Keith Olbermann’s show. (We don’t understand how that’s news.) Lowell Weicker is leaving Connecticut. Club owner Michael Ault, with his mom but without Alex Haley, is going to Europe to research his roots. No one sang at El Morocco, apparently. Random women dig Dave Navarro. Nora Ephron feels bad about her hair, too.
One More Thing About the Pirros: Al Wants Counseling
When Jeanine Pirro’s campaign for attorney general is over — or, to be cruel but precise, once she loses — she’ll be going straight into marriage counseling, at least if her husband has anything to do with it.
New York’s Steve Fishman profiled the Pirros’ increasingly confounding marriage for this week’s magazine, and he found Al Pirro, Jeanine’s wayward husband — by all accounts a screamer, a bruiser, a brusque alpha male — surprisingly wounded and therapized, talking about his anxieties. Al knows he needs to be flattered, to be reminded that he makes more money than Jeanine, to feel generous (Fishman zeroes in on his compulsive need to pick up the check, even for parties of 30). He denies the infidelities that drove Jeanine up the wall (and into the dubious confidences of Bernie Kerik) while readily admitting something even more hurtful to a relationship: that he needs outside female companionship, be it platonic or not, because he doesn’t feel encouraged, admired, or appreciated at home. And he knows the couple needs to work on these issues.
“He was essentially stewing,” Fishman says. “He feels that he’s been shut out, silenced, and attacked, both by the campaign and by his wife personally.” Is there enough therapy in the world to get the pair past all that? Maybe, Fishman says. The real turning point for the relationship, he says, was Al’s tax-evasion conviction. “But it was never a fake marriage. There’s a basis of deep mutual admiration — hell, love.”
Can This Marriage Be Saved? [NYM]
the morning line
Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger, Up a Tree
• Now this hasn’t happened in a while: Rapper Fabolous is in stable condition at Bellevue after getting shot in a Manhattan parking garage. The would-be assassin and his three friends, who fled in a vehicle, were quickly arrested after running a red light. Update: Now Fabolous is under arrest as well. Developing, needless to say. [AP via amNY]
• The Gubernator toured Bloomie’s turf yesterday, not two weeks after the mayor’s Cali visit. Says the Times in the vintage Times deadpan, “The two men seem to be genuinely fond of each other.” We know they’re both post-ideological moderate Republicans and all, but this love-in is giving us the heebie-jeebies. [NYT]
• You may remember Dean Faiello as the guy who allegedly (a) impersonated a doctor, (b) botched a cosmetic surgery, (c) killed the patient to cover it up, and (d) buried her under his New Jersey house. Well, feel free to remove “allegedly” from that litany. Faiello pleaded guilty in exchange for a twenty-year prison stint. [NYDN]
• Queens assemblyman and union leader Brian McLaughlin is expected to surrender today to federal corruption charges. The rap is a rather shopworn classic: contractor bid-rigging, with a side of possible expense-account abuse. [WNBC]
• Finally, in case anyone cares, and some of you must, Rangers 4, Devils 2. Oh, come on, people, it’s one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports. Or so we’re told. [Fox Sports]
in other news
James Truman Leaves MacBain, Hasn’t Heard From Si, and Will Stay in New YorkJames Truman, the Condé Nast wunderkind who rose to become Si’s second-ever editorial director and then resigned at the start of 2005 after Newhouse said no to his pet project, an art magazine, resigned today from his job as editorial director of Louise MacBain’s LTB Media, a publisher of art magazines, which he joined about a year ago and where he recently launched a travel mag for well-off aesthetes, Culture + Travel. “I was never going to do it long-term,” Truman told the New York Observer, which broke the news this morning. “The project interested me because I tried so long to get an art magazine at Condé Nast.” New York’s Carl Swanson — who has written about Truman’s Condé Nast departure and his LTB arrival — checked in with him this afternoon for some elaboration.
in other news
Jane’s Carousel Spins With No One to Ride It
There’s something almost novelistic about Jane Walentas’s well-documented obsession with a wooden carousel. The wife of the man who built Dumbo first found the quaint thing in Ohio in 1984, at an auction for a belly-up amusement park; she’s been repairing it, piece by piece, ever since. During those twenty years, her husband turned a shady warehouse district into one of the city’s more enviable addresses and something close to a personal fiefdom — but it still doesn’t have a place for Jane’s carousel. The Walentas’ ultimate goal is to mount it in the Brooklyn Bridge park, but for now a kid-free indoor installation during the Dumbo art festival will have to do. And no, you still can’t ride it. But you can — thanks to the kind bloggers at Gowanus Lounge — at least take a spin on the YouTube.
Jane’s Carousel Debuts in Dumbo [Gowanus Lounge]
Jersey Kitten Named Cat Champ, Doesn’t Care
The smell at the fourth annual Iams Cat Championship hits you before the cuteness does. Held in the Expo room in the bowels of Madison Square Garden, the show — sponsored by the century-old Cat Fanciers Association — featured felines representing 41 certified breeds, booths advertising “world’s best kitty litter,” charcoal drawings of cats drinking out of toilets, and presentations like “The Secret Sex Lives of Dogs & Cats.” (Can’t some things stay secret?)
Sunday was time for the Best of the Best awards, the kitty equivalent of Best in Show. (It came after the trained-cat show and the feline agility competition.) The judging took place in the front of the room, before dozens of people on folding chairs, on a stage with a small, pink-beribboned table. The judge, Walter Hutzler, brought out each cat and held it aloft, stretching it out vertically or horizontally into a sort of Superman pose, before setting it down briefly on the table. The crowd oohed and aahed constantly. Two gray-haired announcers — Kent Highhouse, in a tux, and Gail Frew, in a black pantsuit — sat to the left of the stage, keeping up a running commentary.