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Inauguration

  1. in other news
    Marc Jacobs Turns on American FashionMarc Jacobs goes bananas in Women’s Wear Daily today, threatening to leave the country, berating the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and excoriating anyone who complained about his Monday fashion show beginning two hours late. “I don’t really feel a part of the American fashion community,” he spat to WWD editor Bridget Foley. “I really feel like an outsider, I think we all do, and we feel unloved here, so we want to go somewhere else.”
  2. company town
    Joseph Lewis Doesn’t Play BridgeFINANCE • Henry Kravis failed to come to terms with top banks on financing for his all-important $26 billion buyout of First Data, the first in over $300 billion worth of LBOs that the banks need to get off their books. Negotiations will be pushed back another week, but it’s not looking good. [DealBook/NYT] • The new rumor on the Street is that Joseph Lewis, the billionaire British currency speculator, bought into Bear Stearns on the advice of longtime Bear broker Kurt Butenhoff. The previous rumor, that Lewis got the idea from CEO Jimmy Cayne while playing bridge, seems unlikely since Lewis doesn’t even play bridge. [CNBC] • Thanks to their friends at NASA, the CEOs of Google can park their three private jets — including a huge Boeing 767 — just seven minutes away from the tech-giants headquarters. Something tells us no Manhattan CEO’s helicopter perks will beat that. [NYT]
  3. in other news
    Giuliani Team Can’t Quite Dismiss Defection of Former Campaign Manager Buried on page ten of the Post today is the news that Fran Reiter, one of Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral campaign managers (and later his deputy mayor) has switched allegiances and now supports Hillary Clinton. “[Rudy] took a political turn to the right — clearly. It’s a much more ideological agenda,” said Reiter, who adds that back when he was mayor, he was “terrific to work for.” But, she says, he’s recently backed away from “the progressive views he took” back then. Confronted with such obvious human evidence of Rudy’s political flip-flops, his current spokesperson retorted, “we’ll trade Fran Reiter for Louis Freeh any time.” Oh, snap! Freeh was Bill Clinton’s FBI director, who now supports Giuliani. The statement was deft enough to evade examination by the Post, but we have to wonder about the false parallel. Freeh worked for Bill Clinton, not Hillary. Hill has been making some clear departures from his legacy lately — making it clear she doesn’t mean to be the same president. But Fran Reiter’s point is that Rudy now is a different person from Rudy ten years ago — a much more sticky issue. One that the campaign has been trying to ignore. (Then again, we do sort of see the Giuliani spokesman’s point. We’d probably rather have Freeh too — he’s a total DILF!) Former Giuliani Aide Flips to Team Clinton [NYP]
  4. in other news
    Is Guy Trebay Partaking in ‘the Chic of Drug Abuse?’We are big fans of New York Times’ Guy Trebay, and we especially like it when, every once and a while, he goes and totally loses his shit, as he does in today’s Thursday Styles. In what is probably the best story we have read in that section ever, Trebay goes backstage at the Marc Jacobs show and casually yet charmingly shivs all of the celebrities and hangers-on there — Courtney Love, Lady Bunny, Padma Lakshmi, John Currin, etc. — right off the bat, by referring to them in the first paragraph as high school losers who have “avenged themselves on the Heathers of the world by becoming famous for something, sort of.” (Which is totally true by the way, but then, what does that make reporters?) It gets better from there.
  5. in other news
    Foxy Brown Giving Birth to Album, Not BabyOne suspects that Foxy Brown’s lawyers were attempting to invoke the Nicole Richie Sympathy Clause back in August when they claimed that the rapper, who faces a year in jail after breaking her probation, was three months pregnant. Silly lawyers, that doesn’t work for black people! When it became clear the judge was not about to reduce Foxy’s sentence for hitting a woman with a cell phone and violating probation, among other things, her manager changed his tune: She’ll be giving birth to a new album in prison, he clarified yesterday, not a baby. Brooklyn’s Don Diva, her first album since 2001, will come out in November. Don’t serve the time, Fox, let the time serve you. Manager Says Foxy Brown Not Pregnant [AP]
  6. gossipmonger
    Alex Kuczynski Has a Smart BrotherA drunk Justin Long spilled soup on himself twice at Veselka, and then fell for the old beer as “stain remover” trick. The Observer tried to hire event planner Elli Frank to help throw some upcoming parties, despite the fact that the paper referred to her as a “madam” three years ago. James Frey sold a book (this time a novel) to HarperCollins. John-Michael Kuczynski, brother of plastic surgery maven Alex Kuczynski, wrote a book titled “Conceptual Atomism and the Computional Theory of Mind.” Retired Giant Tiki Barber attended a book party celebrating the memoir “I Dream of Blue,” where coach Tom Coughlin was the butt of some playful ribbing. Knopf editor and Gabriel Garcia Marquez champion Ashbel Green is retiring at the age of 80.
  7. in other news
    Stephon Marbury Makes Everybody Look Bad in Isiah Thomas TrialThe Daily News and Post are reveling in yesterday’s tawdry developments in the Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial. Knicks star Stephon Marbury took the stand and revealed that he pressured a college intern into having sex with him in a car outside of a strip club. Also, he called the case’s plaintiff, Anucha Browne Sanders, “a bitch” and dismissed her importance with the team. Sanders testified that when she complained about all of this to Madison Square Garden president Steve Mills, he threatened to spread rumors about her and another executive. We have two thoughts about this. One, we are zero percent surprised. Two, for God’s sake, the Knicks have to settle this case. A hefty monetary gouge will force team brass to crack down on this disgusting behavior, and if they don’t get this out of court, the team is inevitably going to get dragged through endless muck. And more importantly, we don’t know if we can handle another Andrea Peyser column about “sloppy seconds.” Sleaze Play [NYDN] Scoring Machine [NYP]
  8. in other news
    First They Came for Wendy’sIt feels uncool to side with the Fast Food Nation team in the seemingly endless battle to get fast-food restaurants to list the calories of their meals on super-size, super-visible posters, a hullabaloo that at this point has accumulated more headlines than General Petraeus. But Bloomberg’s zeal is not just putting us off our hamburger, it’s kind of creeping us out. “Anyone who thinks we’re going to walk away from trying to tell the public what they’re eating and what it’s doing to them doesn’t understand the obligation this city’s Health Department has,” he said earlier today. “We have to tell people how to lead better lives.” Hizzoner is going back to Boston for the holiday, we’re told by his people, and no doubt he’s enjoying the lean cut of brisket and fat-free kugel prepared especially for him by loving Mama Charlotte.
  9. in other news
    And on 9/12, Giuliani TankedIt may be because this month’s remembrances of the World Trade Center attacks drew voters’ attention to all of the holes being poked in Rudy Giuliani’s terrorism résumé. Or it may be because in August several long profiles of him appeared in serious journals, making him out to be sort of a jerk. Or, it may even be because the Republican candidate’s daughter just started classes at Harvard, which is a campaign kiss of death. But for whichever reason, Giuliani sunk in the polls today, breathing new life into John McCain’s campaign and giving encouragement to newcomer Fred Thompson. He’s not doing so hot in early primary states, either. The dip, from polls in June, shows a campaign popularity matrix that mimics Giuliani’s own personality. Strong at times, but erratic and plagued by insecurity. And, you know, prone to self-immolation. Which reminds us of a question we’ve been pondering for a long time: The Republicans are rooting for Hillary to win the Democratic nomination because they can’t wait to see her implode when she faces the whole nation. So why aren’t the Democrats rooting for Rudy for the same reason? Rudy’s Support Slipping in Multiple Polls [TPM]
  10. white men with money
    And You Thought Your Rent Was High!Housing costs are becoming more and more difficult to bear for normal people, but the absurdly rich seem to be faring just fine. DealBook is reporting that, according to a filing with the City of New York, Sanford Weill, former CEO of Citigroup acquired a $42.4 million penthouse in 15 Central Park West where presumably, he will conduct his business of orchestrating the end of the world. In their new digs, the Weills will have access to a private dining room, a walnut-paneled library, a screening room, and a chauffeurs’ waiting room, although they’ll have to pony up some extra cash if they want a wine-storage area or a maid’s suite — those are sold separately! Let’s hope the walls are thick enough that no one has to overhear neighbors Sting and Trudie having Tantric sex. Weill Pays 42 Million For Chic New Address [DealBook/NYT] Past Perfect” [NYer]
  11. neighborhood watch
    Trader Joe’s Wants You … to Vaseline Your TeethBay Ridge: They’re saying that Representative. Fossella hasn’t come through on promises to help save a beautiful Methodist church from being razed for condo development. [Queens Crap] Coney Island: We are increasingly intrigued by Rose, the compellingly coiffed lady who delivers terse morning weather reports on this blog from a tower high atop Coney. Let’s hear more about Rose! [OTBKB] Dumbo: Looks like yuppies and Farragut Houses residents alike will be rubbing shoulders over toothpaste and T.P. at the “New Pharmacy Coming Soon!” to Gold Street. [Brownstoner] Forest Hills: If you’re an ambitious, adventurous, values- and people-oriented foodie who smiles easily, then the new Trader Joe’s here wants you! [Forest Hills 72] Harlem: With HIV infections in the city’s young gay men up a third since 2001, the biggest jump in that group is here and East Harlem. Come on, brothas and papis — and Chelsea boys too, for that matter — rock the cock sock! [NYS] Long Island City: Sounds like there’s an itty-bitty park planned for that waterfront lot at the end of Vernon Boulevard. Nice. [LICNYC] Melrose: Who’s going to plunk down $25 mil to buy the fabulously rococo, former Bronx County Courthouse? And what’ll they use it for? [Curbed]
  12. party lines
    ‘Eastern Promises’ to Showcase Viggo Mortensen’s JunkViggo Mortensen goes full frontal in a knife fight scene in new David Cronenberg Russian Mob flick Eastern Promises. At the premiere, Cronenberg told New York that Mortensen suggested the nudity himself when they choreographed the scene, which takes place in a bathhouse. “He said, ‘You know, it’s obvious I’m going to have to do this naked.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ That was pretty much the discussion,” Cronenberg said at a screening after-party at the Soho Grand. “If he had had this towel wrapped around him that never moved, you would’ve noticed that. But this was so real.” [Ed. note: Then where did he hide his knife??]
  13. intel
    Heath Ledger Enjoying Open Season Is Heath Ledger already on the prowl? It’s been just days since the actor’s split with Michelle Williams was made public and already we’ve seen him hit the town for two marathon nights. The first was on Sunday, when he attended a Dazed & Confused magazine dinner at Bowery Hotel with five friends and ended up getting squired around the city by Amy Sacco, who took him to Narciso Rodriguez’s tenth-anniversary party on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel, then to the Rose Bar downstairs, and finally to the Box, where he spent quality time in a banquette chatting up a chicly dressed blonde who looked like a taller Sienna Miller.
  14. photo op
    Tribute in Lights, Up Close The annual Tribute in Lights, which is a little dimmer this year than in previous ones, has always been our favorite September 11 tradition. It’s bold, it’s pretty to look at, and it doesn’t involve listening to anybody speak. New York trekked downtown last night to get some pictures of the lights, up close.
  15. company town
    Even Iraq Can’t Save KatieMEDIA • Jon Stewart will get another chance to piss off Old Hollywood — the Academy just decided to let him host the Oscars again. [NYT] • If you thought Katie Couric’s Iraq trip was nothing but a ratings stunt, you might want to check the numbers: The week-long tour tied her previous record for the lowest CBS viewership in over two decades. [AP] • The Wall Street Journal’s softball team celebrates its last season as an “independently” owned team by printing up a cute little fake story. No mention whether Murdoch plans to fire the lot of them and bring in juiced replacements. [Radar Online]
  16. intel
    Giuliani’s ‘Leadership’: You Can Put Your Weed in It A funny thing happened the other day at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. We had some time to kill while waiting for our train, so we went over to Hudson News with the intention of flipping through Rudy Giuliani’s Leadership and reading over some of our favorite bits, since we tend to feel about Leadership the way some people feel about the Bible (and by “some people” we mean “atheists”). But when we picked it up, we noticed the paperback was ever-so-slightly puffier than usual. And that’s when we saw it: Carefully tucked between pages 146 and 147 was a bag of pot. Not a big bag — just a small one, with some seeds and stems and one bud that would be smokable, if one happened to have a one-hitter in one’s possession. But what did it mean? Is the book a weigh station on the Underground Pot Railroad? Or was it a quiet yet powerful statement against the anti-marijuana stance Giuliani displayed this past summer? “I’m very opposed to any form of legalizing marijuana,” Rudes said when advocates of legalizing the drug for cancer patients questioned him in New Hampshire this July. “I think it’s a mistake. I think — and I know a lot about this particular area for a lot of reasons.” [Ed. note: ?!] “Marijuana is a very dangerous substance … a very, very serious addictive drug that particularly harms lots and lots of young people. And we should keep it illegal. And I would keep it illegal.” Maybe in the past few months, his views have changed? “He hasn’t said anything publicly on the topic, that I am aware of, since then,” says campaign spokesman Jeffrey Barker. It’s a koan for our time. Giuliani Blasts Medical Marijuana Supporters [Boston Globe]
  17. in other news
    ‘Observer’ Writer Lives the DreamOh, Spencer Morgan. You aspiring rake, you. For today’s Observer, the Transom writer somehow convinced his editors that spending the day in a model’s apartment would further the cause of journalism. Upon visiting one of the residences, where foreign models all bunk together during Fashion Week, he learns from 17-year-old Russian Nastya Zhelkovskaya that she’s “never had such a nice bathroom!” (“It was a perfectly decent bathroom,” Morgan observes dryly.) After frolicking with Nastya and a handful of other underage beauties (Russians! Brazilians! Twix!) for the day, Morgan notices that he’s been left alone in the living room. “Soon excited chatter and giggling began to emanate from a closed door down the hall,” Morgan says, closing the article. Wait, are we to infer the models are giddily discussing his charms? Deciding amongst themselves who gets to bed him? Or did Morgan merely commit that most basic of all Fashion Week fouls — farting in a room full of models? Princesses of Prince Street [NYO]
  18. in other news
    The Other Hsu DropsThe Journal today has more details today about our new favorite person: large-headed political financier Norman Hsu. Specifically that the money Hsu was giving to Democrats like Hillary Clinton and State Representative Kirsten Gillibrand — and the cash for the $2 million bond he posted to get out of jail this month when he was arrested in Colorado — came from none other than Woodstock co-creator Joel Rosenman’s Source Financing Investors, who invested $40 million dollars earlier this year in Components, a company owned by Hsu, which supposedly financed the production of apparel from luxury labels like Gucci and Prada, but apparently mostly financed Hsu’s own luxury lifestyle. “Recent revelations,” Rosenman told the Journal, “led us to believe that payments due on our recent transactions with Components and Hsu may not be made.” Um, yeah. The headlines today are all about how bad this looks for Clinton, but frankly, the fact that Rosenman invested in a guy whose résumé includes outstanding warrants for grand theft and fraud in the first place worries us more. Did dude get hit in the head during the GN’R mud-mosh at Woodstock 1994? Why don’t you just cruise on over to Canal Street, Rosenman? There are some guys down there who need their Louis Vuitton production funded, too. Also, we got this letter from this nice Nigerian guy… Sixties Figure Says He Financed Donor Hsu [WSJ]
  19. developing
    Dan Doctoroff’s Plan to Move City Hall Workers to WTC City Hall has finally found a way to personally benefit from the fitful rebirth of ground zero. A year ago, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff pledged that the city would rent up to a third of the office space in 4 World Trade Center if no other tenants emerge by early 2009 — a key financing commitment for the three towers that developer Larry Silverstein will soon start building. Yesterday, Doctoroff told us that the city was planning on making good on that pledge — and that relocating city workers into the new Fumihiko Maki–designed skyscraper could benefit everyone, including us taxpayers. “Too many of our workers are in substandard space,” Doctoroff said, “and this gives us an opportunity to upgrade some and perhaps sell some buildings that are better used for residential.” Because condo demand is outpacing the need for office space down there, this could be a deft, profitable maneuver for the city. At the same time, having a guaranteed tenant would take the heat off Silverstein (and his lenders). Since many city workers are toiling in basements and too small spaces, this could be a hat trick not even Silverstein’s architects could’ve designed. —Alec Appelbaum
  20. gossipmonger
    Mayor Bloomberg Smooches Janice MinDanny Fields, manager of Iggy Pop and the Ramones, filed a $100-million suit against Out magazine for making him seem like a pedophile. Heath Ledger crashed a party at the Bowery Hotel with three Australian friends and drank champagne. Mayor Bloomberg kissed Janice Min after Us Weekly named him one of the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers. Kanye West bailed on gigs at the Today show, Letterman, and TRL because he doesn’t think he needs to promote his new album. Jennifer Hudson will play Sarah Jessica Parker’s assistant in the Sex and the City movie. Wilmer Valderrama took Mandy Moore shopping for blazers at Saks. Damien Hirst didn’t know who the Olsen twins were before they came to his party at the Prada store on Friday.
  21. in other news
    Isiah Thomas Accused of Harassment, HeartacheAfter the first day of Isiah Thomas’s sexual-harassment trial, we’ve learned that the Knicks coach is accused of calling a female vice-president a “bitch” and a “ho” in private conversations. Also, the VP, Anucha Browne Sanders, says he professed his love to her after a friendly game of horse. Sound confusing? How about this: When discussing season ticket sales with Thomas, she says he told her, “I don’t give a fuck about these white people!” (Apparently, having Woody Allen in your audience makes everybody white.) Already, sports fans are murmuring that Thomas and the Knicks should settle the suit. Stephon Marbury and a slew of other high-profile witnesses are set to testify, which is bound to make the team’s infrastructure look bad no matter the result of the trial. As for us, we’re just glad we found a reason to care about the Knicks again. Browne-Sanders Slams Isiah Thomas in Sex-Harass Lawsuit [NYDN]