Conan O’Brien Will Be Drinking Diet Coke on Saint Patrick’s DayAt the American Ireland Fund’s St. Patrick Day party last night, Conan O’Brien picked up an Irish Spirit award for his work with the charity Labels Are for Jars. But as it turns out, the funnyman sadly isn’t stereotypically Irish. He didn’t even like fairies as a kid! “My only connection to Irish lore was through the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms,” said O’Brien. “And the Leprechaun horror movies. Leprechaun in the Hood!” But any self-respecting Irishman, leprechaun-loving or otherwise, should at least be able to put a few beers back every March 17, right? Not so for O’Brien. “I get very self-conscious around a lot of Italian men and African-American men pretending to be Irish,” said O’Brien. “Of course, on Saint Patrick’s Day someone like me just becomes an Irish piñata. ‘It’s Conan O’Brien — ARRRRRRR!!!’” The late-night host has had to deal with his fair share of drunken Irish fans — though the madness has calmed down with upped security budgets — and now chooses the “less obvious” holiday route. “I want to have a Diet Coke, eat some melba toast, and go to bed early. Pretty sexy, huh?” —Jocelyn Guest
in other news
When Irish Eyes Are Buying
We’re used to our Dublin friend’s many sisters hitting Fifth Avenue for weekend shopping trips — “because everything’s so affordable,” they say. Now it seems the Irish regard for Manhattan as a colossal bargain bin extends to real estate. The combination of the economic miracle known as the Celtic Tiger and the weak dollar has made for an entirely new class of condo buyer: the recreational Irish investor. Unlike the Saudis or Japanese, who tend to cause nativist paranoia every time they buy a trophy skyscraper or storied hotel, the Irish are keeping a somewhat low profile, with individual buyers partial to smallish apartments in unfinished high-rises; owning a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, apparently, is becoming a kind of upper-middle-class Dublin cliché. The Irish eye for real estate is even starting to figure into developers’ plans: Esplanade Capital, reports the Times, is planning to unload an entire 43-story condo onto a Dublin company that will then handle the unit-by-unit sales locally. Hey, they built this city, they may as well own it.
An Irish Taste for Real Estate in Manhattan [NYT]
the morning line
Middle-Class Housing? In New York?!
• Mayor Bloomberg announced the city is buying a 24-acre parcel of land in Long Island City on which to build middle-class housing. Jerry Speyer preemptively bids to buy it in 50 years and turn it into luxury condos. [NYS]
• Con Ed technicians working at the ground-zero site yesterday discovered human remains and two wallets in an underground junction box that was allegedly searched years ago. Families groups, no doubt, are thrilled. [NYDN]
• Now a handwriting expert says Brooke Astor’s signature on the 2004 codicil that bequeathed millions to her son was most likely forged. As if Astor family gatherings weren’t awkward enough lately. [NYT]
• A job fair intended for Irish immigrants living illegally in the United States is instead drawing mostly Americans interested in working in Ireland, presumably seeking cheaper Guinness. [NYT]
• Jeanine Pirro is trailing Andrew Cuomo by 21 points in attorney-general race, new polls show. Campaign strategists now seeking a scandal that will actually win her sympathy. [NYP]
• Alas poor Mets. Sigh. [NYDN, NYP]