Weekend Watch: Yards Supporters Approve It; Yards Opponents Sue to Block It; Earth Spins on AxisBruce Ratner’s Brooklyn juggernaut kept churning through the weekend, as two residential buildings in the way of his Atlantic Yards dream moved closer to a date with the wrecking ball. The Empire State Development Corporation, the state agency that’s been pushing this megaproject all along, unanimously voted to condemn any and all structures that stand in its way. Ratner’s Forest City already owns the buildings in question, having thoughtfully bought them two years ago; what it doesn’t own, and has little authority over, are some of the tenants’ stabilized rents. Thirteen of the affected residents immediately banded together and sued. The charge: You can’t condemn a building without officially erasing the tenants’ leases first. The question is now, and surely not for the last time, in State Supreme Court. Which should hold up that wrecking ball for at least a little bit.
A Nod for Atlantic Yards, and Then a Lawsuit [NYT]
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.