Big Urban-Planning Issues: How Do We Get LeBron?It’s been a bad week for massive urban-planning projects. First came news that Madison Square Garden would be renovating instead of moving into the Moynihan Station megadevelopment across Eighth Avenue.
Put Your Hands All Over Madonna’s GlobeHow big of a Madonna freak are you? Big enough that you would be thrilled to have the chance to wager your hard-earned, depreciating American paycheck on a four-foot, 80-pound globe made of plaster, marble dust, and recyclable polystyrene because Madge rubbed her 50-year-old butt against it?
Simon Doonan Is a Delicate FlowerThe Barneys creative director and author of ‘Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You’ answers those 21 questions we’re always asking.
There Goes the SchneighborhoodRichard Gere has put his apartment in Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi on the market, private-equity execs come down to earth, Sam Zell continues to be wacky, and Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein fight like a couple of queens over ‘Project Runway’ in our daily roundup of real-estate, finance, media and law news.
in other news
Heath Ledger’s Family Fights for the Right to His MoneyIt’s been two months since Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose in his Soho apartment, and despite the salacious details of his death, everyone involved has remained somewhat tasteful about it. Memorial services in Australia and Los Angeles were tasteful, low-key affairs, and family members and friends (and Mary-Kate Olsen) have all kept their mouths shut about it for the most part. Until now. Ledger’s family (not including Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter Matilda) has exploded into squabbling over the management of his estate.
early and often
Heilemann: Clintons Had South Carolina Coming“A good, old-fashioned butt-kicking” was the phrase that Barack Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, used to describe what went down on Saturday in South Carolina’s Democratic primary. And that’s exactly what it was. I’m not talking here just about the overall margin — 55-27 — by which Obama whomped Hillary Clinton. I mean the composition of his victory (the details of which you can find here.)
Among the most noteworthy stats to be found in the South Carolina exit polls is that the collapse of Obama’s support among white voters suggested by some pre-primary polls did not occur. As Axelrod noted, the unofficial over-under number on the eve of the vote was 10 percent of this category — but Obama actually ended up with 24 percent. More stunning, he essentially tied Clinton among Caucasian men and captured more than half of the white voters under 30. Finally, the hopemonger reached beyond his customary well-off/well-schooled constituency and carried at least a plurality of voters at every economic and education level – and this is crucial to his prospects on Tsunami Tuesday, February 5.
it happened this week
BrokenheartedNew Yorkers enjoyed a three-day weekend thanks to Martin Luther King Jr., but the first day back at work was even worse than usual. Heath Ledger, the gifted and restless Aussie actor who seemed to have found a welcoming home here, was found dead in a Broome Street apartment at age 28. (Police officials, stumped by indeterminate autopsy results, said it might take two weeks to unravel the actor’s cause of death.) The Clintons bullied Barack Obama — Bill on the stump and Hillary in a Democratic debate; the Illinois senator finally snapped, “I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes!” Rudy Giuliani’s all-or-nothing strategy in Florida looked increasingly headed toward a “nothing” outcome; meanwhile, comeback kid John McCain raked in a million dollars in a single night of midtown fund-raising.
Michael Musto Finds a Blog Home, At LastAll together now: three snaps up, in a circle. Legendary Village Voice scribe Michael Musto has entered the blogosphere! He told us last night while we were out at (where else?) Beige, but before we could do a scoopy post, his publicist sent out a press release. “Complimenting his immensely popular weekly ‘La Dolce Musto’ column, readers will be tipped off to breaking news items and get the most crucial news from the world of nightlife, entertainment, politics,” explains the breathless missive. Musto will do one post a day, he told us last night. We could not be more excited. Musto is hilarious and raunchy — in fact, he’s the only gay writer who makes fart jokes. In the whole world! “I’m really nervous about finding things to write about,” he explained, but judging by today’s entry, he should be fine. Here’s our favorite part of today’s post (which does a much better job of selling it than the press release), in which the shy Musto is confronted by gay performer Ari Gold (yes, really) and accused of not giving Gold enough publicity:
Gold feels that as an openly gay artist, he deserves a heaping of attention from me, who champions homo talent all the time. In all candor, I told him I don’t write much about music, but he shot back, “I don’t buy that” — not the most gracious response to a gracious response, but again, very singular. Another valid excuse is that I don’t automatically write about someone just because they’re openly gay. If that were an instant ticket to publicity, there’d be a lot more artists bursting out of the closet (which would actually be fabulous — maybe next week I’ll plug every single out person there is, but perhaps not the murderers).
Welcome to the blog underworld, Michael! We’ve been awaiting you. Just don’t get injured, ya hear?
The Daily Musto [VV]
Howard Stern Is Quietly Gay-LovingMEDIA
• Howard Stern, good for the gays? A longtime lesbian listener calls Stern “one of the most pro-gay media personalities in the country.” [Gay.com]
• Murdoch finally gets his giant puffy hands on the Journal today at 10 a.m. The only question is just how much of the Bancroft family will try to show their noble intentions, however laughably inept, by registering a protest vote against the deal. [WSJ]
• A great new/old debate: Should Democrats go on Fox News? [Mixed Media/Portfolio, NYO]
‘Gossip Girl’ Plotline: Real-Life Crossover?Great news! Last night we went to the opening of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular (and it was, as you can probably tell from the name, splendid). There were a bunch of exciting celebrity appearances, including Cynthia Nixon with her girlfriend and children, and Chris Meloni, who arrived late and actually had to slide his glorious bubble butt past us to reach where his kids were sitting. But the most Christmas-miraculous sighting of all was of Taylor Momsen and Connor Paolo, who you might know better as Jenny Humphrey and Eric van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl! They were sitting in the front row, right up next to all the action. Now, we don’t know if it was a date, but the two seemed very close and sat leaning on one another and whispering for the whole show. And the best part? They were chaperoned by Taylor’s mom. (She even brought Taylor’s younger sister along for the ride.) The actors are, after all, only 14 and 17. If they were real teenagers, instead of famous ones, they’d totally have to go to the mall as the only way to get away from their parents, and be forced to make out at Cinnabon. Oh, to be young
Earlier: ‘Gossip Girl’ Star Connor Paolo Has Lunch at 10:30 A.M. All our Gossip Girl recaps and dish!
in other news
Heather Mills Flip-flops Her Stance on McCartney-Shevell AllianceWhat a difference a day makes. As much as we’re loath to give Heather Mills more attention, the Daily News and Post are so obsessed with the Paul McCartney–Nancy Shevell fling that it’s impossible to ignore. And we couldn’t help but notice the difference in Mills’s take on the issue from yesterday to today. Yesterday, her rep told us that Mills said, “Paul is a free man now. He can do what he wants!” But today, we learn from the Post that Mills is “seething with rage over her soon-to-be-ex-hubby’s lip-locking love affair.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Mills allegedly shouted at the beloved Beatle during a phone call she made after spying paparazzi pictures of him spending last weekend romantically paling around with their old family friend, Nancy Shevell. “There was a huge row,” a source told London’s The Mirror newspaper. “Heather asked what the hell he thought he was up to.”
Now that’s more like it! Don’t let a moment go by where you can seem like the victim, Heather. Rampage, rampage, rampage!
HEATHER IS AP’PAUL’LED: ‘BEATLE MANIAC’ LOSES IT ON PHONE [NYP]