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.
Breaking: Someone Fancy Went to Mohegan Sun!Vanity Fair style arbiter Amy Fine Collins went to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Central Park carriage owners responded to Pink’s animal-cruelty charges by deriding them as the “ignorant comments of a B-list pop star.” Nets chairman and real-estate developer Bruce Ratner is getting married to plastic surgeon Pamela Lipkin. At Sundance, Paris Hilton gave a lap dance to Jared Leto, David Katzenberg took pictures of his privates for girlfriend Nicky Hilton, Cisco Adler got into a shoving match, Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian made out, and Adrian Grenier lost his drumsticks. John Legend says he doesn’t get caught up with dating models and that he’s “more concerned with (his) happiness.”
Breaking: NBA Stars Get ChicksNew Jersey Net Jason Kidd likes the company of women. Supermodel Maggie Rizer was busted for throwing away garbage behind a pizza parlor. Jennifer Lopez is starting to sound more and more like a Scientologist. Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey has a boyfriend but still likes creepily cruising the town for new guys. Lily Allen performed at Irving Plaza a little drunk, but it went smoothly. Abigail Breslin is set to play a doll in an upcoming HBO movie. Seann William Scott was reported to be sighted at a gay bar with David Geffen, but the bar doesn’t exist and he actually dates a Victoria’s Secret model.
the sports section
Isiah’s Knicks Follow Tradition, Lose to NetsIf you thought the Academy Awards had the market cornered last night on empty theatrics, predictable results, and lukewarm competition among pampered, overpaid, washed-up stars, then you weren’t watching the Nets’ ritual flogging of the Knicks, now a quadrannual affair. The iron law of this ceremony, at least over the past five years, is that the Knicks lose and, because their record is already so bad, it means absolutely nothing. True to form, last night they efficiently converted a nine-point halftime lead into a nine-point loss. But there was also a surprise: This time, if you really lowered your standards, and squinted, and maybe watched your TV through sunglasses, it almost seemed for a minute like it sort of meant something.
in other news
Did Jason Kidd Discuss His Affairs With His Son? Plus Other Tabloid-Ready FunThe delightful document-researchers at the Smoking Gun have been on fire today, unearthing a troika of choice New York–tabloid source material. Most prominent is the counter-lawsuit filed by Joumana Kidd in her divorce case against New Jersey Nets star Jason, who is — allegedly, always allegedly — a philanderer so prolific and casual that he discussed extramarital affairs with his son. Less tragic and more comic is the list of accommodations Rudy Giuliani requires for his speaking engagements, including transport on a private Gulfstream IV, for starters — though he’s cool with a bigger plane if you’ve got one. (Also noteworthy: As late as March 2006, months after the Bernie Kerik Homeland Security confirmation mess, the Giuliani Partners email domain was giuliani-kerik.com.) And finally, Foxy Brown somehow managed to get police involved in a dispute over personal grooming. Again. Have fun tomorrow, Post.
N.J. Nets to Debut Alter Kocker CheerleadersA press release put out this afternoon by the New Jersey Nets brings word that the NETSational Seniors Dance Team will have its debut at Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. And what exactly is the NETSational Seniors Dance Team? How soon your forget. It’s the basketball team’s troupe of senior-citizen cheerleaders, selected at open-call auditions about two months ago. New York’s Arianne Cohen was at the tryouts, where she checked in with four aspiring NETSations, who varied in age between 61 and 82. They didn’t sound so enthusiastic back then.
Big Pimpin’ Grandmas [NYM]
in other news
The British Are Coming to Brooklyn, Thanks to Bruce Ratner
Any hope of corporate bucks not dominating pro sports disappeared decades ago. But at least the Mets’ new ballpark — Citi Field, they’ll be calling it — will be shilling for a New York company. Bruce Ratner, on the other hand, has sold naming rights to his proposed Brooklyn basketball arena to the London bank Barclays, as the Post reports today. And in some ways that’s not surprising. It underlines the methods Ratner has used throughout his campaign to build Atlantic Yards: Beat your chest about how the project is all about Brooklyn pride, but don’t let that stand in the way of maximizing profits. The even more interesting aspect of this deal will take time to unfold. Every Atlantic Yards figure that Ratner has hyped — except the physical size of the project — has turned out to be smaller when it actually happens. From the number of “affordable” apartments to the number of construction jobs, everything shrinks as it gets closer to reality. The Post story cites unnamed sources to claim that the Nets’ naming rights will be “the most lucrative deal ever for an arena in the United States.” That story line helps further Ratner’s attempts to make Atlantic Yards seem inevitable. Just don’t bet your Nets at the Barclays Center souvenir sweatbands on it turning out to be accurate. —Chris Smith
Say It Ain’t So, ScreechQuestions surface about Screech’s sex tape: Did he use a body double, and did he make it with the intent to sell it? Disney exec and former Pataki spokesperson Zenia Mucha is not thrilled her ex-boyfriend, lobbyist Douglas Rutnik, is dating someone else. Billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn once had some trouble aboard a leased jet. New Jersey Nets part owner Jay-Z just maybe had a hand in giving a Nets Dancers clothing contract to House of Dereon, run by Beyoncé’s mom. Jane Krakowski went roller-skating. Jailed former pimp Jason Itzler wants to start a matchmaking service for rich men when he gets out. Claire Danes and Billy Crudup may have broken up. Melanie Griffith is no longer writing a dishy autobiography, much to the chagrin of the handful of people who would read a dishy Melanie Griffith autobiography. Whitney Houston once called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat bitch” in a Newsweek interview, but the mag didn’t run the quote so as not to offend any Whitney fans. Domenico Dolce, half of Dolce & Gabbana, had his pick of boys at a Miami nightclub. Obvious blind item alert: Which Tinseltown sex siren with a humanitarian streak has resumed her old habit of dabbling with heroin? Sacha Baron Cohen drinks soda, refuses to be photographed out of character. Kathy Griffin says Larry King is deaf. Liev Schreiber sweats a lot on the first date. Penélope Cruz lives with her dogs in Spain and her cats in L.A.
Danny Meyer Reviews His Critics, InhospitablyDanny Meyer doesn’t much appreciate the (mostly laudatory) reviews given to his restaurants by Frank Bruni et al, and lets them know it in his new book. Sean Lennon isn’t exactly a hit with the critics, either. Kevin Federline is trying to sell some amateur video footage to make some extra dough. (No, it’s not that kind of footage.) City Council speaker Christine Quinn cut the check-in line at JFK, and it angered her fellow passengers. Netscape founder James Clark’s divorce cost him $125 million; his new girlfriend won’t be nearly as fortunate. Media prankster Joey Skaggs is getting into the watch business. Katie Holmes couldn’t stick to Victoria Beckham’s recommended post-pregnancy diet of edamame, pretzels, sushi, and Diet Coke. John Krasinski loves David Foster Wallace. Dustin Hoffman makes sure that the hired help get to watch a screening of his movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is GQ’s Man of the Year. (GQ likes Lindsay Lohan, too). Arab royalty laughs at President Bush in Qatar, raises a lot of money for Asia. Former Hell’s Angel Chuck Zito — a.k.a. the guy who beat up Jean-Claude Van Damme — is launching his own radio talk show for men. You know, unlike all the other radio talk shows. A wealthy businessman was turned down by the co-op board at the Carlyle because he’s too much of a playboy. Know any unemployed grandmothers? The New Jersey Nets are hiring.