Hollywood Really IS Full of DegeneratesAt least night’s ‘Elegy’ premiere, we met a former teenage fire starter, a drunk cheerleader, and a comedian who says that sometimes bad touching can be oh-so-good.
America’s Real-Estate Conflicts, As Enacted by the Hearst GalsVeronica Hearst is using her Fifth Avenue apartment and a property in upstate New York as collateral in case the auction for her 52-room mansion in Palm Beach doesn’t hit $40 million. Meanwhile, her step-granddaughter Lydia Hearst just bought a $1.49 million apartment in the Sheffield 57 on West 57th. Damon Dash got freaked out by the lunar eclipse. CNBC’s Money Honey, Maria Bartiromo, has joined the board at her alma mater, NYU. Cindy Adams thinks Ellen Page is, uh, “a young, white, female Obama.”
Penélope and Salma Took Photos They Don’t Want Anyone to See Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek had their camera and laptop, respectively, stolen while on vacation and are now worried about pictures getting out. In yet another Scientology video, Tom Cruise takes credit for saving the lives of fireman in the aftermath of 9/11. CNN’s chief national correspondent, John King, is converting to Judaism to appease the father of bride-to-be, congressional correspondent Dana Bash. Michael Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas, but he changed his surname to Keaton to avoid confusion. Chris Martin attacked a paparazzo who was shooting him and Gwyneth Paltrow leaving Mount Sinai hospital.
City Free of ‘Sex and the City’ Movie! …For NowMets pitcher John Maine asked an attractive clubgoer at Touch if he could try on her black dress in the bathroom. Sex and the City wrapped up shooting in New York with a party at the Royalton Hotel. Bill Clinton swapped seats with Oscar de la Renta so he could sit next to Penélope Cruz instead of Anna Wintour at the Spanish Institute Gold Medal Gala. Lame duck Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is annoyed that his name wasn’t included in a recent Post article about 2009 gubernatorial contenders. Tommy Hilfiger made $8.5 million when he sold the East Hampton home he bought a year and a half ago for $26.5 million. Bobby Cannavale dropped his 47-year-old girlfriend for 22-year-old Alison Pill. Fans of Law & Order: SVU are annoyed that Richard Belzer doesn’t have as much screen time as he once did.
Imus Is Ready to Fight BackWhen he goes back on air, Don Imus will likely not be so nice to those who took him to task for his “nappy-headed hos” comment. Socialista owner Armin Amiri quarantined paparazzi who were trying to snap photos of Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin and got the police to force them to give up their memory cards. (Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are dating, by the way.) Val Kilmer got claustrophobic at a party at the Thompson Hotel and left his girlfriend there. Mayor Bloomberg said of his cameo in Sex and the City, “I play the city.” Into the Wild’s Emile Hirsch celebrated his Gotham Award for Best Film by lying low at Marquee.
Judd Apatow Gets the Last LaughRight before Undeclared was canceled in 2002, creator Judd Apatow sent a Fox executive a note saying, “I don’t understand how you can [bleep] me in the [bleep] when your [bleep] is still in me from last time.” Christian media-watchdog group Renaissance complained that the female anchors on Fox News wear really short skirts. While taping 30 Rock recently, Tracy Morgan didn’t know his lines, didn’t listen to the director, and got into arguments with cast members on set. Stifler from American Pie and Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite sent out an invitation for their joint birthday party at Room Service to a bunch of modeling agencies. Famed British chef Fergus Henderson is cooking at the Spotted Pig tomorrow. Penélope Cruz and new man Javier Bardem acted “touchy-feely” at the New York Film Festival.
Architecture Has Gotten Too ‘Fun’ in ChelseaChelsea: When they put that “decorative” rail around that “edgy” new glass box on 18th and Eighth (RIP the restaurant), they probably didn’t expect dozens of hip-hoppy schoolkids to hang on it all afternoon. Hee-hee. [Vanishing New York]
Forest Hills: The hood might be losing newcomers to hipper zones like Fort Greene. And all because the cribs here look like grandma-type places. And not even cool Golden Girls–type grandmas. [Forest Hills 72]
Jamaica: Should the Macy’s turned Colosseum Mall here, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merril in 1947, be considered a mid-century-modern gem? [Brooklyn Rail]
Park Slope: Just when you thought the Slope’s collective ego couldn’t get any bigger, one of its own — painter Joan Snyder — has to go and win the half-mil MacArthur Genius Award. Great. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
Roosevelt Island: The marriage of real estate and money has become a permanent fixture here … the sculpture exhibit, that is! [Roosevelt Islander]
Upper East Side: New evidence finds that if you are a (presumably straight) guy walking around this hood with a popped pink Izod collar, you are very likely a douche bag. [78thand2nd]
Upper West Side: Does Queens council member (and dulcet-toned sometime vocalist) Melinda Katz care more about preserving the UWS’ character and scale than hoods in her own borough? [Queens Crap]
A New Look for the Old East Village BathsAfter 115 years, the old-school shvitzes at the Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street are getting just a little bit less old. A just-started renovation will add a new, larger sauna and steam bath to the East Village institution, where your bubbe and zayde bathed a century ago — when the Lower East Side tenements often didn’t have their own plumbing — and customers today range from Hasidic Jews to celebrities like P. Diddy and Colin Farrell to neighborhood locals, both hipster and non. “We’re basically getting rid of an old sauna and putting in a brand-new one,” 30-year-old Jack Shapiro, who manages the baths with his brother, told us. They’re also adding a new steam room and “prettying up” the stairs to the institution’s second level. August, of course, is the time to do this, because sauna business slows down when it’s already so hot and muggy outside. But it doesn’t stop completely. “After you take a 180-degree steam here,” Shapiro explained, “100 degrees outside ain’t bad.” —Mary Reinholz
Judi Giuliani, Puppy Killer?Vanity Fair’s forthcoming takedown of Judi Giuliani paints her as “opportunistic, puppy-killing homewrecker.” ABC News employees were reminded not to surf for porn on company time after it was discovered that an intern had nude photos online. Married cosmetics heir William Lauder may be the illegitimate father of a child with nightlife honcho Howard Stein’s daughter. Mets pitchers John Maine and Aaron Heilman partied at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone. New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane might not technically be married to the mother of his two children, journalist Allison Pearson. Penélope Cruz and Bono were spotted holding hands in St. Tropez. Star Jones claims women on TV get a raw financial deal. Rachael Ray and Ron Jeremy were in Saratoga for the opening of the racetrack.
Gore ’08!Michael Moore may support Al Gore for president. A theater in the HBO building was named for former network chief Michael Fuchs, and Fuchs gave a weird, bad, awkward speech at the ceremony. Jerry Seinfeld is very excited about his upcoming Bee Movie. 50 Cent is very excited about playing a drug dealer opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in his upcoming movie. A lot of racehorse owners are not pleased with Eliot Spitzer’s plan for Aqueduct to be government-run. David Burke took home $10,000 after beating Bobby Flay and Sam Talbot in a poker tournament in Aspen. Jimmy Fallon wants to lose weight. “Utter pandemonium” broke out, says a “Page Six” source, after Debra Messing, Mike Nichols, and other guests were rained upon during the Public Theater’s premiere of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park. (Actually, we thought it was pretty fun.) Ian Claus dedicated his first book to Chelsea Clinton.
The Soho Grand Is a WonderlandRumors of the demise of the John Mayer–Jessica Simpson relationship may be greatly exaggerated; the two spent Sunday night together at the Soho Grand. (Mayer is also still doing the stand-up comedy thing). Today show correspondent Jill Rappaport owns eighteen acres in the Hamptons. Johnny Damon hung out till 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, but he still hit a two-run double later in the day. Ivanka Trump and Zach Braff exchanged numbers. (Uh-oh. Does Jared Kushner know about this?) Warren Buffett, David Remnick, John Kerry, Ted Turner, and Jann Wenner, among others (ahem), were all rejected from Harvard. After asking for $5.5 million, Stone Phillips sold his penthouse on West 72nd Street for $4.35 million. Times managing editor Jill Abramson is suing the truck driver who ran over her foot.
Back and to the LeftA new book by Salon.com founder David Talbot claims that the JFK assassination was the joint work of the CIA and the Mafia. Philadelphia TV reporter Alycia Lane mistakenly sent risqué e-mails intended for NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen to his wife. Pete Wentz wants his new East Village bar, Angels and Kings, to be a place where people can have sex in the bathroom. A lot of bankers can no longer expense meals at Hawaiian Tropic Zone. Alec Baldwin skipped the premiere of his new movie to go to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. Good move: The screening — of a movie in which he plays an estranged father after a messy divorce — would have been awkward. Penélope Cruz bought the wait staff at the Waverly Inn a round of shots. Rosie O’Donnell dropped a subtle hint that she may be headed to CBS. Boy George was arrested in London for keeping some guy chained to his wall. Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields gambled together in Vegas.
Judi, Judi, JudiAmong the skits to be put on by the city’s political journos at the upcoming Inner Circle roast is one featuring Judi Giuliani as a blow-up sex doll. Us Weekly, Star, and other weekly tabloids are upping their negative coverage of Brangelina because they are sick of getting scooped by People. A handful of people are angling for a portion of deceased Dr. Robert Atkins’s $600 million estate. Mike Bloomberg’s 98-year-old mother sometimes pretends she’s not related to him so people don’t ask her to hook their grandkids up with jobs. NBC’s Today show is losing serious ground to ABC’s Good Morning America and even CBS’s Early Show in the ratings game. Charlie Rose and Amanda Burden may not be broken up, despite reports they are. Jay-Z has plans to ink a deal with Champagne label Ace of Spades to replace Cristal as his drink of choice.
The Donald Picks a New FightDonald Trump claims that Golf Digest didn’t include his West Palm Beach course on their “Greatest Courses” list because he refused to advertise in the magazine. Jennifer Lopez arrived three hours late to her album-release party. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie may be breaking up. James Gandolfini picked up a girl Tony Soprano–style. And Christopher is apparently the odds-on favorite to get whacked in the final season. Julianna Marguiles bought condoms with some guy at Duane Reade. Lindsay Lohan was allowed to use an apartment in the Atelier on West 45th Street because developers wanted to give the building some star power.
Paris to Go Directly to Jail?Paris Hilton may go to jail for violating the terms of her probation after September’s drunk-driving arrest. Chris Rock’s marriage may or may not be on shaky ground. Jets owner Woody Johnson can invite his sister or his daughter to his birthday party, but not both. (They hate each other.) Jay-Z and Beyoncé are still together, despite the fact that he didn’t walk the red carpet with her at the Oscars. Meatpacking haunts R&R and Double Seven are being shuttered, but a rustic lounge called Retreat is opening. Justin Timberlake is opening a southern restaurant on the Upper East Side. (You can read more about it at Grub Street.) Fellow pregnant dumpees Bridget Moynahan and Mary Louise Parker had breakfast. Taki Theodoracopulos and Dominick Dunne have both made enemies on the party-writing circuit.