Park Slope Parents Are Aflutter Over Toys in BabelandOne might think that Park Slope mommies, who have a reputation for uptightness, might be concerned about Little Phineaus wanting to go check out the colorful Rabbits when Toys in Babeland opens a few blocks from the Gymboree on Bergen Street. That’s what the Post thought, anyway, when they headlined an article about the opening “SEX-TOY SHOP HAS BAD VIBES IN PARK SLOPE” and indicated that residents were displeased. On the contrary! “This is seriously the best news I’ve heard in months,” wrote one poster to the Brooklynian message board. “No longer will I have to hear the plaint ‘Where can a girl go to get a decent strap-on round here???’” said a commenter on Brownstoner, where posters were affronted by the Post’s assumption that Slopers parents are too uptight for kinky sex. In fact, they’re downright kinky! “My wife and I have a weird thing goin,” shared an anonymous commenter. “I pretend I’m Marty Markowitz and she’s Randi Weingarten. Our slave boyfriend, The What, is tied up to a big statue of Atlantic Yards. It gets kinky from there.”
Leven Rambin: ’Mo Ho?Leven Rambin, the 17-year-old soap star, has landed a role in the new Lipstick Jungle series. She plays an actress, so it couldn’t have been much of a stretch. At the Saks party celebrating the new show, she said she prepared for her role by studying all her gay best friends. “They were like, ‘This girl’s over the top! She’s dramatic, she’s mood-swingy, she’s bitchy, she’s out of control!’ And I was like, ‘Hmmm who do I know?’” So, who does she know? “I have one person in mind, but I don’t want to say his name. I already told him he was my inspiration, and he’s very, like, proud of that,” she said. At this point, Rambin left us, dashed across the red carpet and wrapped Über-dandy Patrick McDonald in a hug, and exclaimed, “Patrick! You better work!” Aha! Did she base her character on McDonald? “No, no no! This one is, like, she’s flamboyant,” said Rambin. “She’s like, all over the place.” Wait, “she”? Leven, we wondered, are you a fag hag? “I would say so. He says I’m the youngest one he knows.” —Bennett Marcus
show and talk
Saks Loads Up on Logos at New Shoe Department
The new shoe department at Saks opened this morning, and, much as we’d love to gush about it, we can’t. Don’t get us wrong: It’s nice. It’s very nice, and it’s a major upgrade from the well-to-do-suburban-mom- attempting-to-be-fashionable selection the store formerly offered. But we’re shoe addicts, and we were expecting more. The floor was buzzing with camera crews, waiters were serving breakfast munchies, and salespeople were announcing every two seconds how proud they were of the new space. They had the patent-leather Miu Miu spectators for sale, and the two-tone Pradas with the curved heel. They even had our knee-high Chloé boots, with the gold zipper going up the calf. But what they also had was way too many logos for our taste: Gucci, Chanel, and Dior; sneakers, loafers, and ballet flats.
show and talk
Americans Persistently Uninterested in Victoria Beckham
The jury is still out on whether Americans can be forced to care about David Beckham the whiny-voiced British footballer plays his last game for Real Madrid this weekend, after which he’ll descend upon L.A. but if yesterday’s Saks Fifth Avenue appearance is any indication, we’ve already made up our minds about his wife, Victoria. The former Spice Girl was there to launch her new sunglasses and denim line, DVB, and initially it seemed as if a lot of people showed up. But as we listened closely to the confused buzzing behind cell-phone-camera flashes, giggles, and tittering from starstruck shoppers, we overheard one person explaining that “Angelina Jolie is here to promote her new clothes,” while a Saks security guy admitted, “We’ve got people all the way down the block. But it’s majority press that’s here.”
new york fugging city
The Fug Girls: Paris Hilton’s Prison Diary Things just have a habit of springing open around Paris Hilton, but this time, it wasn’t her legs: The haughty heiress walked out of her prison cell early this morning after serving only five days of her already-reduced 23-day sentence. The Big House was causing her mental distress, she claims, so Paris will instead return to her own big house and wear a kicky anklet for the next 40 days.
So what really happened? Until her hyped prison diary is somehow released, nobody will know which is why we are so fortunate to have uncovered some exclusive excerpts.
Nothing Says ‘Small-Town Feel’ Like Community ToiletsThe Bronx: Car-free Sundays return to the Grand Concourse. [Streetsblog]
Clinton Hill: Hollenback Garden invites all the neighbors to soil the soil, but wait until the composting toilet is built on Saturday. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: One Ten 3rd is still not ready for human occupancy, but for now it’s populated by a bunch of Sub-Zero refrigerators. [Curbed]
Jackson Heights: The normally private gardens here are open to the rest of us schlubs for the weekend. [OuterB]
Kensington: Virgin doesn’t even bother giving this underrated neighborhood its own ad. They just get a generic “Brooklyn” one. [Kensington Blog]
Park Slope: Anyone want to buy Seventh Avenue Books? It’s “priced to sell.” [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]
Starchitect Showdown! Will Rockwell or Gehry Build the Better Playground?It’s never too early to start Manhattan tykes on high-end real-estate mania. The Parks Department has just announced that Frank Gehry will be designing a no doubt titanium-clad playground for Battery Park — which puts the L.A.-based starchitect in head-to-head competition with New York’s own David Rockwell, the man behind countless restaurant and hotel interiors, some of Broadway’s wittiest set designs, and a planned “imagination playground” on Burling Slip, a bit uptown on the East River. How do the two compare? See for yourself.
This Week Is All About TonyNo, no, silly. Not Tony Soprano. (We’ll always have TiVo.) Antoinette Perry! In the sort of brilliant marketing move that could only come from the industry that thought a Bob Dylan dance play was a good idea, Broadway’s biggest honors will be presented Sunday night, opposite Tony Soprano’s final stroll through the tomato patch. While everyone else is desperately building excitement for the HBO juggernaut, the good folks are Vulture are looking ahead toward CBS’s annual ratings flop. They’ve got Tony-award news, Tony-award drawings, and, perhaps best of all, Tony-award picks from real-life Tony voters. It’s all at Vulture.
Tony-awards coverage [Vulture]
the morning line
• Eliot Spitzer doesn’t just want DNA samples from all convicts and parolees. He also wants automatic HIV tests for all rape suspects, in a bill that’s dividing Albany, where some Democrats see testing “by virtue of indictment” as a slippery slope. [NYT]
• Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is quickly turning into a tiny local version of Tom DeLay: First came the strategic purge of a community board, now he’s in hot water for accepting a free cruise on Queen Mary 2 after lobbying Cunard to dock the ship in Red Hook. [NYP]
• Accounting assistant could be a pretty lucrative job, provided you’re ready to (a) steal and (b) go to jail. Eileen Koranteng, for instance, parlayed said gig at Riverdale Country School into both a $500,000 windfall and fifteen years behind bars if convicted.
• Chuck Schumer has Lyme disease! The senator is receiving treatments after he was bitten by a deer tick in the Hudson Valley. In an odd coincidence — this is not a joke — he’s proposed a $100 million research grant to study the disease. [WNBC]
• And in a first that doesn’t bode well for the future of the Postal Service, Saks Fifth Avenue’s shoe department got its own Zip Code: 10222-SHOE. Nice PR move, but we’re not sure Saks is ready to embrace the yo-mama-so-fat- she-has-her-own-Zip-Code jokes. [amNY]
Will Imus Return?MEDIA
• Is Imus’s planned $200 million lawsuit a ploy to get back on the air? [NYP]
• The final bids for Dennis Publishing are due next week, and it’s shaping up as a showdown between Kent Brownridge and Ron Burkle. [AdAge]
• Jeff Bridges will play Graydon Carter in the film version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. [WWD]
Saks Now Offering Package Deals?
We couldn’t help noticing this mannequin in a Saks window as we walked past last night. We have no idea what they’re actually trying to sell with it. Or, come to think of it, maybe we do.
[Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Holiday Windows Take Turn Toward the Trippy
The consolidation of department stores a trend cooling only because there’s nothing left to merge leaves Manhattan as the last hospitable environment for that Norman Rockwell tradition, the holiday window display. The city’s flagships Barneys, Bendel, Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, and Macy’s began unveiling their windows over the weekend, and, as usual, they’re secular spectacles. Out: Santa, model trains, gingerbread men. In: Scary, post-modern vignettes.
So which ones are worth wistful gazing? We’ve rated them according to five categories: holiday cheer, narrative, a sense of childlike wonder, and set design. Check back daily for three installments, culminating on Wednesday when the winner is revealed. Today, get creeped out by Saks and Bergdorf’s.
Fashion Blog Steams Up Saks Windows The mainstreaming of blogging isn’t exactly news anymore — just look at, well, this Website — but still, the Saks Fifth Avenue windows that debuted today must mark some kind of milestone. Several have been done up as — and it feels weird just to type this — page layouts from the fashion-forward blog the Sartorialist. The wily Saks designers left no detail out, capturing even the fonts and the little envelope icon (hey, those pants got seven comments!). We impulsively clicked over to the Sartorialist half-expecting to find some sort of mind-blowing switcheroo — perhaps its blogspot.com template looks like … Saks Fifth Avenue! But no, it was the usual design, although the top story was indeed a report from a Saks event in San Francisco. So what’s the deal behind what must rank as one of the fashion world’s odder cross-promotions?