On the Firing Line
In a week when much of the world came to midtown, the boldest names were to be found on campus. Hillary Clinton held up under heavy grilling at the Dartmouth debates, while Columbia University president Lee Bollinger invited Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad uptown, then called him a “petty and cruel dictator.” (For his part, Ahmadinejad denied that his country contained such dangerous American inventions as nuclear weapons and homosexuals.) Potential First Husband Bill was joined at his Global Initiative conference by poverty experts Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The former commander-in-chief also declared war, unsuccessfully, on Village eatery Osso Buco for hanging a promotional photo of daughter Chelsea in its front window.
Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson DiesDowntown icon and gay performing artist Dean Johnson died last week, friends just learned. The six-foot-six promoter was found dead by authorities in Washington, D.C., but remained unidentified until this week. Police are still investigating the cause. Johnson, 45, founded the iconic weekly party Rock and Roll Fag Bar in the late eighties, and also started HomoCorps, a monthly gay music showcase at CBGB, before the punk club closed. At times a porn star and at other times a rock star (he fronted Dean and the Weenies and later the Velvet Mafia), he was always recognizable by his height (often augmented by heels) and brazen eyewear. Friends say he helped shape the growing East Village art and club kid scene in the late eighties, continuing through to today, with popular and notoriously raunchy parties he’s hosted at dive venues like the Hole and the Cock. He had battled drugs “historically,” said his longtime friend Joe Birdsong. “But in the past year he had cleaned that up.” Friends will celebrate his life next week at Rapture Café and Books on Wednesday at 8 p.m
The Velvet Mafia [Official site]
Dean Johnson – Death of a Legend [Motherboards]
Related: Party Favorites [NYM]
The Honorable Regis PhilbinAt Jeffrey Toobin’s party for The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, free copies of the book were nowhere to be found, much to the chagrin of one late arriver, Regis Philbin. “I can’t get my hands on the book! All the free copies are gone!” he told us, upset because he had wanted to read the book and hold it up on his show. “I don’t know how the etiquette works. But usually when you go to a book party, they give you the book! Do you have the book?” We didn’t. “Are you disappointed?” Welll … now that you mention it, yeah! “You should be! I think you deserve it!” Wow, Regis really knows how to rile up a crowd, we thought. And as if reading our mind, he took that moment to throw his hat into politics. “I should be on the Supreme Court,” he said.
The Flowerbox Is RevealedAlphabet City: The new Flowerbox building near Avenue D is real, and it’s spectacular. [Curbed]
Brooklyn Heights: Tomorrow’s Cranberry Street Festival will not only feature the usual pet parade, but also a belly dancer! [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Dumbo: After filling up with yuppies fleeing Manhattan, Dumbo takes the final step into suburbia: It’s starting a Neighborhood Watch. [DumboNYC]
Greenpoint: Miss Heather finally captures on film the neighborhood’s elusive Dog Who Wears Sunglasses And A Seatbelt [Newyorkshitty]
Harlem: The Randolph Houses are getting completely renovated by the city. Who says Bloomberg is a bad landlord? [Uptown Flavor]
Too Many Hipsters Bring Down L Train GradesToday, the MTA released its subway report card results for the L Train, which runs from Eighth Avenue across 14th Street and through Brooklyn. The L train received an overall grade of C — nothing to brag about, but still good enough to avoid a note home to your parents. The biggest complaint, overcrowded trains during rush hour, is totally justifiable, unless you happen to enjoy sitting with a stranger’s package three inches from your face. According to the New York Times the L train’s congestion troubles are due to a ridership growth rate in hipster-sanctuaries Williamsburg and Greenpoint, where the population has grown by 20 percent since 2000, double the city average. At least the hipster population is overall abnormally (freakishly) thin — you can easily pack three hipsters into the space of one un-artistic, short-haired, loose-panted person. Were they of normal girth, the L train would really be in trouble. — Dan Amira
the sports section
The Day Philadelphia Bested New YorkAs Mets fans averted their eyes last night from the dispirited slop on the field at Shea, they could find no comfort in the National League scoreboard. Before the Mets even stepped up to bat, the Phillies led the Braves by four. The St. Louis Cardinals shut out the Mets with little bombast, and fans left Shea so humiliated by simultaneously losing the game and their sole claim to first place in the NL East that they could barely muster a few feeble taunts at a guy wearing a Rick Ankiel jersey. This is what happens to New Yorkers when we realize that Philadelphia is better than us.