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The Follow Up

  1. the follow-up
    Is Jay McCarroll Homeless? He Sure Said So (and So Did His Publicist) In this week’s cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo’s reality shows, New York’s Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway’s first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: “His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane’s so defensive we don’t know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We’ll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
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    Doing the Butt You may or may not have caught the controversy we like to call Butts Over Broadway. See, an ad campaign was planned for Toto Washlet, a Japanese-made toilet that, essentially, does the wiping for you, and it included a Broadway billboard showing big, happy, and presumably clean and paper-free butts. Thing is, the billboard was to go on a building that houses a church, and the church’s minister successfully sought a restraining ordering preventing the ad from going up. But there’s one thing being ignored in all this: Never mind the ongoing battles of church and butt; what’s a Washlet like? Fortunately, New York is here for you. Stephen Milioti reviewed the Washlet for the mag back in December. His poster-worthy verdict? “The Washlet will make you forget toilet paper forever!” There’s much more explanation in the piece. Open Water [NYM] In Billboard for Bidet, Church Sees Times Square’s Seedy Past [NYT]
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    Is This the Splasher?Earlier this month, New York’s Sam Anderson looked at the curious case of the Splasher, the anonymous vandal who was destroying some of the city’s best “street art” — that’s a highfalutin term for fancy graffiti — with aggressive splashes of paint and wheatpasted pseudo-Marxist posters decrying the creeping gentrification of the street-art scene. Anderson talked to lots of prominent street artists, a number of the Splasher’s victims, and several potential Splashers. He never quite fingered the true Splasher, but he ended the piece with a strong candidate: an anti-capitalist named Zac. The other day, the city blog Gothamist — run by Jake Dobkin, one of Anderson’s first suspects — received a Unibomber-like manifesto from the Splasher, and subsequently fingered the bad guy as one Zach Dempster. We’d explain more, but, frankly, it all confuses us. The Splasher Speaks [Gothamist]
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    Countdown to iPhone: In Brooklyn, TooIn this week’s New York, Tom Samiljan listed five places in Manhattan to find a new iPhone — and analyzed your chances of actually being able to get one from each. But there are, after all, four other boroughs, and now the good people at mcbrooklyn offer up six spots in the Borough of Kings for you to buy a shiny new toy. Will they have more stock? Will they have shorter lines? Who knows. Good luck. (No, we have no joke or commentary here. An event this momentous deserves straight-ahead service, don’t you think?) Where to Buy an iPhone in Brooklyn [mcbrooklyn] Related: How to Buy an iPhone [NYM]
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    Will Uptown Dogs Run in Downtown Parks? Not too long ago, we got excited about the imminent Doggy Liberation of New York: In the face of a protracted lawsuit, most city parks without dedicated dog runs would acquiesce and declare “leashless hours” between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. Then came the infuriating news that the new rule would benefit only uptown dogs. Class war! Well, not quite. According to doggy-listserv chatter, there’s hope for downtown yet: The Parks Department will do a walk-through of East River Park next week to determine what areas could be designated as off-leash. (Very few, say the dissenters, who find the park far away and inhospitable.) There’s also talk of putting in a proper dog run there. Until then, uptown is still for the dogs. Earlier: Doggy Liberation Limited to Uptown Only [NYM]
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    The Very Models of a Modern Iraq Protester It wasn’t just little kids and aging hippies at the Iraq protest in Union Square last night. We even saw our favorite male models, Video Look Book veterans and childhood pals John Jones (left) and Khale Unger. Entering further into the realm of life imitating Zoolander, Jones and Unger wore coordinated outfits to the event. Who knew political demonstrations could be so fashionable? John Jones and Khale Unger [Video Look Book] Earlier: All They Are Saying…
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    We Glide Swiftly OnOf all things to snipe about (namely a pro-war Republican’s military creds), it was interesting to find so many Daily Kos posts dedicated to how an antiwar vet group was identified in passing. To clarify: In no way did I mean to imply that Vote Vets were actually part of the Swifties, or associated with the Swifties or all the smeary baggage that has defined the Swifties; I only meant to imply that Vote Vets was run by Dem-affiliated operatives that, similar to the more popularly known Swifties, used hard-hitting attack ads as a means to an end. I only wish I had as many words and as much space to define Vote Vets as I did in a previous story after the November elections in which the director, Jon Soltz, refers to himself as “the Swift Boat Captain of ‘06.” —Geoffrey Gray Update: After this item posted, Vote Vets said it did not describe itself as an “antiwar” organization but rather “pro-military, pro-war, and pro-war on terror,” and “anti-escalation and antiwar against Iran.” Swift-Boat Revenge [NYM] Earlier: Don’t Mention the Swift Boats!
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    You Are the Invincible YouDavid Amsden examined the “Young Invincibles” in the magazine this week, those post-collegiate, underemployed city dwellers who go without health insurance. They worry about getting sick and take extra-special care to look before crossing — if an appendix bursts, it can bankrupt them. And so it goes, for months or years, until an employer provides health benefits or paying individual rates becomes attainable. In the meantime, the insured and uninsured opine together about national health care and the prognosticating power of the Sex Pistols. Some of blogland’s thoughts, after the jump.
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    The Irresolvable Argument Heard Round the WorldIn this week’s New York cover story, we considered the merits of both New York and London. Who has better food, fashion, and nightlife? Is New York still the world’s financial capital? What about progressive city planning or juicier gossip? We were hesitant to cede some of these points, but London got more credit than we knew we could give. And judging from the reactions of British papers and blogs, it’s about bloody time. (But we still have better sex.) After the jump, opinions from around the world.
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    Wal-Mart Tells Court What It Told ‘New York’ About Marketing Veep’s Alleged Affair At the end of January, as Steve Fishman was finishing his New York feature on ousted Wal-Mart marketing exec Julie Roehm and the scandal that led to her downfall, the discount retailer’s execs finally broke their silence. In a last-minute statement to Fishman, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman claimed the company had proof Roehm had engaged in an affair with Sean Womack, a subordinate. “Wal-Mart now has irrefutable and admissible evidence of the relationship,” the spokeswoman told Fishman. “I would not tell you this if we didn’t know it was true.” And yesterday that charge — first made to New York — entered the legal record, when Wal-Mart filed a brief in its battle with Roehm (she charges wrongful termination; the company charges a violation of corporate policy) repeating the claims.
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    Holocaust-Reparations Lawyer Will Likely Get Paid Back in October, Joel Siegel’s feature in New York told the story of Burt Neuborne, an NYU law professor who took on the monumental task of extracting Holocaust reparations from Swiss banks. In the eyes of some survivors, Neuborne went from hero to villain the moment he submitted his bill: $4,760,000 for 8,178 hours spent working on the case over eight years, or roughly $582 an hour. Prominent Jews registered their disgust with Neuborne, calling his request for payment “a moral disgrace.” A federal judge suggested on Thursday that Neuborne receive $3 million, an amount that will have to be approved by a federal district judge. Neuborne said he had “no quarrel” with the proposed fee, and Magistrate Judge James Orenstein asked the litigants to agree on an amount: “I … appeal to each individual participant in this litigation to find a way to continue to help redress the evil the Nazis began so long ago rather than let it continue to spread rancor among its victims.” $3 Million Fee Suggested for Neuborne for Work on Holocaust Survivor Issues [Law.com] Getting His Due [NYM]
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    Boy-Band Victims Get Even More Bad News Boy-band guru Lou Pearlman, the man who foisted ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys upon the world, is accused of swindling more than a thousand investors out of $317 million, as New York reported last month. Now those swindlees have their own newsletter. Gerard McHale Jr., the court-appointed receiver charged with documenting what some are calling the longest-running Ponzi scheme of all time, published his first “Investor/Creditor Newsletter” this week. (You can read it here as a PDF.) The news isn’t good. After the jump, the highlights.
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    It’s 10 a.m.: Do You Know Where Your Children Are?Omigod! It’s finally here! As you’ve no doubt heard in countless promos aired during American Idol, 24, Seinfeld reruns, and whatever else you might happen to watch on Channel 5, this year is the 40th anniversary of the station’s ten o’clock news, the first newscast at that hour in New York. And today, dear readers, is the actual birthday. Yup, 40 years ago tonight, Bill Jorgenson — whom Tim Murphy interviewed for the current issue of New York — anchored that very first broadcast, and to mark the occasion, Tim dug up some great YouTube clips. They’re funky, they’re pompadoured, and they’re after the jump. Enjoy.
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    New Yorkers Know BestNew York’s annual “Best of New York” issue came out this week, and, this being New York, everyone’s got an opinion on it. Of the hundred-plus honors distributed — this still being New York — most of the discussion was about food, with readers dissecting everything from — literally — dollars to doughnuts. After the jump, a sample of blogland’s ongoing, subjective debates.
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    Art Imitating Dash Snow’s LifeThe hype surrounding downtown artist Dash Snow has inspired many reactions, including this portrait of Snow (dug up by Razor Apple) done in a familiar style. Dash Snow Holding a Police Stick was painted by an anonymous artist (who wishes to remain so, per an e-mail exchange) using oil on primed urine-stained stretched canvas, with a collage of an image of baby, various clippings, currency, urine, semen, spit, wax and a Rivington Arms ad. The Dash Snow Portrait Files Chasing Dash Snow [NYM]
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    Last Week in Minor MisunderstandingsIn this installment of our remarkably lax-on-ourselves annotated errata, we’re not quite apologizing for a Nader flub, a Central Park slight, and another Brooklyn border gerrymander. But we do find it necessary to clarify a few things.
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    A Second Life for Regan’s ‘7’Judith Regan may be gone from the publishing world (at least for now), but her projects live on (at least for now). Last we heard about her orphaned volumes of controversy, an attention-seeking Canadian publisher was proclaiming its interest in bringing out O.J.’s confession. (Not, you know, that anyone asked, or that they held rights to it.) Today’s news, buried as a squib in the Times, is that Lyons Press, a division of Globe Pequot, has agreed to publish 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, another controversial project from the late-Regan period. The pub date has yet to be announced, and the print run is pegged at 250,000. “I think all the negative publicity came from people who haven’t read it,” Gene Brissie, Globe Pequot’s associate publisher, told the Times, perhaps a touch aggressively. Of course, as New York’s Vanessa Grigoriadis reported a few weeks ago, the Mantle book — and not the disastrous O.J. project — is what really got Regan fired from HarperCollins. So we can imagine why Brissie would be playing a strong defense. 7, Mantle Novel, Finds a Publisher [NYT] Even Bitches Have Feelings [NYM]
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    The Last Week in Minor MisunderstandingsWe wouldn’t go so far as to say we’ve been wrong. But, by the same token, there have been a few times in the last seven days we weren’t entirely right. How so? Well, we’ve got a Brooklyn border dispute, a misreading of what we’d call a confusingly written article, and a perhaps overbroad — but, still, we’ll insist, substantively correct — critique of some recent media criticism. We’ll explain after the jump.
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    Let Us Not Praise Famous MenIn last week’s New York cover story, novelist Po Bronson argued that praising accomplishment and so-called innate ability is actually bad for the recipient’s self-esteem and that, instead, what should be lauded is effort. He was talking about kids, but, still, he might want to skip this post: Turns out most of the online responses to his article agreed with his findings and — gulp — praised his accomplishment. (We’ll go a step further, though we know we shouldn’t: Two cover stories in the same week, Po? We’re kvelling.) After the jump, some of blogland’s best (worst?) praise.
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    Saying Anything About ‘Say Everything’How do you get people who spend all day talking about themselves to talk about you instead? You talk about them. “Say Everything,” Emily Nussbaum’s cover story for last week’s New York, explored the ways the brave new Webby world changes the ways kids share information — and creates a nearly unprecedented generation gap. And, of course, the blogs have been responding. Some of our favorites: • Slob: “Wow — so the Internet generation has collectively huge balls.” • Leesean.net: “One of the girls they profile was born in 1989 — that makes me feel old. But I totally identify with them. I’m a total Net Narcissist Exhibitionist Extraordinaire.” • Bout Manje…: “The idea that this is essentially a *generation* gap is a bit overplayed. It is a magazine article, after all, and therefore sensationalized.”
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    PETA to Protest Florida VacationsHow do you say “It’s on!” in Animal Kingdom–speak? As New York reported in this week’s magazine, animal-rights activists were considering a protest of the Orlando, Florida, tourism bureau’s plans to stage a “mini-Orlando” in Times Square tomorrow morning. Why? The stunt is set to include penguins, flamingos, and live gator-wrestling, and PETA doesn’t think too highly of moving tropical animals to frigid New York — let alone wrestling them. Now it seems the activists weren’t kidding: We’ve received a press release promising a protest at 8:30 a.m. Maybe they’ll even catch Anna Wintour on her way into work! — Tim Murphy
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    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]
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    Pirro Gets Talk Show (and We Claim Victory) In a splendid instance of New York Calls It, failed attorney-general candidate Jeanine Pirro has signed a $1 million deal to host her own syndicated TV talk show. There’s no word yet on whether the program will be a legal shoutfest or a relationship-y weeper, either of which being well within her expertise. We’re holding out for the former. “I can’t imagine that Pirro has a statewide future,” writer Steve Fishman told us back in November, fresh from profiling Jeanine and hubby Al for the magazine. “We’re much more likely to see her hosting her own show on Court TV. She could easily have a Nancy Grace–like future ahead of her.” Chat’s All It Is On Pirro’s Talk Show [NYP] Earlier: Jeanine Pirro’s Future Is Bright, Somehow
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    Dave Chappelle Willing to Help Save Ill Brooklyn HouseIn this week’s Intelligencer, Marcus Baram reported on the perilous state of things for Broken Angel, that “kooky Clinton Hill building slash art project.” It is in violation of several building codes, and its owners need to scrape together $35,000 to make needed renovations. But they had an idea: Dave Chappelle and Michel Gondry used the building in their film Block Party; why not hit the two up for money. On Friday, after the magazine’s deadline, Chappelle’s publicist, Carla Sims, got back to us. She’d talked to the comic, and he expressed interest in supporting the efforts to save Broken Angel, she said. “Dave told me that he’d be open to doing a benefit concert or a screening.” Gondry’s rep has already said he’s willing. Will Chappelle Mend Broken Angel? [NYM]
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    Love for New York Is All Around, No Need to Waste ItWe know why we love New York. And for two and a half weeks now, you’ve known why we love New York. (Some of you, of course, would prefer we keep those feelings to ourselves.) But we haven’t yet ascertained why you love New York. Until now. Inspired by our annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue, some bloggers have started explaining why they’re so damned fond of this city. Here are a few of our favorites. Got more? Send ‘em in. • The Last Debate: “Central Park in the snow. I love the path along the south side of The Pond, with its lazy sunbathing turtles.” • The Punk Guy: “The reason they left off: New Yorkers are obsessed with being New Yorkers.” • Jewcy: “Because even the most obnoxious, shallow, empty-headed dickwads around here are at least pretty intelligent.” Reasons to Love New York Right Now [NYM]
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    Darren Aronofsky Film Lives Up to Studio’s ExpectationsIn last week’s magazine, Michael Idov described the long and winding road that Darren Aronofsky’s new film, The Fountain, took to the theaters. Abandoned by its original star Brad Pitt, the film was shelved in 2002, revived through the writer-director’s unyielding insistence, and finally shot, four years later, for about half of its original budget. Aronofsky had put his entire career on the line for this trippy sci-fi story of star-crossed lovers, declining a multitude of big Hollywood offers (which included an early version of Batman Begins) to do The Fountain instead. After all that, no one seemed hopeful the movie would make much money. “Warner Bros. seems to have … made Zen-like peace with every possible financial outcome,” Idov wrote. So what was the financial outcome? Not good. The Fountain barely scraped the top ten, gathering $5.4 million over the long, five-day weekend. Its regular three-day gross was $3.73 million. And, hey, it only cost $35 million. Pi in the Sky [NYM] Weekend Box-Office Report [Yahoo Movies]
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    One More Thing About the Pirros: Al Wants Counseling When Jeanine Pirro’s campaign for attorney general is over — or, to be cruel but precise, once she loses — she’ll be going straight into marriage counseling, at least if her husband has anything to do with it. New York’s Steve Fishman profiled the Pirros’ increasingly confounding marriage for this week’s magazine, and he found Al Pirro, Jeanine’s wayward husband — by all accounts a screamer, a bruiser, a brusque alpha male — surprisingly wounded and therapized, talking about his anxieties. Al knows he needs to be flattered, to be reminded that he makes more money than Jeanine, to feel generous (Fishman zeroes in on his compulsive need to pick up the check, even for parties of 30). He denies the infidelities that drove Jeanine up the wall (and into the dubious confidences of Bernie Kerik) while readily admitting something even more hurtful to a relationship: that he needs outside female companionship, be it platonic or not, because he doesn’t feel encouraged, admired, or appreciated at home. And he knows the couple needs to work on these issues. “He was essentially stewing,” Fishman says. “He feels that he’s been shut out, silenced, and attacked, both by the campaign and by his wife personally.” Is there enough therapy in the world to get the pair past all that? Maybe, Fishman says. The real turning point for the relationship, he says, was Al’s tax-evasion conviction. “But it was never a fake marriage. There’s a basis of deep mutual admiration — hell, love.” Can This Marriage Be Saved? [NYM]