Mayor Bloomberg Is a Lady Gaga FanThe mayor drops knowledge on MTV, John Mayer and Mischa Barton have dinner in the same room, Kanye West goes spinning, and more gossip as celebrities descend on New York Fashion Week.
Fabian Basabe Goes in the Back DoorThe former “It” boy is relegated to sneaking in the back door of a party. Also in our gossip roundup: Ryan Phillippe’s new girlfriend creepily gets the same haircut as ex-wife Reese Witherspoon, and the honor for most annoying book deal of the year so far goes to…
In Which Ethan Hawke Tells Us All About How He Is SO Not Over UmaAt first, when the sound equipment failed and random musicians began taking the stage for impromptu sets between the 24-Hour Plays being performed at the Atlantic Theater, it was grim. Between the first two plays, a person who may or may not have been a stagehand came out and performed an Ani DiFranco song. (We knew it was that, because we went to college.) Later, she sang an Irish ditty, it being Saint Patrick’s Day. We looked around. What torture would come next? Then something inexplicable and magical happened. Out of nowhere, actor Ethan Hawke hopped up onstage, strapped on an acoustic guitar and bared his soul to the audience. “Someone I know wrote this song while shooting a movie in Paris during his divorce,” he said. We, along with the rest of the audience, gasped. He was totally talking about himself, and more important, Uma Thurman!
Nicolas Cage Was Only Borrowing That ChihuahuaPlastic-surgery-happy Jocelyn Wildenstein just bought a three-bedroom apartment in the Plaza for $7.96 million. An excerpt of James Frey’s upcoming novel, Bright Shiny Morning, is being published in Sex for America, a book of “politically-inspired erotica.” Nicolas Cage is suing Kathleen Turner for claiming in her autobiography that he had been arrested twice for DUI and stealing a Chihuahua. Fergie and Josh Duhamel are moving up their wedding date because she’s so pregnant.
in other news
Did Uma Thurman’s Boyfriend Just Call Her Fat? Is Uma Thurman pregnant or merely fattish? “Page Six” thought the actress looked a little “puffy” in recent photos, so the other night at the Gucci benefit they asked her new boyfriend, Swiss banker and Elle Macpherson baby-daddy Arky Busson, if Uma was up the spout. “No,” he said, and then he made a grave, grave error in judgment: “She quit smoking,” he said. Oh, Arky. We understand that you are foreign, but don’t you know that the number one rule of American boyfriendry is to never, ever acknowledge, even obliquely, that your girlfriend has gained weight? You’re going to have a lot of groveling to do this Valentine’s Day, dude.
No Puffing Makes Uma Puffy [NYP]
Brooke Shields Shares the Love on ‘Lipstick’Lipstick Jungle may top Cashmere Mafia because Jungle star Brooke Shields is nicer to her castmates than Mafia star Lucy Liu is to hers. Details editor Dan Peres says he’s going crazy and putting on weight because wife Sarah Wynter is pregnant. Kid Rock paid a busboy at Southern Hospitality $1,000 after he returned a $200,000 watch found on the floor of the bathroom that belonged to a Rock posse member. Val Kilmer was spotted running around town with Chad Lowe’s girlfriend, Kim Painter. Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce refused to use his credit card at Tenjune and left to go find a club where he could use cash. Donald Trump is hosting a Celebrity Apprentice party at Tenjune during Fashion Week. Uma Thurman and boyfriend Arpad Busson were all over each other at lunch at Lever House.
Donna Karan Accepts CougarhoodFifty-five-year-old Donna Karan’s boy toy is 30-year-old model J.J. Biasucci. Ethan Hawke allegedly started dating “secret” girlfriend (his former nanny!) Ryan Shawhughes before he was divorced from Uma Thurman. Steve Martin played the banjo and read funny poems at the Cutting Room. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin shared a happy dinner at BLT Fish. Eighty-eight-year-old Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau may step down from his post, which would allow Governor Spitzer to appoint Cyrus Vance Jr. Michael Kors served mini-cheeseburgers at his store opening in Soho. Madonna kicked 25 yoga students out of a studio at the Reebok Sports Club on Columbus so she could practice by herself. Howard Stern is annoyed at Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner for bringing paparazzi to his Upper West Side block.
in other news
André Balazs: Selling Hotels Is Standard ProcedureEver since yesterday’s little Gawker item about André Balazs selling three of his signature hotel properties (it turned out that it came from a Crain’s story), we’ve been wondering what’s up. Is our favorite hotelier and celebrity dater hard up for cash? Are delays and extra costs on his High Line–spanning Standard Hotel becoming a burden? Apparently not, according to Balazs himself. The Observer got him on the phone to talk about the transfers. “Quite frankly, we’re a little surprised about Crain’s much ado about nothing,” Balazs said. “It was financing. You know, we recently refinanced a bunch of the other properties and restructured them to take advantage of the capital markets. And these are all now stabilized properties that it’s just an opportune time to refinance them, meaning that they’ve been open long enough, and they’re steady and mature hotels.” So everything’s okay? “It’s a routine recapitalizing and restructuring [of] the underlying debt or equity. We do it all the time. We control the management and control the properties.” Hm. We liked it better when all we had to think about was whether we liked his pretty lobbies.
Andre Balazs Explains Hotel Moves: ‘We Do It All the Time’ [NYO]
Hotelier selling assets in refinancing move [Crain’s NY]
Oprah’s Politics ClubOprah is throwing a $2,300-a-head fund-raiser for Barack Obama at her ranch in Montecito, California, and it’s sold out. Writer Robert Olen Butler’s wife, Elizabeth Dewberry, left him for Ted Turner, perhaps because Turner resembles the grandfather who once molested her. The Good Morning America intern who posed nude (for Playboy) is named Lace Rose Allenius, and she once dated Matt Dillon. Mayor Bloomberg, Donald Trump, Billy Crystal, and Joe Torre won a charity golf tourney by nine strokes. Uma Thurman is dating Elle Macpherson’s ex, Swiss banker Arky Busson. Lindsay Lohan’s bodyguard has received half-million-dollar offers to sell her out, but he won’t do it. Members of Usher’s camp maintain that fiancée Tameka Foster made up her “baby scare” so Usher would talk to her. Cindy Sheehan sang along to Cypress Hills’ “Fuck the Pigs” while drinking beer at a Randalls Island concert.
Harvey, Hillary, and Michael MooreMichael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko, points out how much money Hillary Clinton raises from health-care companies, and Harvey Weinstein tried to get him to remove a scene about it. Angelina Jolie claimed she was sorry Fox News was banned from her A Mighty Heart premiere, but then she banned Us Weekly and Life & Style (but not People and OK!) from the print-press roundtables. Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey might adopt a kid with his partner. Rosie O’Donnell really wants to host The Price Is Right, but the show’s producers may not be into it. Lindsay Lohan may spend her 21st-birthday party in rehab because she is taking it seriously this time. That, or because Pure won’t host a party for her. Former senator Al D’Amato may play a judge on Law & Order.
Anand Jon Was Always CreepyDesigner Anand Jon, who’s charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, is a publicity whore and total creep. Among the dogs in Lindsay Lohan’s life right now are a Yorkie, a Jack Russell, and Jude Law. Uma Thurman and André Balazs officially broke up yesterday. Nicole Richie collapsed on the set of The Simple Life in Malibu. A woman once died in Jay McInerney’s bed. The Jewish Theater of New York wants the Times to fire drama editor Rick Lyman for allegedly passing on reviewing Last Jew in Europe because of pressure from the Polish government. NY1 political anchor Dominic Carter wrote a book about his hard-knock childhood. Country-music star Merle Haggard backs Hillary Clinton for president but is not ready to fully commit to her. Florida advertising mogul Jordan Zimmerman is backing Mitt Romney for president. Two more top editors from Life & Style quit.
the morning line
Second Avenue Subway: It’s Coming
• The MTA has finally committed to the Second Avenue Subway, signing the $337 million contract with MTA Capital Construction (hey! nepotism!) to build the first leg of the line. Only six to eight months until the tunnel-boring machine revs up. [NYP]
• The third cop in the Sean Bell case — Detective Marc Cooper, the one who fired the fewest shots and faces the weakest charges — may get a separate trial. His attorney is mulling a motion to sever. [NYDN]
• One imagines working at a Bronx welfare office is depressing enough without being “groped, fondled, tackled, kissed, and spanked” by a supervisor. Even, or perhaps especially, a female supervisor who calls herself “Hurricane.” [WNYC]
• Uma Thurman and bizarre hotelier André Balazs have split up. We predict his impending move into the William Beaver house. [amNY]
• And the Postal Service is introducing new Zip Codes to the Upper East Side, 10065 and 10075, which means that the iconic 10021 will shrink even further (it will extend only from East 69th to East 76th). The sound you hear is corks popping at the local paperies as thousands of millionaires order new stationery. [NYT]
Kaplan to the Rescue!Former CNN and MSNBC honcho Rick Kaplan is coming to save Katie Couric’s CBS Evening News. Bono disagrees with an Ad Age’s cover story saying that his RED campaign has been a financial failure. Brandon Davis mocked Paula Abdul for having an Arabic-sounding last name. His real surname? Zarif. Two staffers quit Star’s beauty department. Leslie Stahl’s contract at 60 Minutes is almost up, and it’s unclear whether she’s staying. Stephen Colbert’s new Ben & Jerry’s flavor is called “AmeriCone.” (And we told you all about it on Tuesday.) Buddha Bar fired its CEO. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown hung out at their kid’s birthday dinner.
show and talk
Madewell? Ask Uma Thurman for the Number
On Monday night, Uma Thurman scheduled a special preview appointment to shop the Madewell spring collection, located in a private showroom near Astor Place. The “store” is open to New Yorkers for just eight days (tomorrow through Friday, and then next Monday to Friday) by appointment only. And to make the call, you need the “secret” phone number. Inspired by the Massachusetts workwear company founded in 1937, the spring women’s collection (currently available only at the label’s two stores in Dallas and L.A.) includes garment-dyed denim, washed “boyfriend” shirts, and an assortment of cool and girlie skirts, dresses, and accessories, ranging from $12.50 for tanks and tees to $248 for the flat, equestrian boots. The renowned jeans range in price from $75 to $115. Often likened to the hip and modern French label A.P.C., Madewell is owned by the J. Crew Group but bears virtually no resemblance to the classic, preppy label. The Manhattan pop-up store has garnered impressive fashion buzz owning to its semi-secret, exclusive viewings. For those who are not privy to the private shopping experience this week, do not fear: More Madewell stores are opening soon. This Friday, a branch opens in Austin, Tex., and in May, stores arrive in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Las Vegas. New Yorkers will have to keep waiting, however, as a permanent Manhattan spot has not been chosen. Sources swear that it will open before the end of 2007. Until then, women can just scour the city for that secret phone number. Doria Santlofer
Boobs at ‘Jane’Jane magazine asked girls to bare their breasts for a picture spread but canceled after a staffer mistakenly unveiled the identities of the participants. Jake Gyllenhaal and David Fincher had some “artistic differences” on the set of Zodiac. Phillip Bloch was not impressed by how Vogue’s André Leon Talley styled Jennifer Hudson’s thighs at the Oscars. Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselback got into (another) fight at The View, which ended with Hasselback (again) in tears. Graydon Carter and Jim Kelly hosted a book party for Kurt Andersen at the Waverly Inn, and a lot of media bigwigs showed. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are not looking to buy an apartment in the Dakota, according to a rep. Spike Lee hung out with Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall.