We Ask Shoppers Whether They’re Spending Like Good, Patriotic Americans
The Times reported earlier this week that nationwide sales of women’s clothes are “unusually bleak” this holiday season, thanks to the slowing economy and weak fashions. As with most everything else, we wondered whether this “ominous” sign for year-end retail revenue applied to those great American exceptionalists, New Yorkers. And so we put some questions to them — plus a couple of bargain-hunting Euros — as they shopped. —Kendall Herbst
This morning, Wednesday, December 19, 2007, Jennifer Cannon and Doy Nichols of Lexington, Kentucky, were married in the Charmin toilets in Times Square. Well, not in them, near them. The bride was wearing a toilet-paper wedding dress handmade using the Charmin brands Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong, and the groom was wearing a suit hand-knitted exclusively using thread made from the extraordinarily fibrous feces of Charmin bears Amy and Leonard, who also bore witness to the joyous occasion. As Jennifer and Doy pledged their eternal love, friends and family from their hometown expressed their delight by tossing scraps of toilet paper at the happy couple. Then everyone ate cake. Near the toilets. Okay, we were kidding about the poop suit. But the rest is too, too real.
FreshDirect Snafu Endangers Cookie Plans, LivelihoodsPerhaps, last weekend, you were thinking of making some cookies for your officemates. You were going to give them out this week, before everybody left for the holiday. So you woke up on Saturday morning and you logged on to FreshDirect to order the ingredients. Except, to your surprise, they were out of chocolate chips. And nearly out of flour. And running low on sugar. And then, when you tried to schedule a delivery time, you learned that the soonest they could get your modest ingredients to you was four days from then. You may have been irritated. You may have been outraged. You may have even gone to the grocery store. See, readers, this week there’s something amiss with FreshDirect, and it’s going to get in the way of your food planning. They’re out of many of their staples, and they don’t have any available delivery openings. It may be the holiday season, but it’s practically unbearable. What could be worse?!
Dumbo Makes Its MarkCarroll Gardens: Some people feel that the paltry number of holiday lights strung up on Court Street is really shameful. And they ain’t too proud to blog about it. [Lost City]
Dumbo: It just became the city’s 90th landmark district! Those hulking industrial piles turned boutique lofts will be preserved into perpetuity! Huzzah! [NYS]
East Harlem: Don Imus is kicking in a quarter-mil for an ecofriendly health center up here, saying it’s shameful that such a small hood has such high asthma rates. [Newsday via Uptown Flavor]
video look book
Dress Your Dog in an ‘Urban-Hipster Blend’Sylyse Rivera touts his “urban-hipster blend” in this week’s Video Look Book. The pierced hairstylist is now turning his stylish eye to his three-month-old puppy, Asia. “I’m getting her into fashion, too,” Rivera says, though she can’t fit into the Timberlands he loves so much.
Sylese Rivera [Video Look Book]
Manhattan Rents Rolling DownhillCould Manhattan rents have finally peaked? Anyone who owns property in the city will argue that prices here defy all laws of nature, but a new report by the Real Estate Group New York shows that rents may be starting to finally slip. “We’re trending down since the peak, which is what I would call maybe July,” says REGNY COO Daniel Baum. Since the beginning of the year, prices are still up slightly. Non-doorman studios went from $1,969 in January to $2,095 this month, a rise of 6.3 percent. But prices in many areas are down from the middle of the year. Doorman two-bedrooms climbed from $5,346 in January to a peak of $5,753 in July, then fell back to $5,520 in December. Some variation is to be expected as seasons change, but Baum insists we’re seeing a trend. “This is the first time we’re starting to see a slowdown on the rent side in the last three years or so,” Baum says. The hardest hit area may be the financial district, which has seen some layoffs (and perhaps, therefore, a small exodus). Since last month the average asking price for a doorman studio in the financial district has come down $503, to $2,559. The peak was in September at $3,103. It should be noted that Manhattan sales continue to be strong and unperturbed by the subprime and general housing meltdown. There are two schools of thought on whether the eventual decline of sale prices will mean lower rents. Some think foreclosure refuges and hesitant buyers will push up the number of renters — and thus the rents everyone pays. Others think the general economic downturn will lead to a further lowering of rents. —Carol Vinzant
Happy Holidays, From the Fox Business NetworkWhen we received this card from the Fox Business Network today, our first instinct was to recoil in horror. Lord, have mercy! we said to ourselves (because sometimes the voice in our heads sounds a little like a southern grandmother). That pack of dogs is trying to tear that poor, defenseless Christmas tree limb from limb! Then we realized, They’re not dogs. They’re foxes! For Fox Business News! So does the tree then symbolize CNBC? Wow, that is sick. Look at that long, horrible tongue on that one — Oh. That’s not a tongue. That’s a…bugle? Finally, we got it: The foxes are supposed to be, like angels. Which makes the golden Fox Business logo at the top God? Then, slowly, we opened the card…
show and talk
Blogging the Costume Institute’s ‘Blog.mode’ ExhibitThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s “blog.mode” exhibit opens today, and to give you a sneak peek, we sent our Fabiola Beracasa to check it out. Click above to watch as curator Andrew Bolton explains how hooker boots from the twenties influenced modern fashion and why the controversial “Incubus Necklace” was impounded by police the first time it was shown to the public.
blog.mode: Addressing Fashion [Video Archives]
Update: You may be wondering, as we were, why the Costume Institute exhibition is actually called “blog.mode: addressing fashion.” It’s because the exhibit is interactive, and you can write about your reactions and inspirations at a “blog bar” in the museum. Mmm. Blog Bar. Sounds unhealthy and delicious.
white men with money
Isn’t Goldman Sachs Lucky?If you haven’t yet read the 500,000 articles saying as much, Goldman Sachs is having a bang-up year. They bet against the subprime market and won, they reported record profits today, and even though year-end bonuses are expected to be (relatively) small across Wall Street, Goldman employees are expected to rake in an average of $600,000 each. “They’re the top of the heap,” Harvard Business School professor Samuel Hayes tells Reuters. “Their success is eye-popping. Their latest record earnings in the face of big losses taken by most of the other investment banks is impressive in itself.” And yet. Something feels wrong. To paraphrase the words of sage Britney Spears: Goldman is so lucky, they’re a star, but they cry, cry, cry in their lonely hearts. Why do these tears come at night? Because with success has come scrutiny, not just from columnists like Ben Stein and the Post’s John Crudele, but from Chris Dodd and the SEC. Why are these meanies trying to undermine Goldman’s success? They’re jealous. “It inspires a lot of envy,” Hayes told Reuters. “There’s a lot of resentment.” But is that really all it is? We’ve heard this story before, and we know how it ends: The world is spinning, and Goldman keeps on winning. But tell us what happens when it stops?
Goldman Success Brings Unwanted Attention [Reuters]