CNBC’s Erin Burnett’s Favorite Characteristic in a Mate Is MoneyCNBC business anchor Erin Burnett dreams of men spending copious amounts of dough on her. Gus Wenner, son of Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner, was accepted early decision to Brown, and Jack Byrne, son of Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne, was accepted to Bard. Jimmy Fallon and new wife Nancy Juvonen ate at Pastis. An upcoming “oral history” of Rudy Giuliani chronicles the former mayor’s “petty, vindictive, small-minded maneuvering.” Jay-Z says he is not concerned with the problematic rumors surrounding the opening of his new 40/40 club. Mary-Louise Parker and boyfriend Jeffrey Dean Morgan had coffee at Local on Sullivan Street.
Yoko Goes to Hamptons, Performs ‘Sex Change’
The textile artist Jack Lenor Larsen threw himself an 80th-birthday party Saturday night at Longhouse Reserve, his estate in East Hampton, and Yoko Ono may have been the star attraction. John Lennon’s widow made some remarks in honor of Larsen, whose home has also served as a publicly accessible art installation for fifteen years, and then she announced an onstage “sex change,” which sent nervous titters through the crowd. Ono then began to unbutton the top of her flowing white gown and appeared to fumble with an undergarment. “Oh, boy,” whispered a septuagenarian as he prepared for something disturbing. But then she simply presto-changoed into some jeans and a brimmed hat, keeping things strictly G-rated. Although the purpose of the switch was not entirely clear, the 74-year-old Ono’s performance earned a sincere round of applause. We suspect it was borne as much from relief as from appreciation. —Selim Algar
Musicians, Pass Your Hat to Yoko Ono Name: Yoko alias Ono alias Lennon
Job: Being a woman. She will appear in conversation with Anthony DeCurtis on June 18 at the 92nd Street Y.
Neighborhood: The universe. Actually, I’m proud to be a West Sider.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
The breakfast omelette my son, Sean, cooked for me.
‘Radar’ CallingA Radar editor left a cell phone on — as in, making a call to someone’s voice mail — during a meeting, and the recording showed that staff meetings are disorganized. Donald Trump is planning to build a $125 million house in Palm Beach, and the locals aren’t happy about it. Damaging tape of Britney Spears “partying” with two dancers at a club may soon surface. A play about Spalding Gray shows he wasn’t a very attentive father. Brandon Davis tells his parents he’s an art dealer; he may actually be a different type of dealer. A married TV anchorwoman is about to get dumped for having an affair.
Sundance Report: Mark David Chapman Pic Doesn’t Endear Filmmaker to Beatle-Loving ThrongsWhen filmmaker Jarrett Schaefer took the stage at Park City’s Prospector Theater this morning for a question-and-answer session after a screening of his debut film, Chapter 27, a glimpse into the deranged mind of Mark David Chapman — played by a plumped-up Jared Leto — during his days in New York prior to the murder of John Lennon, there was an obvious thing to ask. Where were you when John Lennon was shot? “I was 1,” he said. “My dad said I was watching football.” The audience laughed. It was the first laughter heard in the last 90 minutes.
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The Cost of Utopia
• The city’s doing so well financially that some City Council members — Democrats, even — are raising the specter of a tax cut. With the Independent Budget Office projecting a $688 million surplus in 2008, why not? [NYP]
• A souped-up playground is coming to South Street Seaport. One suggested game: groups of children “loading containers with sand, hoisting them up with pulleys and then lowering them down to wagons.” David Rockwell designs the kiddie labor camp, pro bono. [NYT]
• Time to check in with our pal Koral Karsan, Yoko Ono’s driver turned attempted blackmailer, now that the full text of his demand is public. Stalking points: Karsan frames his $2 million demand as compensation for “pain and suffering,” threatens to expose John as a “wife-beating asshole,” and boasts friendship with “NY media.” And yet, Koral, you never call anymore. [NYDN]
• Say what you want about the new Village Voice, but at least it’s not afraid of readers’ letters. From the new issue’s crop: “You … take a dying paper and kill it over and over again.” “The Village Voice is dead.” “Reader’s Digest is edgier than you are.” [VV]
• And a city Department of Sanitation cap is apparently a huge seller and a nascent fashion staple; Scorsese, Liv Tyler, et al have been spotted in them. So reports the Scotsman, our trusted source for apparel news. [Scotsman]
Three Simple Rules for Attempting to Extort Millions From Yoko Ono
1. Make sure you have something better on her than a “revealing” nightgown photo and an audiotape on which you and she discuss Brokeback Mountain. (Perhaps a CD of Blueprint for a Sunrise?)
2. When caught, refrain from embarrassing yourself, and repulsing the nation, with a sexual-harassment countercharge.
3. Make sure you’re in the United States legally.
Koral Karsan, Ono’s would-be blackmailer, violated all three rules, and he now has an Immigration warrant against him in addition to the grand-larceny charge. Even though he raised the $250,000 for bail through friends, he may not be going anywhere (except, that is, his native Turkey). His lawyer, taken aback by the brand-new immigration angle, says he will not be posting the bail until things are straightened out.
More Troubles for Suspect in Ono Case [amNY]
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Cops and Yoko
• The NYPD is developing a scary trend in the people-killing arena. Another man, this one in the Bronx, was fatally shot by the cops last night — four times and at very close range, witnesses say. He was armed, at least. [amNY]
• Both tabloids lead with Yoko Ono’s extortion news, which we reported yesterday; today’s added value is the following tidbit: The driver claims that rock’s First Widow is just trying to stop him from proceeding with a valid sexual-harassment case against her. Eww. [NYP]
• It’s hard to top If I Did It, so Judith Regan’s next book project is a “biographical novel” about Mickey Mantle. Tame enough, except it calls Billy Martin a rapist and includes fictional scenes of Mantle sexin’ Marilyn Monroe, who just “lies there staring at him.” [NYDN]
• The Times continues its disturbing — and sometimes darkly hilarious — series on New York’s deranged small-town justice. In this one, a judge sentences young male cons to “judge’s probation,” which involves them hanging out with him, driving his car, and, in one case, moving in with him. [NYT]
• And Peter Boyle is dead at 71. Judging from the headlines, the press seems intent on remembering this fantastic character actor (one of John Lennon’s best friends, by the way) as the dad on Everybody Loves Raymond, to which we can only respond: Go rent Taxi Driver. Now. [WNBC]
Yoko Catches Alleged ExtortionistBe careful about trying to extort money from Yoko Ono. A former bodyguard who allegedly attempted it was arrested this afternoon after the artist nabbed him in a sting operation. Ono’s bodyguard, identified by police as Koral Karson, was arrested for allegedly attempting to extort $2 million from her. The saga began on December 8, police sources said, when Karson allegedly passed Ono a note claiming he’d secretly obtained tape recordings of her conversations and would make them public if she failed to pay. After receiving the note, Ono contacted her lawyer, police said, who then contacted police, who arranged a phone-call sting involving Ono and Karson — a 50-year-old man of Turkish descent who lives in Amityville, authorities say — about making the payment yesterday. Karson has yet to be charged, and it’s unclear what was on the alleged recordings. —Geoffrey Gray
Yoko Ono Bodyguard Accused of Extortion [7Online.com]