Intelligencer: December 6-13, 2004

Illustration by Vault 49

It Happens This Week
•Hanukkah begins.
•The Pixies commence a seven-night run at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
•Wes Anderson’s hipster-friendly The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou opens against box-office behemoth Ocean’s Twelve.
• Bloomberg, Trump, Brian Williams, and Tina Fey toast their own town at NYC & Company’s annual tourism dinner.
•The Met tries to build its acquisitions fund back up (after its $45 million purchase of a Duccio) with a $1,500-a-plate dinner.

Gen. Wesley Clark Rattles His Saber
Partying with the Clintoniteexiles, the retired generalhints at a new battle plan.
The dedication of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, the other week was as much about the Democratic future as the Democratic past—the cocktail discussion frequently sounded like fantasy baseball—but not all the guests were willing to cede this future to people who share the former president’s surname. At a party thrown by Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson, former general Wesley Clark was asked who he’d back in 2008. “I haven’t ruled out a run,” he was overheard saying. And they’re off.

Sea, Sun,And Surgeryat Miami’s Four Seasons,Where You Can Now Get an EyeJob with Your Shut-eye.
This winter, a quick trip to Miami really can mean a whole new you. The Four Seasons is doing the seaweed wraps of the hotel spa one better; now you can get that eye-tuck right on the premises. Next month, the Miami Institute—equipped with two facial plastic surgeons, a cosmetic dentist, and a psychologist—opens in the same building. While the center is not run by the hotel, patients who choose to recover there will slip down a small hallway, up an elevator, and into their beds. “The post-op period is the most uncomfortable time,’’ explains Dr. Julio S. Gallo, one of the surgeons. Maids will have extra pillows and ice on hand. And patients who are brave enough to leave their rooms looking like works-in-progress will find it easy enough to camouflage themselves. “Here you can stroll outside with a big hat and sunglasses,” says Gallo.
—Beth Landman

Photo: Rick Mackler/Globe Photos

America’s Mayor Goes to the Beach
Rudy and Judi’s $3 million Hamptons house.
Now that Rudy Giuliani’s in the investment-banking business, he’s finally buying a place in the Hamptons. It took two years of looking, but during that time Rudy was, of course, rather busy raising money for Republicans—and himself. His wife, Judi Nathan, who has a condo in Noyack, seems to be the motivation behind the move, though Giuliani does enjoy his golf. (Maybe the super-snooty Shinnecock Hills golf club, where he’s played as a guest, will let him butt ahead on the wait list.) Sources say he’s about to close on a modest-by-community-standards $3 million place. It’s a 6,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-fireplace Bridgehampton spec house that’s being re-landscaped for better homeland security. They’ll have a view of the Southampton Polo Club fields and, in the distance, the ocean. Geologically, it sits where the terminal moraine swells up at the end of Long Island. So he can look down on all those Hollywood Dems who will be his neighbors.

The Met Spays PETA
Don’t want protesters at your fur show? Put them in it.
how did the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute put a muzzle on anti-fur insurrectionists before the opening of its history of peltwear, “WILD: Fashion Untamed,” this week? By installing PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ad with Christy Turlington in a part of the exhibit devoted to fake fur and the “Ethical Woman.” (It’ll be next to a snuggly, cruelty-free Todd Oldham “polar bear” coat.) Not, says the institute, that it was trying to co-opt the opposition. “Oh, no,” insists curator Andrew Bolton. “The anti-fur movement is part of the narrative, and we always intended to include it.” (The show is sponsored by Roberto Cavalli, whom bullhorn-toting PETA troops harassed earlier this year, shouting “Fur pimp!”) PETA became involved after its spokesman Michael McGraw read about the show on the museum’s Website last spring and set up a meeting with Bolton. “We’re now trying to effect change from the inside,” McGraw says. Bolton says he isn’t worried about the mannequins getting paintballed, anyway: “The museum has gotten much more security-conscious since 9/11.”

Sore Feet
The bitter legal battle over a Bloomingdale’s shoe sale.
True shoe justice continues to elude City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. Last month, he filed a class-action lawsuit against Bloomingdale’s alleging false advertising and fraud after it sent a private-sale mailing to his home that promised 35 to 40 percent off its “enormous fall collection” of footwear. His wife, Lorraine, took the bait, found most of the fall collection not on sale, and paid full price for a pair of Cole Haan loafers. Noting that tracking down and compensating allegedly deceived shoppers would be “fraught with peril,” the suit asked Bloomie’s to reopen the sale. The store agreed, Koppell says, but it “couldn’t guarantee inventory” and “the sale of just a few pairs of shoes would be the same thing all over again.” The retailer, which refused to comment, has since asked a judge to dismiss the portion of the suit demanding another sale and to remove its parent company, Federated Department Stores, as a second defendant. Mrs. Koppell’s solution? A 35- to 40-percent-off spring shoe sale in March. Her husband says, “This is a serious subject. Even though it may appear at first blush to be less than the most pressing problem facing society.”
—Kate Pickert

Rich Dems to the DNC:Don’t You Forget about Us. (John and Teresa Didn’t.)
With the races for mayor and governor coming up, many of the Democrats’ biggest backers in New York are sending a message to the national party: You owe us! “Given that New York was responsible for probably 25 percent of money raised for presidential, Senate, and House races,” says Hassan Nemazee, John Kerry’s New York finance chair, “I would be surprised if the DNC weren’t far more proactive in supporting candidates here than they’ve been in the past.” But New York Dems have been disappointed before. The DNC failed to come through for Mark Green in 2001, and then again with gubernatorial candidate Carl McCall. “It’s been a constant source of frustration,” says fund-raiser Robert Zimmerman. “It’s time for the DNC to demonstrate its appreciation of us.” One person who is showing appreciation: Kerry. He and Teresa slipped into town on December 2 for a private thank-you reception at the Regency with top donors.
—Greg Sargent


Intelligencer: December 6-13, 2004