Intelligencer: August 29 to September 5

It Happens This—and Next—Week: August 22 to September 5
• Green Day at Giants Stadium.
• Martha Stewart freed!
• HBO’s Rome premieres.
• U.S. Open opens.
• The Hamptons Classic Horse Show.

Photo: Mitchell Levy/Globe Photos

Mario CuomoDoes ‘The Lean’
Accused of throwing weight around to get son elected A.G.
If Andrew Cuomo wants your support for attorney general in 2006, chances are you’ll be hearing from his father, Mario. Insiders call the former governor’s efforts “the lean.” Mario reportedly corralled a couple of big labor supporters for his son recently. And while the unions deny Mario’s involvement, Cuomo foes charge that Mario is twisting arms and calling in chits from his years as governor. Charlie King, who’s also seeking the Dem nod for A.G., says he’s repeatedly been told by would-be backers that Mario got to them first, adding, “On primary day, Andrew’s gonna have to face the voters alone.” “Andrew without Mario is like Jesse Ventura without steroids,” cracks another rival’s aide. One tale circulating among Dems has it that Mario agreed to endorse Manhattan D.A. Bob Morgenthau at a recent press conference, but the Cuomos made it clear that Andrew would have to be included in the event. “If you want Mario to stand with your guy, everyone knows you have to include his son,” says a source knowledgeable about the episode. Cuomo adviser Jennifer Cunningham responds, “Of course Mario supports Andrew. But people are supporting Andrew because he’s the best candidate on the merits.”
—Greg Sargent

Photo: Rick Mackler/Globe Photos

PETA Party’s MötleyGandhi Crüe
No KFC! says Tommy Lee.
Tommy Lee unveiled his new “Ink, Not Mink” PETA ad at Home last Monday, in conjunction with the club’s launch of its new no-fur door policy. While flashbulbs captured Tommy, the club’s designer, Steve Lewis, stood at the bar, declaring the policy “Gandhi-esque.” But he’s been Gandhi-esque for a while. “I did it at Spa and Tunnel back in the day,” Lewis said. “We turned away J.Lo and P. Diddy. No one will get in here if they’re wearing fur.” He also wanted to clear up rumors about the tufted material that lines the chairs, ceiling, and walls of the club. “Everyone keeps calling it leather—it’s vinyl!” he says (though patrons can wear leather to the club with impunity). “They make it look really real these days, and it feels good. There’s no hypocrisy here. It’s not too much to save animals. When I go home and see my little dachshund and Chihuahua, I know we’re doing the right thing.” And the Gandhi-esque behavior didn’t stop there: As he was climbing in his limo to leave, Lee was approached by a homeless man who was shouting, “I love drums! I love Tommy! Can I have two dollars?” Lee rolled down his window, thumbed through his wallet, pulled out a $100 bill and said, “Dude, here’s a hundred, go nuts. Just don’t buy KFC.”
—Janelle Nanos

Rod Stewart Shops for Bras
Is nicer than Angelina Jolie.
You could practically hear the strains of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” as Rod Stewart sat in a cubicle of the ladies’ lingerie department at Barneys, reading a copy of Simon Doonan’s book Nasty, and waiting in the next room for his pregnant fiancée, 31-year-old Penny Lancaster, who was trying on a parade of bras. One bold fan took the opportunity to walk into his room and ask for a photo and autograph (not so bizarre—that’s how he met Penny). Lancaster, who is due in December, had a bit of a struggle finding bras that fit her, according to one skivvy shopper, but the pair managed to run up a bill of $600 anyway. Then on Sunday, a slightly less affable Angelina Jolie was spotted in the same department, in jeans, wife-beater, and baby-filled Snugli. “She even snubbed the salesgirl who tried to help her,” says a witness. “She bought a black negligee and robe, but an assistant did all the interaction, including paying the bill.”
—Beth Landman

A Reader’s Guide toLizzie Lit
Books thrown at Grubman.
If she is remembered for nothing else, publicist Lizzie Grubman has proven inspirational to our nation’s young novelists. In Skinny-Dipping, by Melissa de la Cruz, she becomes Mitzi Goober, pronounced “Giubaire,” notable for her “muscular and bony arm.” Her accident: “She’d spent a month in jail after her teacup Chihuahua attacked an unsuspecting waitress’s fur-trimmed uniform vest.” In Trading Up, by Candace Bushnell, she goes by Roditzy Deardrum, who has “the bright stare of someone who won’t take no for an answer.” This time she “would end up in a French jail due to a freak boating accident … in which several of her friends would lose arms and legs during an Ecstasy fest.” And in The Trouble Boy, by Tom Dolby, there’s Ariana Richards, who has “straightened hair and an obvious nose job” and totals her mom’s car “while speeding back to the city from East Hampton.” Grubman, however, seems to have ambivalent feelings toward her fictionalized selves; a Lizzie-like character was excised from the final version of The Perfect Manhattan after Grubman’s company started repping the authors. Grubman says the change was their idea. “It just shows that people have one way of thinking about someone before they get to know them. When [they] actually got to know me, they thought they might want to change the book.”
—Emma Rosenblum

Dept. StoreMind-Control Candles
Igniting the shopping instinct in Bergdorf’s basement.
When aromatherapy meets shopping therapy, things can get out of hand. Slatkin & Company, known for its potpourri and Kabbalah candles, was asked by Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman to devise a scented candle that would encourage customers to spend. It developed a vanilla-cinnamon-based product that contains pheromones. “They release sensors in the brain that encourage people to shop,” explains Harry Slatkin. Maybe it worked too well: So many counters on Bergdorf’s basement beauty level lit the candles that the store ended up banning them. “They said it was a fire hazard,” says a store insider.


Intelligencer: August 29 to September 5