Intelligencer: September 5–12

It Happens This Week
• Fashion Week!
• First games for Giants and Jets.
• Coldplay at MSG.
• Tax-free shoes!
• Back to public school.
• Fourth anniversary of 9/11.

Photo: Robin Platzer/Twin Images

Uptown Moby: LES to CPW
Pals Bono, Nina Griscom get him by the co-op board.
Moby is leaving his longstanding Lower East Side existence for an Art Deco aerie on Central Park West, far from the teeming crowds of hipsters. The vegan musician and tea-shop proprietor got in with the help of recommendation letters from Charles Rockefeller, Nina Griscom, and Bono (who used to live in the building). A rep from his office confirmed that Moby recently closed on a $4.5 million deal for an unusual five-level penthouse formerly owned by an opera singer. The wedding-cake-style apartment has five terraces, including two with 360-degree views stretching from the George Washington Bridge to JFK. Architect James Harb has been hired to renovate the place by next spring. Moby isn’t abandoning downtown entirely, however. He’ll continue to use his Nolita apartment as an office and to frequent his Rivington Street café, teany.
—Deborah Schoeneman

Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images

That Woman:The Musical!
Billary in harmony.
Just in time for Hillary Clinton’s reelection campaign, Monica Lewinsky’s back. This time, the ex-intern’s just gonna open her mouth—and sing! Monica! The Musical starts September 21 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It starts off with Bill in Arkansas, singing, “I got everything a growing boy would dare to grope for,” and proceeds to ridicule Ken Starr for his “girl hands” and portray Clinton secretary Betty Currie as a frenzied gospel-lover (played by Frenchie Davis, the American Idol contestant who was booted when dirty pictures of her were discovered on a Website called Daddy’s Little Girls). Despite her bad fashion sense and low self-esteem, Monica is treated “quite sympathetically,” according to co-creator Daniel Blau. “Almost everyone we meet has a story about a friend who knows Monica,” he says. “So word on the street has it that she knows about it by now. And if she wants to see it, that would be awesome. I think she’d say, ‘Hey, this show is really funny. But I kind of don’t remember this all happening in rhyming-couplet form. Did it?’ ” As for whether Hillary would see it, her campaign spokesperson refused to comment.
—Shana Liebman

Does Italian Get the Boot by Bruni?
Alto chef Conant seethes over two-star review.
Does New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni have something against Italian food? The former Rome bureau chief opened his review of Della Rovere (one star) with the line “New York needs another Italian restaurant like Seattle needs rain.” Babbo aside, he has never given more than two stars to any Italian eatery. Just ask the owners of the new restaurant Alto, who got two, which, according to industry snitches, made chef Scott Conant (L’Impero) go ballistic in the kitchen. “He began hurling things,’’ says one source. “I was upset and I’m still upset,” says Conant, who denies that he threw a tantrum. “I control my emotions. I’m on a spiritual path.” However, “when Frank Bruni is gone, I’m sure this restaurant is still here.” Bruni says he doesn’t have prejudices. “I don’t intentionally or consciously go tougher on Italian restaurants.” And he notes that even if he doles out a lot of one-stars to Italian joints, “I think one star is my most frequently given rating, regardless of ethnic orientation.”

Photo: Courtesy of Abrams Artists Agency; Everett Collection

The Ersatz Olsen TwinsTake Manhattan
Get free stuff, look for TV roles.
What do you do with simulacra of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who are still in the seventh grade? Allie and Lexi Kaplan of Short Hills, New Jersey, get called Olsen-like “every day.” “We do get special privileges,” says Lexi. “We get immediate seating in the restaurants in the Hamptons.” “The other day I went to see Must Love Dogs, and they gave me free popcorn,” adds Allie. They even have an agent, Bonnie Shumofsky. She found the Kaplan girls at a wedding and has been pitching them on their Olsenishness ever since. “They look like the Olsen twins,” she says. (Most of her other clients don’t look like younger versions of established stars.) “But if they didn’t have personality, I wouldn’t represent them.” The twins themselves say there’s room for them. “When we were 7, we were in Riding in Cars With Boys, but they cut the scene out,” says Allie. “We tried out for Cat in the Hat as Thing One and Thing Two, but we didn’t get the parts because we didn’t know how to do a cartwheel.” Lexi adds, “We were supposed to be on the Dave Chappelle show, but they said he had a breakdown or something.” They’ve also done commercials. In the meantime, what would happen if they met the Olsens? “It would be a shock for them,” says Lexi. “They would be like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s minis of us.’ ”
—Susan Avery

Menu CheckFrom Subway Perv Chef
Would you eat raw food made by this man?
“I’ll have a large nut milk.” That’s a phrase you may not hear much anymore at Quintessence, the mini-chain of raw-food restaurants, now that its co-owner–chef, Dan Hoyt, has been arrested for public lewdness on the subway (he was caught on a cell-phone camera, apparently masturbating, by a quick-thinking victim). Along with nut milk—described as a “silky blend of soaked nuts (for easy digestion)”—other suddenly unappetizing menu items from his restaurants include the “chipotle hand roll,” the “young coconut shake,” and something called “Peters Pot.” Can you get the “ ‘shrimp’ stick” with “special sauce”? Er, no thanks.
—Faye Penn

Intelligencer: September 5–12