Intelligencer: September 19-26

It Happens This Week
• The Giants on ‘Monday Night Football.’
• Lil’ Kim goes to jail.
• Antiwar rally in D.C.
• Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall Katrina benefit (with Elton John).
• Wynton Marsalis Katrina benefit.
• ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ returns, finally.

Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Mort’s Deluge
His Triplex Got All Wet. Zuckerman flees his co-op palace for New York Palace.
Mort Zuckerman may own one of the most envy-inspiring apartments in Manhattan, but he’s currently staying in a hotel. Zuckerman’s triplex penthouse at 950 Fifth Avenue recently was massively flooded. “A water pump was backed up,” says a real-estate source familiar with the details. “And his terrace only has a tiny drain. There was spectacular damage.” However, Zuckerman is still paying about $13,000 a month in maintenance fees, which his insurance company may end up suing the building to recoup. His two-bedroom triplex suite at the New York Palace hotel runs about $10,000 a night. Zuckerman didn’t answer his room’s phone at the hotel, and his office refused to comment.
—Deborah Schoeneman

Klein, RavitchLay waste to their homes.
Earlier this summer, former MTA chief Richard Ravitch paid $6.5 million for ex–ImClone CEO (and Martha Stewart confidant) Sam Waksal ’s Wainscott retreat, along with a lot next door. Waksal sold the spread in 2002 for $4.55 million to a couple who changed their mind and resold it to Ravitch, who promptly tore down the house. Ravitch just married his third bride, auction-house heiress Kathy Doyle , so it’s likely he’s building a bigger and better love nest—and, unlike the MTA, he’s got a way to pay for this capital improvement. Last week, he put the unused one-acre lot on the market for $6.5 million. Elsewhere in the teardown-happy South Fork, Saturday Night Live co-producer Marci Klein is siccing a wrecking ball on the Wainscott beachfront home for which she paid $3.75 million in 2000 and had hired architect Jay Sears to design the replacement. Apparently she didn’t inherit the minimalism gene from her dad, Calvin : Sears’s vision was, a source says, “too modern,” and so she tossed him, and now she’s back to the drawing board.
—S. Jhoanna Robledo

Palace Coup!
New ChefFor Le Cirque space.
The New York Palace hotel is close to announcing a new ringmaster for the space vacated by Le Cirque nine months ago. According to a restaurant-industry source, the new chef will be … drumroll Paul Liebrandt ! He earned three stars at Atlas with his quirky dishes like scallops with chocolate and eel with watermelon before spending more than a year on his own project on Morton Square. But that deal fell through at the end of 2003. “The landlord was too difficult,’’ says Liebrandt. Since then, he has been a private chef and a consultant to Café Luxembourg. As for the Palace, “I can’t talk about it.’’ After a somewhat tumultuous relationship with Le Cirque, the hotel, owned by the royal family of Brunei, is going to operate the restaurant itself this time. Meanwhile, Le Cirque is reopening at 1 Beacon Court this winter.
—Beth Landman

Fashion LessonsFrom Fashion Week
Don’t be a pushy reality star. Don’t carry an Uzi. Don’t do $500,000 worth of coke.
Fashion Week comes around twice a year to teach New Yorkers all sorts of lessons that can’t be bought retail: (1) Reality-TV stars need to learn patience. At Kimora Lee Simmons ’s overbooked Baby Phat after-party at Home, the security guard was left shouting, “Go home!” to a group on the curb that included Tyson Beckford , Foxy Brown , Vibe editor-in-chief Mimi Valdés , and J. Alexander (the runway coach on America’s Next Top Model). But Alexander wasn’t having it. “Kimora wants me in there,” he said, according to a witness. “I will not be turned away.” “He was having a diva fit,” said the witness. “It’s funny—on the show he’s always saying, ‘You betta walk,’ but I don’t think he’s used to being told to walk.” But after his attempts at entry failed, that’s exactly what he did. (2) Department of Homeland Security rules do not apply to Tara Subkoff : On the morning of the Imitation of Christ show at the Surrogate’s Court Building, designer Subkoff’s brother, Daniel , was stopped by security for attempting to bring an Uzi inside the building. To Daniel’s confusion, the Uzi, a runway prop, was confiscated. When an employee of IOC’s publicity firm went down to retrieve the gun, “it turned out it was actually a real, 30-pound Uzi” (albeit with a plugged-up barrel). The employee got the gun back—by convincing security that it was a conceptual flight of fancy and not a public-safety threat—but then the Subkoffs forgot to use it in the show. (3) If you have a rather uninspiring collection, at least get the models excited by having a multiplatinum artist as your “pump-up guy” to spur them on right before they walk the runway. Tommy Hilfiger had Jay-Z , who shouted, “Make me some magic, Baby Boy,” in the faces of the wan mannequins. (4) And, finally, don’t use blow. At Elle magazine’s 21st-anniversary party, the rapper DMC of Run-DMC reminisced about when he was a baby boy of 21 himself. If he could do it all over, “I probably wouldn’t sniff cocaine. Really. I sniffed a lot. When I look back, I say, ‘Damn, it’s unbelievable!’ I even tried to add up the amount. I spent almost $500,000 on cocaine from, like, ’86 to ’88. Damn! I mean, now I’m thinking about it again.”
—Emma Rosenblum and Melena Ryzik

Intelligencer: September 19-26