Kinder, Gentler Palm Wants Your Gay Business
Since 1926, the Palm restaurant chain has been feeding its mostly male clientele big steaks, big lobsters, and the big heads of famous people with those scribbly caricatures on the wall. But with the current steakhouse boom — and more competition — the owners of the Palm are trying to move the restaurant away from being an “old boys’ club.” On August 27, the Palm plans to introduce a multi-pronged marketing strategy to freshen up its image: That means targeting women (via salads with enticing, exotic-sounding names like Tequila Shrimp or Raspberry Lobster Tempura) and a younger set (look for bigger bars and ads on VH1).
in other news
New York ‘Post’ Owes Its Punch to Col Allan’s HangoversSo remember Kevin Rudd, that Australian candidate for prime minister who went on a bender at Scores with Col Allan and was later rung through the ringer about it in Rupert Murdoch’s Aussie press? Well, we all knew he wasn’t the only one to fall under the Post editor’s boozy spell – and today Col’s former employee Megan Lehmann writes in Newsweek about her own experiences. “More than a few have been left wondering what the hell happened,” she says. “There’s no wimping out when Col is shouting in a Manhattan bar.” So what does a night out with him entail? Tabletop dancing, watching the sunrise as you leave a bar, mild personal injury, and maybe, sometimes, a glimpse of naked Stevie Nicks. So all those times we hear about him lumbering through the newsroom calling his own staffers “fucking idiots,” he’s just hung-over, eh? We suppose that’s what they like to believe.
On the Town With Col Allan [Newsweek]
BBQ Brethren Speaks!
Now here we thought that the Barbecue Brethren were a bunch of byzantine schemers, taking potshots at their enemies and vice versa, while the world looked on in indifference. But it turns out that we were wrong! Eric Devlin, an articulate fellow who happens to belong to that group, set us straight in a missive as notable for its refined tone and polished eloquence as for the fact that it is totally insane. Further proof of the Brethren’s non-omnipotence can be found in the fact that none of their members won last weekend’s Ribfest; the laurels went to Boston’s I Que.
Anna Wintour Puts Friends Before Fashion. Really.FINANCE
• Here come the job cuts: Lehman Brothers will shutter its subprime unit, leaving 1,200 employees out of work. [NYT]
• A new study suggests raising taxes on private equity wouldn’t make any difference because Steve Schwarzman and friends would just find new ways to wriggle out of them. After all, taxes are for the little people, right? [Bloomberg]
• Alan Greenspan supposedly told his new bosses at Deutsche that he would have lowered rates by now, though he denies it. [WSJ]
The City Is Coming for Your TakeoutThe city has taken away from you the simple pleasure of a beer and a cigarette, the delicious trans fats that made food you know is not good for you even less good for you, the words “nigger” and, potentially, “bitch” from your vocabulary, and, if Peter Vallone Jr. has his way, the right to look out your window and into your neighbor’s. So what can the City Council come up with to ban next? Today’s Sun finds the answer: Styrofoam! “It is mind-boggling that our city, which is becoming a leader on environmental issues, is still using Styrofoam when we know it is extremely harmful to our environment and creating massive amounts of waste,” said the councilman behind the idea, Bill de Blasio. And frankly we’re disappointed. That makes perfect sense: Can’t he come up with something more creative to ban?
City Council Bill Would Take Out City’s Styrofoam [NYS]
Earlier: Peter Vallone Jr. Is Coming for You, and for Jimmy Stewart
in other news
Cindy Adams and Liz Smith Lash Out Against YouthAh, Cindy and Liz. The Post’s divas of dish are finally responding to critics who note that they only write about dead people, or ones that are getting near dead. Today Liz Smith indignantly begins a column about Elizabeth Taylor with a potshot at celebrity whippersnappers. “Today people seem to think ‘the famous’ are Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and their ilk — young fools who shot to the top via the paparazzi, with little attendant baggage to keep them afloat.” She explains that Taylor is “truly famous” because of her Oscar wins and philanthropic efforts. Mm hm. That’s all well and good, but Liz misses the point — Elizabeth Taylor lives quietly at home and hasn’t acted in anything since 2001. Britney and Paris have been flashing their junk with regularity all summer — now that’s relevance. We think Cindy Adams put it best when she wrote, yesterday, “I realize this column is mainly about people who died.” Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
Victim’s Sister Rips Planned O.J. Book [NYP]
Liz Taylor Returning to Stage [NYP]
Whole Foods Plot Still Grimy in Gowanus; Tony Bourdain on Ina GartenWhole Foods has only one more building to demolish to clear out its plot by the Gowanus Canal for its 2008 opening, but there are still no signs of environmental cleanup. [Brownstoner]
Related: Has the Benevolent Whole Foods Betrayed Its Health-Obsessed Customers?
Anthony Bourdain didn’t waste much time agonizing over the expulsion of Tre from Top Chef before laying into Casey, who slices slower the “Ina Garten on Thorazine.” [Bravo]
Related: The Gay Side of ‘Top Chef’ Comes Out
Amalia chef Ivy Stark hates chicken. So why is there chorizo-stuffed crispy chicken on Amalia’s menu? [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
today in astor-ia
Anthony Marshall Fights Back
Brooke Astor’s embattled son, Anthony Marshall, has finally started lashing back at his opponents in the contest over his late mother’s will. Specifically, he chose the first day of legal proceedings to issue a barrage of attacks against Annette de la Renta, Astor’s friend who was named Astor’s guardian in the year before her death. Marshall’s lawyer Ken Warner accused the designer’s wife yesterday of “making a lunge for power and control,” according to the Daily News. The Post quotes Marshall as calling De la Renta “heartless and hostile” for refusing to allow his wife, Charlene, to see Astor the weekend before her death. Marshall also claims that De la Renta accepted expensive gifts from Astor even after she claimed that the elderly woman was mentally unfit. He made no mention of the fact that De la Renta, who does not stand to benefit financially from the debate, has been paying her own legal fees throughout. He did, however, claim that JP Morgan Chase, De la Renta’s ally in the legal skirmish, was “reckless,” “irresponsible,” and “outrageous” — and called their pursuit of him “a malicious jihad.” We’re beginning to really like where this is all going.
Test of Wills [NYP]
the morning line
Fairest of the Fair, She Is
• In a turnaround from yesterday, Miss America will testify as a witness in the eleven court cases she helped build by playing a 14-year-old in a televised Long Island sex-sting op. [WNBC]
• The Mets fan who used a powerful flashlight to blind a Braves pitcher has been sentenced to fifteen days behind bars — and a lifetime ban from Shea Stadium — after pleading guilty to “interfering with a sporting event.” [NYP]
• Speaking of the Mets, Citi Field now has its own Daniel Goldstein: One (and perhaps the only) inhabitant of Willets Point’s “Iron Triangle,” 74-year-old Joe Ardizzone, is refusing to relocate and make way for the stadium. [amNY]
• After losing half his blood and breaking a bunch of bones in an SUV crash, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine requested yesterday to be fined for not wearing a seat belt. Today, he is exactly $46 dollars poorer and, presumably, happier. [NYT]
• Here’s someone who won’t be requesting a ticket: A Queens burglary suspect, fleeing from cops in a stolen SUV, rammed into a bus carrying disabled students. Oh, yes, the apartment he burglarized? A police officer’s. [NYDN]
Bush-Cousin Judge Won’t Be Investigated for Car Crash That Killed New Haven CopA federal judge who is George W. Bush’s cousin killed a New Haven, Connecticut, police officer in a traffic accident in October, and this afternoon New Haven police decided not to pursue criminal charges. Judge John Mercer Walker Jr., a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, is first cousin to former President George H.W. Bush they share a grandfather, George Herbert Walker and first cousin once removed to the current president. On October 17, in what a New Haven police spokeswoman termed “difficult weather conditions,” the 66-year-old Walker was driving an SUV that struck 38-year-old Officer Daniel Picagli, a seventeen-year veteran of the New Haven police department.
the morning line
Alan Hevesi, and Other Car Wrecks
• So after all that outraged wife-chauffeuring tabloid ink, Alan Hevesi handily won reelection, 57 percent to 39 percent. Anyone want to bring up the scandal now? Didn’t think so. “You can make the case that the public has spoken,” says Mayor Bloomberg. [NYDN]
• A 5-year-old Brooklyn boy is dead after a ruthless hit-and-run. An SUV lurched onto the Flatbush sidewalk, struck a family of four and continued on — until shocked drivers in other cars nearby gave chase and blocked its way. And another errant Brooklyn SUV collided with, of all things, an ambulance this morning, injuring at least five people. The ambulance’s driver had to be cut out of the wreckage. [NYP, WNBC]
• The City Council met to discuss an urgent topic: raising its own members’ salaries 25 percent. Surprisingly, almost everyone’s in favor. The current base salary for the part-time job is $90,000. [amNY]
• Remember the long, hysterically pitched discussion of whether cell-phone service in NYC subways would be a good or a bad thing? MTA doesn’t. Four companies submitted competitive bids to retrofit the city’s trains with cell-phone transmitters back in January; ten months later, the Authority still hasn’t made a decision. [NYT]
• And Christie’s cleared $491 million in one night, almost doubling the record for an art auction. It could have been even more, but the house ended up withdrawing the Picasso, on whose convoluted origins (Mendelssohn, Nazis, Andrew Lloyd Webber) we reported, at the last moment. Still, some vigorous paddle work there. [NYT]
the morning line
Fires and Crashes and Shootings
• A four-alarm fire in the Bronx wiped out five wood-frame houses and left close to 25 firefighters hospitalized; yesterday’s brutal wind helped the blaze along. “Scores” are reported homeless. [amNY]
• The tabs diverge on what’s the tragedy of the day: The Post has a gruesome SUV crash in Harlem — a speeding Explorer overstuffed with eight teen passengers, one dead; the News goes with the murder-suicide on a Brooklyn sidewalk, featuring an estranged Greek husband, a sawed-off shotgun, and horrified onlookers. [NYP, NYDN]
• The NYPD will require the city’s cops to cover up all visible ink (“to promote uniformity,” but really to avoid embarrassments like last year’s flap over a recruit with a “jihad” tattoo). But what about piercings? The article doesn’t say. [NY1]
• First was talk of a trans-fat ban, and now the Board of Health is threatening to visit another indignity on our restaurateurs: “the nation’s most rigorous system of calorie disclosure.” Yes, hard numbers, right on the menu. (Most likely to be heard at Per Se and Masa next year: “No, sweetie, that’s the price.”) [NYT]
• Finally, the Post (where headline writers appear to be under the impression “Kazakh” rhymes with “rock” and “block”) gets in on the Borat-wagon in the most yawnsome way possible, letting Cohen pen an NYC visitor’s guide in character. Did we mention the movie is a 20th Century Fox — which is to say, News Corp. — release? [NYP]
the morning line
Upstate Car Wreck Kills Couple, Breaks Hearts
• A 10-month-old girl is newly orphaned, and in critical condition, after an SUV crossed the median in Orange County and rammed her parents’ rental. That the father was the founder of Fandango.com and the mother a rising-star neuroscientist may raise the item’s profile, but the fact that they were high-school sweethearts makes it completely devastating. [NYDN]
• Affordable housing may be coming to the Lower East Side, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, and elsewhere: Bloomberg wants to make his tax break for developers dependent on the low-cost caveat. Ah, how times change: We remember when half of Dumbo’s inhabitants lived there for free. [NYT]
• In psycho-killer news, Mark Chapman was denied parole for the fourth time, one day after his victim John Lennon’s 66th birthday; and Andrew Goldstein, a schizophrenic who pushed a woman under the N train in 1999, pleaded guilty, saying he knew what he was doing. We guess that’s progress? [amNY, NYT]
• In what continues to be Stephen Colbert’s week of total media domination, Colbert County in Alabama opens “The Stephen Colbert Museum and Gift Shop.” Don’t read the linked article too carefully, because the author completely sells out a potentially funny bit from a future show. [Montgomery Adviser via Radar]
• New bike routes are coming to the city. Except that this is New York, not some hippy-dippy Portland, so our bike lanes are actually “shared lanes” and are basically streets with some stenciling on them. We’re sure it’s just a coincidence that these new-style stencils look like chalk outlines of flattened bikers. Right? [StreetsBlog]