Steve Tisch, Billionaire Baller?Newly divorced billionaire and New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch might be dating women on both coasts. Martha Stewart created a special Christmas tree for Sirius Radio’s office, complete with Howard Stern cookie ornaments. Former NYSE head Dick Grasso left CNBC’s Charles Gasparino a creepy “merry Christmas” message on his answering machine, despite the fact that Gasparino’s new book takes Grasso to task for the $190 million kiss-off he took after leaving the Exchange. John Mayer has had a crush on Ricki Lake for two years (Ed. note: WTF?!), and actually got her digits at the wonderfully successful Sunshine Sachs Christmas party. Lance Armstrong picked up the tab for dinner with former flame Sheryl Crow. Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera hung out together at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year party. Andy Samberg, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers had lunch together.
Frank Gehry: I Don’t Have a Leaking Problem, Okay? “My name’s Frank Gehry, and my buildings don’t leak,” announced the architect at last night’s Guggenheim International Gala. He was referring to the lawsuit filed against him by MIT last week, which says that flawed design enabled mold to grow, leaks to spring up, and drainage problems to occur in his $300 million Stata Center. It had been in all the papers. “Why do the press want to tear down success?” he wondered later. Hm. They’re just jealous? That’s what people always tell us, anyway. But why is it that Gehry is always so controversial? For instance, he is often credited with the so-called Bilbao Effect, where museums across the country and around the world have begun expanding their buildings with costly, high-profile expansions and new satellites. He shakes this off. “I didn’t make the word the ‘Bilbao Effect,’ the reporters did that, as they created the word ‘starchitect’ — reporters did that,” he said. “Reporters now try to tear people down for being part of the ‘Bilbao Effect’ or being ‘starchitects.’ I’m not a starchitect.”
Markus Dochantschi to Blend Luxury With Affordable Beside BAMBack in April,
we told you how a city competition had produced attractive, ecohealthy, and affordable housing in the South Bronx. When architect Markus Dochantschi, Zaha Hadid’s onetime U.S. point man, finished second in that competition, he vowed to find another spot for his utopian plans. His sights were set on the ritzy city-owned site next to BAM, where another similar competition was running. This time, he won. Dochantschi, working with German architect Stefan Behnisch, will design 187 units, including 30 for-sale apartments and an unspecified number of affordable ones, above a retail and performance space where Fulton Street meets Ashland (near Frank Gehry’s modern explosion over the Atlantic Yards). He says the scheme scatters for-sale and low-income units throughout the tower to ensure that no one section becomes less desirable than others. Instead, as the above rendering shows (and another more clearly after the jump), he “twisted the orientation” to make sure the north-south exposure was no less enticing than the east-west. As a result, he says, “hotspots” throughout the building will ensure plenty of nice light and air. He hopes the building opens by 2010. —Alec Appelbaum
Local Planner Gets the Big Job [Brooklyn Papers]
Related: Mr. Ratner’s Neighborhood [NYM]
Starchitect Showdown! Will Rockwell or Gehry Build the Better Playground?It’s never too early to start Manhattan tykes on high-end real-estate mania. The Parks Department has just announced that Frank Gehry will be designing a no doubt titanium-clad playground for Battery Park — which puts the L.A.-based starchitect in head-to-head competition with New York’s own David Rockwell, the man behind countless restaurant and hotel interiors, some of Broadway’s wittiest set designs, and a planned “imagination playground” on Burling Slip, a bit uptown on the East River. How do the two compare? See for yourself.
the morning line
• Nine New York universities, including Columbia, CUNY, NYU, and Pratt, have signed on to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. This exceeds Bloomberg’s PlaNYC goals and should, the mayor says, “make a sizable dent” in the city’s carbon footprint. [amNY]
• A 15-year-old Connecticut girl who disappeared a year ago was found alive, apparently imprisoned in a secret room of her parents’ acquaintances’ house. [NYP]
• Someone is destroying entire print runs, and harassing the editors, of the city’s two Urdu-language weeklies that cater to Pakistani-Americans. This is perhaps an inopportune moment to say it, but how cool is it that we have two Urdu weeklies? [CPJ]
• More mayhem: A “strapping” and “burly” (in the Daily News’ oddly swooning description) ex-con prowled the 2 train for a week, stealing iPods and gold jewelry plus kissing and exposing himself to women. [NYDN]
• And Frank Gehry is going to design a playground in Battery Park, as a “gift to the city.” Aw, you shouldn’t have! As opposed to Miss Brooklyn, which you really, you know, shouldn’t have. [NYT]
What Was Marty Scorsese Like in High School?
Last week the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts held its annual youngARTS gala at the Ziegfeld, and it drew a top-tier crew of New York celebrities — Martin Scorsese, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Julian Schnabel, Jane Fonda, Frank Gehry, and Edward Albee among them — to watch a variety show performed by 37 creative high schoolers from around the country and then present them with cash awards. “I like working with kids,” Schnabel told the crowd. “They aren’t fucked up yet.” We asked the celebs — who earlier in the weekend had worked with the aspiring artists as mentors — what they were like in high school.
the morning line
• With impeccable timing he would likely disavow, Governor Spitzer made his first judicial appointment yesterday — picking Theodore T. Jones Jr., an African-American judge from Brooklyn, for the Court of Appeals (the highest in our state’s counterintuitive hierarchy). Jones, by the way, is the guy who threw Roger Toussaint in jail after the transit strike. [NYT]
• We knew that if we stuck with the story of the Joseph Bruno probe, it would eventually get interesting. Pay dirt! The state GOP leader had hung out at Rachel’s, a West Palm Beach strip club, on his businessman friend’s dime. Dear Feds: More of this and less murky real-estate deals, please. [NYDN]
• Speaking of: Real-estate data is infinitely malleable, but here’s an upbeat nugget that’s hard to misinterpret — property values in New York City rose 19 percent in 2006. That, if you still want to talk about a “cooldown,” is double the gain of 2005. The bad news: Taxes will jump in July. [Newsday]
• Scientists are struggling to rescue dolphins stranded in shallow waters near East Hampton; four cetaceans have died and fifth was “euthanized.” Long Island has been reporting bizarre dolphin behavior all month long, triggered by the freakishly mild winter (coming, by the way, to a bitter end with tomorrow’s cold snap). [amNY]
• And, not so fast, Jay-Z: While Beyoncé’s mom is already sewing Nets’ uniforms, the team may first end up in Newark. Mayor Cory Booker is making a play for the franchise, offering to house it temporarily until its New Jersey contract runs out. In other news, Frank Gehry unveiled plans for “Miss Newark.” [NYP]
Barry Diller Has No West Side Panic RoomBarry Diller denies that Frank Gehry built him an invader-proof, bullet-proof bunker in the bathroom of his office at the new IAC headquarters. So Pamela and Kid didn’t break up over Borat — they broke up because Pam partied too much and left the kids home with Kid (and maybe lied about her miscarriage). New crotch-flashing best friends Paris Hilton and Britney Spears will host the Billboard Music Awards Monday in Vegas. Rush & Molloy “breaks” the news that the “raisin face” Nicole Richie was referring to on her blog is Rachel Zoe, which, like, everyone knew two days ago. Ed Koch lost his pants at an airport in Portugal. Steve Schirripa accidentally head-butted James Gandolfini on the set of The Sopranos. Bobby Kennedy Jr. had dinner with his sister’s husband’s ex-wife. The publishers of InStyle want the magazine’s weddings editor to make things a little more highbrow. Snoop Dogg filed a $2 million lawsuit against his record label for royalties owed; TomKat spent $4.75 million for a cottage in London. Robert Altman tattooed dogs for a living before he made movies. Publicist Dan Klores has a movie in Sundance this year, his third in five years. Some people laughed at a screening for a new comedy about Adolph Hitler, and some people didn’t. (And yes, the director’s Jewish.) Cindy Adams speculates (twice!) that ABC’s Primetime co-anchor John Quinones will take over Ed Bradley’s vacant seat at 60 Minutes. Liz Smith reminds us that Rudy and Judy Giuliani are truly, madly, deeply in love. Lillo Brancato, of A Bronx Tale fame, is in solitary confinement at Rikers Island for a third time (this time for heroin). And the Post scolds the Daily News for calling a kettle black.