Thursday, August 19th, 2010
8

Newt Gingrich Strangely Silent On South Carolina Child Murder

Last Tuesday, two toddlers were found dead in a car that had sunk to the bottom of a river. The scenario had an eerie parallel to the Susan Smith episode of 1994: both incidents occurred in South Carolina, and in both cases the mother was charged with murder.

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5

Outside The Box: Seeing Who Saw Kanye West Last Night

Like the vast majority of Americans, I did not get in to the secret dress-up Kanye West show at The Box last night. The stone-faced doormen were wrapped in dark suits and clutching umbrellas-the umbrellas that doubled as canes, swung toward the ground, whenever the intermittent drizzling receded. The door would open every minute or two, and you could hear echoed bits of sound. First you heard the thin remnants of the voice of Kanye West. Then, if the doorman lingered a bit longer, you could make out a beat, or a synth tone, and the song title would come immediately. Kanye doing "Get ‘Em High." Kanye doing [...]

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25

The Scene: Grimaldi’s Under the Threat of Eviction

The line at Grimaldi's yesterday afternoon stretched halfway down the waterfront Dumbo block, as it does most days-the pizza place has developed a reputation, through TV spots and gushing travel book write-ups, for being "the best." But the pie-seeking clientele may not linger on that Brooklyn sidewalk for long: tomorrow, the landlord will walk into the state supreme court and ask for the eviction of the institution, possibly forcing Grimaldi's to move from its flagship locale.

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11

Beyond the Tubes: The Legacy of Senator Ted Stevens

It was not his first plane crash. Ted Stevens had been there before-during a rough touch-down in 1978 at Anchorage International, which would later be renamed for the senator. That first crash left Stevens with minor injuries but it killed his wife, Ann.

The circumstances of yesterday's crash, the one that killed him, when taken in the context of his history, presence and reputation are such that they tempt metaphor and hint at irony. The plane was owned by Alaskan telecom giant GCI (where one of the senior VPs is a former Stevens chief of staff) and was en route to a retreat at the corporation's Agulowak Lodge. [...]

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9

Very Recent History: Shoplifters of New York Unite

When Caroline Giuliani allegedly slipped those five beauty products into her purse and allegedly attempted to walk out of the Sephora this week, she (allegedly!) joined the fine ranks of the shoplifters of New York. And it's a rich history-the compulsive thief Joseph Rosen once called New York "a shoplifter's paradise," in a 1997 Times profile . Not every shoplifter can be the progeny of America's Mayor, but any storeowner with missing inventory knows the city has no shortage of hands with sticky fingers. Here's a selection of New York-related instances of shoplifting, some from the past and a few incidences from local fiction.

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12

Giuliani's Daughter No Altar Boy

The Post is reporting that Caroline Giuliani, the former mayor's youngest child, was arrested today at the Sephora on 86th and Lexington-near the home of her mother Donna Hanover, Rudy's ex-wife- for allegedly shoplifting from the cosmetics store. The 20-year-old was caught in the act at 3:30 p.m., the Daily News alleges. This is the conversation I had with a Sephora employee shortly thereafter.

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38

The Most-Stolen Books At McNally Jackson

For some customers of delightful Prince Street bookstore McNally Jackson, the 20% discount on offer in July just wasn't enough. Some customers would just rather steal. Turns out, there's a certain subset of literature that really brings out the sticky fingers in people. When the staff discovered which books were being slipped into backpacks and satchels with the most regularity, they moved these titles to a protected section behind the counter. Books on lockdown! So-here are the books all the kids are stealing these days!

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13

Standard Procedure: Crossing the "Rubicon" at the Boom Boom Room

"Rubicon," the new AMC conspiracy theory show that celebrated its upcoming premiere with a party at The Standard Wednesday night, is named for the river in Italy that inspired the idiom "crossing the Rubicon"-as in, passing a point of no return. The phase refers to Caesar's decision to lead his army across the river, which was equated with an act of war. And taking that elevator to The Top Of The Standard is something akin to that act-it is, in some respects, like passing a point of no return. But before we got to the Boom Boom Room there was the real reason for the event: a roundtable discussion [...]

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51

The History and Use of "Spoiler Alert"

In her July 14 article about the premiere of the fourth season of "Mad Men," Alessandra Stanley neglected to include a phrase that precedes potentially revealing facts in film and TV reviews: "spoiler alert." Fans read ahead and the damage was done. A certain string of words made moot a device key to the operation of the "Mad Men" universe-the ignorance on the part of the audience of how much time has lapsed between the previous season and the current one-and she did not give readers the choice of whether or not they wanted to know before the episode aired. The information was placed casually in the middle [...]

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40

I Have Seen The Future Of Adult Contemporary And Its Name Is Train

On Thursday afternoon, a Jumbotron at 43rd and Broadway in Times Square streamed a live performance of the "adult contemporary" band Train. The actual performance took place just across the street, high up in the Reuters building, and if you are a fan of  "adult contemporary" and watched this broadcast-which also streamed on Facebook-you would have seen me in the audience.

I do not like the band Train. Or, more accurately, I have no opinion of the band Train-they fall into the category of bands that I know "exist." I am aware of that song with that catchy mandolin about greeting a "soul sister," and that's about it. But there I was, forging with them [...]

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0

A Brief History of Daily News Editor Martin Dunn as Told by Keith Kelly

Yesterday Martin Dunn ended his seven-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of the New York Daily News. Surprised? You wouldn't be if you'd been reading New York Post media columnist Keith Kelly, who was the first to report word of Dunn's exit. Repeatedly. Over the course of many years. Let's look back!

May 26, 2004 – NEW SNOOZE LOOKS LIKE OLD ; MASTHEAD SHIFT SHUFFLES DECK, BUT DOESN'T DEAL NEW BOSS "The deck has been shuffled at Mort Zuckerman's embattled Daily News, but there are few signs of new life at the paper. Editorial director Martin Dunn, who returned to the paper in October after several years in his native London, [...]

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8

Paul Dano Pretends To Not Know Why People Buy Him Milkshakes

There are four words-and, of course, the accompanying slurping sound-that will dog Paul Dano for the rest of his life: "I drink your milkshake!" That phrase, spat at him by Daniel Day-Lewis in the modern classic There Will Be Blood, remains wedged into our collective unconscious. Why, then, does the actor who played the owner of the hypothetical milkshake feign surprise when offered these tasty beverages for free?

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23

An Open Letter to Joggers: People Are Trying To Smoke Here!

Dear Prospect Park runner:

You've asked the smokers along your running route to "abide by the unwritten rules of smoking appropriateness and do not harsh the mellow of my running space with nicotine clouds." In return for this favor, you will "suspend the overly-theatrical waving away of your smoke clouds and the pulling of my shirt over my head to block the polluted air when you walk past." Well, as gracious as that offer is, the smoking population of this city would rather you not suspend these flailing motions of yours. We find those quite humorous!

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4

Your Helicopter Ride Above New York with Glenn Beck

Great news for people that love giving to charity. They're auctioning off a dinner with Glenn Beck and his wife at their home in Connecticut. The proceeds from this opportunity will benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit that provides support for the children of Special-Ops personnel killed in training or military missions. Sort of! More specifically, the money will go to the Restoring Honor rally that will take place August 28th in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The winner will also receive a trip on a helicopter over New York City, during which Beck will "point out historical buildings and sights as you soar [...]

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10

Will Aaron Sorkin Avoid The Fatal Trap Of "The Politician"?

Aaron Sorkin appears to be bold enough to take on the life of John Edwards, the philanderer with a $500 haircut. Sorkin has optioned The Politician, the tell-all written by aide Andrew Young, and plans to adapt it for the screen, producing and directing. The film will chronicle the former North Carolina senator's fall from grace, which began when that very real and legitimate pillar of journalistic ethics the National Inquirer first started reporting on his affair with Jay McInerney muse Rielle Hunter in October 2007.

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17

Watch That iPad–Don't Break the Galassi! FSG To Solve Bookish 'Weird Spot'

Last night publishing giant Farrar, Straus and Giroux hosted people at Lolita, on the Lower East Side, to celebrate the launch of its new monthly online newsletter, Work In Progress. Lolita is small and black, and it intimates nighttime even when the day is still going strong outside. A hung-up canvas has the words "Life is Art" painted over a metropolitan landscape; the guests drank an inordinate amount of rosé. Ryan Chapman-an online marketing manager at FSG and the guy spearheading the new venture-was in the back, toying around on an iPad. His tie was marked by a nifty clip, and he had on thick-rimmed glasses.

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15

The Boss Abides: George Steinbrenner as New York

George Steinbrenner at the end was not the man who once ruled American sport. His neck bubbled out into a series of rolling chins. His skin was sallow and plastic-looking. As he sailed out his years in Tampa, draped in Yankees pajamas for the entirety of the day, his mind had slipped away. "Great to see ya, Tommy," Steinbrenner said to his friend Tom McEwen when Franz Lidz visited George's Florida compound in 2007 to report a story for Portfolio. And then he said it again. Great to see ya, Tommy. Great to see ya. Great to see ya. He would repeat the phrase after every question.

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13

House Where Duke Lacrosse Players Did Not Rape Woman Destroyed

It was just a white split-level a stone's throw from dorms on Duke University's East Campus, indistinct from the other worn-down frat pads littered throughout Durham. It had an iron-wrought railing that curved into leafy shapes, and behind that was a door with a metal knocker. The shutters were black and the roof was grey. But what set it apart was its address-a street number that conjured up a remembrance of the salacious accusations, the media frenzy and the turbulent bouts of protest. Today 610 N. Buchanan Road-the center of the Duke Lacrosse scandal that erupted in March 2006-was destroyed.

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8

Mild Dread and Some Aversion in Aspen

When Hunter S. Thompson used to make the quick trip from his home in Woody Creek to downtown Aspen, he would stop at the J-Bar, the ancient watering hole that has soused up the tenants of its adjoining Hotel Jerome since 1883. "Right over there," the bartender at the 19th-century artifact said, as I ordered a Stella. "Hunter would always sit in that corner." The bar even has one of the iconic "HUNTER THOMPSON FOR SHERIFF" posters hanging there. And, yeah, it's a genuinely classy place. It has a classic rust-bruised tin ceiling that would be "trying too hard" if it weren't, well, real. Yes, Hunter might like this place. [...]

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48

This Helen Thomas Thing Is Tearing Bethesda Apart!

I made a brief sojourn to my hometown this weekend only to find my twin brothers and father engaged in a shouting match, and I soon found out why: Helen Thomas had been sacked from her role as the speaker at my former high school's commencement ceremony. Even before today's announcement of her retirement as a Hearst columnist, Thomas had reached an agreement with my cherished alma mater-Walt Whitman High School, in Bethesda, Maryland-to bow out from the June 14 services.

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