In This Week's [em]Observer[/em]…

Hell’s Kitchen Is Too Pretty For Reality TV
Hollywood screenwriter Bobby Moresco spoke in Dickensian terms about growing up Irish in Hell’s Kitchen, back in the mob-ruled pre-condo era. “For me, it was the greatest life on the face of the earth,” he told The Observer. “It turned into the worst life on the face of the earth.”
Go to story by Chris Shott.

Second Avenue Subway Convert Protects First Leg of Biggest Dig
Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Second Avenue Subway will be a huge victory for the new chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but the hardest part may lie ahead–finding the money to complete a project that has been abandoned twice before.
Go to story by Matthew Schuerman.

Council: We Want Control Of All School Sites
Everyone knows signing a lease in New York City is a lot easier than buying, but that’s doubly true if you’re opening a new school. Ordinarily, the city Department of Education needs City Council approval to construct a new school, but council members recently discovered that schools have been opening up in leased buildings for years without anyone even mentioning it to them.
Go to story by Craig LeMoult.

Macklowes Mull East 57th Street Monster Tower
Harry and Billy Macklowe are so busy. Two months ago they more than doubled their New York portfolio with a $7 billion buy from Blackstone. And now here comes their next prize.
Introducing Craig Nassi! He wants to buy 3 million feet of Manhattan
He said he’s serious about Manhattan. He said he’s bullish about office space in Manhattan. He said he’s going to buy a lot of office towers, that’s how serious he is. Welcome to New York, Craig Nassi!
Go to Commercial Breaks by John Koblin.

Smith & Wollensky Takes It in The Chops
The rather crude talk and mere pub fare might not exactly reflect the intended high-end image of such a traditionally refined outfit as Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. But the more relaxed vibe may represent the future of the now-beleaguered Manhattan-based brand.
Go to Counter Espionage by Chris Shott.

‘Money Honey,’ Hubby Buy $6.5 M. East Side Townhouse
Despite her salacious scandal earlier this year, CNBC’s top anchor, Maria “Money Honey” Bartiromo, and husband Jonathan Steinberg are settling into domestic bliss: They’ve closed on a five-level townhouse on East 62nd Street, paying $6.5 million.
Time Warner Chief Cedes Tribeca Summit Dominance for $2.2 M.
Manhattan tycoons should have bad toupees and bad tempers and badly decorated Fifth Avenue triplexes. But Dick Parsons, the mild chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc., has sold off one of his comparatively modest apartments atop 166 Duane Street.
Go to Manhattan Transfers by Max Abelson.

Mutual Assured Construction
In the first quarter of 2007, the Manhattan housing market notched a record number of apartment sales for a single quarter. In the same three-month period, the Manhattan office market recorded its lowest vacancy rate since early 2001. Is this simultaneous success a coincidence? Maybe. But probably not.
Go to The Lab by Tom Acitelli.

Cruise Decor Redefines 21st-Century Love Boats
Not only are cruising enthusiasts starting younger and long before retirement, but New York City’s cruise industry is booming with the 30-year master plan, according to the Economic Development Corporation.
Go to Interiors by Toni Schlesinger.

Ian Schrager: Viewing Studio 54 From Age 60
The man who forever placed ’boutique’ before ‘hotel’ talks about his High Line plans, Brooklyn dreams, and why he wouldn’t mind selling One Madison’s clock tower.
Go to The Sit-Down by Max Abelson.

Deeds and Deals
A Week in New York Real Estate