The Afternoon Wrap: Monday

Rising food prices are prompting some serious penny-pinching at restaurants across the country. Gramercy Tavern has replaced its caviar-topped hamachi appetizer with a beet-garnished tuna tartar, and Isabella’s on the West Side has eradicated sirloin from pasta dishes. On the upside, maybe the culinary cutbacks will prompt New York’s diet-conscious diners to do a little belt-tightening of their own. [WSJ]

The real estate market may be cool, but reality renovation and house-flipping shows are hot. [AP via NY Times]

The newest trend in global tourism is slumming it (literally) as travelers flock to shanty towns in Africa, Brazil, and Mexico in ever increasing numbers for a glimpse of other peoples’ grim reality. The jury is still out on whether the fad is voyeurism or a socially conscious brand of tourism. [NY Times]

A new online survey attempts to probe the enigmatic psyches of New York bicycle commuters. [Hubs and Spokes]

The asking price of Brooklyn’s most expensive co-op gets chopped from $6.5 to $5.75 million after languishing on the market for more than five months. [Brownstoner]

To solidify his everyman credentials, John McCain will host a fund-raising gala at the Plaza. [HotelChatter via Curbed]

1980’s pop-crooner John Bongiovi, aka Bon Jovi, sold his condo in the Park Millennium Tower for $5.5 million, a hefty reduction from the $6.95 asking price. [TRD]

The Afternoon Wrap: Monday