The first time The Observer met Niki and Shaokao Cheng, it was July, during the opening night of Julio Gaggia’s art show. Mr. Gaggia, the boyfriend of the plastic surgeon Mark Warfel, was preparing his work “Living Art: Chelsea Boy Apartment,” during which he would live for five days as a window display model at the BoConcept furniture store on West 18th Street. He spent the week eating, sleeping, working—and performing other, less-mentionable activities—in a showroom that divided him from gawkers outside with a pane of glass.
While we lounged about on the display furniture, socialite photographer Patrick McMullan brought over a petite woman with short, pixie-cropped hair.
“Niki is one of the few Power Asians in New York society,” he loudly whispered, flourishing Ms. Cheng before us. She smiled shyly and posed for a photograph before excusing herself.
It would be two weeks before we realized that Ms. Cheng and her husband owned the store where we had dropped more than one canapé between the cushions of a $3,000 couch.
In fact, the couple owns all five locations of the Danish furniture store in New York City, and another two in New Jersey. But the stores themselves aren’t the reason Mr. McMullan calls the Chengs “Power Asians.” Rather, it’s the couple’s seemingly innate social instincts, their ability to leverage a fairly cookie-cutter, mid-market design base into a celebrity-filled social whirl. One might say “Only in America,” or (even worse) “Only in New York,” but this wouldn’t exactly cover it. There is a certain type that thrives in Manhattan no matter what they’re selling, no matter where they’re from, no matter how few resources they have upon arriving.
One could have assumed Lil’ Kim wasn’t getting good guidance even before her latest move: yesterday she released a mixtape entitled Black Friday, a takeoff on Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday with a cover depicting Minaj decapitated (click for the image). Minaj has often criticized Kim (in the song “Roman’s Revenge,” Minaj Read More
Last weekend, New York nightlife suffered another black eye with the gruesome death of 24-year-old Ingrid Rivera, a ticket agent for British Airways, who was beaten to death at the Times Square karaoke club Spotlight Live during Lil’ Kim’s 33rd birthday party. Syed Rahman, a 24-year-old barback, was arrested Thursday and charged with murder; he Read More
Mary-Kate Olsen won’t have to talk to the police about Heath Ledger‘s death after all. [
Morgan Freeman and his wife are divorcing, just days after he wrecked a car with their mutual "friend" in the passenger seat. [
A woman was found dead on a rooftop after attending Lil’ Kim‘s birthday party at Spotlight Read More
The AP reported this morning that Simon & Schuster is suing rappers Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim, both of whom were under contract with the publishing house for books that were due several years ago. The deals were done separately: Foxy Brown got $75,000 in 2005 for what was supposed to be a memoir, and Read More
The Devil Wears Prada has its premiere, revealing itself to be a delightful solicitation of fresh limbs for New York’s corporate sausage-maker.
The Transom caught up with Marc Jacobs and his lover at the Rufus Wainwright shows. Yes, they’re madly in love, despite recent reports of a breakup—and they can’t wait for Lil’ Read More
What was journalist Judith Miller doing when Lil’ Kim put her best boob forward at the Video Music Awards? Probably writing an article. And what was she doing when Lil’ Kim wrote “Can’t Fuck With Queen Bee”? Probably writing another article.
So while every newsroom in the country crowded around their CNN this afternoon Read More