Purple People Eaters
About three hours into Amnesty International’s expansive 5-hour concert for human rights last night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot took the stage, introduced by Madonna. Read More
Pretty Fly (For a Tall Guy)
Of all the development skirmishes that have been fought during the Bloomberg era, the most fun to watch has, without question, been the ongoing battle between NYU and its neighbors. What could make for better viewing than a fight between college co-eds and celebrities? Even public comment sessions, the hours-long airing of grievances dreaded by reporters, became must-see TV when attended by the likes of Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who along with the NYU professors, have taken up the Bohemian charge to save the neighborhood from president John Sexton and his grotesque plans.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio seems to have it in the bag.
With a commanding lead in the polls and palpable momentum, Mr. de Blasio was treated like a reigning champion as he embarked on a five-borough campaign tour today that sometimes felt like a victory lap, with less than a week to go before the primary.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has actress Susan Sarandon’s back.
At a press conference today with a slew of celebrity backers protesting the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital, the mayoral candidate blasted a report in the New York Post that accused the Academy Award-winner of flipping her stance on the hospital to bolster Mr. Read More
At first, actress Susan Sarandon expected to back Council Speaker Christine Quinn in her bid to become the city’s first female mayor. But she had to evaluate her other priorities as well.
Citing Ms. Quinn’s positions on term limits and her foot-dragging passing paid sick leave legislation, Ms. Sarandon threw her support behind the city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio.
“As a woman, initially I was interested in Quinn,” Ms. Sarandon declared tonight at a fund-raiser at the swanky SPiN Galactic New York ping pong club. “It became clear to me that, you know as a woman, you can’t just vote your vagina.”
It Takes a Village
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.
Spring Arts Preview
Fran Liebowitz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Thurston Moore and John Zorn—many are the successful artists and intellectuals who have spoken up (unsuccessfully so far, it must be said) against NYU’s Greenwich Village expansion plans. Now, Susan Sarandon has chimed in, or rather tweeted in, her support, specifically for the show Messrs. Moore and Zorn are hosting tonight at Le Poisson Rouge.
“You and I can get started and Jay will join us,” Mark Duplass told The Observer, so we began the interview. “You’ll realize we share the same brain anyway.”
The Louisiana-born Messrs. Duplass, who now live in Los Angeles, direct films together; they are perhaps the most prominent Americans who fit that description since Joel Read More
The Transom stood at the end of a $40,000 ping-pong table inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall, paddle in hand. Two players representing Verizon (a self-described “M&A guy” and “venture capital guy”) stood at the other side, ready to spar. Fittingly, the table (an all-black “collector’s piece”) was the practice surface for that afternoon’s event, a Wall Street ping-pong tournament benefiting Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York City.
Brooklyn has basically turned into one big celebrity orgy. With a recent influx of Hollywoodians, the borough has become the new Soho, Tribeca and Chelsea combined.
Today, we stumbled upon yet another star-studded transaction: Susan Sarandon has just purchased at 334 Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill. And, believe it or not, Ms. Sarandon isn’t the only bold-faced name on the deed. The home was sold by Danny Simmons, a poet, artist and older brother to Russell and Rev Run.