The Transom

Bank On

Has anyone thought to ask how some of the youngest bankers in New York have enjoyed their summer?

“Basically, I—banking has a reputation for being a glamorous career, but I don’t think it is,” said a young fellow at J.P. Morgan. Oh, pshaw! One interning analyst with Lehman Bros. had quite a time.

“On my floor, there were two interns,” he said. “So the V.P. proposed a hot-dog-eating contest. So the challenge was to eat 15 dirty-water dogs in 20 minutes and to hold it down for an hour. There were lots of bets placed and taken. We stood to make about $200 each if we succeeded. After about 10 hot dogs, the other intern started looking sick and ran off to the bathroom. I managed to finish and regretted it for the rest of the day. So disgusting. But at least I got the cash.”

This kind of excess is the traditional reward for the long hours. “My boss worked as a salesperson on the trading floor for government bonds,” said the young Lehmanite. “As part of entertaining clients, she told me they would take them out to dinner and then clubs.”

“There was always plenty of coke waiting,” he said. “At the end of one of these entertaining evenings, all the guys would head downtown to a massage parlor that gave happy endings.”

“There’s a reason why American banks have drug tests. Where there’s money, there’s drugs,” said a Morgan Stanley trader.

Oh, it’s all fun and games to begin with! A Bank of America fellow remembered a junior trader who suffered the ultimate in insult clichés. “He lost a substantial amount of money, only to have his boss cut off his tie below the knot and send him home. Humiliation does not fall under health and safety.” Time for a new shtick, Wall Street!

“I have had some nights out that would make many people sick,” said Mr. J.P. Morgan. “The last time I went, we went to meet the broker for some drinks in a bar, before going right to the front of the line and being ushered in. He picked out a handful of pretty girls from the line and asked them if they’d like to come to the front with us and have a drink at our table. The first round of drinks was two magnums of Louis Roederer and two magnums of Grey Goose. The second round was the same.”

Not everyone is having all the fun. “There are some massive gimps, though,” the J.P. Morganite dude said. “People, for example, who are involved in very quantitative analysis and research of extremely complex derivatives. Or nerdy M&A analysts spending all day and night running financial models.”

—Edmund Glover

Is Los Angeles Hell?

On Sunday night, everyone in Los Angeles collided horribly at celeb nightmare hotspot Hyde. The after-hours party for the Teen Choice Awards and Kimberly Stewart’s 27th birthday party met like two pink trucks going head-to-head on the 101.

“There was this whole thing between Kim and Nick and Vanessa,” said a club-goer. As if that weren’t enough, later there was a Hilton-Lohan-related catfight.

Kimberly Kardashian—she’s the daughter of O.J. Simpson’s attorney Robert Kardashian, and also Nick Lachey’s ex-girlfriend—was there for Ms. Stewart, Rod Stewart’s daughter.

Then former Jessica Simpson walker Nick Lachey walked in with his new squeeze, MTV personality Vanessa Minnillo. They had come from the Choice awards, where they’d been nominees.

“Kim was furious,” said the source. “Nick knew it was her best friend’s birthday party. She thought it was so insensitive of him to come. I mean, there’s a million clubs in town—why would you parade your new girlfriend into the one place you know there would be trouble? He was just looking for drama.”

Adam (D.J. AM) Goldstein also had something at which to stare. His ex-girlfriend, reality-TV star and professional skeleton Nicole Richie, spent part of her evening making out with a lesser reality star—Brody Jenner, of The Princes of Malibu. “Nicole knew he was watching, but she kept on kissing Brody. She was putting on a show,” the source said. “Adam just shook his head and walked away.”

Complications! Mr. Jenner’s ex, Kristin Cavallari of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, was also in attendance. She and Mr. Brody had arrived in the same S.U.V., according to TMZ.com—awkward!—but kept their distance once inside. “She was acting like he wasn’t even there,” said the source.

Nicky Hilton and her beau, Entourage star Kevin Connolly, had come to raise a glass with their friend Ms. Stewart, but were seen quarrelling. They left in a rush.

Would this mess be complete without Lindsay Lohan? Ms. Lohan, who is currently dating Harry Morton, is also currently in the midst of a well-documented feud with Paris Hilton. That feud, friends say, stems from the fact that Ms. Lohan slept with Ms. Hilton’s then boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos.

And on Sunday, once the watchful younger Ms. Hilton left, well: “For the rest of the night, Stavros and Lindsay were inseparable,” said the source. “It looked like they wanted to make out, but knew they couldn’t. They did everything except kiss.”

Later, the elder Hilton’s best friend, Caroline D’Amore, confronted Ms. Lohan at the bar. Ms. D’Amore, a pizza heiress and aspiring actress, demanded to know what she was doing with Mr. Niarchos.

Ms. Lohan laughed off the question. Ms. D’Amore pushed Ms. Lohan. The two began a screaming match. Ms. Lohan went for her neck. No earrings were torn out; a bouncer came between them. “It was ugly,” said the source. None of these people were evicted from the club.

—Spencer Morgan

Passing the Bar

Anthony Martignetti was a student at Trinity College, in Connecticut, when he met Danny Meyer.

“He was in my fraternity, and I went to hear him speak at an engagement he had in a library in Hartford,” Mr. Martignetti said. “So I introduced myself to him afterward and told him that I’d never really been to New York City before—I’d been there once with my mom, or once with a buddy to go to a Rangers game or something—but I talked to him that day, and he was like, ‘I’m going to be at Eleven Madison Park tonight, my new restaurant, you guys should swing by there sometime.’”

Mr. Martignetti’s Treo rang. It was his mother. He is 27, with hair and stubble that had seen neither comb nor razor.

He hung up and went on. “I said, ‘Well, I don’t have class until 11 tomorrow morning, and I have a car. Why don’t I swing down there tonight?’”

He brought his girlfriend. Mr. Meyer sent free desserts. Mr. Martignetti sent a thank-you note. “That speech from Danny Meyer kind of gave me the idea that I could be an art-history major with no restaurant experience and open my own place.”

It is now six or so years later. Mr. Martignetti sat on a brown leather banquette next to his brother Tom, 25, and their friend Ian Calhoun, 24.

Their restaurant space, at 406 Broome Street, was empty.

“There were definitely some big shots looking at this place. I’m not going to say who it was, but the landlord decided on us,” said the younger Martignetti.

Under an expansive blue shirt, two buttons undone, Tom Martignetti revealed chest hair worthy of his Mediterranean heritage. His hair was slicked back, his accent Boston—think Pat Riley with a lineman’s body. “The other guys were out in Miami, Cannes Film Festival, can’t make it to the meeting.” But he got there with a check.

Workers sat on the ground eating lunch; lights hung limply from plywood walls; sawdust was everywhere. Bar Martignetti is to open the week after Labor Day.

And though dressed in standard-issue frat-wear—flip-flops, jeans, polo shirts—the Martignetti brothers and Mr. Calhoun, who befriended them at the tony Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., don’t totally lack industry pedigree.

The Martignettis’ great-grandfather opened a store in Boston’s Italian North End in 1908; that business evolved into liquor distribution after Prohibition. Martignetti Companies eventually made the clan into Boston’s Brahmins of booze, the Cabots of cork.

Their father owned a 2,000-person nightclub, where “the boys”—as their in-house P.R. girl calls them—remember scraping gum off the floor and collecting cans. For two years now, they’ve owned the Lower East Side’s Martignetti Liquors, a preppy hangout known for a bottle service that includes cases of Miller High Life.

Mr. Calhoun graduated from Cornell’s Hotel School in 2004 and has since managed the Rainbow Room and Cipriani uptown. They nabbed their chef from Brasserie.

Now they’ve hashed out their menu, avoiding, at all costs, “comfort food.”

“We didn’t want to use words like ‘braised,’ ‘comfort’ and ‘stew,’” said the older Mr. Martignetti. “We wanted, you know, freshness, hand-raised that, or whatever …. We don’t want food that’s going to confuse you, but we don’t want it to be something that only has two ingredients, like mac and cheese.”

He said this was not a stunt to meet women.

“If you go into this business to have a good time, and—I don’t know if I can say this in the paper—get laid, like a lot of guys do, your business, you’re not going to be in for the long term.”

“We’re not going the Page Six route,” he said, “We’d never date a Hilton or an Olsen. Never at all.”

—Samuel Jacobs

Team America

Last Thursday, roughly half of the membership of the Carnegie Young Leaders Program met up for their final summer social.

Ten or so fresh-faced leaders were scrunched into a corner booth at Mica Bar on East 51st Street. Marcus Roberts—25, Scottish accent, gray flannel suit, bowl cut—slapped his palms on the table. “The meeting is now in session,” he said.

Mr. Roberts holds a master’s degree in war studies from King’s College London. Just recently, he was “truly honored” to be selected the new coordinator of the Young Leaders.

“What it is,” he explained, “is a gang of fun people who know how to have fun and how to have good discussions.” Some of this was surprising, as the Carnegie Council describes itself as “the voice for ethics in international policy.” “And they’ve got bright ideas of their own, and it’s just a good opportunity to share drinks and share our thoughts on what’s going on in the news or whatever.”

The news?

Mr. Roberts’ eyes lit up. “You’ve got everything from issues of global social justice, in terms of a fairer economy; you have the importance of religion in politics—we see that in this country, we see that abroad with the rise of Shia.” A deep breath. “Then, of course, there is the issue of ethics in war; we see the commendation on both sides in Iraq or Afghanistan or in Lebanon, whether one side is behaving ethically or the other side is behaving morally. That’s the kind of thing that we try to bring the group together to discuss.”

“I’m so embarrassed,” Emily Holland said. Ms. Holland, 27, an attractive blonde with a contagious laugh, works as an in-house producer for the International Rescue Committee. She had just returned from travels through Libya, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Kenya, documenting former child soldiers, street children, refugees, that sort of thing. “I chose this place. Somebody told me it was cool. It’s so cheesy!”

“When you ask, ‘Is the Israeli reaction proportional?’ The question is: Proportional to what?” said Jan Friederich, 32, of Germany. Mr. Friederich is a professional deep-thinker at the Economist Group and an intelligence officer with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Right there in the middle of a commercial break on CNN!” Mr. Roberts said to the woman sitting next to him. He meant an anti-Hezbollah advertisement he’d seen while watching the news. “How interesting it is that even the most controversial of international political issues make an impact on the American domestic political scene, even in terms of commercial breaks. You wouldn’t see that in England, or Germany. It’s a difference in political culture.”

Mr. Roberts said he was eager to see new applications. “All that we ask is that you come with bright ideas and a sense of fun for the drinks that follow.” There is an essay requirement.

After a few drinks, the crowd began to thin out. Ms. Holland was in deep discussion with Ayesha Marra, a fund-raising consultant who moonlights as a matchmaker. “O.K., let me give my little quiz so I can get you in my database,” said Ms. Marra. “What are your things you can’t stand?”

Ms. Marra listened a bit and then figured out a category for Ms. Holland: “O.K., so you’re a realist, even though you do like poetry.”

What are some of the other categories?

Mr. Roberts jumped in: “Cosmopolitanism, constructionism, offensive realism!”

—Spencer Morgan

Metropolitan Diary

At lunchtime on Monday, a tanned fellow hollered from the back of a blacked-out Benz. He wore sporty dark glasses and a crisp white dress shirt. “Hey, over here!” he shouted. It seemed he was speaking to a leggy brunette, who was chatting on her cell at 72nd and Park.

“I’m sorry, can I help you with something? Were you shouting at me?” she asked.

“No, I was just shouting,” the fellow said, and smiled. “You look really Italian.”

He leaned out the window and flipped up his sunglasses. It was Dustin Hoffman. “O.K., have a good day,” Mr. Hoffman said.

—E.G. The Transom