My brother Vinnie and I had good reasons to be comics fans. Our family was poor, our neighborhood was dangerous and our parents were crazy (and not the fun kind). We couldn’t run away; we already lived in NYC, the runaway destination of choice. (Anyplace else was a step down. Nobody runs away to Newark.). . .
Happy Thanksgiving Scoop du Jour
I’m writing this on the plane home to NYC from Madrid, where I joined a press trip with journalists and chefs from Belgium, Holland, Spain, and Japan. Last night—delirious from a week of nonstop days, not enough sleep, and long, windy bus rides—we shared a bottle of cava, a pillowy, oniony tortilla and a platter. . .
How To Be A Grown-Up Excerpt
The cab pulled up outside the high rise and, one ear-popping elevator ride to the edge of our atmosphere later, I was greeted at the penthouse by the same sight as always: some pristine backdrop of sumptuous serenity being crisscrossed by manic twenty-something’s wearing surgical booties over their shoes. These homes would never have so much—energy—in them again.
Thomas Wolfe Was Right
I spent my formative years on the Lower East Side. Even decades later, its hold on me is stronger than a rent-controlled apartment lease. Last summer, for instance, my brother Vinnie and I did a nostalgia tour; it was hot and I needed a pit stop. As we walked east on 7th street past Tompkins Square, an ancient synapse sparked to life and flashed “It’s only a few blocks, I can wait till we get home.”
Tia Keenan, New York’s Cheese Goddess and The Art of the Cheese Plate
“Trust me,” Tia Keenan said. We were sitting on crates on the construction site on West 52nd Street that would soon be Casellula Cheese & Wine Café. It smelled of wet paint and wood dust. “We’re going to do something really special.”
I trusted Tia, and she was right. I gratefully accepted my job offer. A few weeks later we opened Casellula.
There’s no Elaine’s without Elaine
The first time I met Elaine she scared the sh*t out of me, and I don’t scare easily. I’m a New Yorker, after all.
The culture at Elaine’s jumpstarted the Studio 54 mentality: Can you get a good table (or in Studio’s case, get in at all)? And if you do, can you please get a gander at who’s making these decisions?
Michael M. Thomas, who has written many a New York column, found Elaine refreshing. “I got a kick out of her. She was who she was. She learned the art of sucking up to people by insulting them. Elaine was the Toots Shor of the writing world.”
Toots was known as “the master of the needle jibe.” Take it from there.
Jay-Z’s New York Reality Tour
Ever wonder which parts of the Big Apple are nearest and dearest to the “Empire State of Mind” rapper’s heart? Here are seven of them.
In his Big Apple ballad “Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z shouts out hometown landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to Yankee Stadium, places that are already on the to-do lists of your typical Times Square tourist.
But there are scores of lesser-known spots throughout the city with a special significance to the rapper, as I learned in writing my book Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner To Corner Office . One need only listen closely to his records—and keep an eye on Page Six—to get a sense of where they are, and why they matter.
For those without the time to undertake such an endeavor, I’ve compiled a short virtual guide to Jay-Z’s New York.
Doug Argue – Inspiring Wonder at the Freedom Tower
Some of New York’s greatest landmarks are filled with art, including the Freedom Tower. Doug Argue’s masterpieces in the lobby of this new icon uplift the viewer with energy to focus on a new future. ArtBeat visits with the artist to uncover the vision behind this public work.
When Harley Met Laura
Harley Flanagan and I met during the hardest periods of both of our lives; and that is saying a lot because he had a very crazy life, and although his took place on the Lower East Side and mine took place on the Upper East Side, there was no shortage of crazy in mine as well.
The first year we were together, we have often joked that it was like being on a life raft; me and him and his kids, all holding onto each other in a storm of personal, and in Harley’s case, media drama.