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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



(image via vanityfair)

"AMC has renewed flagship series Mad Men for a fourth season on the heels of healthy numbers and wide media exposure for its third-season premiere in August.
'We always saw the potential for Mad Men,' AMC prexy and general manager Charlie Collier said. 'It's been extremely gratifying to see the show develop in to such a pop-cultural phenomenon with such a passionate fan base.' After a lengthy negotiation, exec producer Matthew Weiner signed a two-year deal with producer Lionsgate in January that paved the way for his continued stewardship of the series. The Aug. 16 premiere of 'Mad Men' drew 4.5 million viewers, shortly after the show received 16 Emmy nominations (including three acting noms and four writing noms) for its second season." (Variety)



"CHELSEA Clinton is not getting married this year, despite constant rumors of impending nuptials. Maybe the former first daughter or her fiancé, Marc Mezvinsky, just isn't ready yet. Page Six ran a photo yesterday of a big wedding stage being built on Chappaquiddick Island off Martha's Vineyard. But Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna, who's been denying the puported union for months, said he'd wager $1,000 it's not on. Thanks, but we won't take that bet. Well-connected Democrat Serena Torrey Roosevelt wrote on Facebook: 'I know this spot on Chappy very well, and I know the two brides who will get married there this coming weekend (on different days -- not to each other). Neither of them is Chelsea.'" (PageSix)



"Gordon Brown has pledged tough action to clamp down on excessive remuneration for bankers as part of an international effort to rectify the systemic weakness that led to the global financial crisis. The prime minister said in an interview with the Financial Times that pay and bonuses should be based on long-term success not short-term speculative gains; banks should 'claw back' bankers’ rewards if their performance suffered in subsequent years; and regulators should be able to impose higher capital requirements on financial institutions. 'We have to move faster,' Mr Brown said. However, he declined to endorse comments by Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, that the sector was 'bloated' and needed to be cut down to size." (FT)



(Venus via fashionweekdaily)

"US Open officially kicks off today, and the players are in the Terminator mode. They count every calorie, value every minute on the practice court, and avoid distractions at all costs. Of course this wasn't the case in days leading up to the biggest tennis tournament of the year-a deluge of rain and invitations contributed to champion sightings all over Gotham ... Maria Sharapova hosted her second event of the week on Thursday in the Cole Haan store and this time even tourists from Ontario were invited in for photo ops with a superstar .. Andy Roddick meanwhile was on bartending duty .. A lot of players were just as tempted at the official US Open pre-party hosted by Heineken. The beer giant took over the Skyline Studios and transformed the space in a green themed paradise complete with countless beer stations, tennis balls, pretty models, and tennis fanatics like Penn Badgley and Emmy Rossum. James Blake surveyed the video game stations, while Venus Williams showed up without Serena. 'I'm having the best day ever," she announced. "I mean, I rang the opening bell of the Stock Market this morning!'" (Fashionweekdaily)



(image via nysocialdiary)

"The fires are raging in the mountainous forests outside Los Angeles for what looks to be the greatest conflagration of its kind in many decades .. Last night my friend Schulenberg (whose illustrations have graced these pages a number of times) reported that Tippi Hedren’s Sambala Preserve (http://www.shambala.org/) was under siege and had been ordered to make a mandatory evacuation of the animals. Moving the cats, Schu reported, is 'a logistical nightmare.' Anne Crawford, another Los Angeleno friend reported that there was a call out in the area of the Preserve for large flatbed trucks to move the animal containers: 'Anyone who lives near there with commercial flatbed trucks or similar vehicles should call ... everyone else should stay away ' ...Longtime Los Angeles residents are very familiar with those 'earthquakes, floods and fires' that occur fairly frequently although usually not extracting such massive retribution. Michael McCarty, proprietor of Michael’s restaurant here in New York and in Santa Monica, lost his house in the hills above Malibu in one of the fires several years ago. The fires traveled so fast with the wind that its victims had no time to tarry. Kim McCarty, Michael’s wife, told me that the only thing she could take when she left the house was the box containing her sterling silver flatware. Within minutes after she’d pulled out of the driveway the house was up in flames and entirely destroyed. Ironically, when she later opened the box to look at her only surviving belongings, she discovered that it was empty: Her housekeeper had taken it out to clean and hadn’t yet put it back." (NYSocialDiary)



"Getting a glimpse into how the Ugandan people living in the Millennium Village in Rhira operate their lives, seeing their tiny dirt huts, seeing their makeshift kitchens, and their lush fields of bananas, gave me a little insight into what daily life is like here in rural Uganda. But it is so foreign from what I know and where I come from that it is quite a culture shock. But seeing how the CHWs operate in their community was truly impressive." (Lauren Bush/AWEARNESS)



"Like the economy, V.F.’s annual ranking of the top 100 Information Age powers has been truly shaken up, with new blood emerging. Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s top dog? Related: For many of the titans on the V.F. 100, power and influence are an enduring conferment. Meet the inductees to the lifetime Hall of Fame. Plus: The Pit Stop, and the Bottomed Line." (VanityFair)



"There are fewer places more beautiful than Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. It’s a park-like 300 acres of rolling hills, massive trees, majestic marble statuary and soothing water features. Hubert Eaton, a devout Christian, took over an existing graveyard in the early 1900s, and designed it to mark a new and glorious beginning, rather than the end of something. But this otherwise majestic place sits atop some dark secrets, ones that, as of this Thursday, Michael Joseph Jackson will rest upon as well. I was able to glimpse an advance peek at the King of Pop’s eternal throne, and the reality is stranger than his Thriller video, sitting atop more than a dozen floors of secret subterranean burial sections housing the remains of ancient devil worshippers and Gypsies, sacrificial fonts and crypts decorated with pentagrams and a secreted area with shelves housing at least a thousand abandoned urns containing the ashes of souls no one claimed." (TheDailyBeast)



"The Core Club hosted a screening of Sundance Film Festival’s You Won’t Miss Me, with star and NY social offspring, Stella Schnabel. Guests enjoying a Q & A with Director Ry Russo Young while sipping Zacapa rum cocktails." (Guestofaguest)



"In the wake of President Obama’s election in November, there was a sense of anticlimax among the left-leaning media covering the event. There was also at least a vague sense of a clock ticking. After all, a number of liberal websites that were floated on the tidal wave of interest in the 2008 election -- like the Huffington Post and Daily Kos -- owed their rise to disillusionment with the Bush White House. How would these sites fare in the post-election world, now that their guy had won? .. According to Nielsen NetView, the Huffington Post had 7.81 million unique visitors in July – up from the 7.35 million it received in January. Politico had 3.4 million, up slightly over the 3.21 million it amassed in January. DailyKos, at 927,000, was up a fraction, too. (For a clickable list of political sites, see accompanying story, 'A Guide for Political Junkies.') Of course, it isn't politics alone that is fueling these sites' health. A close look at their continued rise reveal an array of strategies that are succeeding unexpectedly in the age of web-based news. Huffpo's growth is the result of a focused effort to move well beyond politics. The site -- a liberal politico’s fantasy when it launched in 2005 -- has expanded from its original mission into lifestyle, media and entertainment, while not shying from sex, gossip and innuendo in its coverage to drive page views and traffic." (Dylan Stableford/TheWrap)



(Carol Lim, Ashley Olsen, Humberto Leon, Mary-Kate Olsen)

"Tokyo was the place to be Saturday night as the chicest of the chic came from near and far to sip cocktails in celebration of Opening Ceremony's brand new Japanese flagship. Appropriately situated in Tokyo's fashion district, Shibuya, the store rolled out the red carpet for such smartly-clad guests as Kirsten Dunst and Opening Ceremony co-founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. The Olsen duo were in attendance and brought a refreshing sense of fun to their often serious ensembles with blacked-out sunglasses and pairs of Maison Michel Fall 2009 lace ears (Ashley donned a round Mini Mouse look while Mary-Kate went with a more pointed, rabbit-esque variety). Sporting a pair of casual-cool leopard-print shorts, Erin Wasson arrived on the arm of fellow fashion fixture and BFF, Alexander Wang. Actor Jason Schwartzman escorted his wife .." (Fashionweekdaily)



(Sen. Mark Warner via WashingtonSocialDiary)

"Washington is a city of splendid views, but we suffer a deficit of public places where it’s possible to sit, drink, eat and take in the splendor. One of the most beloved – the rooftop of the Hotel Washington – recently re-opened after a takeover and makeover by the W Hotel chain. The views remain the same – breathtaking – but just about everything else is different and the public reaction has been mixed. The complaints? Power-tripping bouncers, slow service, a long line ... We wore wrist bands that got us up the elevator and past the velvet ropes. I sat with friends on the candle lit terrace, lapping up the views, shouting at each other to be heard. Down the way, White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers kept a low profile with her own group. Her Social office colleague, Ebs Burnough, mingled happily at the party, as did White House Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen, who was there with her sister-in-law, co-hostess Tina D’Souza. Tony Powell snapped pics of his favorite ladies .. I returned a second night with friends Aubrey Sarvis and William McPherson, to try out the terrace at twilight, to see if the scene was different. It was. There was not yet a line to get up the elevator, and we just went right up. The controversial bouncers in the black jackets and headsets were relaxed. The music was low. Most of the tables were filled but we got a nice one that looked toward the White House and to the West toward the sunset. A couple tables over was Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, with his daughter and a friend, just back from a family trip to Europe and 'going back and forth across the state talking about health care.'" (WashingtonSocialDiary)



"What NBC says: 'On the final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the host reminded viewers not to get too teary-eyed during his last stint behind the desk he has occupied for 17-years by reminding them that he would be back on NBC this fall with his new venture The Jay Leno Show.' Opening night guests include Jerry Seinfeld and a performance of Run This Town by Jay-Z and featuring Kanye West and Rihanna. What we say: Have you heard that Jay Leno is hosting a new show in primetime? Us neither! Kidding aside, we actually think the most talked about decision of the season could end up being one of the smartest made by NBC in a long time. The Jay Leno Show gives the fledgling network cheap programming that could do very respectable when it comes to ratings. At the very least, it can’t possibly be worse than My Own Worst Enemy." (Observer)



"Word spread quickly through the food world over the weekend that George Lang, the octogenarian soul of New York’s Cafe des Artistes, had decided to close the place forever. On West 67th Street, people walking to Lincoln Center up the street peered into the warren of darkened rooms -- usually humming with opera fans eating heavy before a dose of Wagner. The block took on a funereal air ...Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor, film producer and restaurateur, has revived two fabled watering holes -- the Waverly Inn, in Greenwich Village, and the Monkey Bar, in Manhattan’s east-midtown area. Like des Artistes, both depend on murals to help establish an atmosphere of conviviality. 'Very sorry to see the old place go,' Carter wrote in an e-mail. 'I sure do love a restaurant with murals -- and des Artistes had glorious ones.' Lang, a Hungarian refugee who lost his entire family in the Holocaust, was in his element at the des Artistes, in the heart of the Upper West Side once described by critic David Denby as the American Vienna. He had learned to cook from his mother, during exploits around the world and eventually in New York restaurant kitchens celebrated and ignominious." (Bloomberg)

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