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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Vulture Fund FG Hemisphere run by American financier Peter Grossman is trying to collect on a $100m debt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The current debt is based on an initial $30 million loan he purchased from Bosnia's former Prime Minister Nedzad Brankovic for only $3 million. Grossman has tried to seize the DRC's Washington Embassy as down payment on the debt, but this was blocked by US authorities. His company tried to claim the debt once more in the US, and again in Hong Kong, before attempting in Jersey, an island that is a British Crown dependency. The country is one of the poorest in the world, ranking last at 187 on the United Nations 2011 Human Development Index. Peter Grossman's Vulture Fund is attempting to deny the impoverished people of the Congo of their right to basic human needs. When questioned whether he thought that his collection of the debt was fair, Grossman replied, 'Yeah, I do, actually.' Adding, 'I am not doing anything wrong. I am collecting a legitimate debt.'" (FriendsoftheCongo)


"The women who get things done in New York. Last Thursday night in Paris, my friend Judy Price was decorated as a Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur for her contributions to French culture in a ceremony at the Musée Carnavalet. The museum on the rue de Sevigne is dedicated to the history of the city of Paris. Judy was welcomed to the museum by its director Jean-Marc Léri. Mme. Price, who loves France – and especially Paris – was beside herself with excitement. She later told me was as exciting as when she got married (to same husband she has today).  She was presented with her award by the famous French antiquaire Jacques Perrin who also announced that Judy’s next exhibition, based on her new book Lest We Forget; Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Military Decorations, will be staged in Paris. Judy (who once upon a time was my boss when I was editor of Avenue magazine and she was the publisher and founder) and her husband Peter are committed francophiles to the point where they, like several other New Yorkers I know, keep an apartment in Paris and visit frequently. After the ceremony, about 100 guests -- mainly French -- were invited to a dinner in her honor hosted by AXA Art at its magnificent world headquarters in the Hotel de La Vaupaliere, an 16th century hotel particulier built in 1868." (NYSocialDiary)

"'We love you in American Horror Story,' we gushed to recently-outed actor Zachary Quinto last night. We were at the Andaz Hotel, where directors, producers, and actors (along with alcohol sponsors) gathered to toast the winners of Gotham Independent Film Awards, held earlier that evening at Cipriani’s. We had cornered Mr. Quinto, whose movie Margin Call was nominated for Best Ensemble Performance (though it lost out to Beginners). 'I’m only going to be on one more episode,' the ethereally attractive actor told us. 'But you’re already dead! They can’t kill you off!' (It’s true…Ryan Murphy‘s dead characters have more screen time then the living.) Mr. Quinto mulled it over while scanning the room for a quick exit strategy. 'Sure…I guess dying on that show is more like job security.'" (Observer)

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