Kate Spade turns 47 today. Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos is turning 52. Former Observer owner Arthur Carter is 78. Jonathan Benno, Per Se's outgoing chef who will soon be opening a restaurant of his own, is 40. Annette de la Renta, the wife of Oscar de la Renta and a charity gala fixture, is turning 70. Ryan Seacrest turns 35. Ricky Martin is celebrating his 38th. Author Mary Higgins Clark is turning 82. Heiress Marylou Whitney is 84. And actor Mekhi Phifer is 35. A few people with Christmas birthdays are listed below.
Annette de la Renta, the gala staple and wife of Oscar de la Renta, turns 69 today. Designer Kate Spade is 46. Hedge funder Jim Chanos is turning 51. Former banker and Observer owner Arthur Carter is 77. Per Se's Jonathan Benno is turning 39. Heiress Marylou Whitney is turning 83. Ryan Seacrest is 34. Author Mary Higgins Clark is turning 81. Actor Mekhi Phifer is 34. And singer (and new dad) Ricky Martin is celebrating his 37th birthday today.
These are difficult times for hedge fund king Paul Tudor Jones but he was all smiles as the guest of honor at last night's 11th annual NYU Child Study Center Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. Joining Jones and his wife Sonia (left) was the center's director, Harold Koplewicz, co-chairs (and fellow finance big wigs) Gary Cohn and Lisa Pevaroff, David and Danielle Ganek, and Michael Novogratz and wife Sukey, and a crowd of nearly 600, including Vera Wang and Arthur Becker, Jon Corzine, Elie Wiesel, Jane and Jimmy Buffett, Ellen Barkin, Erica Jong, Jane Rosenthal, Christiane Celle, Faith Popcorn, Al D'Amato, Larry Silverstein and wife Klara, Neal Shapiro and Juju Chang, Julie and Ed Minskoff, Elaine and Ken Langone, Susan and Martin Lipton, Claude Wasserstein, Linda and Arthur Carter, Alice and Tom Tisch, Vicki and Stuart Match Suna, and Brooke and Dan Neidich. [PMc, NYSD]
Today's Page Six announced cheerily that uptown art dealer Larry Salander has put a $100-million price tag on a Caravaggio. But they don't mention that the old uptown dealership is in full-on crisis: At least 15 lawsuits have been filed against Salander O'Reilly in the last year. Even for a neighborhood filled with galleries that are accustomed to regular legal wranglings and late payments (and rents that run to $200K a month), this is nuts. How bad are things? Larry Salander got sued by John McEnroe, the godfather to one of his children. Youch!
The New York Observer is deep inside the freakshow of their second tabloid close—they'll put out 64 pages of somethin' tomorrow!— but there's one office that's not humming with activity. Mary Dixie Carter—the newspaper's publishing director, editor of their website's unholy Bridal Blog, and also the clear winner of 2003's New York Times wedding announcements competition—has packed up her belongings. The daughter of Arthur Carter, the paper's former owner-publisher, she is off to be a writer for The Economist. We have one thought. If our mom were on Desperate Housewives and our dad was Sandy Weill's original business partner and a pioneer of the leveraged buy-out, we sure as fuck wouldn't be working anywhere. We'd be sitting on our asses on a yacht, asking the poolboy for another Singapore Sling.
• NB to Jessica Simpson: Might we suggest a new top coat? Some sort of Sally Hansen extra-life type product? [OAN]
• No plans tonight? Go check out Observer founder and editorial director Arthur Carter's sculpture show, and see what's so much more important than his little peach paper. Bring a recorder, and make sure you get tape of Jared Kushner dissing the art. [Salander]
• Oh, this is rich: Are Mark Foley and Eve Ensler all that different? You challenge us so, David Brooks. [TimesSelect]
• Speaking of Foley: JUST KIDDING! IT WAS ALL A BIG JOKE! [Wonkette]
• Actress Sharon Stone, best known for her role in Police Academy 4, is rumored to be canoodling with Jared Leto. We're not sure we buy it, but the mental picture is amusing enough. [LSE]
• Won't someone help Julia Allison have a threesome? If only so she can stop using her Silver Bullet vibrator? [Glamour]
• Vanity Fair defies rumor and, instead of Borat, puts George Clooney on the cover. To be fair, they're both equally ridiculous characters. [FishbowlNY]
• We know that "Britney Spears Loses Custody of Child to 'In Touch' Magazine" is an Onion headline, but we fail to see the parody. [The Onion]
Post media stalker Keith Kelly has an interesting item this morning regarding the fate of our much beloved New York Observer (#15 on our 123 reasons for loving this godforsaken town): After years in the red and a circulation plateauing at about 45k, the pretty pink paper is being "quietly shopped around" to prospective buyers. Specifically, editor Peter Kaplan, who very much wants to save his baby, has hit London to meet with New York moneybags Bruce Wasserstein.