Yet another sign that the apocalypse really must be near: Wal-Mart says it is looking for space for its first Manhattan location. The chain supposedly passed on the Virgin space in Union Square; another possible location is along the corridor of crap on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea. But on the plus side, Sarah Palin will finally have somewhere to shop if she ever comes back into town. [NYP]
Chelsea showed the largest increase in syphilis last year of any neighborhood in the city, followed by Greenwich Village, Union Square, and Washington Heights. Overall syphilis rates in the city were up 60% last year, after declining the year before. Close to 100% of infections were in men, and 86% of those were in men who have sex with men. Make note. [Chelsea Now]
Finally, an explosion we can't blame on Con Ed (yet):
We were all ready to place coins on the eyes of clubby old West Chelsea, say the mourner's kaddish and move on. But the neighborhood—once the festering apotheosis of New York clubdom but of late home only to the sordid, the has-been and the almost-ran—isn't dead yet. As New York reports, J. E. Englebert, the Staten Island nightlife entrepreneur from whose loins sprang Quo, Pre:Post and Retox, is opening a new venture in the neighborhood: "In October [Englebert and his partners will] open a 4,000-square-foot lounge called Suzie Wong's." The name comes from Richard Mason's 1957 novel The World of Suzie Wong, later turned into a ballet (pictured!), about a Chinese prostitute with a heart of gold. Kind of like those who hang out in West Chelsea, minus the ethnic qualifier. And swapping crotch for heart and crabs for gold.
Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows spoke for many of us when he sang, "Something about the buildings in Chelsea just kills me/Maybe in a month or two/Maybe when things are different for me/Maybe when things are different for you." His lyrics embody so very many of Chelsea's qualities: deadly, confusing, kind of dumb, a little gay. As part of our ongoing quest to document every single neighborhood in New York City, we sent Richard Blakeley and Joshua David Stein to report from the fields of Chelsea.
"Live With A Sadult" is the sister to "Live with A Douche." These are our most socially redeeming PSA campaigns, alternately rounding up the most deleteriously douchey and whimperingly sadultish apartment and roommate postings in New York. Have you found a particularly ridiculous listing? Let us know at email@example.com.
"Live With A Douche" is a Gawker PSA service rounding up the most deleteriously douchy apartment postings we can find. Surely we respect the universal right to demand a roommate who conforms to one's higgidypiggidy expectations—but some warrant special attention. Have you found a particularly ridiculous listing? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Chelsea buildings, in various stages of erection, are presaging what looks to be the area's latest architectural caprice: queer fa ades. As opposed to the straight fa ades of THOR or even the gentle ugly undulating curves of the Sculpture For Living, the fronts of Jean Nouvel's newest building 100 Eleventh Avenue (left) and Audrey Matlock's ballyhooed Chelsea Modern (right) bend and switch with astonishing muscularity. But for pure sensual gratification, we need a stronger hand. It's better left to professionals like Nicolai Ouroussoff, who surfed the Nouvel vague in the Times this Sunday.
The best part, by far, was the model of the 12-story 47-unit building, designed by Audrey Matlock, which LIT UP! Through the miniature glass fa ades, the lights reflected their gentle glow onto the well-cared for hides of the wealthy gathered like moths around it. Lady Cavendish, sweat seeping through her cake-makeup, swayed in a full length fur coat and Ivanka Trump nearly concealed her desire to punch us, then kiss us. Later developer Robert Gladstone, a nice-smelling older man, told us about 20% of the units are sold. They range in price from a cool $1 million for a 1br to just under $5 million for a two-terraced unit. No word on whether you get a discount if you have a view of Gehry's dastardly IAC headquarters.
• Boy George's street sweeping causes a paparazzi car crash. Live the Lohan dream, buddy. [OAN]
• The MySpace profiles belonging to Bonnie Fuller, Anna Wintour, and Graydon Carter are fake. Duh, the only profile genuinely belonging to a media bigwig is Atoosa Rubenstein's. The 'Toos loves the 'Space. [AdAge]
• Spin increases its page size to 10x12, making that much more room for Fall Out Boy coverage. [Crain's]
• "Charm School" is a $1600 program that helps men who have trouble talking to ladies. It's kind of like the Pick-Up Artists in The Game, but for wusses. [Reuters]
• The art of gay cruising is not easily mastered. [Manhattan Offender]
• Speaking of Gays, Chelsea really is a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. It's just a pity politicians have to act like that's a bad thing. [Animal]
• It's somewhat inevitable that any conversation on bad subway etiquette will devolve into an anti-Chinese immigrant rant. [Gothamist (see comments)]
• A national women's magazine searches for a man to go on a blind date with a 29-year-old virgin. Who knew Jane was so cruel? [Craigslist]
• If publicist Stephen Huvane were representing a corporation rather than Jennifer Aniston, he'd be shot dead in the street. Actually, that could still happen. [Media Orchard]
• Of course the Post doesn't care about black people; the only exception is if the black person is a pimp and/or bouncer who murders a young white woman. [Blog NYC]
• The Stations of the Mel: Mel is condemned by the press. "Arrest me not," he telleth the centurion, "for I owneth Malibu. And thou lookest a bit Jewish unto me." [NYer]
What is it about Chelsea these days? The New York Post reports that Crobar, recently the tragic victim of a Rohypnol hoaxmail, hosted a decidedly non-hoax double shooting last night. Few details, but as of the NYP dateline, the two female victims were in stable condition, and the gunman was still at large.
Stephen Sakai, the former bouncer accused of enforcing a gunfire-based door policy at currently for-sale Opus 22 in Chelsea, may have a slight history of accelerating others' mortality. The New York Times reports forthcoming indictments against Sakai for three previous murders in Brooklyn, revolving around Sakai's bouncing at Opus 22 and Sweet Cherry, a waterfront strip dive in Sunset Park. The now-closed Sweet Cherry is described as "a dark place that maddened neighbors, prosecutors and city officials for years." Of the three Brooklyn victims, one was a bouncer-runner at Sweet Cherry, another a customer of the same club, and the third was another bouncer at Opus 22. Various bizarre statements from Sakai about the Brooklyn deaths (now disavowed) include his admitting to shooting the bouncer-runner "in the cheek or the leg or maybe someplace else." For more spacey criminal confusion, see Sakai's account after the jump of what happened at Opus 22, when he allegedly opened fire into a crowd outside the club, killing one and wounding three.