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.
- Joanna Shields, who served as president of Bebo before its acquisition by AOL (and now serves as president of AOL People Networks), picked up a two-bedroom duplex at 31 West 16th for $2.175 million. The 1,700-square-foot apartment features 16-foot ceilings, a suspended wood-and-steel staircase, and an outdoor garden. [Cityfile]
- Hedge funder Jim Chanos, who may be best known these days for having hired Ashley Dupre as a "housesitter" last summer, has gone into contract a triplex penthouse at 3 East 75th Street. The five-bedroom pad, listed with Paula Del Nunzio for $24.85 million, features Central Park views, six separate outdoor spaces, and a master suite with two fireplaces. One losing bidder? Robert De Niro. [Observer]