John Catsimatidis isn't ruling out that possibility that we'll have two egotistical billionaires competing in the mayoral race this fall. Which explains why he isn't exactly holding back in interviews with reporters: "I'm not the same type of billionaire as Mike Bloomberg. He came from Boston; I came from the city of Manhattan. I know these people. I know these people as well as anybody in this city. I used to play stickball on 135th street." Them's fighting words! Except he has a couple of facts wrong, as the Daily News's Elizabeth Benjamin points out: "Bloomberg, for the record, did not come from means, either. He is a self-made billionaire. And he actually hails from Medford, not Boston." Better luck next time, John. [NYDN]
The snowstorm didn't stop art and society scenesters from stopping off at the New York Academy of Art on Monday night. Guests at the Tribeca Ball included Liev Schreiber, Justin Timberlake, and event co-chair Eileen Guggenheim (left), along with Bill Clinton, Andre Balazs, Andy and Kate Spade, Adam Weinberg, Jason Wu, Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Monet Mazur, Alek Wek, Bettina Zilkha, Poppy de Villeneuve, Jennifer Creel, Jean-Pierre Roy, Ludwig Kuttner and Beatrix Ost, stylist Ric Pipino, Heather Mnuchin, Liam McMullan, Antoine and Maureen Chiquet, and artist Will Cotton. [PMc, Wireimage, VF, FWD, Style.com]
Your favorite Greek-American, politically ambitious supermarket billionaire has come up with a new name for the souped-up Gristedes that he wanted to call Trader John's, an idea that Trader Joe's didn't find very amusing. John Catsimatidis is calling his new outlet Grocer John's and he'd like you to know it represents "the new wave of marketing in New York." He'd also like you to be aware that two pounds of golden ripe bananas will run you a buck. [Racked, previously]
Just when we were thinking there was no possible way John Catsimatidis would consider running for mayor, he pulls a fast one and suggests yet again that he really is seriously thinking about giving it a shot. According to campaign finance documents, the supermarket kingpin gave his campaign a $1 million loan last week. Now he just needs to set aside another $80 million or so, and he'll be good to go! [City Room, previously]
John Catsimatidis is the billionaire owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain. He was also seriously considering a bid for mayor, at least when it looked like he wouldn't have to go head-to-head with Michael Bloomberg. Oh, how Catsimatidis's fortunes have changed since then. In September, a federal judge ruled that his company had violated federal and state laws by failing to pay overtime to hundreds of supermarket employees. Then Bloomberg successfully pushed for a change in term limit laws, which cleared the way for him to run for a third term and also foiled Catsimatidis' plan to be New York's second billionaire mayor. And now he suffered yet another embarrassing legal defeat.
• Sean Avery may be spending a lot more time in New York in the near future: Hockey's preeminent bad boy has been cut loose by the Dallas Stars just 23 games into a four-year contract. [NYP]
• Jennifer Aniston was supposedly so desperate to have a boyfriend during the promotional tour for Marley & Me that her camp started "shopping for potential dates." [P6]
• David Paterson was not at all pleased with the impression of him on SNL this weekend. [NYP]
• Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber had a second son on Saturday. [People, E!]
You might want to think twice before stopping by Alexis Stewart's apartment uninvited: The daughter of domestic diva Martha Stewart has a permit to keep a loaded gun at home, according to the Post. Other notable locals with gun licenses include David Wright and Carlos Delgado of the Mets, Robert De Niro, billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, and Donald Trump. (Two of Trump's sons, Eric and Donald Jr., also have licenses to keep firearms at home; Ivanka Trump's apartment is gun-free.) But it's Alexis, who recently launched a new TV series on the Fine Living channel, who may have the creepiest explanation for why she feels the need to keep a gun in a lockbox in her TriBeCa apartment: She keeps it in case an emergency forces her to abandon the city and she has to euthanize her elderly dogs. "They could never make it out of Manhattan. I could never leave my dogs to die of thirst in my apartment, so I looked on it as a euthanasia situation. I would never kill my pets unless they were going to die anyway."
A bit of bad press today for John Catsimatidis, the billionaire mogul who controls Gristede's supermarket chain and is mulling a bid for mayor in 2009. A federal judge has ruled that the company neglected to pay overtime and may now be forced to cough up as much as $25 million to settle the claims by more than 400 employees. One other thing that Catsimatidis hasn't been willing to spend his hard-earned cash on: the $7.95 annual fee to renew the domain for the newspaper he owns, The Hellenic Times. Be careful! If you click on the links at the bottom of the page, you'll be directed to sites with names like "Monsters of Cock" and a neverending series of pornographic pop-ups.
You may know John Catsimatidis as the generously proportioned owner of the Gristedes and Red Apple supermarket chains, or because he's gearing up to spend a record $100 million to try and succeed Michael Bloomberg as New York City's second billionaire mayor. But his real pride and joy? This silver "Lambo" (or Lamborghini Diablo), which is pictured above in its natural habitat, the Hamptons. Sweet ride, huh? Whether the $2.1 billion man has any chance of winning an election we'll leave up to the political pundits. But we're pretty sure that if elected he'd be the first "Lambo"-owning mayor in New York history.
The man who'd very much like to be the next mayor, grocery store magnate John Catsimatidis, turns 60 today. Also celebrating: Tom Hanks is 52, Courtney Love is 44, and Jack White is 33. Theater producer Ted Chapin is 58. Architect Michael Graves is turning 75. ACLU director Anthony Romero is 44. And Floyd Abrams, the legendary First Amendment lawyer and father of Dan Abrams, will be 72 today.
Some of the biggest moguls and powerbrokers in New York just can't seem to figure out who the next mayor should be! According to the Times today, heavyweights like Martin Lipton, Steve Rattner and Jerry Speyer—as well as other members of the Kathryn Wylde-led Partnership for New York City—have been scratching their heads, debating which way to tug on the strings. Do we try and overturn term limits so Michael Bloomberg can stay on? Do we find another mega-wealthy businessman to fill his shoes? But Dick Parsons doesn't want the job, goddamit! Maybe John Catsimatidis? We're guessing Kevin Sheekey has already made his opinion known.
The suit from Gristedes owner and eccentric pretend mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis against Indian tribes selling tax-free cigarettes has been tossed out, so who wants to go in with us on a party bus and head out to Mastic? We don't care how many billionaire supermarket magnates starve for lack of our pre-tax dollars, we need cheap smokes. Let's pick up some tax-free financial news while we're there too and put Bloomberg outta business! [NYT]
John Catsimatidis, that supermarket-magnate billionaire with political pals who isn't Ron Burkle, gets his mayoral ambitions taken seriously by the New York Times today. Hilarious! Catsimatidis, a longtime Clinton donor and total loudmouth, has been talking about switching to the Republican party and running for New York City mayor all year. Now, money may buy one anything! And affection for his Gristedes stores may go a long way with New Yorkers! And we will be totally entertained by watching him go postal on insanely tall Time Warner honcho and fellow rich person Dick Parsons for the 2009 mayor's slot! But no. If he wants a legacy so bad, he should just like, give the $30-million he's gonna spend on the race to teachers or something. Or BURN IT.