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Around Town, The Republican Challenge
Comfort food and uncomfortable politics

Meat Packing

It's a Thursday. I’m trying to get off the couch because it's already been a long week. Then, the incentive to get motivated comes in the form of a text message from Jessica White. Sport Illustrated models always get me motivated. She’s in town, bored and wants to hangout. My response? I’m in! She’s staying at the Standard Hotel. I offer to pick her up because I haven’t been there yet and I’m curious. The hotel lobby is small and there is a cute little bar that services the lobby. I’m sure there’s more to come. Mean while, Ms. White has me waiting 20 minutes. Jeez… I love it!

There’s a pre-opening for a new club, Griffin, which is the old PM space. The room has been redesigned by Steve Lewis with sound proofing so that the new business isn’t plagued by complaints from it’s residential neighbors. The changes are wonderful, but the space is basically the same. That said, it is a dramatic improvement from its' previous life. An elaborate chandelier is the focal point and main feature. There is a good crowd, but the air conditioning is inadequate and we’re sweating. Not so good. The back up plan is to head across the street to Bijoux. There’s a birthday party for one of the owners so I know it’ll be fun. We head over for what turns out to be a model packed party with DJ Sinatra doing his thing on the turn tables. It's an early night and my guest has an early day with MTV, so we call it a night around 2 AM.

Fashion

Derek Lam

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Derek Lam store opening with Zuzana Gregorova, Giedre Dukauskaite, Edita Vilkeviciute (pictures below), who are all definitely a part of the new batch of new faces of fashion. We were accompanied by a model handler. Model handlers not only take models to events that relate to their industry, but they also keep their models in front of the fashion world’s eye’s and lenses. The store is gorgeous as was the crowd.

I brought my Flip Ultra HD video Camera for fun. I love this thing--it's small and easy to use. The girls, as well as everyone else, light up as soon as they realize this pint size instrument is a video camera and they are stars in my video masterpiece. The night is young and I suggest dinner.

Derek Lam Store
10 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-1616

Eats

Blue Ribbon

There so much going on in New York that it's hard to remember the staples that make the city so wonderful. I recently re-discovered Blue Ribbon, a restaurant on 97 Sullivan Street (between Spring Street and Prince Street). Its' eclectic menu of comfort foods like fried chicken and mash potatoes, rack of lamb, matzoh ball soup mix well with its' raw bar and beef marrow, oxtail marmalade and raviloli plates. All are mouth watering staples, trust me! Owners, Bruce and Eric Bromberg still have arguably the best late night dining experience. While we’re dining Ronnie Madra, of 1 Oak, strolls over to the table to join us. Shortly thereafter, super DJ Eric Morillo joins us, as well. As gorgeous as I am, I know it's the girls who have drawn them over. Their table is ready after a few minutes of chatting. Before we leave, we stop by to say our farewells and find that Ronnie Seikly, former basketball player turned house music DJ, has joined them. He’s in town to play at the Pink Elephant and he makes the 'You have to stop and introduce yourself' face to me. I’m showing off so, of course,I oblige.


Blue Ribbon
97 Sullivan Street
(between Spring Street and Prince Street)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-0404

Music

Katy Perry

I really like Katy Perry. She’s amazingly normal and cool. She came to GreenHouse after one of her shows and MC’d for a good ten minutes. She hung out with the crowd and made the night fun. So, when her manager, Chris, said People Magazine was hosting a party for her at Mr. West of course I was going to go and I drag my guests with me. Katy didn’t disappoint. She immediately waves me over and, in classic Katy Perry form, asks, “So, do you think I’m cross-eyed?” as she’s posing for a picture. I simply say, “Ah, no darling. I think you’re beautiful.” It's pouring rain outside and the place is packed but it's time to head to GreenHouse and continue the fun. I Love My Life!

Asher Roth is a great new artist that reminds me of Eminem when he first hit the scene. They also look alike. He’s my pick of the week for new artist. But, the song I can't get enough of is Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow".

Asher Roth Featuring Cee-lo "Be By Myself"

Politics- The Republican Challenge

I watched the Sunday talk shows, CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. The commentary revolved around the President’s speech on Swine Flu. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that the President's public statement advising Americans to be mindful to simply wash your hands, has reduced the potential outbreak of Swine Flu from tens of thousands to a few thousand.

The commentary wasn’t to praise the President. Rather, it was about the response from the Republican Party surrogates, specifically Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. These two geniuses took issue with the best advice anyone could give. They took issue with the President doing his part to be a leader, our leader, and help calm fears and give the single best advice as recommended by the CDC. In short, they took issue with President Obama telling Americans what to do, finding it to be a breach of their civil liberties. What has happened to the Republican Party? They used to be the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower? In my opinion, that’s the last time we saw the true Republican Party. Heck even Reagan understood the party’s core principle of fiscal responsibility. He raised taxes and stayed away the religious zealots in his party.

I used to look at the fiscal conservative principles of the Republicans as being the cornerstone to America’s future. It was the counter balance to the Democratic Party’s over emphasis on entitlements. Those principles helped balance taking care of the American people while ensuring fiscal responsibility. Once they agreed to raid the entitlement funds like Social Security and the government pension fund, abandoning a 'pay as you go' legislation, gutting the EPA’s oversight and enforcement, the environment, and deregulating of the finance industry leading to our current crisis in both areas, we lost that balance of ideology that makes America America.

I recently asked someone, a young person, why she was a republican and the basic answer was that her parents were and so… It's unhealthy and potentially dangerous when we don’t have intelligent debate from the officials elected to serve the public interest. Just common sense without the over introduction of religious zeal, evolution vs. intelligent design, or selling the farm to special interest, something both parties are guilty of, so that we can focus on the challenges ahead of us. The Republican Party is facing a take over, if it has not already happened, by fanatics and extremists. Part of the problem is that not all Republicans believe in these principles, but the extremists are the only voice. They aren’t being challenged. With no alternatives the faithful will follow blindly. Hell, even Joe-the-Plumber bailed out of the party.

It's a new world and America needs a new approach. I hope the Republican Party meets the challenges we face with the practical sense that it once represented. Democrats need their perspective and America deserves better than just disagreeing with the President. I hope the silent majority within the Republican Party steps up to the challenge. The cost of doing nothing may be too great for the country or the world to endure. Yes, things are that dire.

Movies

Star Trek! Spock, you dirty dog. Yes, it's that entertaining.