Vegas Seven

National Newsroom

  • National Newsroom

    Can’t Handle the Truth?

    By Dan Duray, The New York Observer

    Lawrence Wright’s new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Disbelief (Knopf, $29), was spun out of his 2011 story for The New Yorker about director Paul Haggis’ break with the church. Two magazine fact-checkers worked on the story full time for four to six months of its yearlong inception, and close to publication they were joined by three more. Their first message to the church, verifying facts about its practices, the life of L. Ron Hubbard and the church’s current leader, David Miscavige, contained 971 questions.

  • National Newsroom

    Post Modernism

    By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, The New York Observer

    On a recent chilly Tuesday evening, magazine editors and ad salespeople from one of the nation’s most venerable glossies crowded the garden room at Michael’s in Midtown Manhattan, holding glasses of pinot aloft as the publisher and editorial director took turns toasting the latest issue.

  • National Newsroom

    Outward Bound

    By Daniel D’Addario - The New York Observer

    At a crowded movie premiere in Midtown recently, The Observer witnessed a movie and TV star—a dashing young man who’s been involved with several starlets despite whispers about his close relationships with other men—sitting for the entire party in close conversation with a well-groomed gent, even as his co-stars circulated. As we passed, the plus-one stared us down, as if to say, “Step off,” or perhaps, “Don’t you dare write about this.”

  • National Newsroom

    To Slur, With Love?

    By Drew Grant, The New York Observer

    Two weeks ago, Phil Mushnick, a respected veteran sports writer for the New York Post, published a column about the Brooklyn Nets’ new brand identity, as designed with the help of Jay-Z. The team—previously known as the New Jersey Nets—had switched their colors to black and white. “Why not have him apply the full Jay-Z treatment?” Mushnick suggested, referring to the team’s part-owner. “Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N------s. The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B---hes or Hoes ...”

  • National Newsroom

    How Could Something So Huang Feel So Right?

    By Foster Kamer - The New York Observer

    They called me a chigger.” Eddie Huang, the gleefully iconoclastic chef-cum-troublemaker, was in a back room at the Ace Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, remembering high school. He’d just finished serving as the host of a New York Knicks viewing party for a crowd of the chef’s friends and “three random girls from Twitter.” The wax paper-wrapped bao—the signature Asian bun sandwiches that have been drawing crowds to his restaurant, Baohaus, since December 2009—were long since emptied of their pork-packed glories.

  • National Newsroom

    O-Bummer! Hipsters O-Bandon Obama

    By David Freedlander, The New York Observer

    As Election Day 2008 approached, if you were an urban organic kale farmer, a crochet enthusiast or a vaudevillian with a new song to sing, and you wanted to support Barack Obama for president, you were in luck.

  • National Newsroom

    Committing Harvey-Carrie!

    By Paula Froelich, The New York Observer

    On the evening of April 30, 2010, the fashion elite all trundled to downtown Manhattan en masse for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, a documentary that delves into the extraordinary life of the jet-set designer and the elegant tunics and billowing dresses for which he became famous.

  • National Newsroom

    Fool’s Gold

    By Foster Kamer, The New York Observer

    In 2008, I was on the losing end of a gold trade—swindled, really. By my dad. I had just been laid off after the literary agent I worked for was poached, but was lucky enough to find a job and not have to file for unemployment only days later. In the interim between paychecks, however, I’d be broke. “Well, you’ve got those coins lying around,” he suggested.

  • National Newsroom

    Can’t Stop the Tweeting

    By Ben Popper, The New York Observer

    Diana Adams dreamed in Tweets. One hundred and forty characters at a time, the Atlanta-based computer consultant’s subconscious bubbled up. “Sometimes I am literally sending someone a message on Twitter and sometimes the ideas just kind of come out that way,” she told The Observer recently. On most nights Adams woke up two or three times to check her Twitter stream and reply to @ messages from her nearly 50,000 followers. “I sleep with my phone under my pillow,” she confessed. “But if you think that’s bad, you don’t know any real Twitterholics.”

  • National Newsroom

    With Friends Like These

    By Adrianne Jeffries, The New York Observer

    I don’t touch Facebook,” declared Michael Romanowicz, 29, a freelance Web designer who nixed his profile and more than 300 friends on the social network last year after he decided it was making him unproductive. (Worse, it was showing him too many pictures of his ex-girlfriend.) “I’m a digital professional, and I fundamentally disagree with the philosophy of how Facebook has structured their product.”

  • National Newsroom

    Party of a Lifetime—for Now!

    By Emily Witt, The New York Observer

    Dana Karwas had two images in mind as she set about planning her 30th birthday party. It was to be the first grand celebration of her life. One image was the scene at the end of Fellini’s 8½, when a small brass band does a brief march on an Italian beach. Another was a persistent daydream about holding her friends hostage. “I really wanted to kidnap some people and take them out to Coney Island,” she said.

  • National Newsroom

    Anthony Everlasting

    By Azi Paybarah, The New York Observer

    After a nationally watched campaign in upstate New York, Kathy Hochul made her New York City debut June 13 at the stately University Club in Manhattan. Hundreds of guests attending the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Breakfast milled around a breakfast buffet of muffins and fruit salad, while their host, Nora Brenes, introduced Hochul as the winner of a special election “that came about as a result of our male New York Congress members who keep taking their shirts off,” according to one attendee.

  • National Newsroom

    MySpace and the Art of Vintage Internet

    By Dan Duray, The New York Observer

    So what if MySpace has fallen on hard times? Its kitsch value is through the roof. “My No. 1 form of music is listening to vinyl records,” Rachel Coleman said recently at an album release party at Death by Audio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Even though I’m a blogger, I like my antiquated technology. I’m used to it, and I’m comfortable with it, and I want to use MySpace in the same way that I use my record player.”

  • National Newsroom

    Groupthink Sells

    By Lee Siegel, The New York Observer

    I recently had dinner with a friend who confessed that every time he got into a room filled with liberals, he wanted to express the most far-out right-wing sentiments. My friend is one of the most radically progressive people I know, from his political positions to his social and cultural ones. But his sense of decency transcends narrow politics. He was simply tired of liberals who prescribe conduct for other people that they would never follow themselves.