Under Cover

Blog till you Drop

Help is on the way for Downtown’s shopping-impaired residents. The Bubbly, the Best of Soho, Tribeca and Beyond, a new blog for Downtown shoppers launched by shopping guru, Mary Liken-Shafer, is making its mark on laptops everywhere. Penned by a litany of first name only writers — Pamela, Bubble, Shira — Bubbly promises to be, well, bubbly about the whole shopping thing. “Tired of slogging through the listings searching out the gems, Mary threw up her hands and said, ‘Downtown needs its own upscale site!’” proclaims Liken-Shafer’s bio. Who knew?

With blog a real word now, according to Merriam-Webster, we might even run over to Housing Works on Friday for an evening of brainy blogging. The bookstore/charity has apparently jumped on the virtual rant bandwagon and is hosting a bloggers panel led by MobyLives founder Dennis Loy Johnson, and featuring Ron Hogan (Beatrice.com), Maud Newton (MaudNewton.com), Jessa Crispin (Bookslut.com), George Murray (Bookninja.com) and Lalia Lalami (MoorishGirl.com).

What the Blog? The Terrifying World of Literary Web sites, Friday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Housing Works UBC, 126 Crosby St., 212-334-3324.

Okies Take Downtown Notes

Many Downtowners have long since forgotten Lower Manhattan’s hotly contested City Council race in 2001, but don’t think the campaign went unnoticed in Oklahoma. The state’s Republican Party, playing hardball against Democrat Brad Carson running against Republican Tom Coburn in this year’s tight Senate race, sent out a press release during the campaign intended to smear Carson because he gave money to Brad Hoylman, the only openly gay candidate in the 2001 Democratic primary Downtown and current president of Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats. The press release was titled: “Carson’s financial contributions to openly gay candidate sparks [sic] questions for Oklahoma voters;” it noted prominently: “Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats’ goal is to legalize same sex marriage across USA.” In the release, Rick Buchanan, spokesperson for Oklahoma Victory 2004, challenged Carson to fully refund $2,500 in congressional campaign funds given by Carson to support the “openly gay” Hoylman’s 2001 campaign. Hoylman and Carson are friends from their time at Oxford as Rhodes scholars. While Carson isn’t gay, the Oklahoma G.O.P.’ers, with their press release, sought to imply he was. “I knew he was gay,” Carson said when the Hoylman contribution became an issue. “I really don’t care who you sleep with. I care what you want to do. Brad is a good man and so I was happy to support him.” Carson said he was not aware of Hoylman’s association with GLID and pointed out that he is on record being against gay marriage. Carson lost to Coburn, who said during the campaign that abortion doctors should be subject to the death penalty.

It’s a Rap

Retired Hip Hop mogul Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z has sealed the deal on a new Downtown crib. After a 2-year-long apartment search that drew almost as much attention as his recent meltdown with R& B vocalist R Kelly, Jay-Z plucked advertising exec Peter Arnell’s seventh floor Tribeca penthouse for $6.85 million the New York Observer reported.

This is not the rap star’s first attempt to relocate Downtown. In 2002, Jay Z attempted to nab a $6.5 million spot on Hudson St. near Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ $3 million pad, but was blocked by the building’s tenants who, apparently, didn’t feel the love and launched an elevator sign writing campaign to kill the deal.

Jay-Z is not the first Hip Hop heavyweight to relocate Downtown. Russell Simmons has an unoccupied penthouse at 114 Liberty St and Roca-Fella-Records mogul Damon Dash – who was in contract with Arnell for the same property last summer before Jay-Z snatched the 8,000 square foot pad himself – bought an $8 million N. Moore St. loft last January.

WWW Downtown Express

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