AS I AM AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE, my heart was warmed to find Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bassett, Lyn Vaughn, and Pam Grier among the Women We Love (August). Next time, please include some women who are ageless beauties, such as Lauren Hutton (in praise of older women).
IF ALLEGRA COLEMAN DID not exist, someone would have to invent her. An actress of astonishing promise, she is the perfect expression of the movie industry today and its cult of instant celebrity—a Gwyneth or Mira in the making, just waiting for the inevitable cascade of magazine covers to envelop her.
WHY SHOULD Sherry Rowlands have all the fun? The Republicans could find themselves with their own tell-all woman. Paula Parkinson—the former lobbyist who had a relationship with ex-congressman Tom Evans and claimed to have had a liaison with a pre-vice-presidential Dan Quayle—allegedly had an affair with Jack Kemp in the early eighties.
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS— the people who almost brought you the biography of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels by Nazi propagandist David Irving and then goose-stepped away from it—has another potential time bomb on its hands: a biography of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.
WE ALL HAVE THAT embarrassing relative, that black sheep in the family. For Jose Diaz-Balart, the new coanchor of CBS’s revamped This Morning, it’s Uncle Fidel Castro. The former news anchor for Miami’s WTVJ-TV comes from a politically connected family in Cuba—sometimes called the Cuban Kennedys— whose members are opposed to Castro’s government.
UPSET OVER AN ON-AGAIN, off-again film project about Robert Mapplethorpe, rock singer and former Mapplethorpe lover Patti Smith has become a consultant on another Mapplethorpe film, one that she feels will portray the late photographer in a more favorable light.
THOSE WHO THOUGHT that Tom Cruise’s rescue-of-the-month spree sounded too good to be true may be right. The Mission: Impossible star went on a Good Samaritan tear, valiantly coming to the aid of a hit-and-run victim in Santa Monica, playing hero to a young boy who was being crushed by a crowd at a London screening, and rescuing a French family at sea.
PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL Treatment of Animals recently pulled the wool over the eyes of The New Yorker by placing a "fur sabotage ad" in an October issue of the magazine. In a special section on coats, PETA’s "Free Fur Video" ad implored: "Before you buy, let us show you our lively collection of fox, mink, and raccoon.
Si Newhouse IS NOTHING IF not careful when it comes to dollars and scents. When Arie Kopelman, president of Chanel, decided to name his new fragrance Allure, he was concerned that publishing magnate Newhouse would object because he owns the magazine of the same name among his stable of Condé Nast titles.
WHEN Ted Koppel STORMED out of the Republican convention this summer, he declared there wasn’t any news there. But ABC insiders say that’s not the only reason the well-coiffed Nightline host wigged out. One source says that ABC executives had already decided they wouldn’t send him to the Democratic convention in Chicago, and Koppel felt that he shouldn’t cover one party’s event and not the other’s.
AMERICA’S MOST NOTORIOUS BOOK THIEF HAS BEEN forced to carry a scarlet letter of sorts. Stephen Blumberg, the light-fingered bibliomane who stole more than twenty thousand rare books (that’s nineteen tons’ worth, for those of you keeping score at home) from libraries, universities, and bookstores around the country over a twenty-five-year period, was released last year after a five-year prison term.
ONCE, THE PANTEX PLANT, where most of the nation’s nuclear weapons were built, loomed as a dark and mysterious presence outside Amarillo, Texas. During the cold war, workers never spoke of what they did; schoolchildren were told that the plant made air filters for submarines.
BOB DOVER, HEAD OF the team that developed Jaguar’s new XK8 sports car, looking like a British version of the Marlboro Man— crisp mustache, square jaw— and wearing a green quilted racing suit, folds himself into the XJ13, the one-of-a-kind 1966 Jag race car of which he is personal custodian.
<p>YOU MAY KNOW THE luminous milk-and-marmalade gaze of Tilda Swinton from the 1993 movie Orlando, in which she played Virginia Woolf’s androgynous archetype. Or from films made by Derek Jarman in the late ’80s— Caravaggio, The Last of England, War Requiem.</p>
IN 1907, THE POPULATION of Los Angeles was 12,500. Thirty-five years ago, the city may even have been the postmodern urban paradise touted by architectural historian Reyner Banham. Now, following the ’92 riots, the ’94 earthquake, the Malibu fires, the recent citywide power blackout, and California’s to some extent continuing economic depression, the old cliché of the easy good life, "El-lay," has been quickly transformed into the equally hackneyed vision of "Hell-lay."
BIG SCIENCE: As if sex didn’t cause enough general anxiety already, along comes Robin Baker’s Sperm Wars to argue that most of your sexual behavior is hardwired into your body to meet evolutionary demands. (Aw, nuts.) Some may treat this as a psychic Get Out of Jail Free card, while others will see it as stripping romance of its last remaining veils.
WHEN IT COMES TO PLAYING the tormented man, no actor seems more authentic than Nick Nolte. Review his big roles—in Who'll Stop the Rain, North Dallas Forty, 48 Hrs., Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Weeds, Q&A, Cape Fear, and The Prince of Tides—and you'll see a lot of manly anguish on display.
<p>A MOVIE OF MINE comes out and people start looking for my agenda," Spike Lee says wanly. "‘What’s he trying to do? What’s he trying to say?’ Well, what I’m doing is making films. I’m a filmmaker." Sure enough, the room Lee sits in at 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks in Brooklyn is at the top of an old firehouse, but it looks more like a film museum.</p>
THANKSGIVING ALWAYS makes me fondly remember my wonderful exmothers-in-law and also my ex-mothers-outlaw (if that’s the name for the mom you acquire without a ceremony). They all were great cooks, and all wanted the whole family around for Thanksgiving, our great national holiday of Matriarchal Cuisine, meaning very good food and exotic recipes for ordinary things: turkeys roasted under tents of aluminum foil, or draped with wine-wet towels, or smeared with yogurt and soy sauce, or basted with their own juices, or never basted but brushed at severely regulated times with melted butter and just a touch of cognac.
REDS MURDER CARDINALS." When the biblical scholar Gunther Plaut fled Nazi Germany for the liberating shores of America, this headline left him shocked. Had anticlerical Bolsheviks beaten him here? No, explained a more fluent colleague, this was more than politics—this was baseball.
Q: What are the keys to good public speaking? A: "First of all, I resist all attempts to describe me as a proficient public speaker," says former New York governor Mario Cuomo. "It’s hard to do, and I am not a natural When I have agreed to do a speech and I am getting ready to board a plane, I don’t mind when I get a call that the airport is dosed.
TO YOUR HEALTH: HOW TO STAY FIT, SANE, AND ON TOP OF YOUR GAME.
IF YOU HAVE A taste for the macabre, consider the perils of scuba diving: Do the wrong thing and you’ll look like something out of a David Cronenberg movie. There’s subcutaneous emphysema, when air gets under your skin à la Peking duck. Or the bends, when your flesh froths with nitrogen bubbles, your whole body a shook-up soda bottle.
A NEW CONDITIONING FAD IS whistling its way out of boxing gyms and into the toniest fitness clubs. It offers a more complete body workout than other aerobic training regimens, and learning how to do it is, well, child's play. Already credited with whipping such illustrious nonboxers as Olympic bronze-medal long jumper Jackie Joyner-Kersee and 49ers receiver Jerry Rice into world-class shape, jumping rope strengthens the calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads like nothing else.
AT A PARTY WITH a group of distinguished psychiatrists the other night, I cocked one ear toward the other end of the room, where the discussion had turned to spousal idiosyncrasies. The one flaw in her husband’s otherwise perfect nature, my beloved wife revealed, was an aversion to closing closet doors, cupboards, and sock drawers—or, as I would offer in defense, the foresight to leave them conveniently open.
DO YOU KNOW any single men?" a friend asks point-blank. She’s in her late thirties, attractive, smart, funny—and alone. I scan the narrow horizons of my social set and try to conjure a suitable suitor for this woman, whom I work with and like.
On November 3,31,000 people will ran in the twenty-seventh annual New York City Marathon. Some 30,000 will finish the race. If yon’re one of them, here’s what will happen to your body over the coarse of those 26 miles and 385 yards. (Calculations are for a 160-pound, five-foot-ten-inch man.)
WHEN IT COMES TO CAMpaign hokum, little rivals the phony folksiness of a Republican rally in the Deep South. Against the scenic backdrop of the meandering Savannah River, the tax-hating, government-loathing white citizens of Augusta, Georgia, turned out on a sweltering mid-September afternoon to welcome the GOP vice-presidential nominee.
THE OLD MAN HAS DONE IT all. Seen it all. All YOU have to do is ask him. "Ask me anything that happened in this league," Red Auerbach growls. "Fifty years ago, forty years ago, thirty—I remember it all. Just don’t ask me what I had for breakfast."
<p>I’M IN THIS FABULOUS RESTAUrant, cantilevered over the glittering metropolis, on my third gin martini, and the "sexual-telekinesis thing" is just starting to come on. The sexual-telekinesis thing is an effect I experience in tertiary-stage martini drinking.</p>
<p>WHEN A TWENTY-FOUR-year-old sociopath armed with a twelve-dollar rifle shot and killed John F. Kennedy in 1963, many refused to believe it. Lee Harvey Oswald was a loser, a semieducated loner who beat his wife and failed at everything he tried, from a defection to an attempted assassination of a retired U. S. Army general.</p>
1) O. J. A TO Z, by Clifford Linedecker (St. Martin’s Griffin). Part dictionary, part almanac, burdened with arcane but not necessarily interesting entries. 2) THE PRIVATE DIARY OF AN O. J. JUROR, by Michael Knox with Mike Walker (Dove Books).
Forget Gwyneth, forget Mira. Here's Hollywood's next The Allegra Coleman nobody knows
<p>SHE IS LAUGHING, AND IN MY head she is smiling and driving, and she’s thinking, holding a notion, the whole thought of her life and her stardom, in her laugh. Allegra Coleman is sitting in her old white bathtub of a car, her old Porsche, older than she is, even older than I am. She is speeding, The road is winding.</p>
Oscar De La Hoya may be the best fighter of his time, but as he tees off with his new corporate amigos, back in East L. A. they're wondering: What's a nice barrio boy like this doing at a country club like that?
<p>YOU NEED MORE THAN A MAP TO make it from the barrio to Brentwood as Oscar De La Hoya has, arriving this summer morning at the Riviera Country Club for a celebrity golf outing. It’s not that there aren’t any homeboys in the house, just that most of them are parking cars or cutting grass or busing tables.</p>
He’s not straight, though he isn’t strictly homosexual, either, but then to call him bisexual wouldn’t be exactly on the money. From this moment on, all questions of sexual identity will be checked at the door.
Jonathan Van Meter
<p>WHEN I WAS A JUNIOR IN COLLEGE, I met a girl named Ellen and fell in love. Two years later, as I was graduating, I left her for my best friend, Richard, but not before cheating on both of them with this cute little blond freshman, Annette, whom Ed been following around campus. Ellen retreated into the arms of Matt, a good friend of both Richard’s and mine.</p>
Time flies when you’re eating well. Fifteen years, four thousand meals, two million frequent-flier miles, and $3.2 billion in expenses have only steeled our determination to hunt down and expose America’s best new restaurants. Here are the most wanted in 1996.
NEW ORLEANS Bizou 701 St. Charles Avenue 504-524-4114 NO CITY HAS BETTER-named chefs than New Orleans: Emeril Lagasse, Dooky Chase, Tony Ugelsich, Chin Ling, Little Bozo Vodanovich. Add to that list Devlin Roussel, the fine young chef at Bizou, a bright new corner storefront on St. Charles Avenue.
Restaurant trends come and go as mysteriously as the weather: One day, a beer from Vietnam turns up on the menu or you're offered a single-district cognac—and suddenly they've arrived. Here (list, page 99) are this year's early sightings from our relentless pursuit of a good meal.
WHEN WE WALKED INTO SPRUCE, WE knew we’d found what we’d been looking for. Even though Spruce is a subterranean restaurant in a magnificently vertical city, its elegantly minimalist design is very much in Chicago’s grand architectural tradition.
A three-point platform for becoming a political party animal: 1) Educate yourself on the issues and become a poster boy for the Creative Coalition. 2) Attach your celebrity to worthy causes (and remember to nuzzle Eleanor Mondale occasionally). 3) Use your powers only for good.
<p>ALEXANDER RAE BALDWIN JR., AS HE WOULD BE known if he were to run for political office, which, you never know, he just might, rests one foot on the bumper of a white BMW in front of Cafe Luxembourg, not far from his New York apart' ment. It is past eleven at night.</p>
At forty-two, I was in my last blaze of attraction. She was the girl I could never have. She was all the power, every minute of lost lechery in my life, a dream in a black wind.
<p>I WAS IN NORTH DAKOTA AROUND THE SAC BASE in March. The wind blew hard across the beet fields and the tarmac, wherever it was. I had done my duty in Grand Forks and we talked in a bar. She and her girlfriend were both in cowboy boots. The woman I was interested in had very excellent calves.</p>
<p>THE NEWEST MEN'S FASHions, as Yogi Berra might have put it, seem like déjà vu all over again. The fitted jackets, plain-front trousers, striped sport shirts, and military motifs look familiar, even if the materials have changed. Designer Richard Tyler says of his latest collection: "It has a seventies twist, but it’s very modern.</p>
"Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor!" Can’t hardly swing a camera tripod without hitting an out-stretched hand: "How you doin’. Mayor Brown?" San Francisco’s mayor, Willie Brown, is fine, just fine, and happy to hear what you've got to say. He is the Man in this city—a politician of no small power and savvy, a muscular throwback to those pre-sound-bite, pre-focus-group, pre-spin-doctor days.
Four of ESPN’s top anchors suit up for fall. Let’s go to the highlights....
If the evening news were as entertaining as Sports Center; the nation would be frighteningly well-infromed. ESPN's daily broadcasts, which began in 1979, have now achieved cult status—just try to get that theme song out of your head ("Dah dah dah ... dah dah dah ...")—mixing the day's best highlights with some of the wittiest commentary on television.
Party On, p. 120: Nautica by David Chu suit ($325) at the Nautica Store, New York; Gene Meyer shirt ($148) and tie ($60) at Bloomingdale’s select stores; Saks Fifth Avenue select stores; Macy’s select stores. Granello boots ($470) at Neiman Marcus select stores; Scott Hill, Los Angeles; Louis, Boston, Boston.
GET IN, KIDDO," SAID MY cousin Julian from his gold Jaguar. As a child, I never quite knew about my cousin Julian except that he had done something "wrong" or he was something wrong. I knew he had become the writer John Sanford and married the screenwriter Marguerite Roberts.