“This game is very, very difficult and if you’re not going to enjoy these great moments, then it’s not any fun.”
A. Alex Rodriguez Ties Lou Gehrig’s Grand Slam Record
New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez hit his 23rd grand slam in the Bronx Bombers’ 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field June 12. That number vaulted him to number one on the all-time grand slam list, a perch he shares with Yankees legend Lou Gehrig. The feat occurred along a comeback trail for A-Rod, who struggled at the start of the season. It also secured the top spot in the American League East for the Yanks, who had not exclusively led the division since April 21. A jubilant Rodriguez tipped his hat to the team’s history after making his own, saying, “this game is very, very difficult and if you’re not going to enjoy these great moments, then it’s not any fun. Lou Gehrig was not only one of the all-time greats, but he was one of ours, a Yankee.”
B. Neighbors Fume As Jay-Z Plans 40/40 Club In Barclays Center
Jay-Z has announced plans for an offshoot of his Manhattan nightclub 40/40 in the Barclays Center, the sports arena and entertainment complex due in Brooklyn later this year, and neighbors aren’t happy about it. Barclays, and the Atlantic Yards development project it’s a part of, have been a lightning rod for years in the Prospect Heights, Fort Greene and Downtown neighborhoods. Residents unsuccessfully lobbied to scrap the plans, which include the new 18,200-seat arena for the Brooklyn Nets. Rapper and Brooklyn native Jay-Z was an early proponent of the project, in particular the pride a Kings County-based NBA team would bring to the borough. But details of the 40/40 deal have raised eyebrows, with residents claiming organizers were dishonest about the 2 a.m. closing time in their application and asking if such a massive complex should only have to apply for a single liquor license. (Fans in luxury boxes will also be able to buy liquor through 2 a.m., while bleacher creatures will be cut off after the third quarter.)
C. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Looks To BBC Chair For New ‘Times’ C.E.O.
New York Times chairman and interim CEO Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is eying BBC director general Mark Thompson as the Paper of Record’s next chief executive. Thompson has said that he would leave his BBC post after the London Olympics. The shakeup at the Times follows Sulzberger’s firing of Janet Robinson in December, a controversial move that, as reported in a lengthy New York magazine article, exposed internecine divisions at the paper and prompted some to ask if Sulzberger’s girlfriend, Claudia Gonzalez, had played a hand in Robinson’s ouster. The New York piece also said that Michael Bloomberg’s name had been mentioned as a possible Robinson successor. The Times declined to comment on the Thompson speculation.
D. Ivanka Trump Gushes Over Teen Jewelry Designer
Linda Cifuentes, 15, came prepared for a meet and greet with Ivanka Trump at the Trump Soho hotel over the weekend, and her due diligence paid off in spades…and emeralds. Trump was promoting her own jewelry at the hotel her family owns when Cifuentes, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stopped by Trump’s boutiques and the two got to chatting about gemology.
The heiress was floored by the budding designer’s precocity. “She’s really, really very good,” Trump said. “She asked a ton of incredibly knowledgeable and informed questions. I was really amazed by the seriousness she had, and the professionalism.” Trump showed her appreciation by giving Cifuentes a fine jewelery piece from her collection and three emeralds and adding that she’ll keep her eye on the talented newcomer.
E. Feisty Bloomberg Loses Temper On Reporter
Michael Bloomberg has never been especially cozy with the City Hall press corps, and with temperatures soaring this summer, the mayor has gotten shorter with reporters. During an outdoor news conference July 2 Bloomberg was caught off-guard by a question about the brawl that broke out at the freshly reopened McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg late last week. ““I had no idea there was an incident,” he said. “What was the incident? Did someone go swimming?” The reporter explained the fight to him–a group of teenagers had dragged a lifeguard into the pool and punched him about the head.
“Well, what do you want me to say?” Bloomberg replied. “O.K., we’ll put a cop next to every lifeguard in the city.” Then the mayor and assembled journalists briskly moved on to the next topic. Bloomberg was not the only local politician to have a heatwave-induced meltdown. After a helicopter tour of a drought-plagued Garden State county, New Jersey governor Chris Christie went off on a reporter who asked him about the upcoming legislative session. “Are you stupid?” Mr. Christie asked. “On topic! On topic! Next question.” Then, before leaving the podium, Christie added, “I’m sorry for the idiot over there. Take care.”