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Thursday, January 20, 2022

TJV Daily Dish-Jennifer Lopez, Austin Russell, Miami Art Week, Bulgari Hotel, NYC Townhouses, American Dream, Rudy Giuliani

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by Lieba Nesis

In times of uncertainty and gloominess levity is a welcome reprieve.  Thankfully, Jennifer Lopez provided the greatest laughs I have experienced over the past 12 months.  Lopez, who can’t seem to make money quick enough for her ever-expanding half-a-billion dollar empire is now hawking skin care products called JLo Beauty.  The 51-year-old, who has less wrinkles than a baby’s tochus, swears she has never used botox, fillers or plastic surgery.  Lopez claims a pushy boyfriend and dermatologist urged her to try botox at the age of 23 but she was just “not that person.” Lopez cornily elaborated, “I think it starts first with who you are on the inside, and that shows on the outside.”  These uproarious comments received widespread press attention. Firstly, we know JLo had a nose job so obviously she doesn’t exclusively rely on her pristine insides.  Secondly, she deserves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the only 51-year-old who is wrinkle free.  The only way for JLo and her private plastic surgeon to prove her claims would be to hook them up to lie detector tests.  Celebrity Nurse injector Jane Scher of Skintight Medspa believes Lopez augmented her jawline and mid-face with hyaluronic fillers, botox and non- surgical lasers producing a pronounced difference from the beginning of her career until now.  Lopez’s claim of plastic surgery abstinence is as believable as her song “I’m still Jenny from the Block.”

-The world’s youngest self-made billionaire is 25-year-old Austin Russell, CEO of Luminar Technologies.  Worth a whopping $2.4 billion, this ingenue’s company makes lidar scanners and software that give self driving cars a 3-D view of the road.  Already in deals with Volvo, Daimler, and Intel’s autonomous vehicle units his company is projecting multi-billion dollar revenues.  Not too shabby for an 18-year-old Stanford University student who dropped out after a few months of his applied physics major to start a company which now has a market capitalization of $8.1 billion.  Russell attributes his success to his flouting of conventional schooling-an alternative explanation might be his 120 hour workweeks.

-Speaking of weeks, Miami Art Week continues to shun lockdown as thousands gather in hotels, nightclubs and restaurants to enjoy the sunny weather and large crowds.  Despite recording more than 8,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday the Sunshine State is in full swing.  Friends enjoyed maskless Saturday night parties at the Perez Art Museum and nightclub Bodega.  The City is replete with live installations and exhibits at the Design District, the Gary Nader Art Centre, Miami Dade’s Freedom Tower, and North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art.  The Miami Improv Comedy Club similarly fielded crowds on Sunday as Pauly Shore provided some much needed laughter.  However, celebrities are staying away from festivities during the pandemic as public backlash keep them wary of public outings.
In this Dec. 4, 2019, file photo, a sculpture by artist Jane Alexander with the Stevenson Gallery is shown during Art Basel Miami Beach, in Miami Beach, Fla. According to a statement released Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, the Art Basel fair, known for glamorous parties and celebrity sightings, is cancelling its annual Miami event amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

-Speaking of Miami, the Italian luxury brand Bulgari is opening a 100-room hotel in 2024 at 100 21st street.  This South Beach architectural gem from the 1950’s will feature amenities such as a spa, fitness center and pool.  However, its standout feature will be the restaurant and bar curated by three-star Michelin chef Niko Romito.

-After being cooped up in tiny apartments during the pandemic, buyers are snatching up townhouses at discounted prices according to The New York Times.  The priciest November sale was the home of Robert Soros, eldest son of George Soros, for $31 million.  A new tactic employed by shy buyers includes the setting up of limited liability companies to shield their identity-which this buyer employed.  The red brick house is 25 feet wide and contains 6,650 square feet of indoor space-a hefty price. Sarah Jessica Parker’s former townhouse was similarly sold for $15.9 million at 20 East 10th Street.  This was a significant reduction from the purchase price of $18.3 million in 2015 and the recent asking price of the same.  The new owners are Londoners Scott Sullivan and Anna Marrs.  However, 220 Central Park South remains the hottest commodity around as another $40 million condo sale took place at a four bedroom tenth floor unit in the building.

-American Dream Mall, the $5 billion 3.3 million square feet project in East Rutherford New Jersey, began reopening on October 1st.  The pandemic hit last March right when the magnificent edifice was making its debut-forcing it to imminently close.  Triple Five, owned by the Persian Jewish family, the Ghermezians, bet heavily on this ambitious project which pre-pandemic had estimated 40 million visitors a year.  Having been given an exclusive tour of the ski and snowboarding slopes as well as the Nickelodeon theme park the venue is nothing short of spectacular.  Due to the pandemic, only 90 of the malls retail and food tenants are now open-short of the expected 200.  There is also a $27 billion debt payment due next month which the Ghermezians are negotiating with lenders.  When the vaccine is widely distributed this mall will be a destination spot for those who can’t afford $20,000 trips to Aspen or Disney World. With parking free, and a ski slope access ticket only $35 for two hours, this twenty minute ride from Manhattan is an attractive alternative for the masses.

Logan Paul at American Dream Mall (photo Lieba Nesis)

-Donald Trump just revealed the inimitable Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus.  The 76-year-old lawyer and former NYC mayor has been admitted to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.  He gave a Sunday evening Twitter update saying he was “recovering quickly and keeping up with everything.”  After averting a positive diagnosis despite exposure to both the President and Rudy’s son Andrew, who both had corona, Rudy finally contracted the virus. Giuliani has been on a tireless crusade to expose election fraud in the current presidential election.  We wish him a speedy recovery!

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