Charlotte Ronson Redux, LES Crime Call

There were more photographers than actual humans in attendance at the launch party for Charlotte Ronson’s beauty line at Hotel Chantelle. In between posing at the step-and-repeat, guests dined on rigatoni bolognese and other treats and retold their Hurricane Irene experiences. In fact, save for Irene and sister Samantha who couldn’t get there because of the storm, all Charlotte’s girl pals were there to support. Drea de Matteo, Shoshanna Gruss, Dani Stahl, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Becka Diamond, and mom Ann Dexter-Jones made the scene. The retractable roof remained open, and the cooperating weather was all the rage.

We left and caught that Paul Rudd movie, which surprisingly wasn’t bad, and returned for the afterparty in the downstairs lounge. A good time was had by all. Talk of how exhausted everyone was with all the hurricane drama and how lucky we all were that the event could actually occur. Everybody, especially Vanity Fair’s George Wayne (surrounded as usual with a bevy of beauties), were just happy to be there to support Charlotte’s new adventure.

I received the following late last night — names have been deleted to protect the presumably innocent:

On friday night, Saturday morning, around 3 AM – 2 men ate a meal at El Sombrero – the popular Dominican restaurant with Mexican style home cooking located at 108 Stanton @ the corner of Ludlow and Stanton. After eating the 2 men left without paying their bill – a game called dine and dash. One of the cooks, Adolfo Batista, and a friend chased the men and caught up to them in front of 110 Stanton, across the street from the open San Loco. The thieves got away and Mr. Batista ended up getting serious beating. He was taken to the hospital and later released.

The block between Houston and Stanton is heavily patrolled. A patrol car parked at the corner of Houston stops all traffic from entering Ludlow. The police put 2 powerful kleg lights just north of Max Fish which lights up the block like a Hollywood set. It is not unusual to see the 7th precinct Captain himself sitting in a car on the block The Captain seems fixated on closing Max Fish. No arrests were made. The thieves got away.

Stabbing-murder arrest – Police arrested Charles Meredith, 46, on Fri., May 13, and charged him with the May 11 stabbing death of Stewart Rhodes, 50, in Stanton House, the treatment center at 190 Stanton St. An argument between the suspect and the victim turned violent at about 3:20 a.m. when the suspect pulled a kitchen knife and plunged it several times into the victim’s torso, police said. Rhodes was taken to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The suspect fled but police found a discarded kitchen knife at the scene. Meredith, a Brooklyn resident, was said to be a recent patient at the center and a roommate of the victim. He is being held on a charge of second-degree murder.

Held in girlfriend’s murder – Police arrested Miguel Peña, 58, on Tuesday night, June 28, and charged him with murder after the body of his girlfriend, Felicia Cruz, 49, a home health aide and mother of two sons, was found wrapped in a plastic sheet inside his Stanton St. apartment.

Police were called about 1:30 p.m. after the victim did not show up for work, and discovered her body in Peña’s apartment at 101 Stanton St. at Ludlow St. Her younger son, Eric, 14, had been looking for her because she hadn’t been seen since Monday, according to friends.

The victim had been dating Peña, a neighborhood ice cream vendor, for about five months, according to neighbors. The suspect was said to be extremely jealous and had been trying to convince her to move with him to Florida, neighbors said. Nevertheless, Cruz had been planning to leave him because of his jealousy, relatives said. Peña was being held without bail.

And so on.

I called the sender and asked him how these random ravings fit together. He explained that real crime is happening all over the neighborhood while the police seem fixated on closing Max Fish and other area hotspots. He referred to an article I wrote regarding this action. Although I agree that the real crimes mentioned should have precedence over the policing of the bars on the Lower East Side strip, I must say that the hood has been out of control for a while, and I welcome fair enforcement of common-sense noise regulations.

For too long, bars have had doors and windows wide open with music blaring and patrons literally screaming, getting sick, and breaking glassware and beer bottles with no response from city officials or recourse from residents. I have been told in the past that when someone called the precinct to complain, little or nothing had been done. One resident told me that when the Environmental Protection Agency agents did show up, on occasion, noise levels coincidentally were muted — implying a tipoff.

Police Captain David Miller, newly in charge of the area, seems so far to be dealing with this situation even-handedly, balancing the needs of those who live there with recognition of the vibrancy of the hood and the jobs and revenues generated by the night economy. Many are nervous that a sweeping police enforcement will eventually change the landscape and make the LES a bedroom community devoid of its historic and essential culture. If the policing is done because of impending new construction with the enforcement spurred by real-estate interests who are developing a nearby hotel and lots of etceteras, then scandal is indeed the word for it.

Sophomore Aces Another Video Lookbook with ‘Truth or Dare’

We’ve been fans of NYC clothing label Sophomore for quite some time. And while we definitely fawn over the designs by Chrissie Miller and Madeleine von Froomer, we’re also pretty obsessed with their documentary-style video lookbooks, shot by photographer Cass Bird each season. The latest film to roll out is for their SS11 collection, and we’re loving the concept. This is Truth or Dare.

Shot at the Bowery Hotel, the film reads like a who’s-who of downtown cool, featuring actress-designer extraordinaire Chloë Sevigny, author Lesley Arfin, actress Drea de Matteo, agent/style icon Jen Brill, and tattoo artist Scott Campbell, among others. While we’re not sure if they all really do hang out and dare one another to do things like chop onions until they cry (Brill’s dare) or kiss Chloë Sevigny (Arfin’s dare), but it’s fun to watch. Although Truth or Dare is inspired by Madonna’s doc that followed her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990, it’s definitely not as racy. But the point here is to sell clothes—and they do it well.

In addition to Sophomore’s designs, the stars can also be seen sporting shoes by Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, and jewelry by Anne Sheffield and another BlackBook regular, Pamela Love. See the video below and shop here.

Sophomore Truth or Dare from SophomoreNYC on Vimeo.

Links: Courtney Love + Johnny Depp, Bijou Philips vs. Mackenzie Philips

● Kristin Cavallari is the new star of The Hills, and she didn’t come cheap. KC is paid $100K an episode for being herself, just like Audrina, Lo, and Heidi. Thankfully they get Spencer at a discount, as he only gets $65K an ep. [JustJared] ● With one sister pregnant and another just married, what’s Kim Kardashian to do to get some attention? Getting back with ex Reggie Bush is a good start. [People] ● Courtney Love has had quite a few brushes with death; in one particular incident she was saved by none other than Johnny Depp, who gave her CPR. Laments Love, “Motherfucker, I never had myself any JD except CPR.” [DigitalSpy]

● Bijou Phillips speaks out against her sister Mackenzie’s book in a series of Twitter updates, calling the book “disgusting” and saying that Mackenzie’s revelation “ruined [her] life and [her] relationship with [her] father.” [Twitter] ● After stints in Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, Slash is going out on his own. He will be the “house band,” for the Mirage, and he’s bringing his celeb-musician friends like Joe Perry, Courtney Love, and Nicole Scherzinger with him. [Blabbermouth] ● Drea de Matteo doesn’t want to brag about her daughter Alabama, but de Matteo believes she “might have made the most important human being alive.” [CelebBabyScoop]

Links: ‘Iron Man’ On-Set Heroics, Billy Mays Marathon

● A week after making their debut in the world, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are showing off new additions Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick and Tabitha Hodge Broderick. [FadedYouth] ● Robert Downey Jr. is not only a hero on screen but in real life as well after saving an extra on Iron Man II from getting crushed by a robot. [BreakingNews] ● Rabid fans of Leonardo DiCaprio stole his shoes as a memento after he declined a photo with them. [I’mNotObsessed]

● Stabler and Benson will live another season or two to solve the most heinous crimes on Law and Order; Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay have worked out a compromise in their tense contract negotiations. [EW] ● Drea de Matteo will be the latest addition to Desperate Housewives. Next season she’ll be playing an Edie-like character. [E!] ● The Discovery Channel is honoring the passing of Billy Mays by running a marathon of his show Pitchmen. [Zap2It]