Fugees Producer John Forte On Performing at Tonight’s Gala and Serving Time

Tonight, The Fortune Society will throw a gala at the Trump Soho. One of the performers will be John Forte, known for his production of the Fugees and a fall from grace that ended with a 14-year prison sentence. He served seven years until George W. Bush, on his last day in office, commuted his sentence. John served time in Fort Dix Federal Correctional Facility, a sad place. I spent time in Schuylkill, another sad place. I made the most of it and came out a better person. I used my time to learn to write (a little), design a little, and prepare myself for a productive life. If not for friends, family, and business partners who believed in me, my return to society would not have been as easy. It wasn’t easy and life as you know it isn’t available to me. The simple things – like opening a bank account or renting an apartment – became huge obstacles to normalcy. There is the sentence you get from the judge and then there is the sentence society continually exacts beyond the time and fines. A person without a support system can find help with The Fortune Society.

Before his arrest and conviction, John Forte was VIP at my joint LIFE and every place everywhere. He was a brilliant success and a great guy with a zillion-dollar smile. I haven’t seen him since we both took our hits. Here’s an e-mail chat with John.

I haven’t seen you in a while, since we last hung out which, I believe, was at Life. We both have spent some time inside. This experience has had a profound effect on both of us. We have some talents and support systems and are now doing our thing but, for most, they reenter society without much help or chance to prosper. Tell me about your reentry and your dedication to changing a very flawed system.
I felt like the invisible man when I came home (in a post 9/11 era, no less!).  Walking into a building in New York City without identification and having to explain to the security guards that I’d just returned from prison and was going through the process of getting a driver’s license, passport, etc. was demoralizing and a bit humiliating.  But I had/have, as you mentioned, an incredible support system of friends and family who refused to let me get down on myself when I felt alienated and unsure of my footing in the world after being gone for more than seven years. My sentence was commuted – not pardoned, as it is widely reported. I was also fortunate enough to have a probation officer who was thorough, albeit supportive. In prison, I witnessed egregious abuses of power. I have heard about similar abuses of power within the probation system after convicted felons reenter society.  I was truly blessed not to have suffered from that. 

As a public figure, I knew I didn’t have the luxury of pretending that what happened did not. Instead of telling people (young people, in particular) how they should live their lives, I felt duty-bound to tell my story. Perhaps by conveying the mistakes I made that led me to receiving a 14-year prison term, the audience might think twice before they do anything that would risk their freedom. I was and remain determined to produce qualitative and substantive art that encourages the listeners to question everything, to speak truth to power, and to take nothing for granted.

None of us are perfect and neither are our systems – our criminal justice system included. There is a great deal of work that needs to happen in order to make our criminal justice system fairer and less discriminatory. The task can seem daunting, but that is no excuse not to try to make a difference. Every little dent makes an impact. While some dents might be larger than others, they all contribute to a reformation of the initial structure; therein lies the art and the beauty of collective dissidence.

Tonight’s The Fortune Society event has you performing. Tell me about what they do that gets you inspired to be involved.
The Fortune Society stands on the platform of second chances. Who among us has the right to say that a person cannot change? The Fortune Society’s message exists within my core. Through my ownership of responsibility and my acknowledgment of the poor choices I made, I was able to reassess who and what was important to me. It was a dialectical process that allowed me to redefine the meaning of personal success. Stopgap measures, like giving a person a glass of water when he or she is thirsty,is transient. The more sustainable model of activism and philanthropy empowers the recipient to find a water source of their own.

From Fugees producer to Fort Dix, how did you deal mentally with potentially a 14-year bid? How did you adjust to the elation of early release? I know when I was leaving my prison it was hard to not be sad for those left behind.
Everything changed the day I was convicted. The sentence was secondary. I was a first-time, non-violent drug offender. I had the blessings of a great family, supportive friends, a tremendous education, and a successful career. My arrogance and sense of entitlement deceived me into believing that I was above reproach. I accepted the fact that my conviction would always be a part of my history, but I would not let it define me. I spent the first few years away studying the law. 

One of my mentors inside gave me a jewel: "No one knows your case as well as you do. No one will fight harder for you than you can fight for yourself."  I spent hours in the law library and sent my research to my appellate attorneys. Of the three appeals, however, we lost them all. I used my time away to learn and to grow. I returned to school (I was accepted to an undergraduates program studying politics and international relations at the London School of Economics) and I also facilitated a weekly discussion group in critical thinking. I taught myself to play the guitar, and then I taught other inmates how to play, as well.  My situation notwithstanding, I did not want to lose my sense of dignity.

When I found out that my sentence was commuted it was one of the happiest days of my life. The news spread like wildfire throughout the prison. I was elated but I was also nervous. I knew the world changed (I read about it every day in newspapers and magazines). I didn’t know what to expect. I was also saddened to leave the friends I made – some of them grew as close to me as brothers. When I expressed this sentiment, the responses were practically the same, "Get out there and make us proud!"   

  

How did the bid affect your music?
I didn’t engage in music or think about it for the first few years. I was focused on fighting my case. I reconnected with music when I learned how to play the guitar; that was one of the most liberating experiences of my prison term. I learned how to accompany myself! I spent more time with my lyrics, making every word count. Without being preachy or pedantic, I wanted to reach a depth with my songs that evoked a deeper emotion… and it had to begin with an audience of one: me. 

What, besides the time, did you lose and what did you gain from your experience?
I lost the opportunity to share some of the most significant moments with friends and family while I was away – the good times and the bad. It was difficult not to attend weddings, births, and reunions. It was equally difficult not to be there when friends and family needed my support when they suffered. I gained the knowledge of how important it is to exist within the moment. For years, I lived in the past or the future and I took the moment for granted. In prison I learned that all we have is the moment, and it is up to the individual to savor every sweet second.

What are you working on now, and what is Le Castle?
Besides telling my story (in speeches or song), I have expanded my creative vision. With my friend and business partner, Christophe Charlier, I formed a multimedia production company, Le Castle. Our goal is simple: to make beautiful and substantive art (music, film, and other collaborative endeavors) that inspires people to effectuate change. We co-executive produced SXSW 2012 Audience Award Winner Brooklyn Castle. We also premiered The Russian Winter at the TriBeCa Film Festival 2012. It chronicles my 9-week, 5-city tour throughout Russia last winter. It is part tour-documentary and part bio-pic. We have new music to be released on the horizon – my own, as well as other artists I have produced.  

John Forte

Next Week’s NY Happenings: Luau At The Dutch, Charlie Bird, Month Of Clicquot

MONDAY: Dutch Treat
Andrew Carmellini’s Soho smash The Dutch will make sure you have a transporting Memorial Day, even if you never make it off the island. Go whole hog on summer’s start with a tropical luau on Monday. Ribs, wings, and tuna poke get things started, followed by suckling pig cooked in a Caja China. There will be tiki cocktails and halo-halo for dessert, too.
Memorial Day luau at The Dutch (131 Sullivan St., Soho) runs from noon to 9pm on Monday, May 27th. The lunch prix fixe is $40, family-style dinner is $65. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides. Photo by Evan Sung.

WEDNESDAY: Bird Lives 
Soho newcomer Charlie Bird takes its inspiration from Charlie Parker while getting creative on an Italian-accented menu. Chef Ryan Hardy of Aspen’s The Little Nell turns out a Greenmarket array. Robert Bohr (Colicchio & Sons) handles the stellar wine program.
Charlie Bird (5 King St., Soho) opens Wednesday, May 29th. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

SATURDAY: Sport of Kings
The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic returns to Liberty State Park, and while you may not score tickets to the match, you can partake in the citywide “Month of Clicquot.” The Four Seasons Hotel is running “Bubbles and Bites” happy hours at the bar on Fridays in May, Willow Road has a Yellow Label lunch special, and the revamped Bar d’Eau at Trump SoHo is hosting a water ballet pre-party this Saturday at 6pm.
Month of Clicquot runs through May, leading up to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Saturday, June 1st. Water ballet at Bar d’Eau (246 Spring St. Soho) is this Saturday, May 25th. To learn more about the bar, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s NY City Guides

DJ & Promoter Nima Yamini Caught In The Act & Sevilla

Kinky, bizarre, theatrical things are happening at Las Vegas’ new nightclub The Act inside the Venetian Hotel, and last night, Nima Yamini elevated the craze to a whole other level with his open-format DJ set. Tonight, April 19th, the co-founder of Avenue A Soundcheck lands in San Diego, at the Latin-Spanish nightclub Sevilla, where he’ll spice up their VIVE Fridays party with his Latin house, EDM, and hip-hop spins. And after his stint at the Pussycat Dolls Dollhouse on the 20th, Nima jets off to the east coast, where he’ll hit up Trump Soho on the 23rd and Greenhouse on the 26th. It’s the month of Nima; catch him before it ends.

Learn more about Nima, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Here’s a Sneak Peek at France’s First W Hotel

We’ve been waiting eagerly for a glimpse of W’s new property in Paris, which was announced in April of this year, and looks like it will arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s the first property in France for the company.

In advance of the February opening, Hotels Magazine got to take a look inside the property, which is located across the street from the Opéra Garnier. The 91 guestrooms were designed jointly by W’s Global Brand Design staff and the Rockwell Group Europe, led by Diego Gronda. You may remember the Rockwell Group’s work from hotels like the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and the Trump Soho, as well as the Aloft group of hotels. So you can expect a similarly young, lively vibe, housed inside the elegant 1870s-era building. The historic architectural features, like ornamental columns, fireplaces, and vaulted ceilings, are contrasted with the main design feature, the backlit digital undulating wall that wraps the central core of the building and weaves through the public and private spaces. The wall will be set at various tempos to create different moods to match the season, event, time of day, and location within the hotel.

In another high-tech addition, the hotel will have its own digital magazine called The Switch, which kicks off with an interview with fashion designer Yazbukey, and has  other insider event coverage, tips, playlists and more.

4 Out of 5: Soraya Darabi on New York

Soraya Darabi is a digital strategest and cofounder of Foodspotting. This is her take on four places she likes, and one place she doesn’t.

RECOMMENDED

Boqueria –  "A longtime fan of Boqueria in the Flatiron District, I was so pleased to see Tertulia open in the West Village this season. The Ibérico pork ribs are not to be missed!"

Dear Fieldbinder – "A best bet for vintage-inspired frocks with a German twist.  All of my coolest Brooklyn girlfriends shop here.  A signature key necklace I’ve worn every day for almost 6 years was purchased at Dear the first week I moved to the city from college."

Gramercy Park Hotel – "When it’s not a bustling ‘it’ spot, Rose Bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel makes for a mighty fine reading room.  You can find me there every Sunday afternoon, pretending it’s my own.  The art, expertly curated, changes seasonally and the fire is always roaring. Pro tip: If you’re nice to the waiters, they’ll let you order the salumi platter from Maialino and nibble it on a tray at Rose.

Trump Soho – The Trump Soho opened a killer spa last year, and I recommend their Turkish Haman baths constantly.   It’s an authentic wash and scrub down – perhaps not as pleasant as it is refreshing.  The cold jolts of water at the end are exhilarating.

NOT SO MUCH

The East River Promenade at night – The view of the boroughs bridges is gorgeous, but it can get a bit sketchy after 8. Stick to the West Side Promenade instead, starting with a tour of the High Line.

[Photo: Elk Studios]

Steal This Bathrobe: The Best Hotel Products to Swipe (& Buy)

You’re wrapped in a plush terry robe, reposing on thousand-thread-count sheets, listening to a custom-programmed iPod on the dock next to your bed, and feeling as though this is nothing more than the lifestyle you deserve. So who could blame you for wanting to take some of the accoutrements of your newfound bliss home from your luxury hotel? These are top three souvenirs we recommend you swipe.

Toiletries: These are always a safe bet, since they’re there for you to use anyway. We love the Remede toiletry kits given out by the St. Regis, the Malin + Goetz soaps used by the Morgans Hotel Group properties (including the Delano in Miami and the Mondrian in Los Angeles) and the exclusive Hermès bath products at all Sofitel locations.

Slippers: Hotels actually get a certain amount of free advertising from branded products escaping the confines of their hotel, and even the non-branded versions still provide travelers with fond memories of their trip. Our favorites come from the amenity-packed Asian hotels, including fuzzy slippers at the Mandarin Oriental’s multiple locations, and the Havianas at the InterContinental Hong Kong.

Personalized Stationery: Once a standard part of luxury hotel service, personalized stationery is a pleasant enough surprise that these days, you might be inspired enough to actually write a letter. While hotel stationery and pens are always fair game, no one can complain about something personalized going home with you, and you can find it at a surprising number of places, including the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, the Trump SoHo in New York , the Stafford London, Chicago’s Talbott, and the New World Shanghai.

That said, not all of us want to steal from our favorite hotels (who wants that on their guest profile?) and hotels have of course developed procedures to address this—many sticky-fingered guests will now find their more outrageous grift charged to their room bill. So why not shop their style the legal way? Many hip hotels have added online shops full of items that either appear on property or embody their style, like these three:

The W Store: W Hotels is happy to sell you everything from the bed you slept in to the music in the air, as well as apparel from brands like John Varvatos and Mara Hoffman. We particularly love their collection of statement jewelry and their eclectic blend of home accessories.

Shutters Beach Style: This Santa Monica hotel is one of a handful that are right on the beach, but the interiors are as striking as the views. Known for its impressive contemporary art collection which belongs to the hotel’s owners, their online store has drawings by Frank Gehry and Ellsworth Kelly, as well as stunning homewares like their signature rug and pewter table accessories.

Shop The Standard: They’re on the cutting edge of urban hotel style, so it’s no wonder that they’d have a quality online presence. The covetable goods include everything from RK Ripper fixed-gear bicycles to limited-edition art prints to the kissing puppy salt-and-pepper shakers on the table at the Standard Grill—so stealable that they’re listed for purchase right on the menu.

Two for One: Logan Lerman & Ray Stevenson of ‘The Three Musketeers’

On a sun-beaten afternoon atop the gleaming pool deck of the Trump Soho hotel in lower Manhattan, actors Logan Lerman and Ray Stevenson are reuniting for the first time since last November, when they wrapped The Three Musketeers, the 3-D rebirth of Alexandre Dumas’ standard-setting swashbuckler. Stevenson, a hulking, 47-year-old Irishman, clenches Lerman in a bear hug so tight it looks likely to cut off the slender 19-year-old actor’s air supply. Were Lerman’s smile not so bright, we’d be worried.

Over iced teas and lychee-tinis, the costars enthusiastically endorse their version of the classic tale of derring-do, which was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil franchise fame. While the balletic swordplay and acrobatic hijinks for which the book has become known still stand in the remake, it’s been updated for the video game set with elements of steampunk futurism. (Think sci-fi weaponry, battling Victorian airships, and lots of slow-motion action sequences.) Lerman (3:10 to Yuma, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) plays the young D’Artagnan, an adventure seeking peasant who arrives in Paris only to meet the titular trio (Luke Evans’ Aramis, Matthew Macfadyen’s Athos, and Stevenson’s brash and hedonistic Porthos). Together they set off on a quest to save the kingdom of France from Cardinal Richelieu, embodied deliciously by villain-for-hire Christoph Waltz.

Lerman, who aspires to be the head of a studio one day, swears that Musketeers—which also features Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich, and Orlando Bloom as villains—is a can’t-miss popcorn flick. “Bottom line: If you tell me you’re not entertained when you see this film, I’ll tell you you’re lying,” he says. Believe us when we say that no one wants to be caught by Stevenson (The Punisher: War Zone, Thor, TV’s Rome) in a lie.

Hollywood studios have been getting a lot of flack for remaking old stories instead of putting together original material. Is The Three Musketeers a story that deserves retelling? LOGAN LERMAN: I don’t think we’re rehashing the same thing. RAY STEVENSON: Plus, each generation needs its own musketeers. Nobody sets out to remake Dumas’ book word for word.

It’s a story about a boy leaving home for the first time. Ray, how old were you when you first left home? RS: I was 16 and studying in Newcastle. Then I went and did some traveling, came back, and moved to London, so I think about 19 or 20 was when I finally flew the coop. LL: I still live at home, but I spend a lot of time traveling.

Logan, doesn’t your family have a connection to Germany, where you shot this film? LL: My grandfather had to leave his home in Berlin as a child during World War II. He and his family traveled through India, and he grew up in China. He only took two books with him when he left, and one of them was The Three Musketeers. That was what made me decide to do this movie. Every week, I go to my grandfather’s house for breakfast, and he’s so excited about my being a musketeer.

Paul Anderson’s movies do well commercially, but critics seem to have fun tearing them up. Is that something you’re at all worried about? RS: Are critics our target demographic? No, they certainly aren’t. We make movies for the audience. It’s like Shakespeare said: “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” The king, in this case, is 14 years old. The Three Musketeers is never going to be Chekhov. If critics can’t step outside of their boxes and judge the film for what it is, then that’s their problem. What can you really say against it, “the buttons on the tunic weren’t properly aligned.” Bollocks!

Logan, as an aspiring filmmaker, what did you learn from working with Anderson? LL: I was lucky enough to learn about these 3-D systems hands-on, and that was my main focus. Comprehending how it works wasn’t actually as complicated as I expected it to be. RS: Logan was like a shadow on set. I’d turn around, and he’d be there, even on his days off.

Tickets to 3-D films are more expensive than tickets to regular films. Do you think people are getting ripped off? RS: When LED watches first came out, didn’t you want one? How much were they? How much are they now? The more popular 3-D films become, the less expensive they’ll eventually be to watch. LL: I don’t have a problem with 3-D, but I do have a problem with the overuse of CGI. It just looks cheesy to me. The locations aren’t digitally recreated in our film. We actually shot at these locations. image

What was most difficult about playing d’Artagnan? LL: Well, I’m not the most physical person I know. RS: Oh, come on! You’re selling yourself short. He was flying and swinging around on wires and ropes. LL: I impressed myself, that’s for sure. I was blown away. RS: Literally, by huge explosions.

You wore hair extensions, too, so there were a lot of firsts. LL: That was definitely a bitch. I tried growing my hair long, but I get a big ’fro. It turned into a mushroom. RS: Like Art Garfunkel.

What was it like having Orlando Bloom, who typically plays a hero, as the villain this time around? RS: We only saw him for a few days. We didn’t have much to do with him. LL: I had, like, one scene with him, maybe. But, you know, nice guy.

What about Christoph Waltz? LL: We were around each other a lot, but I couldn’t talk to him. I don’t know if he’s a method actor, or if he’s just really quiet. Did you get to talk to him? RS: Yeah, of course. He’s an old theater hound. LL: I think he was trying to intimidate me.

Logan, did you enjoy playing the romantic lead? LL: Romance can be awkward, but I didn’t dislike it. RS: Look at the classic example, Gigli. It should have worked, all the elements and chemistry were supposed to be there, but no—the camera doesn’t lie, mate.

Is that what ruined Gigli, the lack of chemistry between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez? RS: It was just a bad film. LL: I didn’t like it, but I’ve seen worse. It’s a glorified flop. RS: It became a punchline.

Ray, you live in Ibiza. Why? RS: Because it’s like a gypsy Island. Ibiza is like a port where you sail in on your boat, scrape the barnacles off, and take off again.

Isn’t it also where Euro-trash crowds go to listen to bad music and get wasted? RS: Most people who share that view of the island have never been. It’s got the biggest clubs in the world, sure, but you don’t have to be a part of that scene. LL: It does? I’m visiting, and I’m staying at your place!

More likely, you’d check in at a five-star resort. LL: It’s funny that there’s such an image that goes along with publicity. I’m only 19—I still have chores to do at home—but then I get shipped off to do press, and I’m put up in a nice suite, in a beautiful hotel, and doing all this shit for that image of celebrity, to sell the film.

It must feel strange that so much money is being spent on you. RS: There’s no other business on the planet where you would put $120 million into something without a 10- or 20-year business plan. LL: You can easily get stressed out and question why you deserve it, or you can embrace it, and I’ve chosen the latter.

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Photography by Alexander Wagner. Styling by Christopher Campbell.

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Hipmunk’s Hotel Heat Map

Every one has needs, and the good thing about New York City is that the majority of those needs can be met. Travelers come to town to satisfy their shopping addiction, or to eat at the best restaurants in the world. Some come to see the Statue of Liberty, and some travel to stay up all night. You want to stay close to the things you’re into, whether that’s Broadway or Burlesque, and Himunk’s Hotel Locator is an awesome tool that helps you choose the perfect hotel by showing its proximity to your needs via a heat mapping guide.

Hipmunk, created by MIT-grad Adam Goldstein and Reddit Co-founder Steve Huffman, started off as a super-simplified flight locator with great visual design. Seeking to further simplify the travel industry, they’ve recently launched this helpful Heat Map tool as a component of their hotel search. The tool maps areas of interest in a city based on needs like Vice, Nightlife, Shopping, Tourism and Food, aggregating tourist information from Wikipedia and Yelp. Here are a few of BlackBook’s top hotel picks for each of Hipmunks categories.

Vice: Factors in Bars, Casinos, and Adult Establishments Staybridge Suites Times Square: Sweet suites with real kitchens convenient for extended Javits Center duty and other midtown business obligations. Like Scores. Distrikt Hotel: Near the seedy Port Authority, where XXX video stores line the streets, and XXX entertainment fliers blow in the wind like tumbleweeds, this New York-themed boutique hotel goes name brand, with Frette linens, LG flatscreens, and Ecru soaps. Four Seasons Hotel: It’s the Four Seasons, ’nuff said? Accepts all manner of currency, and in Midtown East, can find all manners of debauchery.

Next: Hotels Near Shopping and Nightlife

Shopping Trump SoHo: Midtown master infiltrates the western fringe of Soho with lux condo-hotel living. Bryant Park Hotel: Straight up, the hottest stay in town. Cellar Bar, Fashion Week runway shows, and plush, plush rooms. Ace Hotel: Garment District hotspot with enough amenities to keep you from ever leaving.

Nightlife The Jane Hotel and Ballroom: Latest smash from Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode gets all Edwardian on the WVill. The Standard: Smack dab in the middle of the Mepa—like a glass and steel tree growing up and around the High Line. The Bowery Hotel: Sayonara to SROs on the new bobo Bowery in this boutique Bowery/Nolita playground with a hot restaurant and lounge scene.

Next: Hotels Near Food and Tourism

Food Abingdon Guest House: As close to the West Village townhouse experience one can get without buying a shih tzu and an Equinox pass. Hotel Mela: Luxe boutique newcomer aiming to be the “apple” of your eye, near The Lambs Club, and classics like Dallas BBQ Chelsea and Jimmy’s Corner. Crosby Street Hotel: La Esquina just around the corner—near Kenmare, too—this spendy Brit import lands on quaint Crosby Street.

Tourism Andaz Wall Street: Hyatt gets haute on the Financial District, otherwise known as the district that has everything on a tourist’s checklist: The Bull, Lady Liberty sightlines, the Stock Exchange (Wall Street is in the hotel’s name). The Plaza: Eloise’s Central Park home, Home Alone, Midwestern tourists, Donald Trump, rich permanent dwellers and you. Hilton Times Square: Location, location, location. If you’re truly looking to stay smack-dab in the center of New York City, the Hilton Times Square is your hotel. Steps from pretty much everything, from Broadway theaters and midtown skyscrapers to museums, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Big Surprise! New York Hotels Blacklisted Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen has begun to book hotels for his cross-country ‘Violent Torpedo of Truth’ tour, making his New York appearance on April 8th. His top choice for hospitality? Why The Plaza, of course. Sadly, after Sheen’s last less-than-quiet stay (he trashed the hotel room and locked an adult film star in a bathroom, to jog your memory) the Plaza isn’t rolling out the red carpets. Same goes for a slew of other New York hotel properties.

After Sheen racked up $7K in damages done to his Plaza suite last October, the iconic hotel has blacklisted him. According to Page Six, Sheen has also been banned from The Waldorf Astoria and the Trump Soho (actually, it may be safe to put all of the Trump properties on that list thanks to Sheen’s mom). It’s good to know that the whole world is not on crazy pills!

One source told Page Six, “Many of the big New York hotels don’t want the drama. He is now looking at renting a private residence.” But another dismissed this reason, claiming, “The real issue is finding him a hotel that allows smoking. He has to be able to smoke. And it’s hard to find a place that will accommodate him, plus his entourage that will be more than 30, including the lighting people and of course the goddesses.”

I’m filing those hotels under “Classy Establishments That Don’t Need a Media Circus to Stay Relevant.”

(Photo)