Raffaello Follieri always looked the part of the Italian aristocrat. Impeccably dressed and permanently tanned—like a more attractive version of Zach Braff—he arrived in New York as a dashing young business tycoon with inside connections to the Vatican and a plan to use those connections to make millions. In short order he landed stunning actress Anne Hathaway as a girlfriend and drew attention from some of the most powerful financial figures in America. His father was Pasquale Follieri, an Italian businessman and his son's partner in the Follieri Group, an shady concern that promised investors big returns from real estate dealings with the Catholic Church. But that's not all that Pasquale was; just two years after he helped establish his son in New York, he would be a convicted financial criminal, in an eerie foreshadowing of Raffaello's own fate:
Whenever you think you've truly gained access to an exclusive club of some sort-particularly in New York-think again, fool. There is always another inner sanctum far too exclusive to admit the likes of you. That was a great piece of wisdom passed down by Graydon Carter long ago, and confirmed in former Gawker-er Josh Stein's new article in Page Six Magazine, which takes a peek "Beyond the Velvet Rope" at the hottest spots in the hottest city where the hottest people go. And you want to know the even bigger secret? The most exclusive places in the city are just as boring as everywhere else you've ever been:
"I'm going to try to never write about you," I whispered to the boy whose shoulder my head was on two nights ago. Oops. Emily Gould has made a writing career of her personal life and built a personal life around her writing career, exposing her relationships on a personal site and on Gawker when she was a writer on this site. Now, in a cover story for this coming weekend's New York Times Magazine, she does an accounting. "What I gained-and lost-by revealing my intimate life on the web," goes the cover line-over a sultry photograph of the author sprawled across a bed, a laptop power cord suggestively looping towards her tattooed arm.
As you know, Julia Allison, the Time Out dating columnist, is providing free advice at the Dunkin' Donuts Toast Tent in Herald Square. (Hurry!) For a young student-reporter she dispensed the following wisdom: "What goes around comes around! If you know, you're going to write down, say stuff about people, you... and you choose to write about your relationship publicly. You're going to get burned. I think it's in general a horrible idea. Aside from changing our Facebook status from single to attached, that is just about as far as you should go." (Click the thumb for the scratchy audio. Yes, the student-reporter was a Gawker spy.) The compulsive fameball forgot to mention that she knows the perils of self-publishing from personal experience. By blogging every turn of her relationship with College Humor's Jakob Lodwick, including a mention of his bipolar condition, Allison complains she's scared off her last three suitors. And it's Valentine's Day tomorrow. CLIP »
Despite our considerate mapmaking labors, we've received few invitations to those "A-list" events. Lucky for us, we have some fairly well-connected people around our office, so at the invitation of Gridskipper editor Josh Stein, our Friday evening was spent at the release party for Topic, a completely non-pretentious publication at the completely non-sceney locale of The Beatrice Inn. In case you missed the memo, Topic magazine is