- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2003

Bottom dollars

Reuters News Agency

Bruce Springsteen has pledged big money to save the Greenwich Village nightclub the Bottom Line from possible eviction by landlord New York University, the club’s lawyer said.

Mr. Springsteen and Viacom President Mel Karmazin have offered “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to bail out the club, lawyer Mark Alonso said. He was not sure if the money would be a loan or an investment.

The Bottom Line, a Greenwich Village fixture since 1974, has played host to some of the biggest names in music over the past three decades, including Mr. Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt.

The club owes NYU $185,000 in back rent, accumulated over three years. The university also wants a big rent increase and physical improvements to the building before agreeing to a new lease.

Even with Mr. Springsteen and Mr. Karmazin’s help and an offer from Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to pay the back rent and expand an arrangement to broadcast live music from the club, the two sides remain far apart, Mr. Alonso said.

Judge Donna Recant is expected to issue a ruling on eviction within 30 days.

Mr. Springsteen, who rocked the nightspot with a memorable week of shows in 1975, earlier this week posted some comments on the Save the Bottom Line Web site, saluting the club as “a central part of New York City culture.”

Tour de Lance

Internet Movie Database

Sandra Bullock reportedly has found love with cycling superstar Lance Armstrong. Miss Bullock is so besotted with the sportsman, who split from his wife last month, that she wants to settle down with him.

A pal says, “She is absolutely smitten. She really believes Lance could be the one. He’s successful, determined, a survivor and, let’s not forget, gorgeous.”

The romance with Mr. Armstrong, who fought off testicular cancer to win every Tour de France since 1999, puts to rest rumors of Miss Bullock’s supposed relationship with actor Matthew McConaughey.

The friend adds, “Up to now, Sandra has always gone back to Matthew, but Lance has changed all that.” An eyewitness who saw the new couple enjoying a romantic dinner together in a Manhattan diner, comments, “They were all over each other. She was rubbing his thigh, and he was massaging her shoulders. At one point they even started feeding each other.”

Cold turkey

San Francisco Chronicle

Rap star Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is struggling with the two-week sex ban he imposed on himself as part of his training for the New York Marathon.

The 33-year-old has given up sex in a bid to make sure he’s in the best shape possible for the 26.2 mile run next month — but he’s struggling to stay celibate.

He says, “Two weeks is a long time for me because I’m a very healthy Scorpio. My hormones are raging.

“I’m a young man, very passionate, very romantic.”

Art imitating art

Agence France-Presse

Two of Portugal’s top fashion designers have introduced a summer 2004 collection inspired by the gender-bending and quirky characters of the movies of Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

Male models wore mascara and garter belts that held up black socks while female models sported bright red high-heeled shoes and plunging necklines, an allusion to the transvestites and femme fatales who populate Mr. Almodovar’s 14 feature films.

Paulo Cravo and Nuno Baltazar, both in their late 20s, said they became fans of the colorful, campy style of the veteran 52 year-old Spanish director over the past two years.

“I think to like Almodovar you have to have maturity, and it was only in the last two years that we started to appreciate his work,” Mr. Baltazar said. “We wanted to create a story with various characters from all of Almodovar’s films.”

Form-fitting styles and tight spencer bodice tops evoked a matador look inspired by a key female character in Mr. Almodovar’s latest work, “Talk to Her,” which won this year’s Oscar for best original screenplay.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from wire and Web reports.

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