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03.09.2004
Eavesdrop
The latest dirt from our very own gossip columnist, Aric Chen.

$425/NIGHT, BATHROOM INCLUDED
Warning: sensitive readers should stop reading here. The new Hotel Gansevoort is set to open next month. But those not amused by the way this Hummer-like metal box has parked itself in the Meatpacking District may be happy to know that revenge has already been exacted—and it comes courtesy of the very workers who’ve built the structure. Indeed, our visit last month to the still-under-construction site left us holding our noses and thinking fresh thoughts after we landed on one unfinished floor—where rooms will go for between $325 and $425 a night—that reeked like a litter box. With feral cats nowhere to be found, there was only one plausible conclusion. “I think the workers have just been ‘going’ wherever they feel like it,” a source close to the project admits. In fact, we’ve also learned that a Condé Nast Traveler editor had earlier visited the hotel’s penthouse on a scouting mission, only to walk in on a construction worker (apparently one of the more conscientious ones) fulfilling his natural duties with the help of a bottle.

ZAHA AND VITO: DESIGNS ON LONDON
She won't be coming to New York to head Columbia's architecture school, but Zaha Hadid may finally have her first significant project in her hometown of London. We're told that the architect is currently in talks with New York art dealer Kenny Schachter--who two years ago opened his Vito Acconci-designed conTEMPorary gallery in the West Village--to design a 15,000-square-foot gallery, bar, and apartment complex on east London's artsy Hoxton Square. In the meantime, Acconci will be getting some action of his own. He's working on furniture, possibly for eventual production, for an interim Hoxton Square gallery space that Schachter is hoping to open some time this year.

A MATERIAL CONNECTION?
All those retro resins, funky foams, and other materials-of-the-moment that make up the Material Connexion library are definitely up for sale. But it sounds like rumors that the buyer could be McGraw-Hill--the publishing giant that puts out Sweets, Architectural Record, Engineering News Record, and other building-related titles--aren't true. "I know it's a good match and the most exciting opportunity," says George Beylerian the hoping-to-retire founder of the Flatiron district materials resource that designers have been flocking to since 1997. "I did make an attempt to contact someone there, but since it didn't work, I'm pursuing [a possible sale] with other people."

Aric Chen