Beach Body Type: Cool new books and hot beachwear for a smart summer

UPPER EAST Side women are like baboons who display power by threatening to ram younger rivals on the sidewalk, conspicuously bidding $20,000 at school auctions for finger paintings and jealously treating nursery school admissions like “a shrinking waterhole in the Serengeti.” Juicy, sexy, bawdy stuff — the makings of the perfect summer beach book. That anthropological takedown of Manhattan women of a certain age (and wealth) makes “Primates of Park Avenue” a front-runner for the tasty tome that we’ll all be devouring when the weather warms. Better still? The title isn’t merely a metaphor. “Primates of Park Avenue” was written by noted primatologist and “Stepmonster” author Wednesday Martin. When Martin found herself living amongst these savage beasts of the concrete jungle, her scientific method kicked in — she studies her subjects as she would chimps in the wild. Because really, is the sight of two Park Avenue trophy wives fighting over a Hermes bag that different from two angry gorillas in the mist? Does the status of being top dog — married to the wealthiest man on the planet — lessen the anxieties of life? It wouldn’t for an ape, so why would it for a human? But these New York primates have different ways of reducing stress. “They love weed. And alcohol,” Martin tells The Daily News. “I was surprised by the high levels of drugs for anxiety that they are taking.” Martin’s dishy novel — which will be released June 2 and is being marketed by Simon & Schuster as an “anthropological memoir” — is only one early favorite for “Book of the Summer.” Here are the front-runners in all the major categories: Fiction “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee (July 14, Harper). Lee submitted this book to her Continue Reading

Jennifer Lopez spotted kissing ex-boyfriend Casper Smart

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart seem to be back on track. The 45-year-old actress was spotted kissing her ex-boy toy in West Hollywood Wednesday after he picked her up from a taping of "American Idol." Lopez and the 27-year-old Smart looked cozy as ever despite their split last June after two and half years together. This isn't the first time Lopez has been seen out and about with her former beau, but the mom of two has insisted over the last year that she's living the single life. While their cute lip-lock says otherwise, the exes have yet to announce that they have formally reconciled. Rumors rocked their relationship last summer just ahead of their breakup when reports surfaced that Smart was allegedly exchanging private messages with a transgendered woman he met through Instagram. "We got a lot of ties. We're very close," Smart told E! News at the premiere of Lopez’s film “Home” earlier this week ahead of their photographed smooch. "We're friends. We're very good friends," he insisted. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Stephen Colbert makes a smart move by hiring Jon Batiste as the ‘Late Show’ bandleader

It’s music to our ears. Stephen Colbert’s new bandleader, jazz great Jon Batiste, is a huge get for CBS. The 28-year-old pianist has collaborated with stars from Prince to Wynton Marsalis to Harry Connick Jr. to Lenny Kravitz. He was born into the New Orleans jazz family featured on the HBO series “Treme,” and moved to New York to study at Juilliard for his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Backed by his band Stay Human, Batiste’s most recent album, “Social Music,” hit No. 1 on Billboard's Jazz Album chart. And in 2012, Batiste was named artistic director at large for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He succeeds Paul Shaffer, who served as David Letterman’s bandleader for more than 30 years. The selection for “Late Show” came three months before the revamped late-night staple takes to the air. And the announcement was just part of a flurry of activity two weeks after David Letterman hung up his mic for good. Colbert has been almost completely incognito since his Comedy Central show wrapped up last February. Now he’s leaping into the late-night wars, guns blazing and eagles screaming. His moves have included launching several social media accounts, including one on Twitter that drew about 3,000 new followers per hour. He also launched a podcast. Beyond that there was the video in which he shaves off the long grey beard he grew since leaving Comedy Central. Yes, Colbert’s arrival date for the “Late Show” has been known for many months. But it’s exciting to see his tenure actually beginning. After all these years, it’s nice to think of having a full roster of fresh faces at 11:35 p.m. *** “The View” suffered another setback Thursday when a key member of of the show quit. Director Ashley S. Gorman will remain employed with producers at Disney, but he’s moving to Los Angeles, where Continue Reading

Stephanie Mills, Broadway’s original Dorothy in ‘The Wiz,’ cast as Aunt Em in the live NBC TV special

We never knew luck like this before. Stephanie Mills, 58, Broadway’s original Dorothy in “The Wiz,” will play Aunt Em in NBC’s live TV musical special in December. The casting announcement, the first for the show — and a smart one — was made by NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. The exec added that there’ll be a talent search for the actress who’ll star as Dorothy. “The Wiz” will air on December 3. There are plans to bring the show, a soulful take on “The Wizard of Oz” that premiered in 1975 and immortalized the songs “Home,” “Ease on Down the Road” and “No Bad News,” to Broadway in the 2016-17 season. Continue Reading

Bill’s street smarts: From Boulevard of Death to Queens Boulevard 2.0

The Daily News dubbed the 16 lanes of relentless traffic bisecting Queens the Boulevard of Death. Now Mayor de Blasio wants to make Queens Blvd. a showpiece of his Vision Zero agenda to curb traffic fatalities. Bring on Queens Blvd. 2.0. On the blueprint: Wider crosswalks. More generous medians to encourage pedestrians to pause mid-cross rather than try to beat a flashing don’t-walk light. Bike lanes that are safely buffered from motor traffic. Bike lanes on Queens Blvd.! Even cycling maven Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan didn’t dare. Queens Blvd. has come a long way since 1993, when 17 pedestrians lost their lives in a single year. After The News documented the grim tally of 55 more fatalities in the seven years following, the Giuliani administration installed fencing, extended sidewalks and tweaked traffic lights. The death toll fell to 14 pedestrians in the past six years — better but still not good enough. Let’s hope that the $100-million plan unveiled by de Blasio and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg does accomplish the vision of zero. Continue Reading

Homeless woman allegedly takes children, ages 3 and 5, from Florida park to teach them how to steal, ‘live on the street’

A street-smart homeless woman made a downright dumb move. The Florida woman was charged with kidnapping after she allegedly tried to teach two children how to steal and "live on the street." Crystal Kinder, 32, took the kids, ages 3 and 5, from a Lakeland park to a motel that doubles as a halfway house a half mile away on Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO "LIKE." "She lured them," Kemesha Moultrie, the mother of the oldest girl, told Bay News 9. "She offered my baby some juice," Moultrie added. "She offered them McDonald's and by them being kids they said yes." Kinder saw the unsupervised cousins at Parker Street Park and wanted to teach them a life lesson, police said. Relative Keith Campbell tracked the kids down and called police. "I said, 'You must be crazy, you're insane if you think you can just take people's kids from the park and take them for a walk,' " Campbell told Bay News 9. Kinder told cops she wanted to show the youngsters how to "live on the street." Now Kinder has a new home; she is being held at Polk County Jail on $30,000 bond. Follow on Twitter @jmolinet Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Escape from New Yorkers is not a smart idea for Bill de Blasio

Chastened by criticism that he had spent more time visiting faraway states than he had on Staten Island, Mayor de Blasio ventured on Thursday to the pretty, forgotten borough where had earlier dropped a groundhog. There, the mayor was confronted after a press conference by 49-year-old Chris Altieri, who was not shy about expressing his displeasure with a speed camera as well as with property taxes. This was doubly news because, unlike past mayors, de Blasio has studiously avoided publicly interacting with his constituents. Ed Koch famously joined the walking crowds on the Brooklyn Bridge during a subway strike and took questions with his cabinet at some 15 town hall-style meetings per year around the city. Rudy Giuliani appeared at similar forums roughly once a month and hosted a radio show in which he heard directly from constituents (remember ferret man?). The supposedly removed Michael Bloomberg took questions from citizens at live open forums, as well as on his own weekly radio call-ins. But de Blasio, who says he meets folks all the time, seems phobic to the healthy give-and-take in full view. Call it the unjustified fear of frying. Get over it, mayor. You held your own against Altieri, right? “You want the revenue,” Altieri barked, suggesting that a speed camera was illegally placed not to protect lives but to fill the city’s coffers. “Can you really look me in the eye and say we don’t want to save people’s lives,” de Blasio responded, defending a central tactic in his Vision Zero quest to reduce traffic fatalities. No, the mayor didn’t come close to matching the pugnacious eloquence of his hero Fiorello LaGuardia, but for de Blasio it was a start. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

‘Smart’ bikini tells you when to reapply more sunscreen

The newest "smart" object is hitting the beach in time for the northern hemisphere's summer: a bikini that says when it's time to apply more sunscreen. The made-to-measure invention comes from France — the country that invented the bikini — but with a price tag that might make even the well-tanned beach amazon blanch: $167. For that price, though, the wearer will get a two-piece swimsuit with a small detachable ultraviolet sensor that, through a smartphone or tablet, sends a "sunscreen alert" when the user's skin needs more protective cream. The detector is calibrated to the wearer's skin type and how much of a tan she wants to get. And there's even a "Valentine" function that sends the message to a boyfriend's smartphone so he knows when to apply the cream to his girlfriend's skin. "The idea came to me right away, on a day when I saw someone get sunburnt on a beach," the Frenchwoman behind the smart bikinis, Marie Spinali, told AFP. 'Not a gimmick' She started her company, Spinali Design, last month in the eastern French town of Mulhouse where she lives, and sells the bikinis through her website. "There are flowerpots that give an alert when plants need watering, so I thought it was time to invent something to warn when the sun is too strong," she said. "It's not a gimmick," she added, explaining that often when people think to add more sunscreen, it's too late and they already have sunburn. Doctor Claudine Blanchet-Bardon of France's National Association of Dermatologists said the device was "interesting, because anything that warns people against UV exposure is good." But she qualified that by saying that having the sensor attached to a bikini "doesn't send the right message — the best protection against the sun is to not get too much exposure and to stay covered with clothes." French journalist Thomas Remilleret of, commented Continue Reading

A PAD WITH THE ‘X FACTOR’: Now you can live like Simon Cowell for just $11M

This apartment sure has the 'X Factor.' A four-bedroom pad at the same tony Park Ave. building where music mogul Simon Cowell's been playing house with his baby mama Lauren Silverman has come on the market for $10.96 million, the Daily News has learned. The property, at 1055 Park Ave., which is listed by Albert Benalloul and David Benmen of up and coming brokerage RLTY NYC, has direct elevator access, dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, views all the way up Park Ave., a smart home technology system and a fitness center. Silverman moved into the plush building in 2013 when she was pregnant with the couple's first son Eric - much to the chagrin of fellow residents, who worried about paparazzi being stationed outside the luxe building, which has just five units. Her asking rent? A cool $26,000 a month, according to reports. But residents needn't worry. The couple has reportedly inked an $11 million deal for a new home on nearby E. 78th St., which is still under construction. Better move quickly if you want to be their short-term neighbor. Continue Reading

MLB would be ‘smart’ to uphold Pete Rose ban, says ex-commissioner Fay Vincent

When Pete Rose does eventually meet with Rob Manfred to discuss lifting the all-time hit king’s permanent ban, the current baseball commissioner would be “smart” to maintain the status quo on Charlie Hustle’s situation, according to Fay Vincent, one of Manfred’s predecessors. “I keep saying that this baseball issue has nothing to do with Pete Rose. It has to do with whether baseball wants to keep a deterrent in place,” Vincent told the Daily News Monday. “Rose is one of the few who made a mistake of gambling on the game, and there is no reason to change that deterrent. I think it is very unlikely Manfred will lift the ban. If baseball is smart, it will leave everything the way it is.” Everything with Rose has been the same since Aug. 24, 1989 when then MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti placed Rose on the permanent ineligible list for betting on baseball games, including ones involving Cincinnati, which Rose was managing at the time. Vincent was the deputy commissioner under Giamatti, then succeeded Giamatti following his death only weeks after the decision on Rose. But while Vincent and Bud Selig ignored Rose’s requests for a hearing to address the lifetime ban, Manfred said earlier this year that he had received a formal appeal from Rose, and that he was “prepared to deal with that request on its merits.” A source close to Rose said that a date has not been finalized for the meeting between Manfred and the three-time World Series champ and former NL MVP. Rose, 74, just signed a deal to be a Fox Sports baseball studio analyst this season, and he is expected to work 25 games. The sanctions of his lifetime ban include Rose not being permitted in credentialed areas of major league stadiums, and he will work in Fox’s Los Angeles studios. Rose makes a living signing autographs at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. “I don’t think the Fox deal affects how Manfred Continue Reading