Kim Kardashian: "I Love Being 30 and Single!"

She's 'empowered'; Dan Choi's having fun; Joan Collins is showing slides

Also dolled up was Laverne Cox from VH1's Transform Me, who brought up the controversy over the word "tranny." "There are words I won't use if they offend people," Laverne told me. "At the same time, as a creative person, it's whatever!"

And speaking of terminology, does ex–JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater—honored in the mag as a "working-class hero"—feel he's heroic? "No," Slater told me. "Sully Sullenberger is a hero. But if I got a laugh out of people, I'm happy. I gave people a moment of laughter." And in exchange, he got those two beers he grabbed on the way out of the flight. "Actually, I took the whole liquor kit," Slater joked. "I had 77 miniatures. No, seriously, I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm in a much better place now."

As I pulled the escape latch to find my own place, I ran into Choi again, chatting up a handsome brunette and telling me, "This guy went to a bathhouse and didn't invite me!" Another nasty practitioner of DADT.

The gays kept coming the next day when I got a sneak peak at Bob Pontarelli and Stephen Heighton's Industry Bar, which is inviting people to inspire, shape, and change Hell's Kitchen starting December 2. The duo are following their Chelsea successes Barracuda and Elmo restaurant with this sleekly all-purpose West 52nd Street boîte, which has a stage, a lounge, a pool table area, and an overflow room, all designed using "architectural reclamation" (i.e., really good old shit).

"It's a series of different environments," said Pontarelli, "each with an entrance and exit. You're always drawn to a different spot by a boy or something that catches your eye." But no Barracuda performers or staffers will be there to distract your line of vision; Industry Bar will have its own cast of characters, so as not to confuse the gays.

On Broadway, a cast of five wackos populates Elling, a sort of Norwegian Waiting for Godot by way of a Judd Apatow film, which, like everything else this season, is completely love/hate. An even loopier absurdist comedy had a publicist enthusiastically pitching Brendan Fraser to me for an interview, then dropping it and ceasing communication. These flacks have their heads so far up their asses they can't even see the light of the Great White Way. But at least I can tell them what jewelry to wear up there.

musto@villagevoice.com

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