Best Self-Publicist - 2009
In a city full of hustlers and hawkers, where Barnum and Trump have both ruled, it takes a lot to be king of the self-promoters. The smart play is to appear to promote something else, but make sure your name is all over it—and make it sensational. JE Englebert first came to our inbox last year, when the self-styled "club kingpin" responded to news of a discrimination suit by employees at a rival club with a public offer of new jobs for the alleged victims at his clubs. When a celebrity chef did not follow through on a promise to work in one of Englebert's restaurants, the kingpin press-released, "I will rip his head off for screwing me!" And when a New Jersey mayor dissed Staten Island's "guidos," Englebert appeared in a new guise, President of the Staten Island Good Neighborhood Association, to offer the mayor "hours in the crown island jewel of New York"—and, if he didn't accept, threats. This sort of bunkum has garnered Englebert coverage in all the big local mags and websites, though increasingly with a "oh, him again" tone. That's what makes him our winner: his willingness to self-promote past the point of public mockery.