Biel and Timberlake Share Pork Tacos; Sam Donaldson's Ranch Is In Flames

Plus: the New York Times has settled on a new architecture critic

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today:A celebrity couple is quietly reconciling and eating tacos, Damien Hirst teams up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sam Donaldson's ranch is in danger.

  • Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake have been "quietly seeing each other" since they broke up in March. One such instance of quiet seeing (and eating) took place July 3, when "the couple shared pork tacos at the Black Hoof restaurant in Toronto." [US]
  • The wildfires sweeping across the American West have claimed Sam Donaldson's cattle and sheep ranch in New Mexico. All told, the ABC newsman has lost 21,000 acres. The ranch has a checkered history. In 2004, "there was a sensational multiple murder on the property involving one of his ranchhands" and Donaldson's been "criticized for using the feds to combat predators on his ranch and receiving mohair subsidies." [The Reliable Source]
  • Washington Post heiress and former Newsweek senior editor Lally Weymouth's Fourth of July bash in Southampton had an interesting mix of boldfaced names from Washington, Hollywood, and Wall Street. "Revelers included Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Chuck Schumer...George Pataki, billionaires Wilbur Ross and Leon Black, director Joel Schumacher, and financiers Alan Patricof, Stan Shuman and Jeffrey Leeds, showing off new girlfriend Elizabeth Marshall." Also in attendance: Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, who seemed "cool as a cucumber" despite the collapsing DSK prosecution. [Page Six]
  • The New York Times stayed in-house with the hiring of Michael Kimmelman as the paper's new architecture critic. Kimmelman, the paper's Berlin-based chief art critic and author of the "Abroad" column, was mentioned in that betting guide we put together a few weeks ago about possible successors to the departing Nicolai Oroussoff. At the time, we listed his ex-pat status as a reason he might not want the judge, but Times culture editor Jonathan Landman apparently convinced him to return to the States. According to Landman's internal memo, Kimmelman "will apparently continue his 'Abroad' column, and receive not Ouroussoff’s title of 'Architecture Critic,' but rather, 'Senior Critic.'" [UnBeige and the Chicago Tribune]
  • "Golden couple" James and Whitney Fairchild are splitting up after 17 years of marriage. They tied the knot back in 1994 "while they were working as designers at Ralph Lauren." When the couple got married, the New York Times wedding announcement enthused that "the entire scene looked like a Monet painting"--on account of everyone being well-dressed, not because they looked like elaborate series of dots and patches. [Page Six]
  • Artist Damien Hirst is taking time off from jewel-encrusted skulls to design the cover of the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, due out August 30. Tell us what you think. [Vulture]

  • Will Smith and Steven Spielberg have tried to remake "hammer-wielding, octopus-bothering South Korean revenge epic" Oldboy with little success. Now it's Spike Lee's turn. The 25th Hour director is "currently in talks with Mandate Pictures, who are attempting once again to put a package together. The script remains the one Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) wrote for the old regime, with Roy Lee and Doug Davidson producing." [Empire]
  • Manager Guy Oseary only tweeted the news Monday that Madonna is back in the studio recording her 18th album, but already problems seem to be cropping up. That's according to "source and staff member Superpop," who tells fan blog Madonna Queen that the singer has already nixed her label's request that she bring on Lady Gaga producer RedOne to help mix some demo tracks. [Queen Madonna]
  • HBO is developing Carl Hiaasen's 2004 South Florida crime caper Skinny Dip for a possible series. [Vulture]
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