Diplomacy a Go Go


They may have embraced Big Macs, but are Russians ready for hip-hop?

David Rabin and Will Regan think so. Last weekend, the owners of New York's Rex nightclub opened Manhattan Express in Moscow. The club features laser lights, deejays and blasting music, from rap to rave.

Invited to the big opening night bash were a smattering of American beautiful people--writers, models, club owners--including L.A.'s Brad Johnson, principal partner of Georgia, that much-talked-about restaurant on Melrose.

And what were his impressions?

"It was great, a lot of fun," said Johnson, back in the states and calling from a sidewalk pay phone in New York City. "I think the young people over there are really, really hungry for anything that comes from America. But I feel so privileged to live here--they are really deprived of all the things we take for granted here, being able to go out and do the night-life scene. They have none of that going on over there.

"Do I think it's going to last? I want to say yes, because I'm hoping for Will and Dave. I'm not sure how big the elite population is in Moscow. They're going to attempt to have a doorman, the whole thing. But the jammingest place I saw there was McDonald's."

Prone to Pedaling

It sounded like some of the most agreeable news we've heard from the fitness front, particularly for those of us who don't easily succumb to sweaty endeavors. A new gizmo has been invented that is the equivalent of working out on a StairMaster machine while lying down. Could it really be that simple, we wondered? So we put in a call to Todd Person, exerciser to the incredibly rich and powerful (David Geffen, Sherry Lansing, Ron Meyer), who said he already has put his clients to work on the Crossrobics 1650 LE apparatus at his Metabolic Project Energy Center in West Los Angeles.

"This is going to be the rage, " predicted Person. "Everybody is going to be doing it," he told us, making us feel we should dial our cellular phone and get our trainer on the line right now.

But is it as easy as it sounds? Well, no.

"It's like doing continuous, alternating one-legged squats," said Person, which put us in the mood for a little nap.

Rugs to Riches

Lovers of antique Aubusson carpets--those break-the-bank tapestries so suitable for people who live in rooms that look like they belong in "The Age of Innocence"--will have a little incentive for dropping the $200,000 or so it costs to possess one. Mansour, a new Melrose Avenue store that also specializes in pricey Persian and Oriental rugs, will donate 5% of all sales to the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS throughout October.

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