While even platinum musicians can't quite pay for a sandwich with a song, they certainly can exchange their musical gifts for other goods and services. Aretha Franklin used her pipes outside one uptown restaurant in a (successful) attempt to flout the law, while Lance Bass, as a birthday present for a friend, displayed his vocal talents while dining in the West Village. Yet, surprisingly, the always-gregarious Usher and the always-making-noise Kanye West somehow abstained from becoming the center of attention during their lunch together in Soho. Lots more celebrity sightings straight ahead.
Café Habana: Alexander Skarsgard, weaning himself off of Gemma, stopped here for a midweek lunch. [Just Jared]
Co-Op: An incognito (read: hat-wearing) Ryan Philippe dined with a pair of models, ordering sake cocktails and ceviche tacos. [Gatecrasher/NYDN]
The Darby: Lance Bass sang Joanna Garcia a song at her birthday celebration dinner. [Starpulse]
Imperial No. Nine: Usher and Kanye West had a working lunch with a pair of unidentified women. The two artists were later met by Nas, who arrived in time to order some dessert, namely the chocolate-chip cookies and banana-bread pudding. [Starpulse]
Fresco by Scotto: Today co-host Hoda Kotb celebrated her birthday with a castle-shaped cake so big, she had to give some away to the regular customers in the dining area. [Page Six/NYP]
Neely's Barbecue Parlor: After eating with a group of friends, Aretha Franklin sang at a meter maid who was in the process of ticketing her illegally parked car. [Marquee/CNN]