Here's a little background about how a photo taken at an East Village restaurant apparently became "the topless shot heard 'round the world."
On Monday morning, Verso owner Labinot Baraliu told us about a woman who removed her top after walking into the Italian bistro on Avenue C and East Eighth Street the previous evening.
The folks at Verso asked the woman to put her shirt back on ... and after a brief protest, she and her dining companion, who was photographing the entire episode, left. For his part, Baraliu thought it was a funny little story that locals might like.
Probably so. Eater linked to the story on Monday morning. On Tuesday, Gothamist and Jezebel both linked to the post.
On Wednesday morning, we heard from a responsible party — East Village-based photographer Allen Henson. He recently moved here from Los Angeles. He had been out with model Cheyenne Lutek. He offered this background. "It was an impromptu photoshoot. We did two that night," he said. "The first establishment loved it and interacted, the other, well — we weren't there long."
Meanwhile on Wednesday, news of the topless diner had made it into the Daily News, MSN and The UK Daily Mail. The item was also seemingly syndicated to various FM radio station websites across the country... such as 94.5 "the Buzz — Houston's New Rock Alternative" and Dave and Chuck the Freak at 101 WRIF in Detroit. (Please keep in mind that we weren't sending this around to anyone to feature.)
Then a story on what happened appeared in The Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily newspaper published in Milan. Someone told us that it was the paper's most-viewed article for the day.
On Thursday, the Daily News had a feature titled "EXCLUSIVE: Sexy Cheyenne Lutek goes topless at East Village restaurants."
[Allen Henson via the Daily News]
Then the UK Daily Mail picked up the story again with this breathless headline: 'I'm not ashamed of my body': Model who was kicked out of New York restaurant for exposing her breasts speaks out
There was, apparently, even more coverage. Per the Daily Mail:
It's the topless shot heard 'round the world. A picture of a comely blonde who took off her shirt at a trendy New York restaurant has become an internet sensation - picked up by publications from Italy to Russia to China.
Closer to home, the Daily News really liked this story, as it was the basis for a political cartoon on Friday.
[Via Crazy Eddie]
By last night, Lutek was posing with the NYPD on Avenue C.
[Allen Henson via Twitter]
In the end, that post from Monday became the second most-viewed in EVG history, far behind another post about a topless woman. All this maybe provides some insights about how the media works. Or maybe what's wrong with the media. (Or humanity?) And it's probably too late to put up a paywall ...
Previously on EV Grieve:
Female diner decides to go topless last night at Verso