BLOW-OUT AND HOLD-UP ON 72ND
Taking a break from the General Assembly proceedings, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice serviced her trademark bob at a West 72nd Street salon this weekend--around the same time that a nearby bank was getting robbed. Rice had an appointment at Salon at Royal Mountain, an exclusive outfit that caters by referral only to celebrities and high-end clients, according to a man who answered the phone but declined to give his name. The website Gawker noted the slew of Secret Service agents and onlookers crowding the sidewalk and street on Saturday afternoon, but mistakenly reported that Rice was getting her nails done at Tender Lovely Nail Salon. A worker there said Rice did not in fact visit, but instead went "upstairs," which, upon further investigation, turned out to be Royal Mountain. Asked which services Rice received at Royal Mountain, the employee responded, "We're not at liberty to tell you that, but she did get service here." "It was like a madhouse," he said. The security detail, however, was not enough to deter a bank robber who hit the Chase branch just down the street from the salon at roughly the same time as the secretary of state's visit. Police said that at 2:45 p.m. that day, a man in his 40s walked into the branch, at 260 Columbus Ave. and West 72nd Street, and handed a teller a deposit slip demanding cash. The thief got away with more than $3,000, according to cops, but the money was stained by a red dye pack that deployed soon after he left the bank. Witnesses reported seeing red bills strewn across the street as the thief fled north to 73rd Street, shedding his jacket in the process. Rice has apparently worked with Royal Mountain's stylists before, but this was her first visit to the salon's West Side location. -- With additional reporting by Dan Rivoli
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