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Cover stories; Cambridge club on the auction block

TAKING COVER The striking similarity between Boston magazine's current cover on the city's leading power brokers and Texas Monthly's February cover on the same subject did not go unnoticed by Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith. Both covers feature a black and white motif, the word ''Power" in green, and a large photo of a leading local pol. (In Boston's case, it's Governor Mitt Romney, while the Texas mag snapped state Speaker of the House Tom Craddick.) ''I would describe my reaction as somewhere between heart attack and freak out," Smith said of the Boston cover. ''What I would say is imitation is the sincerest form of larceny. It's inconceivable to me that such a thing could happen." Boston editor Jon Marcus says he called Smith ''and expressed regret for any offense we might have caused him or his staff. . . . It's done and it's been done to us a lot. We, as a matter of principle, haven't done it and don't do it. This is a lapse for which I have expressed regret to Evan."

RUNNING MATES So what, we wondered, did Vanessa Kerry say to Curt Schilling when she ran into the Sox ace after the Boston Marathon? (Schilling, you'll recall, campaigned last fall for President Bush and against Kerry's dad.) The would-be first daughter, who finished her first marathon in a very respectable 3 hours, 31 minutes, was too tired to be anything but polite. In an e-mail yesterday, Kerry said ''nice to meet you" was all she could muster. John Kerry's youngest daughter, who's studying in London on a Fulbright scholarship, said it was an honor to run for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's marathon team, and she hopes to run again.

SALE PENDING Looking for a club in Cambridge? One's up for auction today. It's the Kendall Cafe, which in past years booked such artists as Jewel, Ryan Adams, and Natalie Merchant. (Today's 10 a.m. auction at the Kendall was scheduled after the owners were foreclosed upon.) The 2,000-square-foot restaurant/bar, which includes four residential units, was sold last year by Michael Tallon to partners David Battle and Carlton Brown for $1.3 million. ''If somebody wants a restaurant and wants to sell the four condo units above it, then it's a good deal," said Tallon, noting that he expects the bidding to start at $900,000. The last owners could not be reached for comment, but the auction will be conducted by the Marjem Mortgage Corp. ''There is interest out there, but who knows who will show up to bid," said Tallon.

MAKE THAT DR. STEVEN Rock and Roll Hall of Fame frontman Steven Tyler will receive an honorary degree, and Emily Rooney, host of WGBH's ''Greater Boston," is on tap to give the commencement address at the UMass-Boston graduation on June 3. The university's 37th commencement will be held outdoors, on the campus center lawn, for the first time in 10 years.

DINING OUT BBC broadcaster John Craven and a film crew were at the Union Oyster House yesterday doing a bit on Boston scrod with the restaurant's chef, Bill Coyne. Craven also interviewed owner Joe Milano about the restaurant's long history. (The show's scheduled to air on the BBC on May 15.) . . . On Sunday, Kirstie Alley and seven others, including three children, had breakfast at Charley's on Newbury Street.

Mark Jurkowitz and Steve Morse of the Globe staff contributed to this column. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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