Friday, August 16, 2013

LIZ SMITH: "Woman on Top" ...

Greta Garbo, 1946 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby's.
"Woman on Top" — No, No, No — It's a Book! (A Very Good Book) ... Linda Stasi Breaks Free From TV ... Surprising Romances in The Hamptons ...
Friday, August 16, 2013
by Liz Smith

“WHAT happens when you love everything about a man except for who he is?” asks my longtime friend Kim from L.A. She is busy promoting authors ad books.

I long ago learned not to distrust Kim’s judgment.

She is the one who talked me into interviewing the Hustler publisher, Larry Flynt. This led to some very interesting columns indeed and meeting Larry, who sits every day in his gold-plated wheelchair behind his desk in the manner of Mussolini, was a trip.
NOW, Kim is telling about a book titled “Woman on Top,” a debut novel by Deborah Schwartz about Kate, who after the untimely death of her beloved husband, enters the dating world. She enjoys the thrill of meeting Leonard, a wealthy Wall Street banker.

Click to order "Woman on Top."
Excitement, glamour, greed and power she finds on his arm. But this girl yearns for love, respect, and honesty.

We, in New York, seem to be heir to some of these questions in wives we admire and some of whom we don’t. Author Schwartz asks these questions?

What do women put up with to maintain the status quo in their marriage? ... Why “stand by your man” and then kick him to curb? ... Is staying in a marriage a sign of low self-esteem or a sign of resilience? ... Do you move on? ... How do you get out of your comfort zone, no matter how scary? ... How can you spot the man who will take advantage of a vulnerable woman from a mile away?

Your mother used to tell you (some did, anyway) that it was as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one. Is it?

Maybe the answers are in Woody Allen’s new movie, “Blue Jasmine.” Or in our tabloids.

But the author is a Tufts grad who wrote her masters in history at Columbia and wrote a thesis on “Feminism in 18th Century England.” She studied law at Boston U. and has had a career as an attorney.
THE nation’s best television reporter, Linda Stasi, has departed the pages of the New York Post. Pals gave her a going away party last week as she bid her gossipy tabloid goodbye.

Linda is now busy writing a sequel to her thriller “The Sixth Station” and she has other fictional irons in the fire as well. I am going to miss Linda’s pertinent reviews of what to miss and not miss. But the grind of watching and reporting on TV possibilities night and day was too much.
Two great beauties: Steinberg and Duff.
THE TALK of the Hamptons are two big surprise romances that most people didn’t expect — the one between liberal columnist Richard Cohen and the former Mrs. Ronald Perelman — one Patricia Duff. She became an ardent Democrat after her much-publicized tabloid divorce from the Revlon king Ronald. Their lives played in headlines for months.

Then there are the hearts and flowers being exchanged between the much-admired Gayfryd Steinberg and Long Island-based writer for Vanity Fair magazine, Michael Shnayerson.

The great-looking Gayfryd picked herself up and quit the ranks of the merely supremely rich after the financial fall of her husband Saul. She made a new life for herself as a “working girl” and took good care of Saul in the bargain until he died. Her design business is a big hit and I will never forget how beautiful she made my 80th birthday party at the Madison Avenue Le Cirque.
I TOLD you some weeks ago that former New York Mayor, David Dinkins and wife Joyce would celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss at Gracie Mansion over this coming weekend. Wish I could be there in the Saturday receiving line and give them both a hug.
The Dinkinses on their wedding day.
The Garbo residence at 450 East 52nd Street.
OK! OK! You host of eagle-eyed detailers who wrote me that Greta Garbo and the designer Valentina Schlee, couldn’t have quarreled over who had first use of the elevator at their mutual building, listed here as 450 E. 57th street, BECAUSE they actually lived at 450 East 52nd Street.

You’re all correct, of course, but did you ever hear of a typographical error? When I was sixteen, I could go over 80 words per minute on the typewriter and my first job was typing abstracts. These acute descriptions of lands, etc. could not have an error or an erasure. But “typing”’ on the machines of the Internet is difficult. In fact, I think “touch typing” is a handicap today.

So forgive me. Anyway, the other “correction” was that I’d never heard that Garbo and Valentina were actually “friends” until the death of their mutual beau ideal, George Schlee. I don’t know whether this is true or not. It certainly wasn’t so when I ran into Valentina in Venice one time and told her how much I admired her husband. She snorted that as a columnist, I must be a friend of Greta Garbo as well.

I said, no, I had never met Garbo although I saw her during the '60s and '70s on Manhattan’s east side, nipping around escaping and luring her fans. “That big phoney!” asserted Valentina. “And, I’ll bet my husband offered to introduce you to her.” I I said yes but it never happened.
Valentina Schlee letting her opinion known.
Well, I’m sorry I mis-wrote the street number and revived this famous feud. It did remind that Valentina is the one who opined: “Mink is for football ... children are for the suburbs.”

And the building overlooking the East River, across from River House on 52nd street, often casually referred to as “Mrs. John Barry Ryan’s building,” has seen its share of dramas.

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