Friday, August 22, 2008

Mah-velluss partying

August 21st. Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful summer day in New York. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this has been a wonderful summer in the city, very kind to all of us. And quiet. Except for the masses of tourists in certain parts of town like 57th and Fifth where they cluster around the entrance to Tiffany’s and Donald Trump’s Tower next door. The tourists all seem to know that Donald lives there, and they often wait for hours to get a glimpse of the man. And sometimes when he emerges through his golden doors, they stamp and squeal and take lots of digitals. Donald is a local boy who became world famous.

I digress. Last night JH and I went to dinner at Cipriani with Jordana Z. who writes our dining column “Bits & Morsels.” I love Jordana’s column. Of course I am prejudiced but I only love it more because I’m prejudiced. Have you read it? She’s a young woman who loves food and the process called restaurateuring. This is of no small interest to her generation (early 20s onward), which I find intriguing also. What I like about her column particularly is her take on the menus. I never don’t read a review of hers where I don’t want to go to the restaurant immediately.

Jordana’s relationship to the Diary is a small town story. She’s a born and bred New Yorker. Her family and JH’s family are old neighbors, friends, I think mainly through the children, which how it often happens in any town. It was JH’s idea to start this dining column because he knew about Jordana’s interest and had a hunch. So we asked her if she’d like to try and the rest is history.

Harry Cipriani's maitre d' Hasaan.
We went to Cipriani last because she’d never been. That surprised me because these New York kids get around. I love Cipriani for a number of reasons beginning with the room, the staff headed by the impeccably sartorial Hassan and his first lieutenant Sergio. Then there’s the food, and of course, their Olympian ambience. Cipriani the name means international, sophisticated, chic, hip, cool. The prices are not exactly McDonald’s, if you haven’t been. More like Fort Knox. However, I like going just to sit amongst the rich the chic and the shameless, along with the princess babes and their just-got-off-their-private-jet silver foxes with their shiny silk ties.

Last night Cip’s was low-key. Prince Dimitri, jacket-less, open shirt, jeans, was entertaining his old pals Prince Pavlos of Greece and his Princess Marie Chantal, all bejeaned and laid back like the Mediterranean or Beverly Hills right now. At another table Georgette Mosbacher, the international traveler and purveyor of Borghese cosmetics was entertaining two businessmen. Just beyond her Dixon Boardman was holding forth with three guests.

Jordana can tell and show you the rest next week. Leaving Cipriani about 11, JH and I went across the street to the Apple Cube to buy iPhones. JH had figured that 11 pm would be a good time to get in without a wait. Wrong. We were told that the LONG line were the last who could purchase the day’s allotment. The best time to go, we were told, was before 10 in the morning.

If you ever go into the Apple Cube on Fifth Avenue, no matter the time of day, even in the wee hours of the morning, there are customers – sometimes only a few dozen and other times mobs, hundreds, maybe thousands. The visitors are served with a unique staff. Unique in the sense that they all well-informed, cheerful, polite, casual and very helpful. In today’s world this is genius marketing. This is, incidentally, the OLD FASHIONED way. Interestingly the staff often love their work. Much is expected.

Cip’s and the Apple Cube aside, New York is very quiet now, in the final days of summer and its vacations. If we could tell you about anything at this moment in New York, with all that’s going on and going down around us, a good party or two would be the ideal report. That, however, is not on the NYSD calendar right now. A relief, of course, in many ways. But it’s always nice.

And so we’ve concocted another “party” of NYSD’s community. Looking at a lot of these pictures I see many familiar faces, and many very familiar to each other.

Truman Capote once said that this world is made up of about 5000 people. He said that about forty years ago. I wonder if the number has expanded very much. Possibly a few more thousand. But looking over these images of these party-goers who’ve appeared on the NYSD, I was thinking how so many of them know each other and thousands more who all know each other, often because of these very parties.

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