Thursday, January 10, 2013

Meals of the day

Passing by the Benjamin Duke house on 81st off Fifth. 10:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, January 10, 2013. Mild temperatures, grey day yesterday in New York. Does not seem like winter, although it looks like the city in winter when there is no snow.

Midday, I went again down to Michael’s. Recently someone asked JH why I went to Michael’s all the time. Answer: for the story. Any story. A diary requires it. Many times there isn’t one but there will be something that I can use that is a taste of New York mid-week, and Michael’s is definitely New York (when it’s in New York, that is). And a big habit.

Dr. Mitch Rosenthal and Joanne Cassullo at Michael's.
It’s not that it’s a fount of information, although from the catbird seat you can see a lot, and learn a lot, stitch by stitch, for the tapestry. People have a good time there. At least they look like they do. And there’s a lot of serious conversation although that could be very unserious. But business is conducted and the enthusiasm of the guests putting their best foot forward for the moment is catching.

There was a photographer there. He looked like Warren Hoge’s twin, and coincidentally/ ironically, he was photographing for the Times (Hoge, if you didn’t know, was a long time correspondent for the NYT). We got a shot of him getting a shot of Michael while we all posed for the birdie.

The lunch cast: Wayne Kabak, famous agent (Kitty Kelley is one of his clients), Hamilton South (famous public relations man, knows all the right people and vice versa); Wendy Williams (yes) and Suzanne DePasse (famous Hollywood producer, go-to-girl, now veteran of the great days of Motown and Berry Gordy; Michael Clinton, (major marketing executive with Hearst); Julie Macklowe (no description needed, right?); Jolie Hunt (media marketing exec – FT, Thompson-Reuters, etc.); Steve Greenberg (son of Hank, brother of Alva), Mark Rosenthal (former CEO of Al Gore’s (now Al jazeera’s Current media) Lynne Goldberg (Goldberg-MacDuffie literary pr); Dr. Mitch Rosenthal, founder of Phoenix House and Joanne Cassullo (New Yorker from Texas) who is moving back to Dallas; Jim Torrey (investment banker) with Patricia Duff (political insider/supporter/ organizer); Kelly (the former Mrs. Calvin) Klein with Wednesday Martin; Chris Meigher (publisher of  Quest) with Chuck Pfeiffer (city boy/rancher way out West, former Marlboro man, actor, investor and newlywed); Tom Goodman (CEO Goodman media) with Al Abrams (Sports PR), Vin Cipolla of the Municipal Arts Society with Diane (“Brenda”) Clehane, Lisa Linden (PR exec); Don Epstein (CEO Greater Talent Network); Manuela Hoelterhoff, (exec editor of muse the Arts section of Bloomberg) with Bloomberg editor Dan Billy); Greg Lawrence (wrote book about Jackie Onassis as an editor – and boss); Henry Schleiff (Discovery Channel) with Bob Polero; Robert Zimmerman (media political consultant/commentator) with CNN’s Jim McGinnis; Jennifer Geisser and Jodi Davis (BRAVO communications execs) with Patti Stanger (of the new Millionaire Matchmaker series); Judy Price (founder of the National Jewelry Institute); Scalamandre’s Steven Stolman with Ray Raymakersan (of Van Der Akker, purveyors of mid-century furniture); Star Jones (what more can I say?).
What are we doing here? Steve Millington, DPC, Jolie Hunt and Michael, the Man.
Sequel. New York Times gets a shot of Michael at table 8.
September Song. Speculation continues and grows about the marital future of Leonard Lauder whose wife, the great Evelyn died a year and a half go. In just a couple of days, both The Daily Mail (London) and the New York Post have run a story about “the billionaire chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder is dating Linda Johnson, the president and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library.

There has been a lot of speculation about who was “chasing after” the billionaire widower ($7.9 billion according to the Daily Mail). I’ve seen Mr. Lauder at lunch and/or dinner with several attractive and interesting women. Aside from his great fortune, he’s a great catch just from the record of his marriage to Evelyn: a devoted partner, diligently supportive, actively philanthropic; a man who likes people, and looks like he sincerely enjoys the social activity as well as the cultural events of the city. The Post pointed out that Ms. Johnson is quite a bit younger although after fifty -- she’s a reported  54 -- almost everyone is “younger.” So it’s all relative.

None of the speculation means anything other than the man and his dates are enjoying each other’s company.

Up On Park Avenue:  It was before the wake-up time for this night owl, but yesterday morning, Jon Tisch and Andrew Tisch hosted the Inaugural Loews Regency Power Breakfast Event at Park Avenue Winter. The restaurant on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and 63rd Street Is the temporary location for the Regency’s (61st and Park) famous Power Breakfast while the hotel undergoes a year-long renovation.

Jon Tisch, if you didn’t know, is the Chairman of Loews Hotels. His cousin Andrew Tisch is the co-chair of Loews Corporation which was founded by their fathers --  the brothers, Larry and Bob Tisch. When they announced they were closing down for year everyone panicked for a minute:  where all those high powered New York breakfast boys and girls would land for their sunrise business deals.
The Inaugural Loews Regency Power Breakfast Event at Park Avenue Winter.
The Tisches had no intention of deserting their loyal customers. Yesterday, Park Avenue Winter (which will become Park Avenue Spring when it’s calendar appropriate) was filled with the usual power crowd including political and business leaders like Senator Charles Schumer; MTA CEO Joseph Lhota; New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly; Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins; Lizzie (Mrs. Jon) Tisch; Bloomingdales CEO Michael Gould; Alexandra Lebenthal; Eric Gioia; Gael Greene; and Park Avenue Winter’s Alan and Michael Stillman, and scores more just like ‘em.

Jon Tisch opened the occasion welcoming the Power Breakfast family remarking that the neighborhood was happy to have some temporary relief to the sluggish traffic heading south on Park Avenue while the hotel is closed. This is the first time the Loews Regency has closed for a major renovation since it opened in 1962, and they’ve had a loyal breakfast following dating back a half century with many of their clientele among the second and third generation of some families. It’s a New York Landmark.
Jon Tisch and Senator Charles Schumer.
Andrew and Jon Tisch with Michael Stillman.
Andrew Tisch, Ray Kelly, and Jon Tisch.
David Dinkins and Joseph Lhota.
Gael Greene and Alan Stillman.
Jon Tisch and Michael Gould.
Lizzie Tisch.

Photographs by Rob Kim (Power Breakfast).

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