|Thursday, September 17, 2015. Yesterday was another beautiful day in New York. Sunny and bright in the mid-80s and dropping down into the 60s.
It was Wednesday; I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Brooke Hayward and Alex Hitz. I got out of the cab on 57th Street, walking by Tiffany and then the Trump Tower where there was a brass band playing on the edge of the pavement playing Dixieland. It had to be an occasion. Like Donald emerging. At least some people were thinking that. They were waiting on the sidewalk, cameras ready.
Michael’s could have had a brass band out front in terms of the crowd inside: the place was bustling, and the clatter-chatter had that autumn heat to it (cool and colorful).
At a table under a Hockney print were Michael and Shakira Caine. The Caines are old friends of Michael and his wife Kim. Jesse Kornbluth was in an opposite corner giving an interview to Diane Clehane of mediabistro.com about his new novel “Married Sex” and sundry items of gilted gossip that Jesse can pull out of the ether and raise your eyebrows and amuse.
At the table on one side of me was Debra Shriver, who’s head of publicity for Hearst, lunching with Joannie Danielides; and on the other side was Pamela Fiori with Alejandra Cicognani.
They were lunching with two Italian guys dressed with the style those Italians just naturally have: Roberto Faraone Mennella who makes and designs high jewelry and has a boutique on Lexington with his name; and Amadeo Scognamiglio. Amadeo, according to our friend Alejandra is known as the “king of cameos.” He makes cameo jewelry for both men and women. He has a boutique on Lex too called ... Amadeo. Roberto and Amadeo have been friends since childhood.
At another table was Marshall Brickman, the screenwriter who among his many credits co-wrote four of my favorite Woody Allen films: “Sleeper,” “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” and “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” At another table Terry Allen Kramer, Broadway producer, was lunching with Felicia Taylor and Margo McNabb, wife of Jimmy of the theater family.
At my table: Brooke comes in from the country for the day every few weeks and we have our monthly lunch. Alex joins us when he’s in town. He spends a lot of time in Los Angeles, which he loves, as well as traveling lecturing on his cookbook. At the end of next month he heads down to Atlanta where he is being feted/awarded by the Southeastern Horticultural Society with their 2015 Visionaries of Design Awards. He’s receiving the award along with Charlotte Moss, Keith Langham, Carolyne Roehm, Newell Turner and Frances Shultz.
|Books and Books and ... The book party has replaced the “cocktail party” as one of the great little get togethers that city people love. It’s a chance to get out (of the house or the office or the studio) and see some people. And being “book parties,” they take on a little bit of gravity (depending on the book, of course).
Jesse’s novel, “Married Sex,” is the proverbial “hot” book. “Hot” as in steamy -- to put it in conventional terms. “It’s not cheating if your wife’s there,” is how Jesse puts it. Hollywood thinks it’s hot too. He even sold the film rights before the publication rights. He’s written the screenplay already too, for Griffin Dunne to direct.
There were about a hundred friends jammed into Paige’s apartment. Paige loves giving parties and filling her apartment with friends, including lots of old friends. This one was a bit bigger than most.
It was a warm night and the apartment -- which overlooks the Park -- isn’t wired for A/C. Or so someone said. Doesn’t bother me but there were others who were getting a little hot under the collar (and they hadn’t even read Jesse’s first chapter yet). Although it didn’t move anyone to leave.
At one point, Jesse got up to address the guests about “Married Sex” and thank them for coming. He repeated a story, “possibly true” (which means it’s so good it doesn’t matter) --- about Erica Jong meeting Philip Roth.
|“Erica is said to have gushed: ‘Oh, Philip, the themes in our books, the way we write about sex….’ Roth held up his hand: ‘But Erica… enough about you.’ Jesse then said, ‘I hate authors talking about their books, so….enough about me, too.”
With that everyone resumed their conversations. This wasn’t a party where they sold books. Brian De Palma and Griffin Dunne were trading notes about casting. Garland Jeffreys, the rock legend talked with filmmaker Gretl Claggett about making a documentary. Kay Salter, widow of James Salter who was the greatest influence on Jesse’s writing, was there, told Jesse she represented “the two of us.”
Emily Smith and Dini von Mueffling co-hosted the party.
Among those in attendance were comedienne Sandra Bernhard with her daughter Cicely Bernhard, New Yorker editor David Remnick; Richard Kirschenbaum, Robert Verdi, Anne Keating, Wednesday Martin, Marla Maples, Lucy Sykes and Euan Rellie, Ann Caruso, Nicole Miller, LaQuan Smith, Alina Cho, Christine Vachon, Amy Fine Collins, Christine Quinn, Colin and Elizabeth Callender, Michelle Barish, Leandra Medine, Erica Jong, Molly Jong-Fast, Joan Juliet Buck, Jenna King, and Patrick McMullan, who was there in two capacities.
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