Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Love is in the air

Love at first site. 12:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Hot days here in New York. Heavy humidity. Can really get to you in subtle yet obvious ways. Yesterday was a bit of a relief with some rain in the afternoon but not like the torrents that came down in the other parts of the city. I had been home the greater part of the time on deadline.

Meanwhile over in London – you probably knew this, I’m behind with certain kinds of news (it’s age) -- Nicky Hilton, sister of Paris, got married this past Friday evening in London in a ceremony surrounded by her family, her friends, his family, his friends, their parents’ friends at Kensington Palace Gardens, the very same Kensington Palace where lives Kate and Wills and many other Royals dwell. Princess Margaret lived there and Diana when she was bringing up her boys, and Prince and Princess Michael and probably others I never heard of.
The bride's shoes by Louboutin, especially for her.
But as a measure of the times, you can hire it for weddings and receptions. A lot of the stately halls of England have the same options these days. It pays the bills. The great Blenheim Palace built in the 17th century as a gift to a war hero named Churchill by another Queen named Anne, is for hire for weddings and such. And they have special facilities for it. Palatial. No you’re not going to relieve yourself in some prince or princess’ loo. But you’ll be very comfortable; everything is first class. I should say.
Outside the hotel, the photo op.
Father and daughter walking to their car as the bride's veil gets caught under the front wheel of a Bentley.
I’ve known Nicky and Paris since they were early teenagers. When I say “known” I should add that I don’t recall ever having a conversation with either one of them. They always seemed very shy, believe it or not, and I tended to assume it was possibly a drag for them to have to talk to an old man. I get it. Their parents, however, are very conversational and sociable and easily accessible.
The bride to be leaving Claridge's in the bridal gown by Valentino.
Bride and Groom at Kensington Palace Gardens where the reception took place.
I was there when the girls first came on the scene. It was out East, summer, close to twenty years ago, amazingly. There was a lot of talk about these two young girls out late, after hours in the clubs of Southampton, having their picture taken and appearing in the columns. Talk is good, especially if Mama knows where you are, and that’s what you want. And I can assure you, Mama knew what she needed to know.

I'd call this one "always a bridesmaid but never ..." although this girl has always known what she wants.
Proud Mama. Mrs. Hilton is very close to her daughters, and they to her. They are safe.
Mr. Hilton, returning to Claridge's from the reception. He, like his wife, is close to his children. It is a strong family unit.
From there they grew up and developed the phenomenally peculiar career of reality-TV. I know they weren’t on Reality –TV per se, but where would it have been without the Hiltons? Seriously. Yes, it looks like so much folderol but as I have pointed out many times before about them, they are from Hollywood. Well, Beverly Hills. Same difference in that category. Hollywood is the home of stars. And those two girls became stars.

By which I mean it became a highly financially successful venture in the public arena called entertainment. In fact, where would the Kardashians be if it hadn’t been for the Hiltons? Sounds almost silly to even be interested enough to ask the question but ... we’re talking about a business that’s producing an eight or nine or even ten figure annual gross. That’s a successful business in America or anywhere else on this planet.

I watched that happen and I didn’t even know what I was looking at. I’ll guess a lot of Americans didn’t know either.

I was thinking about all this while perusing the pieces in the London Daily Mail Online which is edited by the great gentleman and editor Geordie Greig. Geordie actually once worked for Quest back in the early ‘90s when I started there. It is the greatest tabloid in the world, cheap and tawdry, scary and shocking, horrible and repulsive and often curiously informative. I don’t like a lot of the aforementioned and tend to look away, but it does getcha wondering.

The Daily Mail’s coverage of the wedding was predictable, a kind of intellectual marriage, if I may. Both parties knew what they could do. For the other.  For us, the audience, it’s mindless, it’s pretty, it’s harmless and it’s a respite from the chaos surrounding us.

Yes, it’s about the very rich and that can rile more than a few of us who are starving out there or even just not close to fat city. But it’s box office, and that’s Show Business. That again, I believe and I bet I’m not wrong, is the Mama. Gypsy Rose Lee’s immortal fable about growing up in Show Business is a tragic tale. She suffered at the hands of that Mama. This one is different. She’s a good one. Those daughters are under her wing and she’s got the wisdom for looking after them. You can see it on her face. Papa too, he’s right there in it too.

The Hiltons are a famous name in America and have been for the 75 years, shocking as that sounds time-wise. Great-grandpa Conrad built that hotel chain, married Zsa Zsa and lived like a king in Hollywood (Beverly Hills). Great-uncle Nicky in the next generation married  Elizabeth Taylor when she was 18 years old and MGM made a movie lightly (very) suggested by it called “Father Of the Bride” with the actual bride. And then there was Barron the grandfather billionaire businessman and now it’s Paris and Nicky. Grown up and separate.

Seriously, that’s three generations. It’s just interesting, family dynamics-wise. And now Nicky -- who actually was married very briefly eleven years ago to Todd Meister, a New York guy and family friend, in Las Vegas in some simple little spot. It sounded like a lark when I heard about it, even a joke then; and soon after it was annulled.

No hard feelings. I saw Todd Meister out with his girlfriend at Sette Mezzo last Saturday night (about the same hour Nicky was ending her day as Mrs. Rothschild on the other side of the Atlantic. But that was long ago.
Ms. Rothschild heading out to the after party at the hotel. The groom looking like a lot of grooms look after it's over, heading to the same party.
I don’t know Mr. Rothschild, never met him. But he has a pleasant face, as does his wife, so I’ll go with that. There were quite a few New Yorkers in the crowd including Hilary and Wilbur Ross and Peggy Siegal the ultra-chic film flacque, in her diamonds and her pearls. And Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney and Anne’s daughter Amanda. Also Chelsea Clinton and her husband Mr. Mezvinsky. There were probably many others on the list. Weddings are especially fun when you’re young. After awhile for older (or old) men they can be ... Zzzzzz. This one was probably fun though. Kathy and Rick can do that.
Chelsea Clinton a/k/a Mrs. Marc Mezvinsky on her way to the wedding, her handy cell close by.
The Daily Mail also published the menu for the reception and dinner after the wedding, if you haven’t seen it already:

Cocktails
English Garden - gin, elderflower, lemon apple mint and cucumber
Mint Julep - Makers Mark Bourbon, brown sugar and mint
Dark and Stormy - run, lime, ginger beer and Angostura bitters
Apple and Rose - tequila, lime, mango and chilli

Starters
Crispy vegetarian spring rolls with a sweet chilli dipping sauce
Tiny Cumberland sausages with a mustard mash dip
Mini baked potatoes with Osetra caviar and sour cream
Little duck pancakes with shredded cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce
Foie gras terrine with balsamic roasted pears on a brioche

Mains
Crab and Lobster Louis with spiced tomato and horseradish dressing
Fillet of Hereford beef with a copper pot of petit pois a la Francaise, roasted new potatoes and tied baby vegetables
Summer herb risotto with asparagus and broad beans
Roasted tomato and basil tart with buffalo mozzarella and avocado
After Dinner
(you mean some people were still hungry?)
Small silver pots of skinny fries
Mini beef sliders with 'American' cheese and a spiced tomato relish
Mac and cheese
Mini pizza with prosciutto and mozzarella
Dominique Ansel cookie shots with a Bailey's milkshake 
Pudding Bar
Strawberry cheesecake with a strawberry jelly, strawberry jelly dust and pistachio tuiles
Pistachio cream with Pistachio dust, sour cherry confit and Pistachio dacquoise
White chocolate bavarois with chocolate mirror glaze and homemade 100s and 1000s
Compressed charentais melon and strawberry salad with purple basil syrup
Pimms No.1 Cup jelly with English strawberries, green apple foam and mint cress
Almond milk purée with a rhubarb compote, champagne foam and a cinnamon beignet
Rhubarb and custard: poached rhubarb with set vanilla cream and strawberry crunch
Valrhona chocolate cream with dark chocolate feuilletine Kirsch soaked cherries and chocolate Dentelle 

And they like their desserts too ...