A touch of Hollywood in New York

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The Empire State Building standing tall. Photo: JH.

Monday, May 13, 2024. The weather lately has been running hot and cold; one day one, the next day the other. It’s just the weather but it is Springtime, the time of changing weather in these parts and stays light longer. And changes in the weather often changes the tune.

It’s also more difficult to make friends as we age. It’s Mother Nature. I notice I spend more time by myself (working). But it also seems that many of us, no matter the age, are in dark or difficult straits in this world right now.  Our outward public behavior is often real madness. Real. We’ve never been confronted with that before. The automatic age has left the heart in a closet.

“And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

This is just where we’re at as a civilization — because the upset is all kinds, and everywhere. So I think it’s a great opportunity to be nice … and polite … and courteous, to one and all. 

Most of it will go unnoticed but some of it will hit home. It’s a relief; very good medicine to spread around. Every time we experience someone being nice or courteous we are in a good moment.  Every moment counts. Work is good for it.

Sela Ward at home in New York in her favorite people watching spot.

And speaking of friends and weekends, I had dinner this past Saturday night with Sela Ward. Sela and I met  back in 1982 in Los Angeles. I shared a large house in the hills of Doheny with two others who were all working in the film industry. It was like an adult family and each member brought in their friends. In LA, a lot of weekend and evening social life took place in the house, friends visiting friends, etc. She came with her boyfriend at the time, one Richard Dean Anderson, who was a friend of one of the housemates, also an actor seeking work.

He later became famous and very successful, thanks in big part to MacGyver which ran for seven seasons, and of course my entire image of him changed entirely. However, I was interested in talking to Sela.

Naturally I was impressed with her looks. She’s plainly beautiful. Just always; that is its own charm, among other things. And she is naturally friendly and conversational. 

Living here in New York after college she happened into working as a photographic model which in those days led also to TV commercials, and she was prospering. Someone suggested there was more of the camera work in LA, and an agent had her come out to LA about a specific job. That’s how I saw her in my head: new girl in town.  Whose personality (and intelligence) completed a very plainly alluring presence.

Sela with her “sisters.”

Anyway, that was long ago — the ‘80s. Sela shortly thereafter or what seemed like “shortly” was starring in a television show that ran for years (Sisters). Her acting career blossomed and she also married an entrepreneur named Howard  Sherman. And they had two children, a son and a daughter, now both professionals. And although we’ve rarely seen each other in the last 25 or more years, the evening felt like it was yesterday afternoon at lunch with a very old friend.

New York, New York. Today we’re running a few snapshots taken in Los Angeles in Santa Monica of Michael McCarty at a party celebrating the 45th anniversary of his Michael’s Restaurant.

I happened to be living out there, in that house described above, when it first opened. Restaurants were a common topic out there because it was an opportunity to be around other people.

Nathan Koval (GM at Michael’s Santa Monica), Kim McCarty, and Michael McCarty blowing out the candles on the occasion of Michael’s Santa Monica’s 45th.

The new Michael’s out there in Santa Monica got a lot of attention from the Hollywood business tycoons. And the stars, and even The Beatles. It was the latest and the Menu was extremely avant and the place was also cool in many ways. It was automatic Hip.  And Michael created it.

Being a poor writer, as it was, out there in L.A., and living just this side of Beverly Hills on Doheny, I never went farther west for restaurants. I first dined at Michael’s in Santa Monica four  or five years ago when we were out there working on that film about my life. I was, of course, by then familiar with Michael’s menu which was totally hip back in a time when that could cause a whole conversation about the food.

Living in New York after those LA years, I was hired by Judy Price to editor-chief her magazine Avenue. When I began, she took me to lunch at Michael’s here on 55th Street. Her choice was specific: it was a restaurant often patronized by people  in media, banking, publishing, theatrical and social life.

GM and CFO of Michael’s Steve Millington congratulating DPC on the occasion of his 1,500th lunch at Michael’s restaurant! And this was back in 2017!

I became a weekly client quite comfortably if for no other reason than to see who was there.  It’s a beautiful restaurant if you’ve never seen it. Very light (like California), excellent and efficient staff in caring for the customer.  And the menu has altered from season to season, but Michael himself is the judge of all that. It’s run by one Steve Millington, who delivers the staff of service and keeps the customers satisfied.

Anyway all of this came from the 45th anniversary out there in Santa Monica.

The photos marking the anniversary say it all: they love to do what they do. And Michael’s customers from far and wide, love it too.

Chas McCarty, Kim McCarty, Zack Bruell, and Michael McCarty.
Brooke Williamson, David Rossoff (Bar Maruno), and Mike and Kim.
Michael McCarty, Miles Thompson (who is opening a new place called Baby Bistro), and Jeff Lustre.
Michael McCarty, Miles Thompson (who is opening a new place called Baby Bistro), and Jeff Lustre.
Nathan Koval, MSM Executive Chef Job Carder, and Michael McCarty.
Back row, l. to r.: Kazuto Matsuaka, (Dear John’s), Michael McCarty, Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), and Chris Feldemeier (Bar Maruno).
2nd back row, l. to r.: Job Carder, Brooke Williamson (Playa Provisions), and friends.
3rd back row, l. to r.: Jeff Lustre (Space X), Zack Bruell (L’Albatros), and Wendy Roskin (Book Soup).
Front row, l. to r.: Olivier Rousselle (Godfrey Hotel) and Kim McCarty.

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