James Kurisunkal, the very midwestern brains behind the very inside-the-10021 blog Park Avenue Peerage, has spent the last four months chronicling the lives of the city's social set — from the comfort of his dorm room in Illinois. But this summer he's come to the big city, to intern at New York, and last night, at a Cinema Society screening of Interview at the Tribeca Grand, he finally got a chance to meet some of his idols. After the jump, the story of when James met Tinsley
As I got out of the taxi in front of the Tribeca Grand last night, there were already blinding flashes. There she was: Tinsley Mortimer in full glory, a vision in Dior, a summer tan, golden heels, and that long blonde hair. It was her moment; I didn't interrupt. I dawdled on the sidewalk, and she made it inside. Then I walked past the photographers, opened the door, and there she was, waiting for me. This was it; this was her. My God, this was Tinsley.
I've been reading about her for years and posting her party pictures for months, so to finally meet Tinsley Mortimer — beauty ambassador for Dior, muse to Peter Som, Zac Posen, and Donatella Versace, junior committee chairwoman, lead debutante of the Bal du Bois, Colonial Dame, a Mortimer — was incredible. She saw me as I approached, and without a word from my mouth, she embraced me. I went weak in the knees. It was so good to finally meet, she said. We were going to have a great night, she promised. I nearly collapsed. We walked down the stairs, past all the PR girls with their black dresses and lists, me with the most self-confident person I'd ever met. As we walked to our reserved seats (next to Amy Sacco, in front of Nicole Miller), every woman and man looked at Tinsley. We weren't late, we weren't making noise, we weren't doing anything to attract attention. But everyone in that room knew who she was. Sienna Miller and Hana Soukupova, and every Eastern European model, Sony Pictures executive, and British journalist between them looked at her. Tinsley, I realized, can walk into a room and effortlessly pull the Persian from under anyone's Louboutins.
It only got better. At the after-party, in the penthouse at the Soho Grand, Tinsley introduced me to her world. I glimpsed Anna Wintour at the screening, I brushed against Tina Brown near the coat check, I spoke to Maer Roshan — serious intern heaven. Kelly Rowland bumped into me at the party, and Rachel Dratch and David Schwimmer stood just inches away. I met Todd Meister, Nicky Hilton's ex-husband. Topper Mortimer arrived from his office, and Tinsley introduced us. (Topper: "Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Robert. How do you do?") He was in a tailored white shirt and slacks, descended from Standard Oil, the Founding Fathers, the settlers of New Amsterdam — but you'd never know any of it from talking to him. He's a complete gentleman, charming and friendly, and he's been in love with Tinsley — all the signs checked: body language, chemistry, and the engagement rock — for fourteen years.
Tinsley wanted to show me town, so after saying good-bye to Devon Schuster and Sylvana Soto-Ward, the Mortimers took me to Cipriani Wall Street (to the private club upstairs, of course). They weren't letting anyone in, but as soon as the doorman saw Tinsley and Topper, the velvet rope was moved. Next we took a cab to the Beatrice Inn, where we ran into Topper's best friend from Lawrenceville, John de Neufville, reportedly one of New York society's most eligible bachelors. We ended our night at the Box, where the manager came to personally greet Tinsley. We watched a cabaret act there before calling it a night.
Earlier, Tinsley and I had sat on a balcony at the Soho Grand, looking at the Empire State Building and talking about the thirteen bridal attendants she'd had at her wedding. At the Box I danced next to her. I felt welcomed by her, privy not just to her life but to her. I loved it.
Related: The Number-One Girl [NYM]