Let's not even pretend today that Manhattan is the center of the universe. It's all about the Beltway, where Those Who Shape the Culture have concentrated like magnet filings for the Most Exciting Inauguration Ever. Dominating headlines, cookbook author Joan Nathan had a party where she ended up choking on a piece of chicken in front of Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Rachel Maddow. Wow, that's quite a crew to gag on a bird in front of — what was the running commentary like? Then Tom Colicchio did the Heimlich on her. The president-elect himself partied after Sunday's all-star concert with 100 friends, including Michelle and Gayle King, at Blair House, but then at 7:30 p.m., Obama's staffers got calls telling them to get back to work. That's a chain gang we can believe in! Joe Biden's son Beau, serving in Iraq, showed up as a surprise in D.C. on a five-day leave for the inauguration. Jay-Z and Beyoncé almost had to walk four blocks in the cold after their big D.C. rehearsal, but then Secret Service let their driver come through a restricted area to pick them up. Also, the couple hung out in the piano lounge at D.C.'s fancy Mandarin Oriental Hotel before hijacking the piano and doing "Love Will Keep Us Together." (Second part only wished-for.)
Meanwhile, Mo Rocca, whom we sadly haven't seen in a while, co-hosted a charity pajama party with Carrie Fisher and made a Borscht Belt-y pun on Beyoncé's name. The Jonas Brothers and the Obama Sisters officially merged in a kiddie concert where mom-in-chief Michelle obligingly boogied for America. Also, we are so tired of Chelsea Clinton's I-don't-talk-to-the-press hard line. Honey, you need to learn to neutralize the press by saying nice, witty, neutral, empty things. Otherwise don't put yourself out there at big showy public things. Practice on us next time!
Maureen Dowd really was the Queen of the World at her own jam-packed party, there is no disputing that. Cindy Adams harassed the talent (Josh Groban, Sheryl Crow, Marisa Tomei, Steve Carell, Jon Bon Jovi) backstage at Sunday's big concert. Steve Carell ran into a celebrities-only Port-a-Potty to avoid her. Then Cin went off and stalked new victims, like Stevie Wonder, Angela Bassett, and Jack Black. Meanwhile, Liz says that Oscar de la Renta says that Michelle Obama is committed to causes while Jackie wasn't (well, we guess he means social causes, because Jackie was really into redecorating and pretty things).
In non-inauguration news: Donald Trump thinks it's shameful that Patricia and Julie Nixon haven't come forward to defend their dad in the drubbing he's been taking anew over Frost/Nixon, and hopes that his own kids wouldn't hang him out to dry like that. Amy Fisher is doing lesbian porn now because that's all her husband will let her do. At Sundance, Paris Hilton has been shunned by her sister so she's shunning her reality-TV BFF, Brittany Flickinger, in turn, hanging out wth Danity Kane singer Aubrey O'Day instead, making out with MySpace Chris DeWolfe, and earning your numb, glazed-eyed detachment. I'm-so-tough, Brooklyn-born News reporter Tracy Conner goes all outer-borough, populist thugdame on Gwyneth Paltrow over Gwyn's elitist, Manhattan-centric online newsletter, GOOP.
Mira Sorvino broke five teeth on a speedboat shooting a love scene, and the director went ahead and made her shoot the scene, all bloody, anyway. For this she learned Chinese at Harvard. The beloved horse of Martha Stewart's Bedford neighbor, former Sotheby's publicist David Yudain, was brutally struck so badly by an unknown horse murderer (whom Martha Stewart will use as mulch once she gets her hands on him) that it had to be put down immediately. At Vanity Fair's party for Mad Men last week, Fred Armisen showed up with Mad woman Elizabeth Moss, his new girlfriend, and Jon Hamm made out with his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt, who was in that movie Kissing Jessica Stein and who we used to know in New York back when she wasn't blonde. About 80 percent of men told Glamour's "Man Survey" that they wouldn't have sex with Brad Pitt first, with Angelina watching, in order to have sex with her.