Ah, the holidays, a time for overeating and merry greetings. But what sort of greeting? Unlike Paris, New York's never had an official way to say hello. Kiss, no kiss, double kiss . . . handshake? Here's a rundown of the city's Francophiles and germophobes, in case you should run into any of them.
Simon Doonan, Barneys window dresser: "There are so many hideous microbes! I do a double air kiss with four feet between me and the other person." Nan Kempner, socialite: "My doctor says never kiss anybody after October 15 because there are too many germs."
Mario Batali, restaurateur: "I hug if they are Italian and I know them well. When I hug, though, I really hug."
Donald Trump, developer: "If it's a beautiful woman, I always kiss."
Jeff Klein, hotelier: "I'm obsessed with germs, and I won't touch people's hands. With friends, I do a double air kiss."
Lizzie Grubman, publicist: "If they double-kiss, I double-kiss."
Jerry della Femina, adman: "I'm a defensive greeter: I wait for the other person to make the first move."
Al D'Amato, politician: "If they have a beard, I give a handshake and a hug. If not, I do cheek-to-cheek presses. That's with men. With women, I get so terrified I don't know what to do."