Maureen Dowd says she did not mistake a Times of London columnist for Michelle Obama. Ted Kennedy may or may not have had Graydon Carter spike a story about an illegitimate child of JFK. Tommy Hilfiger is getting married to former model Dee Ocleppo. Rosie O'Donnell stopped drinking because she was getting too fat. Jerry Seinfeld said he's not going to return to TV because he's "old, rich, and tired."
The latest from the Waverly Inn’s blog brings the tale of a Spanish “lifestyle counselor” (hmm, we thought these only existed in the U.S.) being strangely content when only a 9:15 p.m. seating was available for a high-profile client. Yawn, we know Spaniards eat late — give us juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan showing up! Meanwhile innkeeper Graydon Carter, who once told the Guardian he’d be hesitant to seat Simon Cowell prominently (but no qualms about Lindsay?) can take solace in Gawker’s accounting that the Waverly Inn has eclipsed his old haunt, Da Silvano, in press mentions. But has his cachet been depleted at other restaurants? Gawker also brings the tale of someone who says he received shabby treatment at Gramercy Tavern despite the fact that Carter made a reservation for him. But come on, it’s not like this guy was Lindsay Lohan.
Ye Waverly Blog: The Spanish Visitor [Ye Waverly Blog/VF]
Graydon Carter: Restaurant Promoter [Gawker]
Is Graydon Carter’s Cachet Depleted? [Gawker]
Vanity Flair [Guardian]
The Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT]
Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN]
Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]
Today, crack WWD reporter Irin Carmon called around to various New York magazine editors to find out their New Year's resolutions. As you can see, magazine editors have the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us. You know, ones that mostly involve being less fat and shallow:
• Departures editor Richard Story: To have "an ark full of ASMEs."
• Teen Vogue editor Amy Astley: To "skip Us Weekly and The New York Post and read more books."
• Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter: "Less food, more exercise."
• Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin: "To kick my pork butt addiction and move on to healthier foods like eco-friendly farmed striped bass."
• CosmoGIRL! editor Susan Schulz: To take up Pilates and cook dinner for her husband twice a month ("Hey, gotta start somewhere!").
• Men's Journal editor Brad Wieners: "To do the workout we just published ('40 is the new 30!')."
• Bon Appétit editor Barbara Fairchild: "With my job, that same 15 pounds I always resolve to lose is with me for life."
Meanwhile, we notice Graydon ignored our advice on what to resolve this year. But then again, he only has twelve more chances to write a boringly hysterical editor's letter about President Bush, so we guess that's understandable.
That Time of the Year [WWD]
Earlier:New Year's Resolutions for the Best New Yorkers
Recently, we were watching John Waters's 1998 movie Pecker, which starred all kinds of great people like Martha Plimpton and Lily Taylor and Edward Furlong, before he got weird and started getting arrested and dating his manager. Anyway, as in all John Waters movies, there were about five really brilliantly funny parts in it, one of which was a game the characters played called "Shopping for Others," in which they'd go to the supermarket and sneak things into the shopping carts of fellow shoppers when they weren't looking. (Like a long phallic gourd in the cart of a mousy single woman or a stack of Depends for a smarmy dude in tight jeans, etc.) Anyway, we got to thinking: How about if, this year, we make New Year's resolutions for others? We've never made New Year's resolutions ourselves — it's weird, every year New Year's Eve rolls around, and we realize we're still kind of perfect! — but we've always felt we were missing out on that great American tradition. Not to mention, frankly, there are people that could use our assistance. So. To celebrate the great New Yorkers who make this blog possible and to help them continue their gloriousness into 2008, we've generously ginned up some resolutions for their benefit.
Today People brings us all the details of the glamorous nuptials of Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman and producer Harvey Weinstein. They do a pretty decent job, as wedding announcements go. Guests at Harvey's Westport estate included Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Cameron Diaz, Renée Zellweger, Naomi Watts, Anna Wintour, Rupert Murdoch, Ron Perelman, Quentin Tarantino, Graydon Carter, Karolina Kurkova, and Helena Christensen. Yeah, it was one of those. "The wedding was the most elegant, loving affair I've ever seen," one guest (no doubt a socialite friend of contributing reporter Jeff Slonim) told People. "The room was full of incredible people who were there to toast the couple, who looked totally in love." The party tents were decorated with fir trees, crystal chandeliers, mirrors, and pink flowers. A ten-minute fireworks show erupted after the couple exchanged their vows, lighting up Long Island Sound.
The Guardian did a funny except maybe unintentional thing this week wherein they profiled Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter — in the exact style of a Vanity Fair celebrity profile. "Even early on he was adept at crafting an image," the writer explains, pausing to describe Carter's "impeccably tasteful" office before going on to say that, despite his grand stature, dude is really, like, down-to-earth. "I don't go to parties. I'm social but I'm not a socialite person," says Carter. "I walk down the street and people don't go, 'my God, there he is.' I lead as normal a life as you can lead in New York City." Graydon! He's just like us! Except when it comes to the Waverly seating chart, which Carter apparently does himself, every day, even if, we hear, it means infringing on a few minutes' worth of editorial meetings. For this very important project, he uses skills honed through years of Oscar parties. "I'm a very shy person but I forced myself during the Oscar evenings to go out and be engaging to people and make them feel comfortable," he tells the paper. "And then you learn how to seat people. Life is all about seating and lighting." But of course it's not just about seating and lighting! It's about separating the wheat from the chaff, weeding out the undesirables, not letting any dorks on the volleyball team. In other words: Exclusion!
Paula Froelich sticks up for close friend Amy Sacco in "Page Six" by making Sacco's ex-fiancé Luigi Di Carolis look like a dink. Parker Posey's dog peed on the floor of the Kiehl's shop in the East Village twice, and Kiehl's liked it Posey didn't clean it up. Anderson Cooper has a huge photographic portrait of mother Gloria Vanderbilt hanging in the guest room of his Manhattan loft. Graydon Carter and his partners are no longer interested in having to interact with tourists at the Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel. (Nello Balan has also passed.) A female Barnard student who wants to become a man has moved off-campus because her dorm was "just so girly."
Graydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
Today's "Rush & Molloy" reminds us, as if we could forget, that some poor lady had to wax Christopher Hitchens's balls this year. This, we have noticed, is the mostwell-publicizedhair removal since Britney took hold of a razor in a prison-grade beauty salon. Nay, since John Smith nearly got scalped by Powhatan in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1607. So needless to say, we wanted to get it over with already and read what Hitchens had to say about the experience, but Rushmo left us hanging. Vanity Fair posted a photo slideshow of the affair on their Website (don't worry, it's blessedly G-rated), and even they left out his description. But today we finally got our six-pound copy of Vanity Fair, and read it for ourselves. So here, for your enjoyment, horror, and titillation, is what Christopher Hitchens had to say about the dreaded "Crack, Back and Sack" Maneuver:
I had no idea it would be so excruciating. The combined effect was like being tortured for information that you do not possess, with intervals for a (incidentally very costly) sandpaper handjob. The thing is that, in order to rip, you have to grip. A point of leverage is required; a place that can be firmly gripped and pulled while the skin is tautened
David Boies, Al Gore's lawyer in his recount battle against Bush in 2000, may have taken on Blackwater CEO Erik Prince as a client. The 2008 Zagat's says that the Waverly Inn is owned by "Grayson Carter." Deepak Chopra likes telling bad jokes about the president. A random crowd outside the French Institute was invited to watch a screening of Tina Fey'sBaby Mama and enjoyed it. Vince Vaughn hung out at the Rose Bar and the Box on Saturday. Mariah Carey promoted her new perfume at Macy's Herald Square. Fox Business Network is throwing a launch party tonight at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dumbo: Pie Social! This Sunday at Bubby's! Noon to 3 p.m. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Mo Pitkin’s gives up the ghost October 20. [Eater]
Greenwich Village: One of the best places to get risotto in the city is … surprise! Risotteria. [amNY]
Meatpacking District: The first rule of Clubland: "You must bring something to the party … Good looks, money, personality, or women." [NYDN]
Upper East Side: Payard chef Philippe Bertineau is resurrecting classics like bouillabaisse and crispy pig’s feet for the restaurant’s tenth anniversary. [Restaurant Girl]
West Village: A Radar mole tests the cocaine limits of popular nightspots and "here he is at Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn, where it is apparently completely okay to get your snort on." [Radar via Gawker]
Jeff Bridges has to wear a coiffed wig to play Graydon Carter in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, but he didn't wear a fat suit. Roger Federer told Anna Wintour that he will be wearing blue and white during the day and black at night for the U.S. Open, and Andy Roddick says that Elton John actually has a good backhand. Vivica Fox was allegedly drinking at their birthday party Tuesday night despite a court mandate forbidding her to on account of her March DUI. "Obama Girl" Amber Lee Ettinger is actually more enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton. Christiane Amanpour and other CNN staffers often saw Ted Turner in a bathrobe when he lived above CNN Center in Atlanta. Elizabeth Taylor will star in a play with James Earl Jones in December to raise $1 million to fight AIDS. Bill Clinton ate at Serendipity. Justin Timberlake's manager got him a round of golf at Glen Oaks Country Club on Long Island.
The wife and son of deceased National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr. are suing each other for the remainder of his $418 million fortune. Barbaro was the focus groups' choice for August's Vanity Fair cover, but Graydon Carter nixed him for Shia LaBeouf. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo will soon have her own show titled Money Honey. The Giulianis like golf, bargains, The Tudors. Chris Noth tried to poach talent for his club from Hawaiian Tropic Zone but failed. Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst are attending a dinner thrown by Pete Wentz in the Hamptons. Jon Anderson of Yes canceled a benefit show for a bunch of kids because his spiritual adviser told him to.
Graydon Carter skipped the dinner his Waverly Inn chef John DeLucie cooked at the James Beard House last night, but that doesn't mean Beard members won't get a chance to rub elbows with the Falstaffian editor. After attendees were served seven wines and a five-course dinner that included the restaurant's luscious Dover sole, Chef DeLucie informed them that they're all now worthy of a hard-to-come-by tables at Graydon's clubby Bank Street spot, just a few blocks west of where they were eating; they should simply stop by a day or two in advance to reserve. "Just say 'James Beard dinner,'" advised sommelier Sammy Kebob, whose name may or may not be spelled that way, as the restaurant answered neither its public nor private phones when we called to check. "Don't use my name," he warned the crowd. "It won't work." Neither, we suspect, will the "Beard dinner" trick for much longer. —Alexandra Peers
The full extent of our conversation with Zhang Ziyi, the Chinese movie star and major international actress you most likely know only from Crouching Tiger, at a "Journey to Shangri-La" cocktail party — celebrating an Asian hotel chain that's coming to the United States, maybe? — at Lever House last night:
New York: What do you like to do when you're in New York?
Zhang: Waverly. [Laughs lightly.]
New York: What?
Zhang: The restaurant called Waverly.
New York: Waverly Inn?
Zhang: Yes. [Points at us: That's it!] You know it?
After college, Chuck Schumer picked a girl over a scholarship. 50 Cent is really rich. Gay activists don't like John Travolta in the Hairspray movie because he's a Scientologist, not because of his performance. Brian Grazer is getting divorced. Eliot Spitzer banged his head on the trunk of his car. Rufus Wainwright defends Anderson Cooper's lifestyle and choice of gym. Maggie Gyllenhaal might come to Broadway as Nellie in South Pacific. Kevin Spacey partied at Lotus. Lily Allen put on a bad show at the Roseland Ballroom, then she hung out with Josh Hartnett. At Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour's party for Nicholas Coleridge's A Much Married Man, Ron Perelman thought the book was about him.
Larry David and his environmental-activist wife, Laurie, have separated. Today show staffers refer to Good Morning America as "Gay-MA"; GMA staffers refer to Today as "Yesterday." Marc Jacobs is back on with boyfriend Jason Preston and even got Preston's initials tattooed on his stomach. Graydon Carter thinks of Vanity Fair's publisher as a dancing monkey. Eric Alterman claims his arrest was a "misunderstanding"; police claim they asked him to leave a private reception area seven times and that Alterman was "belligerent." Vanessa Minnillo is gaining a rep with TV insiders as being difficult to work with, and photos of her posing with Lindsay Lohan and a knife aren't helping.
• Is Imus's planned $200 million lawsuit a ploy to get back on the air? [NYP]
• The final bids for Dennis Publishing are due next week, and it's shaping up as a showdown between Kent Brownridge and Ron Burkle. [AdAge]
• Jeff Bridges will play Graydon Carter in the film version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. [WWD]