Matt Lauer Shows Us FDR’s Secret TrainCheck out the abandoned subway stop beneath the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where VIPs could travel in their own private train cars that, we assume, didn’t smell like urine.
Rudy Daughter Caroline Drops the ‘Giuliani’Plus, Joan Rivers and Barbara Corcoran bite at each other, Pat O’Brien only has one more chance at ‘The Insider,’ and Blake Lively is surprisingly normal — in our daily gossip roundup.
Predictably, ‘Lipstick Jungle’ Star Used to Lust After Andrew McCarthyLipstick Jungle’s Lindsay Price had a childhood crush on her co-star Andrew McCarthy. Tom Hanks walked past Eliot Spitzer’s apartment building on 79th and Fifth, but no one recognized him. A Madonna look-alike ran across the second-floor balcony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction at the Waldorf-Astoria, providing some levity to an otherwise boring event. Fashion Week will relocate to the Tenth Avenue rail yards after 2010. The Queens livery driver who faked the baby rescue weirdly will appear on an upcoming episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. A documentary about storied Tribeca nightclub the Wetlands opens Friday. Marc Jacobs’s boy toy, Jason Preston, got punched in the face outside Hiro after trying to get a guy who had thrown a drink at a girl to apologize.
Jacques Pépin Eats Everything Except Raw FetusesIt was a foodie fantasy last night at the Waldorf-Astoria, where the likes of Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Sirio Maccioni, Drew Nieporent, and Jacques Pépin had gathered for the lavish annual Food Allergy Ball. We caught up with Jacques Pépin in the grand ballroom before he was to be honored for his valiant fight against cross-contamination. Asked if he had any food allergies himself, the master chef admitted, “No, I don’t,” adding that “I’m a real glutton. I eat anything you put in front of me.” We found that hard to believe from a man known for culinary perfection. “Ask my wife!” he said, so we did. “He’ll eat anything I put in front of him!” Mme. Pépin testified. Still, we wondered if old Jacques can be a diva at home had he ever pronounced Lady Pépin’s grub “unacceptable”? “Are you kidding? She’d put it on my head, I say that!”
British Prime Minster Gordon Brown, who spent the past two days golf-carting around Camp David with President Bush, arrived in New York last night, where he met with President Clinton to talk about his anti-poverty plans and then gave a speech today at the United Nations on the same topic. (After which employees massed to photograph him while he spoke to reporters.) We’d mention the details of the plan, but the more relevant part is this: That’s why there were all those cops around the Waldorf yesterday and today. Just in case you’re curious. (We were.)
Earlier: President Bush and His Toy Car
Peacock Alley, Soon to Become a Lounge, Serving New Small PlatesThe lounge-ification of New York continues apace. At the Waldorf-Astoria’s Peacock Alley, long a citadel of haute cuisine, the lounge will literally swallow up the dining room at the end of the month, and an already-expanded small-plates menu will take the place of the traditional dining and à la carte service. “We can have bolder flavors,” John Doherty, the hotel’s executive chef, tells us, “because you’re eating less.” Allow us to elaborate: In one new dish, chef Cedric Tovar is smoking salmon (in another, sturgeon) with cedar chips and serving them with braised endive and a bright citrus emulsion; in one holdover, he’s serving jumbo Maya shrimp cocktail with spicy horseradish, tomato marmalade, and tomato sorbet. The new menu will be 90 percent seafood, Tovar says: “People love the way I work with fish.”