The Waverly Inn: On the Fritz!
Like everyone else, The Transom ran into Graydon Carter last week.
So, Sir Graydon: Is the avoidance of traditional means of taking reservations—such as a working phone—part of a larger attempt to keep the unwashed West Village masses and trannies out of your new restaurant, the Waverly Inn? (The Transom reported last week that the Waverly’s listed phone is a dead end and that, other than walk-ins, the only way to get a table is to call Vanity Fair’s offices or be invited.)
“It’s not exclusive; it’s just small,” Mr. Carter said of his bouncing baby restaurant. “It’s not fully open yet,” he said, adding that oftentimes there simply weren’t people around to answer the phone.
“There will be an easy way for everyone to make reservations soon,” he promised.
Fortunately, another editor at the party let slip this juicy morsel: There is yet another way to get a table at the Waverly! The restaurant takes reservations via a little-known e-mail address. And so, wretched masses, have at it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Transom can confirm that “Fritz” is very responsive. On Monday night at the Waverly Inn, The Transom found the crowd to be très chic. At one table was Mr. Carter, his wife, Fran Lebowitz and another man who definitely looked important. What’s more, there was a private party in the back, with Amy Sacco, Zac Posen and Zani Gugelmann.
The kind hostess said the restaurant wouldn’t officially be open for another few weeks. In the meantime, she said, e-mail is the best way to get a table. “It’s O.K.—you can give it to a few people,” she said of email@example.com. “We’ll see what we can do.”
Penélope Cruz: Escape From L.A.
“I live in L.A., but I love New York,” said the beauteous Penélope Cruz on Monday night. In fact, the Spanish “Ray of Light” may soon be walking amongst us again soon. “I live here two years in the Village and I wanna come back soon. I’m gonna live here again soon.”
The 32-year-old actress currently divides her time between homes in Los Angeles and her hometown of Madrid. She said she has adjusted to L.A. “I didn’t like it in the beginning, but now I like it because I love my home and I have my friends, my own rhythm, my own lifestyle that I brought there. I have my own rituals from Europe, instead of the other way around. I don’t have dinner at 6 p.m. or any of that L.A. stuff. I don’t take siestas, but I have dinner at 10 p.m.”
Ms. Cruz has been in the city a lot lately promoting Volver, the new Pedro Almodóvar film. It’s made her realize what she’s been missing. “There’s inspiration everywhere in New York. I love the movies and the shows and the bookstores and the music stores and the shopping. You can feel like a student again in New York.”
If she does return, she’ll be bringing along at least two friends. “I have two dogs and two cats. They’re all from the streets. I found them in the streets. I have to keep them separate—the dogs in L.A. and the cats in Madrid. Otherwise they wanna kill each other.” It took a minute for her to recall their names. “Their names are Raimunda, Juber, Vino and Leon,” she said. She said it real fast, though.
“Everyone in New York is the same,” she said. “No one looks at you in the street—maybe a little bit, but they leave you alone. In New York, you can have your privacy.”
Her words, delivered in earnest by those pouty lips and innocent, dark eyes, sent The Transom into a brief but soul-wrenching quandary. Totally. So what’s up with you and Orlando Bloom?
“I am just here to talk about the movie,” she said.
Love Among the Ruins
BlackBook editor in chief Steve Garbarino and his girlfriend —Maddy Simpson, a concept designer at Ralph Lauren—are making it official. The two are planning a June wedding in Jeanerette, La., about 120 miles from New Orleans, at artist Hunt Slonem’s “Albania” plantation. It’s where Mr. Garbarino first proposed to Ms. Simpson, while on assignment for The Wall Street Journal. They were having something like a three-way with a storm named Rita.
“The little town is surrounded by sugarcane fields. Stalks were ripping up everywhere. The Spanish moss trees cracking and hurling wads of debris everywhere,” wrote Mr. Garbarino in an e-mail. “There was no electricity inside the mansion. As dangerous as it felt—the bayou that the house overlooks was moving in the opposite direction, the winds were so strong—it was also as romantic as it gets. Love in the ruins!” Can you feel it, people? “With the shutters hammering the walls and shaking the 50 or so chandeliers, and candles lit on the stairwells, we drank wine, ate cold spaghetti, got in our pajamas and nightgown (she being in the latter). And I just felt moved by it all. I’ve never loved anyone so much in my life, never will. But it was the exact time to ask the beautiful gap-toothed Goldilocks to marry me. And I’m so happy she accepted.”
Mr. Garbarino is known to his Goldilocks as “Mr. Bear.” He said the engagement will be “official-official” when the ring arrives at the end of the month. It’s patterned after a circa-1890’s ring that Ms. Simpson’s parents bought her, reset to fit a 1.7-carat diamond. And last month he asked for her father’s approval.
Mr. Bear is confident that he can “coerce my journalist friends, somehow, to come New Orleans way” in June, he said. “They drink, you know.”
Ian and the Knife
Ian Spiegelman—novelist, former Page Sixer and current ghostwriter—recently learned about the danger of mixing Scotch with his new, super-sharp knife.
Earlier this summer, he discovered the “Hannibal Lecter knife from the movie Hannibal” online. It was love at first sight. “It’s the one you use to just quickly say hello and then cut the Italian’s throat and then cut another Italian’s carotid artery,” he told us last week. The knife cost $220. “It’s incredibly deadly,” he said.
Initially, Mr. Spiegelman got on well with his razor-sharp little friend. “About two weeks ago, I woke up a guy to tell him the train was here at the Second Avenue station.” It was not a happy awakening. “This like drunk frat guy—he was huge—he jumps out of the seat and wants to fight me. I’m like trying to calm him down; I’m like, ‘Dude, I was just waking you up to tell you the train is here.’ He’s like, ‘Fuck you.’ So I’m like, ‘Fine, O.K., you wanna go that way?’ I flick it out—and you flick it out with your thumb—I flick out and I’m like, ‘O.K., let’s go that way.’ And it’s this huge claw knife. He looks at it and runs away.”
The subway incident gave Mr. Spiegelman pause about carrying a weapon.
“I don’t take the knife out anymore, but I was playing with it last week, just seeing what can this thing do. And I just barely touched it to my palm. It cut right down to the muscle—it needed 20 stitches on the outside and five stitches on the inside.”
Were you drunk?
“Oh yeah. I was very drunk.”
Hand in Glover
Crispin Glover is still tirelessly touring the country with his movie What Is It? The film, which he released last year, features a largely Down-syndrome cast and tells the story of a boy “whose principle interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home, as tormented by a racist inner psyche.” Yeah. Mmm-hmm. What’s more, to everyone’s surprise—including his own—he’s been selling out theaters across the country.
But Mr. Glover is a pragmatist, as he explained between slurps of broccoli soup at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Saturday. The original George McFly didn’t spill a drop on his green velvet blazer. “I do commercial work to support the projects that I’m passionate about,” he said. But, he said, he never expected this reality would lead him to working with Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis for a second time. Mr. Glover said he’d been forced to sue Universal Studios when Mr. Zemeckis opted not to hire him for the sequel, but instead created a faux Glover by attaching a prosthetic chin, among other things, to a different actor. Not cool, bro.
Earlier this year—nearly 20 years after the McFly dustup—Mr. Glover forgave the director and signed on to play Grendel in the upcoming Zemeckis production Beowulf.
“It’s a good role—I play the son of Angelina Jolie,” he said in his nasal voice. He had moved on to his salmon. He only does interviews at the Gramercy. “I didn’t expect to be working with Zemeckis again. But it’s a good thing, because it enables me to do other things.”
He’s currently at work editing It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine!, the sequel to What Is It? The first film took him five and a half years to edit, and he said he’s not close to recouping the money he spent on the film, let alone for the many thousands of hours he’s clocked. But he has no regrets and said that he’s really finding his stride in presenting the film.
Next weekend, Mr. Glover takes his film to Chicago. But he won’t be missing Thanksgiving with his parents in L.A.
“Every year we have Thanksgiving—just three of us,” he said. Yes, they have turkey, cranberry and stuffing and whatnot.
And is he still close to his parents? “Yes, we’re pretty close. I was raised as an only child,” he said. There was a disclaimer: “It’s not like we’re abnormally close or anything.”
The Transom Also Hears ….
Über-doorman Armin Amiri may not be long for Bungalow 8; his acting career is picking up. His role as Ondine in Factory Girl was expanded by three scenes. “They said they really liked my work, so I’m going to Connecticut next week to shoot some additional scenes,” he said. Of late, he’s also landed a part in Reservation Road with Joaquin Phoenix. Mr. Amiri said he hoped to be out of the doorman game within a year.
Out west, the set of “Grey’s Anatomy” was buzzing with worry last week. An on-set source said the cast and crew were concerned about the health of star Ellen Pompeo. “There was a big stir on the set,” said the source. Apparently the cast—apart from Patrick Dempsey—is very close. “Everyone on the set is really concerned about her.”
Anthony Haden-Guest was presented with a golden ribbon at the Spy: The Funny Years party Wednesday night, to commemorate his winning the magazine’s “Ironman” nightlife decathlon for two years running back in the day. We’re happy to report that the writer extraordinaire—who wore the badge with pride upon the lapel of a tweed blazer—can still hang with best of them. “My wildest night? That would have to have been last night,” grinned Mr. Haden-Guest. He declined to get into the details. “Why change? It takes too much energy.” No worse for wear then, old boy? “Oh no, I’m falling apart,” he said.
At the 16th annual Environmental Media Awards at L.A.’s Wilshire Ebell Theater on Nov. 8, actors and socialites turned out to show their support for good old Mother Earth. Lance Bass, accompanied by boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl, let the crowd know that when it comes the environment, he ain’t playin’. “I will do anything possible to help our Earth,” he promised. “I plan on working as hard as I can to fight global warming and educate our youth about eco-friendly lifestyles.” Nicole Richie is also deadly serious about the issue. In fact, a fellow attendant reported that Ms. Richie opted out of walking the “green carpet” in order to keep the attention on the party. “I’d rather not have the press focus on me,” she told the source. “Tonight is about making our world a better place to live.” Oh, Nicole! You shouldn’t have.