– The intimidatingly assiduous Peggy Siegal greets people at the door; thanks us for coming to celebrate party with The New York Observer. “We are The New York Observer!” We cry. She doesn’t even pause. “Well, it’s great to see you anyway.”
-Terry McDonell: I’ve always loved the Observer, I have great respect for Peter Kaplan. The coverage of everything I was interested in New York in the past 25 years was reflected in The Observer at the highest level.
– Ray Kelly recalls the last time he was at the Four Seasons. “[We] feel like you never leave,” we tell the Police Commissioner. His reply: “A lot of people feel that way.”
– Spike Lee keeps on puffy coat all evening, talks to Katie Holmes, Donald Trump. Catch tail end of his conversation with Mr. Trump: “Well, that’s one thing we agree on.”
– Mayor Bloomberg gets onstage, proceeds to riff about slipping Harvey Weinstein a script (Bloomie on Bloomie), Cory Booker (“The handsomest mayor West of the Hudson”) and The Observer (“It’s OK when you needle somebody else, but not me.”)
– Michael Shannon confounds half the party with his celebrity status. “What famous person is that?” we are asked more than several times. We finally after give up and refer them to Boardwalk Empire after several of our “the Future General Zod” joke receives blank stares.
– Nick Denton refuses to take photo with Rupert Murdoch because it’s “too obvious.”
-Chuck Close: I love the Observer almost in spite of myself. At first it was a guilty pleasure. When I go to Europe and can’t read you, I get really upset.
– Mayor Cory Booker meets Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s press secretary/Girls actress Audrey Gelman. Mr. Booker finds a way to bring the conversation back around to Star Trek.
– Game Change’s Emmy-winning screenwriter Danny Strong still getting recognized for his years on the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But he’s a good sport, and challenges fanboy to name the one episode of the hit show that was nominated for an Emmy. (Answer: “Hush.”)
-Former editor Peter Kaplan begs off with the excuse that he is trying to wean himself off of anti-anxiety medication.
-Ronald Perelman: I love the publication! I think everybody here is great. I think this is the best collection of New Yorkers I’ve seen in 20 years!
– Jay McInerney inquires about the after-party; never shows up.