Like Father Like Son
When Graydon Carter pulled an intern named Michael Hainey aside at the Spy magazine Christmas party in 1989, the legendary editor had probably had a few. “I think you’re going to be a star,” Mr. Carter said. And then the advice he’d repeat over the years: “Don’t fuck it up.”
Twenty-five at the time, Mr. Read More
off the record
Is it happening again?
The bad time went by many names: the meltdown … the shakeout … the reckoning … the death of print… or sometimes, simply, “trying to freelance.”
Old-timers can still remember it—how, amid the frozen winter of 2008, the corridors of once unshakable media empires ran red with ink as the insertion orders dried up and crumbled into dust. Aeron chairs grew wet with tears. Editors were cashiered, contract writers flung overboard like chum. Soon you could see them all over Midtown: the sleek black Town Cars sitting idle on cinder blocks, rusting in the bleak unforgiving sun.
It was terrifying. The death knell—a merciless, unrelenting Twitter feed titled “The Media Is Dying”—sounded on a daily basis, sometimes hourly. Staffers watched in fear as the ghouls of HR, fingernails dabbed in scarlet, inched ever closer.
Menace to Society
I used to think Fashion Week was fun. This was years ago, when “the tents” referred to actual tents. Back in the day (it must have been, oh, 2008) my friends and I would try to talk our way into Tommy and Oscar shows and blog about the experience. It was surprising how often our feigned frustration—“What do you mean I’m not on the list? Please call Eric and let him know that we’re here”—would get us in.
I’m still not sure if there was an Eric, but somehow he always came through.
Now, older and wiser and having recently embarked on a journalistic mission to embed myself among the social elite, I have actual invites (22, to be exact), a fresh Anna bob and a mission, should I choose to accept it, to treat Fashion Week not like a joke, but like a job.
Which is a lot harder than it looks.
So Kim Jong Il, Christopher Hitchens and former Czech president Václav Havel walk up to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates of Heaven …
If you’ve been lost in the static of radio silence this past week, you must be thinking, “What a witty opener for that Upper West Side Christmas party!” Unfortunately, the humor is coarsened by the fact that the North Korean supreme leader, outspoken British-turned-American intellectual and Eastern European politician moonlighting as everything under the literary sun all passed away this weekend. We can’t help but imagine Mr. Hitchens being amused by the inevitable comparisons that one could draw between him and the company he’ll be keeping in the newsworthy obits this week: The pages of which will be filled with terms like “revolutionary,” “tyrannical,” “egomaniacal” and “possibly insane.” (And that’s just for Mr. Hitchens!) It’s dark humor, of course, but did the Vanity Fair contributing editor know any other kind?
Remember the days when The New York Times‘ Chief Wine Critic Eric Asimov tried to pretend that everyone in New York wasn’t as wealthy as it’s 1%? Emphasis on the word tried: Even his old “$25 and Under” column usually found ways to give rave review upscale joints like Barbuto and Shore in Tribecca by listing a dish or two that happened to be under the quarter-hundo range.
But “$25 and Under” fell by the wayside over half a decade ago, and in that time Mr. Asimov has let the pretenses fall away. He is not at The New York Times to sell you on food carts or hot dog joints off of Montrose Ave. Go read GQ if you want that crap. And in his latest column reviewing Graydon Carter‘s Monkey Bar (Why? What? Again? Have we run out of restaurants?) Mr. Asimov uses the opportunity for a scathing takedown of an entire borough. That’s right, Brooklyn. Ya burnt.
Money for Nothing
Besides being well-known, well-heeled New Yorkers, what do Henry Kravis, Jessica Seinfeld, Donald Trump, Lewis Lapham, Lizzie Grubman, Peggy Siegal, Nina Griscom, Ira Rennert and Nicole Miller all have in common? They don’t know it yet but Tiffany & Co. owes them money. How about Jerry Seinfeld, Matt Dillon, Michael Nouri, Sigourney Weaver, Julia Stiles, former Observer editor Peter W. Kaplan, Glenn Close, Joey Ramone’s heirs and Madonna? Cold, hard and abandoned cash from Walt Disney could be coming their way very soon.
The Lunch CROWD
We had a beautiful event last weekend for Todd Eberle, the photographer, celebrating his new book, Empire of Space–which features the Four Seasons 50th anniversary portrait Mr. Eberle took two years ago, with lots of regulars including Michael Ovitz, Peggy Siegal, Dolly Lenz, Aby Rosen, Ed Koch and, of course, me! Larry Gagosian, Vanity Fair Read More
Aging New York literati may still be praying for a savior to swoop in and save Elaine’s, but Graydon Carter will not be making any eleventh-hour power purchases.
The Upper East Side ink-stained parlor announced it would close this Thursday, May 26, pouring its last martini nearly 50 years after the pugnacious and huge-hearted Read More
“It’s good to see the journalism of death is alive and well,” said New Yorker editor David Remnick as he accepted the public interest Ellie for Atul Gawande’s morbid “Letting Go” at the National Magazine Awards on Monday.
The soiree at 583 Park Avenue had kicked off with a sober multimedia tribute to the late Read More
As a rule, guests at New York parties do not usually eat hors-d’oeuvres; trays waft back under people’s noses and no one ever touches a bite. But guests at the Vanity Fair party for the TriBeCa Film Festival on Thursday night broke their own rules and couldn’t seem to get enough of Michelin-starred chief Thomas Read More