Like a mighty rainstorm over the parched Sahara, yesterday’s Page Six Magazine profile of Byrdie Bell offered sweet promise to Manhattan’s socialite landscape, which has grown decidedly athirst for new blood. And though Ms. Bell’s been around, smiling for Patrick McMullan at glittery galas for a few years now, our understanding of her was just that—rather two dimensional. Not so anymore. In just three short pages, Gawker’s soon-to-depart Joshua David Stein gives us exactly what the social doctor ordered.
Leave it to the Post to title the piece “Byrdie of Paradise,” whose pictures of the 22-year-old are attended by—what else?—exotic birds. But beside the photos, readers learn not only that Ms. Bell understands that affection is often expressed with puke, but in the lyrical styling of her musical-social boyfriend, James “Bingo” Gubelmann, too: “Bella was bored to death at South Beach/Not one celebrity spotted in days/She was tired of her mood/Lunchin’ on vegan food.” The article even goes so far as to compare the “youngest in an almost Biblical line of society jewels” to Brooke Astor, Mona von Bismarck and Lauren Hutton.
But for all her apparent Upper-East-Side-ness (she inhabits a two-bedroom co-op in the tony ‘hood), Ms. Bell has some serious downtown gal in her as well. Not only was she once a Goth, Astor-Place-Kmart vidster before coming out at the Infirmary Ball in 2003, she now wants to move south of 14th Street. Ms. Bell also plays Nintendo and watches French porn, which is pretty hot in an anti-Tinsley kind of way. (Video games and flesh flicks for francophiles aside, she claims to “appreciate and understand what [Ms. Mortimer] does.”)
In the end, though, Ms. Bell wants to strut her stuff in films. She’s even scored extra parts in the forthcoming Rolling Stones documentary Shine a Light and in the Sex and the City movie. Of being a cinematic background filler, the socialite says, “Now when I watch movies, I notice the extras. It’s really interesting to see people who are pretending they’re not focusing on what they’re doing but are trying really hard.” Oh, how apropos.