On Monday, Sept. 15—the day the Dow dropped 504 points—some of the well-heeled guests at a party for Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair: The Portraits, A Century of Iconic Images seemed a little rattled. “I think it’s great, I think it should happen every day,” said IAC chairman Barry Diller, who recently split his company in five parts. “Yes, I’m joking. Sorry,” he barked as he quickly excused himself.
Others were more sanguine. “I think it’s a correction. If you take the long-term view of things, the ups and downs don’t seem so dramatic,” said svelte Vanity Fair contributor Amy Fine Collins. “I remember in 1987, there was this big Christian Lacroix party and it was right around the time that the stock market crashed. The world didn’t end, it just went into a different phase.”
“I’m checking Hamptons real estate ads!” joked Mr. Carter, seated at a table signing copies of his hefty photo book. “This is going to happen periodically, and the city levels off and ultimately becomes better.”
Author Fran Lebowitz developed a mischievous smirk when the Transom asked her about the economy. “Are you kiddin’? I can’t wait!” she exclaimed. “Just when you think how horrible New York has become in terms of things interfering with the tone of the city, they’re finally leaving!”
Who is leaving?
“The rich people! They’re leaving! They’re leaving! And all these tourists, they be gone!” Ms. Lebowitz did admit she feels sympathy for lower-level employees who have lost their jobs at the big firms.
Architect Richard Meier, who lately has become known for designing costly Manhattan apartment buildings, seemed somewhat more disturbed by the news. “I don’t know how to deal with it or what it means. Certainly, it’s going to have a serious effect on my work here.”
When asked just how long our economic troubles might last, Mr. Meier said, “Hopefully, two or three more hours.” Then he tilted his head back and took a swig of Champagne.