Rubbing elbows with the mayor, other elite in the city at 2 dinners

CELEBRITY NEWS

June 16, 2008|By TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

Iwent to dinners with the mayor of New York City on two consecutive evenings last week. (Well, I didn't exactly go "with" him, but he did kiss me twice as we passed like ships in the night.) What really happened is I sat next to the wily and clever Steve Rattner at the MOMA dinner, and he and I plotted how we could help Mike Bloomberg get a third term: Set aside the absurd Ronald Lauder "term limits" rule, get that on the ballot in November and turn out 51 percent of voters who want Mike to stay on. (The suggestions of those who "might" run for mayor otherwise leaves any thinking person dejected and limp.)

At the dinner, they started us off with heirloom tomatoes, and they were delicious. Of course, the Museum of Modern Art people always live dangerously. They are not afraid. They can afford to be this way; they are supported by the poshest, richest and most upscale bunch of people in little old New York. Need I say those two words: David Rockefeller?

The cocktail garden party outside that began this particular sultry evening was unpleasant, but once we went into air conditioning, I noted that the dressy black-tie ticket buyers seemed to take up entire floors of MOMA. I sat across from the thoroughly pregnant Arriana Boardman, the young British beauty who snagged the elegant Dixon Boardman, many years her senior. Both are totally happy and expecting a girl! From afar, I glimpsed the controversial turban of Vogue's Andre Leon Talley and the mayor's yellow tux bowtie, which was the talk of fashionistas.

A gracious speech by the charming chairwoman Marie-Josee Kravis contrasted well with most of the other speakers who droned on too long. Acceptances by Donald Marron and Mike Nichols were acute and OK, but really - people other than honorees need to think how long five minutes can be.

Otherwise, this was a high-class evening, and I saw every clot of the creme de la creme, or what's left of it. MOMA must have scored millions.

Oh, hey, what about MOMA prexy emerita Agnes Gund. She is looking hot and sexy these days.

This is a lady who, when made a Living Landmark by the N.Y. Conservancy, wore a papier-mache replica of the museum on her head. What a woman!

Soiree for Walters

The night before that I went to Mort and Linda Janklow's private dinner for their longtime friend Barbara Walters, author extraordinary. Sonny Mehta, her editor at Knopf, believes her sales for Audition will hit 1 million. I can't give you a guest list for this 30-person bash because I don't want the Janklows to suffer slings and arrows. But it was simply great!

The hosts had dug up a menu from Barbara's father's Latin Quarter, which opened in Boston in 1937. At that time, a five-course dinner cost $2.50.

The Janklows re-created the menu for us starting with a fruit cup (remember those?) and adding "surf and turf" and fancy touches. Each table bore a kind of exotic headdress of red feathers and flower petals, such as were worn by the Latin Quarter showgirls. Barbara loved it and shed a tear.

At dinner's end, I gave a kind of recitative verse to "As Time Goes By," and everyone gathered at the piano of David Lewis for a singalong. It's really something to see a mayor of New York, Dr. Henry Kissinger and the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Gillerman, all singing like teenagers serenading their ladies.

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