Greetings, party-watchers! We bring you part two of our coverage of Arianna Huffington‘s party in LA on Wednesday night (Part I is here. Go look!). By the way, no one actually went into the pool despite our blatant attempts to imply that we were a drunken, carousing lot based on the above photo of Slate‘s Mickey Kaus with two drinks. Truth be told, one was for someone else. It’s true, we didn’t actually see him hand it to anyone, but that’s what he said, and since he didn’t end up in the pool we tend to believe him.
Okay! When we left off, the party was starting to really fill up. Arianna was at the door greeting her guests who were milling about the front hall and fanning out across the first floor and spilling into the backyard and poolside. Wandering through the crowd pretending to be important we espied two identical heads of luxuriant hair, which we recognized from countless photographs: Isabella and Christina Huffington. Unlike in the Vanity Fair article, they were not dressed alike; also ulike the Vanity Fair shoot, they got to keep their outfits. Despite having to fork over the Von Furstenbergs at the end of the shoot, they said it was fun because they got to try on lots of great outfits. “That was the best part,” said Christina. We wondered if they knew how cool their mom was, or if they needed Harriet Miers to tell them. Best Governor EVER! (NB: That is a joke about Harriet Miers, NOT a reference to the current governor of California.)
Following the appetizer tray around is a great way to circulate and still make sure you eat more than all the other guests; the fare did not disappoint, including fresh ahi tuna on a light crispy flatbread; endive leaf topped with creamy goat cheese roast beef-wrapped asparagus, crispy little asiago-topped risotto cakes and tasty little duck spring rolls. The waiters were popular.
At this point the party had hit full steam and even more people who I didn’t recognize had shown up: the NYT‘s Sharon Waxman, producer Lawrence Bender, HuffPo’s and Crooks & Liars’ John Amato, who we would have loved to have said hi to (hi John! Sorry we missed you!), and Yahoo!’s Lloyd Braun. The crowd started flowing into the entrance hall and sitting room for speeches, looking on from the floor and from the landing on the stairway above; FishbowlLA has a succinct run-down here (as well as some keen insight into the collective fashion unconscious of the male LA media); we were too busy stalking the top of Ron Silver’s head to take notes.
The rest of the party passed with the clinking of wineglasses and the happy babble of talkative, friendly folks. We joined a group including former New Yoker Meghan Daum, who has her first column as an official LATimes op-ed columnist this Saturday; the group was full of ideas for what she ought to write about and someone (we think Mickey Kaus) observed that somehwhere, Susan Estrich was no doubt very happy. Quipped Daum: “Oh good, I’m finally the token I always aspired to be.” Hee. (She also sagely noted that “Michael Silverblatt is the Phil Schapp of letters”; don’t you agree? Quite right. I nodded my head, too).
As the evening wore down, Nick Denton and Lockhart Steele circulated inviting everyone to join them at the Viceroy Hotel for the after-party; off a group of Yahoo! people went. Good-byes were said (we got one “It was great to meet you, Jennifer!”) and valets summoned with cars. The crowd thinned; a final gang gathered in the study by the suddenly-roaring fireplace, winding down; Arianna gave out some of her books (lucky recipients: Lisanti, Denton, Lockhart and myself). Denton and the Gawker Media gang headed off to The Standard, which was not, incidentally, the Viceroy. Oops. The party had been called for 6:30 to 8:30 pm and it was well past 10:30 pm; by all accounts a highly successful soirée. Bah, who needs a pool.
Mickey Kaus, Laurence O’Donnell and Michael Sonnenschein. O’Donnell writes for the West Wing, but watch for him in front of the camer with a darker, more sultry haircolor in an upcomig episode of a show called “Big Love.” Or it could be called “Big Lori” or “Big Louis” — I can’t read my writing. “Big Loni,” maybe? Yeah, it’s gotta be “Big Loni.” I smell a hit!
Mark Lisanti is apparently the kind of guy who does the dishes. So said his ladyfriend (and housemate) whose name escapes us (sorry!) even though we can picture her great outfit clear as day. We looked for evidence of dishpan hands but could find none.
We don’t know if Lisanti’s new co-blogger Seth Abramovitch does the dishes, but we’re willing to cut him some slack because he’s Canadian. Fishbowl is all about the shameless double standard.
The Secret Harry Potter Door described above. One almost expected to see Nearly Headless Nick floating by. We snuck a peek inside and espied Arianna’s assistant Marja Adriance, infinitely preferable to ghosts with gaping neck wounds. There’s Marja below, with apologies and thanks to HuffPo and Earl the Photographer from whom we pilfered. But hair like that must be shared with the world.
Marja Adriance with Kimberly Brooks, also with a lovely head of hair.
“The name is Steele. Lockhart Steele.”
Artist Derek Boshier get bloggy with it. Also, he is wearing by far the most fun pant-sock combo at the party. Sorry, Laurence O’Donnell, you miss it by a hair. Cheer up, you still have “Big Loni.”
The top of Ron Silver‘s head (bottom right)
Fishbowl about to take a picture of the top of Ron Silver’s head.
Tie + shoes = AWESOME.
Photog Elizabeth Daniels shoots Arianna and HuffPo editor Michael Owen
Arianna, at rest (we’re kidding of course — we’re pretty sure that Arianna never rests)