It was Luncher Emeritus Day at Michael’s. Between Walter Cronkite, Grace Mirabella, Martin Puris, Myrna Blyth and others, we felt a healthy respect for our elders. The roll call on this sunny, placid Wednesday:
Table 1: Former Conde Nast EVP from back in the day, John Brunelle, with his wife Pat and a table full of old chums.
2: Regular Peter Brown and an unidentified companion.
3. Henry Schleiff, who continues to ride out the summer and his twilight days at Court TV in high style, lunching with his own unknown guest.
4. It’s becoming a bit of a lame joke to comment on Ron Perelman’s uber-casualness in this column, but in our defense — he’s beginning to drift into the realm of the absurd. He held down the corner table today with a besuited man and breezily beautiful woman while sporting jeans, an untucked turquoise polo shirt and a taxicab yellow baseball cap he wore for half his meal. We’ve heard of go-to-hell-pants, but a go-to-hell cap was new to us.
5. Al Roker, looking svelte-ish, was stationed along the wall.
6. A stern-looking table, at least when we peeked at it, presided over by Cathy Lacey (we’re not sure on the spelling).
7. While their third waited patiently at this table for a good half-hour, Tim Gunn and Grace Mirabella appeared arm-in-arm at the top the stairs a little before 1 PM. Gunn, who has become the star of Bravo’s “Project Runway” when he isn’t running the fashion program at Parsons, helped the frail Ms. Mirabella to their table. They’ve been hanging out quit a bit lately, including taking in a screening of “The Devil Wears Prada.” (Fashion types will recall that “Prada’s” inspiration, Anna Wintour, helped engineer Mirabella’s downfall at Vogue.
8. Film producer Diane Sokol and Sony Pictures Television president Steve Moscow.
9. Showtime PR honcho Stu Zakim sat here, although he dropped by the bar to say hello. The big thing on his plate at the moment: the season two premiere of “Weeds,” the light-hearted and heart-warming tale about a bobo single-mother drug dealer. He brought screeners of the first few episodes for his lunch date, Glamour’s PR chief Samantha Rosenthal.
11. Producer Steve Haft, who wins today’s award for snazziest pocket square and wildest hair, lunching with Classic Media’s Bob Friedman.
12. No David Hirshey today, but we did spot longtime HarperCollins executive editor Larry Ashmead at this table. (He joined InkWell Management a couple months ago, for the record.)
14. Time managing editor Rick Stengel (whose coronation is still the craziest day we’ve ever seen at this place) is apparently making the Michael’s rounds these days. He was here with stalwart luncher (and Simon & Schuster’s) Alice Mayhew.
15. Speaking of regulars, a new combination: CNBC news chief Jonathan Wald with HarperCollins’ Marion Menaker.
16. Regular Nick Verbitsky was holding down this table.
17. Michael’s was fortunate enough to have two editrix emeriti here today: Mirabella and longtime Meredith great Myrna Blyth, who was sitting here out of sight.
18. Literary agent Ed Victor.
19. Editor-at-large Phoebe Eaton strode in clad in a camouflage dress, kissed owner Michael Moriarty on both cheeks, and was escorted to her table in the back.
20. Dateline executive producer David Corvo.
21. Serial publishing entrepreneur Don Welsh, at his usual table.
22. Marian & Patrick Murphy, lunching with Joan Jacobson. [Update: Make that Mary Murphy, the sister of Patrick, who is the mayor’s fashion czar.]
23. Keith Kelly, sitting in the corner with his back to us, lunching with whom? [Update: He was with a bevy of folks from Consumers Union, the parent of Consumer Reports and its new offspring, ShopSmart. He was specifically with ShopSmart editor-in-chief Lisa Freeman, PR man Ken Weine and SVP John Stateja.
24. Walter Cronkite appeared just in time for the second seating, and made his way toward the back of the room shaking hands the entire route. Waiting for him was legendary ad man Martin Puris.
25. We heard a certain Charlie Shore was back here, but we can’t help but wonder whether it was really Charlie Shuler?
28. Vera Wang president Susan Sokol.
And, spotted wandering about in the back, gals-about-town Liz Finkle Eliot and Gillian Miniter. They’re co-chairing this fall’s installment of “Fete de Swifty,” which benefits Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, serving victims of domestic violence and their children. As for what Fete de Swifty is, don’t ask us — it’s some kind of socialite thing.
[Update: A tipster asks “What were CNN prexy Jonathan Klein and Paula Zahn doing in the BACK ROOM? Did they not want to get noitced?” If true, they did a great job of keeping quiet back there.]