Lunch at Michael’s: Wet Outside, But Elton John’s Bodyguard Was Dry

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgEven the drenching downpour couldn’t keep Manhattan’s power set away today. The Town Cars might have been a bit delayed because of the truly dreadful weather but the steady stream of A-listers that were fashionably late (and miraculously dry) that eventually filled the room were as dazzling as usual. We knew big things were afoot when we arrived to find a black Chevy Suburban with tinted windows parked out front with two very imposing-looking gentlemen alighting from the vehicle. We’re happy to report we weren’t disappointed.

Table 1. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong was among the first to arrive and got up to greet us. He was all smiles as he told us he was waiting for his “old friend” Elton John who he first met during his tenure as publisher of Rolling Stone and Elton was bursting on the music scene in the seventies. Moments later, Sir Elton arrived flanked by his two bodyguards (the guys we spotted outside) and gave Joe a big “Hello.” One of his protectors perched in the lounge while the other, a very nice fellow named “Tom” (no last names, please!) wound up seated next to us at the bar. So devoted to his charge was Tom that he didn’t even ask for a sip of water. He was most cordial, offering just enough tasty tidbits about his job with the pop superstar to be good company but not too much as to breach what must be some sort of body guard code of ethics. He told us that Elton was in town to “receive an award and do a little shopping.” One can only imagine.

A little after 1 p.m., the rest of Joe’s party arrived. Barbara Walters arrived first followed shortly by Liz Smith. We continue to marvel at these ladies’ classic style and stamina. What’s your secret, gals? Tom was dutifully checking out the action throughout the afternoon but did engage us in a conversation about living in New York vs. Los Angeles(today we both agreed we’d rather be in the sunnier spot) and the joys of staying in fine hotels. Suffice to say Joe has seen his share.

Here’s the best of the rest of the crowd we spotted:

2. Designer Arnold Scassi, Parker Ladd and an elegant blond lady dressed all in black.

3. Robert Keating and Gerald Schoenfeld.

4. Owen Lassiter and a dark-haired female guest.

5. Barry Diller and a mystery man. (We’re intrigued that Mr. Diller consistently seems to dine with unidentified folks that dare to keep him waiting. Who are you people?)

6. Terry Kramer and guest.

7. Grace Mirabella and two well dressed folks.

8. Al Roker who, we heard, is hosting a benefit for Habitat for Humanity tonight at St. John’s the Divine.

9. The fashionable duo of Jacqui Lividini and Kate Betts.

10. Gerry Byrne.

11. Time Inc. editor John Huey and guest.

12. Ed Rollins — talking about election results, no doubt — and guests.

14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew and best-selling author Richard Reeves.

15. Stanley Jaffe.

16. A smiling Peter Baconovic (who received a warm welcome and bear hug from Michael), NBC newswoman Felicia Taylor and two other women.

17. We couldn’t see.

18. Stanley Schuman.

19. We couldn’t see.

20. Suzanne Gluck.

21. Tom Ryder and Missy Godfrey.

22. Jonathan Capehart and guest.

23. Martin Gatins.

24. Playboy‘s fashion director Joe DeAcetis.

25. Tom Goodman and Yankee public relations guru Rick Cerrone.

26. Media maven Myrna Blyth and PR powerhouse Maury Rogoff.

27. Jim Goodman and Harvey Weinstein (who worked the room before settling in at his table).

28. New York Post‘s Tim Arango and guest.

29. Stuart Rekant and Peter Price.

In the Garden Room: Les Moonves who was lunching with Lyle Wilpon. Interesting.

Map of Michael’s