Lunch at Michael’s: Who We Watched On Our Summer Vacation

Between the Independence Day hangovers (literal and figurative), this morning’s torrential showers, and the fact that many regulars seemed to have left for vacation last Friday and not come back yet, it was a placid afternoon at Michael’s today. We re-read The Great Gatsby over the holiday, and just as Nick Carraway imagines a flock of sheep rounding a corner on Fifth Avenue at one point, so too, could we imagine a meadow in the expanse of unoccupied tables around our own near the back of the room.

Our last minute lunch date today was the suddenly much-in-demand Jesse Oxfeld, the ex-co-editor of Gawker (and before that, the editor of mediabistro). Contrary to what Nikki Finke has been hearing, his Blackberry received a steady stream of well wishes and offers to bat story ideas around — the usual correspondence of the recently dispossessed. As for why it happened, he’s sticking with his story — media gossip just doesn’t scale.

But just because it was a quiet day doesn’t mean the place was empty. Here’s the summer vacation session roll call:

Table 1: PR eminence Howard Rubenstein led the first shift on this table, while Sony/BMG exec Adam Owett held down the second seating. Owett — whose look just screamed “creative” in an olive pin-striped Agnes B. suit and sneakers — was less interested in owning a piece prime real estate than he was in not freezing to death underneath an air-conditioning vent.

2: Former Warner Bros. and ABC executive Ed Bleier.

3: Gil Schwartz and Jack Myers, together. Nothing — not holidays, not humidity, nothing — can keep them away.

4. First shift: Ron Perelman looking tan and rested in khakis while striding to his table. Second shift: The New York Post’s Tim Arango, lunching with Nathaniel Brown.

5. NBC anchor Brian Williams, who was also looking tan (as ever), arrived looking for “Mr. Blank’s” table. At first we thought we were hearing the aural equivalent of a TK, but then we realized his lunchdate today was Showtime CEO Matthew Blank.

6. Long-time Billy Joel producer Phil Ramone was here.

8. Former New York Daily News editor and current Hill & Knowlton executive Jonathan Capehart, lunching with a young woman.

12. Cablevision’s top spokesman Charles Schuler, who presumably has to set strict ground rules for lunchtime chat with his companion, CNBC’s “money honey” and market mover, Maria Bartiromo.

14. Simon & Schuster editorial director Alice Mayhew.

15. Magazine consultant Tony Hoyt.

17. DeBeers USA president (and former W magazine publisher) Alyce Alston.

18. Savoy Entertainment Books co-founder (and veteran film producer) Lewis Korman.

20. Estee Lauder spokeswoman Sally Susman.

23. Richard Bressler, the former CFO of both Time Warner and Viacom who’s currently at the equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.

27. Enzo Viscusi, group SVP of Eni SpA, the Italian oil producer.

And that’s this week’s admittedly short list. Please send any and all correct spellings, additions, and what-have-you to Greg AT mediabistro Dot Com AND FishbowlNY AT mediabistro Dot Com.

Map of Michael’s