Lunch: Football, Fashionistas & Laila Ali



It was a tasty tossed summer salad of movers, shakers — and football players at Michael’s today. Now that the power set has to cram in five days of plotting into a truncated work week — Why miss out on a Friday afternoon in the Hamptons if you don’t have to? — the dining room was buzzing. We noticed diners were opting for deep conversation over table-hopping today so there must be plenty of big doings afoot.

I was lunching today with my new friend, Denise Cobb, who just arrived from Naples, Florida for a few days of fun. This weekend she celebrated with her good pal Desiree Gruber at her baby shower at the rooftop garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel and is planning to go to Judge Judy’s housewarming for the mega-mansion she had built — in just four months! — in Greenwich. “She’s really proud that she could get the builder to work so fast,” reports Denise. Fear is a great motivator, I suppose. Who would dare incur the wrath of Judge Judy? I love to watch her cut delinquent dads off at the knees on her television show, don’t you? After our lunch, Denise was off to visit with our mutual pal Carol Brodie, who is newly installed at Faberge and has big things in store for the iconic house. Denise and I are collaborating on a top secret project for Gulf Shore Life with editor-in-chief David Sendler. You’ll be the first to know all the details, I promise.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. New York Jets D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Leon Washington and Nick Mangold with some handlers and managers we didn’t recognize.

2. Peggy Siegal channeling Jackie O in a stunning white sheath, great earrings and her new ‘do with a dark-haired young power gal “in training” so we’re told…

3. Susan Zirinksy, whose show 48 Hours Mystery on Saturday nights on CBS is one of my favorite guilty pleasures with Mattea Gold.

4. John Huey and a bespectacled gent whose face we recognized but whose name escapes us…

5. Money man Stan Shuman and another distinguished-looking fellow.

6. Howard Rubenstein presiding over a table full of folks.

7. Joe Versace.

8. Mom-to-be Laila Ali with Tony Pace, the president of Subway. Has the former Dancing with the Stars hoofer got a commercial in the works or she is just a fan of their 6 grams or less subs? Discuss amongst yourselves.

9. My pal best-selling author Pamela Keogh and People ‘s Nina Burleigh. Pamela was nice enough to send me an invite to the private shopping day for a Tory Burch sample sale which took place yesterday. When my three-year-old came down with a fever, I had to take a pass but figured I’d try to ferret out a marked down pair of flats with the hoi polloi today. No luck. The line to get in this morning stretched down the entire block of 36th Street. Memo to intrepid shoppers hoping to score some great stuff for the beach: The sale goes until Saturday but get there early — or bring a chair.

11. Rob Weisbach.

12. The “Imber gang:” Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield and Dr. Gerry Imber.

14. CNBC’s Jonathan Wald.

15. My good pal Tony Hoyt with his son vintner-turned-yoga guru Bobby Hoyt and Miramax’s Erin Orr.

16. Public relations maven Lisa Dallos, who was nice enough to stop by the bar and introduce me to her guests Fredrik Carlstrom, the brains behind and marketing guru to über brands like MTV and Absolut (“Check out the site. It’s all there!”) and fellow Freud colleague Josh Raffel.

17. Fern Mallis and a fellow sporting summer whites. I congratulated Fern on her cameo in Sex and The City: The Movie. When we spoke for a piece I was doing for Variety on the making of the picture earlier this year, IMG’s senior vice president of fashion was fretting that her appearance in one scene sitting in the front row of a fashion show with the fab four would wind up on the cutting room floor. We never doubted Fern would make it to the big screen since she was instrumental in getting the Tents reconstructed in Bryant Park for the all important scene.

18. Peter Price with a blonde-haired gal who must have been mighty hungry because she made a beeline for the reception desk despite the fact there were at least 10 people — including yours truly — who were ahead of her.

20. Freddie Friedman.

21. Joely Hunt.

22. A bigwig from CBS Viacom, so we’re told.

23. Orin Schneider.

24. NBC Universal’s JB Perrette.

25. New Line’s Jim Janowitz.

27. My pal Diane Dimond with Lucianne Goldberg and her public relations gal Bonnie Dudley. Diane has been hard at work on her Web site where she reports and comments on some of the most fascinating court cases of the day. She’s also branching out writing for Liz Smith ‘s new Web site,, and penning a weekly newspaper column for Albuquerque Journal. Lucianne, you probably know, is also an Internet diva these days with which reports on — surprise! — the comings and goings on in Washington. Her prediction on Hillary ‘s role in the upcoming election: “She is going to make Barack Obama’s life hell!” If the on-the-surface innocuous stories in today’s papers about Hillary’s newfound BFF John McCain and Scarlett Johansson ‘s profession of “love” for Obama are any indication of what’s in store for the democratic nominee, I’d say she might have something there…

28. Attorney Michael Kassan.

30. Public relations princess Elizabeth Harrison looking fab in her chic black suit and killer heels with Playboy‘s Lauren Melone. Elizabeth tells me she working with Peggy Siegal (her former boss) on what’s sure to be the hottest ticket in town this summer — the premiere of Mamma Mia starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. I saw the trailer this week and I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. Meryl never looked better — or younger! — and her leading men are positively yummy. And they all sing! I can’t wait, can you?

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.