— DIANE CLEHANE
They were dishing like it was 1999 today at Michael’s where it was SRO at the bar and in the lounge and filled with movers and shakers of every stripe in the dining room. I got a serious case of whiplash trying to keep track of it all. Between keeping an eye on Anna Wintour, who seemed to swoon over Vivi Nevo’s every word, and watching Brian Williams and Universal honcho Ron Meyer tuck into their lunch with unbridled gusto, I found the scene even more fascinating than usual. Another intriguing phenomenon was the steady stream of suits that poured into the restaurant until it nearly overflowed. Was there a noontime shuttle from Brooks Brothers? Or perhaps, in some circles, the expense account in making a comeback. Here’s hoping…
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. A casually clad Charlie Rose, who explained why he was wearing Chuck Taylors with his pinstripe suit: “I worked out earlier this morning.” The PBS talk show host was with two mystery guests.
2. Anna Wintour and Vivi Nevo. The Vogue editrix seemed completely enraptured by the Israeli venture capitalist. Whatever could have made her smile so much?
3. Hollywood casting agent Bonnie Timmermann with Law & Order SVU star Richard Belzer and literary agent David Vigliano. Belzer entertained his pals throughout lunch by reading stories aloud from a pile of old issues of Star magazine. I’m thinking Richard is considering writing a book based on some tabloid tales. Sounds interesting.
4. Glued to his Blackberry throughout the first half of lunch, a tie-less Harvey Weinstein with James Neaderlander and another business type. The group all gave Bonnie Timmermann a big ‘hello.’
5. Moneyman Stan Shuman, who stopped at the bar to say hello.
6. The Imber Gang minus Jeff Greenfield: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer. I congratulated Dr. Imber again on the avalanche of press he’s gotten this month for his skincare line, Youth Corridor. Everyone from W to Departures is singing his praises.
7. Artist and author Paige Peterson with another blonde gal.
8. Geraldine Laybourne looking fabulous!
9. Hearst high priestess of publicity, Deb Shriver
10. My old pal and public relations maven Joannie Danielides told me she was stopped from going into Burger Heaven on 53rd Street for lunch yesterday, because they were shooting The Celebrity Apprentice with disgraced politico Rod Blagojevich and a few other less than stellar celebs. According to Joannie, there was a sign posted at the hamburger hangout saying all patrons must be willing to make a sizable donation to the charity the C-listers were playing for. She opted to go elsewhere.
11. My good friends Jonathan Wald and Carol Brodie. Carol’s new jewelry line for HSN, Rarities, is selling like mad these days and she’s working non-stop to build “the first international Internet brand.” She tells me the bling is garnering a celeb following and has even been worn by those fab fashionistas on Gossip Girl. Jonathan, who left CNBC a while back, hasn’t announced his next big move, but I’m thinking he was able to offer Carol plenty of tips today on how to leverage her television presence.
12. John Arnhold
14. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for this one: Brian Williams, who slipped by us before we could grab him for a quick chat, and Universal president Ron Meyer.
15. Tony Hoyt (long time, no see!) with Country Living editor Sarah Gray Miller. These fast friends have known each other since the days when Budget Living owner Don Welsh asked Tony if he could find him an editor. Tony was doing a little headhunting at the time and suggested Sarah. Just thought you’d like to know.
16. Fox Five’s Rosanna Scotto and a dark-haired beauty who was rocking some serious boots and fishnets.
81. CBS News’ David Poltrack
17. Financial Times‘ Chrystia Freeland
18. HMI chairman George Green
20. Estee Lauder’s Alexandra Trower and author Alyse Meyers. Alyse’s debut memoir Who Do You Think You Are? should be required reading for anyone who has a complicated relationship with their mother — in other words, everyone. Here’s hoping she comes out with another book soon!
21. How Not To Look Old author Charla Krupp
22. Frank Baker
23. Attorney Richard Descherer
24. Hearst’s Frank Farrell
25. My pal, PR maestro Tom Goodman (loved the Yankees tie!) with Korn Ferry’s Chuck Wardell.
26. Citigroup’s Peter Gregory
27. Sotheby’s Jamie Niven and Henrietta Spencer Churchill (a descendant of Winston Churchill, so we’re told).
28. Clear Channel’s John Partilla and Jeff Haley from The Radio Advertising Bureau
29. MPAA’s Nina Link
30. Price Waterhouse Coopers’ Denise Shapiro
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.