Lunch at Michael’s: Barry Diller, A Delirious Hirshey, and Hot Hot Heat

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgWith the heat index hovering somewhere around 140 degrees Fahrenheit today, one might expect that Michael’s would be a walk too far and that the burger would be a mite too heavy for the Saharan conditions. But you would be wrong. The only compromises made by the lunch crowd were apparently sartorial ones — plenty of khakis and polo shirts, cotton dresses, and the odd seersucker suit or two. (And then there was the guy in the orange polo with the collar popped and a matching pocket square.) Here was the crowd:

Table 1: Leveraged buyout tycoon Teddy Forstmann, looking cool in a khaki suit, presided over a full table up front.

2: A trio of gentlemen, including fashion designer Alexander Julian looking super-casual in a borderline-Hawaiian shirt. Arriving later, for the second shift was eternally youthful U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., who was getting around with the help of crutches because of an apparently mangled foot.

3. Former United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrook lunching with a pair of ladies.

4. In a nod to Ron Perelman’s sartorial insistence that moguls dress just like us, Barry Diller materialized in a GQ-would-approve combinatiion of white shirt, candy-striped green tie, and light olive cargo pants. His lunch date, Paramount chief Brad Grey, made a more elitist sartorial statement in a dark suit that signified a Town Car was no doubt waiting outside.


5. Bob Schieffer, playing out the string with a colleague from CBS.

6. Newline CFO Steve Abramson was hanging out here with Allen & Co.’s Joe Josephson.

7. Seated at Michael’s de facto fashion table today were semi-regular George Malkemus, the president of Manolo Blahnik and Candy Pratts Price, the executive fashion director of Style.com.

8. It was a summit of socialite magazine chief here, with New York Social Diary’s/Quest’s David Patrick Columbia breaking bread with Avenue’s Pamela Gross. Both magazines were amply represented in the lobby today, along with copious amounts of Hamptons, Gotham (of course, with Michael’s being half of Jason Binn’s distribution strategy) Art & Auction, BizBash, and, oddly, Discover. (Obviously, Bob Guccione Jr. was here.)

9. Speaking of Quest, publisher/owner Chris Meigher was floating free from his usual table today, and was lunching with Jim Brodsky. We didn’t have a chance to ask what he thought of Colman Andrews’s departure from Saveur, which Meigher launched in the mid-90s at Meigher Communications. If only things hadn’t gone astray.

11. Power publicist Peggy Siegel peeked out from behind the wall today. Her lunch date, however, was obscured.

12. Jack Myers at his usual spot.

14. Henry Schlieff, without a jacket for like, the first time ever, with heavyweight TV talent agent (think Dan Rather) Richard Liebner.

15. Jacqui Lividni, former senior vice-president of fashion and merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue.

16. The Jerrys Lunch, you know, Jerry Della Femina, Gerry Ember, CNN’s Jeff Greenfield, Michael Kramer, etc. etc.

17. More socialite chroniclers and their subjects: Avenue founder Judy Price with Somers White Farkas (we can’t keep track of which name she’s using these days, so we’ll just use all of them.)

18. Former CBS News president Andrew Heyward, just two tables away from his former employee (and indirect beneficiary), Schieffer.

19. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu media guy Scott Singer was hidden here behind a column.

20. David Hirshey, clad in a periwinkle polo and khakis, was wandering around dazed and confused after having been ousted from his usual table due to his own tardiness in making a reservation. His ongoing brush with heatstroke wasn’t helping. “I almost wore shorts,” he said, which may have been apropos during his stint at rabbi of the soccer jews, but not now. He was with author Jonathan Mahler, author of “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning,” which is due to be made into a miniseries by ESPN.

21. Magazine Publishers of American president Nina Link, along with her son David.

22. Bizbash CEO David Adler, which would explain the piles in the lobby.

23. This table doubled as the weekly planning meeting for the upcoming “Fete de Swifty’s” on September 25, the third installment of Liz Smith’s charity extravaganza that’s the social event of the season for the NY Social Diary crowd. Associate committee co-chairs Gillian Miniter and hedge-funder Elizabeth Finkle Eliot. They were joined by Miniter’s husband Sylvester and uber-preppy fashion designer Steven Stolman. Fete de Swifty’s, for those of you who are wondering, picked up the torch from “Fete de Famille,” the charity event that Glenn Bernbaum, the late owner of the late Mortimer’s, used to throw each year in the street outside his restaurant. Liz Smith helped resurrect the event, which nowadays is held in conjunction with Swifty’s (the successor to Mortimer’s) and benefits the Family Justice Initiative of the Mayor’s Fund. So now you know.

24. Alan Wurtzel, president of NBC’s research department, and Gali Einav, also of NBC Research. They were with Nathalie Krup and Michael Vorhaus, both of Frank N. Magid Associates.

25. mediabistro.com’s very own Laurel Touby lunching with “Television Disrupted” author Shelly Palmer

26. Don Welsh.

27. Peter Price with longtime TV news vets Bill Small and David Winn.

28. Gant USA CEO Ari Hoffman.

29. Author Pamela Keogh was here with Joseph Montabello, who was sporting the seersucker-and-white bucks we mentioned earlier. He’s the former creative director at Harper Collins. who now happens to have a radio show called “Between The Covers,” (about books, fyi) on WVOX.

30. And finally, the woman Who Would Be Martha: Sandra Lee.

Also seen on arrival but not spotted at a table: 60 Minutes’ Morley Safer, and editor-at-large (in the world) Phoebe Eaton.

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
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