Caroline Manzo, Morgan Fairchild, Plus HarperCollins Fetes William Boyd

One of the things I love most about chronicling the Wednesday scene at Michael’s is the random celeb sightings that seem to come out of left field. On offer today: television stars of the past and present that represent the changing (and fickle?) tastes of the viewing public. When none other than Morgan Fairchild walked in (she’s even tinier in person), I had an eighties flashback to those great trashy nighttime soaps and damsel in distress Lifetime movies that were all the rage back then. A few minutes later, The Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s Caroline Manzo, today’s definition of a soap star, walked in. Funny enough, they were seated right next to each other but neither noticed the other. What can I say? This stuff fascinates me.

I was joined today by two PR mavens, Melanie Brandman, founder of The Brandman Agency, and Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR. After chewing over the week’s hottest gossip (Did Kim Kardashian do it for money? Has Kris Jenner no shame?), we had a good chat about Melanie’s latest luxury innovation, Travel Curator, which she describes as a hybrid online monthly magazine, diary and blog that shares the very best insider information on cities around the world.  Besides having exquisite taste, Melanie’s unrivaled experience in the hospitality industry and two decades of worldwide travel have given her quite an address book.

Table Seven: Diane Clehane, Diana Biederman and Melanie Brandman

“I’m constantly asked where to go to find the very best around the world and, since I love to share information, I thought this would be a fabulous way to do that.” The “content driven” site is absolutely gorgeous, including ‘The Spot” of the month. The native Aussie’s Sydney is the launch pick, followed by New York, London and Tel Aviv — all cities Melanie has called home. It also includes a fabulously fun section entitled “Tastemakers” where Melanie culls names from her Rolodex to offer their picks on shopping and travel in various locales. (Full disclosure: In an upcoming edition, I sing the praises of American Girl Place as the best place in NYC to spend a day with the special little girl in your life.) The site is getting great buzz; it was recently featured in Travel & Leisure and was the subject of two segments on Fox News. Right now, everything is being handled in-house at The Brandman Agency, and  it’s being circulated via subscription and by the agency’s extensive contact lists. So, before you pack for that next vacation, check out the site.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1.  A little birdie told me one of the Real Housewives was going to be sitting at the best table in the house today,  so we were eager to see who it was. Bravo’s SVP of communications Jennifer Geisser arrived first, followed by People‘s Charlotte Triggs and Jason Lynch. Once the dining room filled up, RHONJ’s Caroline Manzo and her husband Albert Manzo slipped in virtually unnoticed.

When I went up to say hello, I was struck by how Caroline looked a lot less formidable (“We’re thick as thieves!”) than she does on the show. In fact, I detected more than a little weariness in her demeanor. She smiled politely when I told her I was a fan of the show, and I got the distinct impression she was steeling herself against having to answer questions about the absolute implosion of the cast members’ relationships.  Since People was obviously there for more than the stone crab claws, I suspect Caroline and Albert were doing some dishing (and damage control) on Caroline’s televised smackdown with Theresa Giudice and estrangement from her own sister, Dina.