Tonight, while hosting a book party for Peggy Noonan, Michael Bloomberg condemned the state of electoral politics, calling it “a race to the extremes.” What America needs is someone capable of “bringing people together,” the billionaire ex-mayor said. “You don’t solve problems by...making pie-in-the-sky promises.”
British dandy and self-taught expert in criminality Sebastian Horsley was stopped at JFK on his way into our country for his book party yesterday, and sent right back home to London, as we learned last night. But! The party must go on. A Harper-Collins rep informed us the party for Horsley's Dandy in the Underworld is still on for tonight, at Housing Works. Only now, as the attached invite shows, it's a "LET SEBASTIAN IN RALLY." We think we've got just about enough book-releasing dandies, thank you very much, but hell, what's one more.
There is something about being in novelist Erica Jong's apartment that makes a person feel a certain degree of—how to put this?—sexual license. Maybe it is to do with the enormous Tom Wesselmann nude that greets visitors in the foyer, all big lips and blonde hair contrasting with dark pubes. Maybe it is just knowing that you are in the home of the lady who coined and, you know, engaged in "the zipless fuck," even for those who could only have the thrill of discovering 1973's Fear of Flying on their parents' bookshelves. Maybe it is that Erica herself is such a hot tamale! In any event, something made me feel like it would be okay to go up to British author Ken Follett and start telling him my dirty secrets right off the bat. Photographer Kathy Lo was the youngest person there by at least five years.
Last night Esquire scribe and gimmick book writer AJ Jacobs celebrated the publication of his latest, The Year of Biblical Living, a memoir about the healing process after his husband died. Oh wait. That's the other Year of Adjective Present Participle book. This one traces Jacobs' efforts to live his life according to the strictures of the Old Testament. Sounds hard, right? According to Jacobs, it was! The book party was heavily attended by Esquire editors and was at an Upper East Side bar called Genesis. Get it? And we didn't have to blow anyone to get tickets.
Though the invite said "bring your swimsuit," the melange of authors and editors and overly friendly publicists who gathered at the Hotel QT for the release of Jesse Ball's novel "Samedi the Deafness" chose not to. Jonathan Franzen left early and it was probably a good thing anyway that we didn't catch his bare torso; we imagine it a lot like recent Morrissey, but hairier. The gays (a lot of them) didn't want to leave their tote bags unattended. But the party was hardly dry; the host was agent David Kuhn. At last, it was only later in the evening did Paris Review senior editor Nathaniel Rich stripped down and jumped in. Nikola Tamindzic, L magazine's best nightlife photographer of 2007, was there to do what he does best. And he also took some photographs.
It was said that in order to host a book party last night, the painter Gray Foy had to remove approximately 700 objets from the sprawling apartment on the sixth floor of the Osborne, on West 57th Street, that he had shared for 27 years with the longtime Condé Nast writer and editor Leo Lerman, who died in 1994. Yet every conceivable surface—tables, shelves, walls—was covered with trinkets and statuettes, photographs and paintings and drawings, candelabras and candlesticks, miniature fake pastries arranged around a samovar, Tiffany lamps, framed butterflies and other insects, books, "good Russian silverware," gnomes, decorative boxes, and in one of the three bedrooms, a now-empty hornet's nest, hanging delicately on the corner of a large mirror.