Scene Last Night: Ali, Mailer, Caro, Boesky, Dick Cavett

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Andrew McCarthy, author of a new memoir, arrives at the Mandarin Oriental for a gala benefiting the Norman Mailer Center and the Muhammad Ali Center.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Andrew McCarthy, author of a new memoir, arrives at the Mandarin Oriental for a gala benefiting the Norman Mailer Center and the Muhammad Ali Center. Close

Andrew McCarthy, author of a new memoir, arrives at the Mandarin Oriental for a gala benefiting the Norman Mailer... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Muhammad Ali, Lonnie Ali, and Alec Baldwin. Close

Muhammad Ali, Lonnie Ali, and Alec Baldwin.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

John Buffalo Mailer and Katrina Eugenia. Close

John Buffalo Mailer and Katrina Eugenia.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Joel Conarroe, Robert Caro, Ina Caro, William Kennedy, Dana Kennedy, Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin. Close

Joel Conarroe, Robert Caro, Ina Caro, William Kennedy, Dana Kennedy, Hilaria Baldwin and Alec Baldwin.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Henry McGee, president of HBO Home Entertainment. Close

Henry McGee, president of HBO Home Entertainment.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Oliver Stone. Close

Oliver Stone.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Dick Cavett introduced a clip from his television show featuring a moment with Muhammad Ali. Close

Dick Cavett introduced a clip from his television show featuring a moment with Muhammad Ali.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marc Schiller, founder and CEO of Bond Strategy and Influence, and his father, Lawrence Schiller, a writer, photographer and president and co-founder of the Norman Mailer Center. Close

Marc Schiller, founder and CEO of Bond Strategy and Influence, and his father, Lawrence Schiller, a writer,... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Garrison Keillor, host of "A Prairie Home Companion," and Jenny Nilsson, a violist in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. Close

Garrison Keillor, host of "A Prairie Home Companion," and Jenny Nilsson, a violist in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Neuroscientist Charles Gross and writer Joyce Carole Oates, both professors at Princeton University. Close

Neuroscientist Charles Gross and writer Joyce Carole Oates, both professors at Princeton University.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Balloons were the chief decor at the Park Avenue Armory's gala celebrating its fifth anniversary as an art space. Close

Balloons were the chief decor at the Park Avenue Armory's gala celebrating its fifth anniversary as an art space.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Birthday confetti rains down on gala goers. Close

Birthday confetti rains down on gala goers.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Rebecca Robertson, center, president and executive producer, Park Avenue Armory, with Michael Weinstein, CEO and chairman, Ark Restaurants. Close

Rebecca Robertson, center, president and executive producer, Park Avenue Armory, with Michael Weinstein, CEO and... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alex Poots, artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory. Close

Alex Poots, artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Close

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The crowd gets their funk on dancing to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Close

The crowd gets their funk on dancing to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marvin Schwartz, a portfolio manager, and Donna Schwartz. Close

Marvin Schwartz, a portfolio manager, and Donna Schwartz.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Christina MacDonald and Alan McDonald, chief client officer of Citi. Close

Christina MacDonald and Alan McDonald, chief client officer of Citi.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marianne Boesky, art dealer, Olivia Flatto, a board member of the Paris Opera Ballet, Randy Kemper, an interior designer, and Adam Flatto, president of Georgetown Co. LLC and vice chairman of the Park Avenue Armory board. Close

Marianne Boesky, art dealer, Olivia Flatto, a board member of the Paris Opera Ballet, Randy Kemper, an interior... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Susan Rose and Elihu Rose, chairman of the Park Avenue Armory. Close

Susan Rose and Elihu Rose, chairman of the Park Avenue Armory.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Strauss Zelnick. Close

Strauss Zelnick.

As the Norman Mailer Center and the Muhammad Ali Center passed out cash awards to young writers last night, literary lions and scions pondered investing.

“Joel and I are always on the phone about our stock portfolios,” Robert Caro, author of “The Power Broker” (not about a stockbroker) said, grinning at Joel Conarroe, former president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

John Buffalo Mailer was not joking when he recommended investing in soybeans and water, as lamb cigars were passed around in the sunken lounge on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental.

“Water, it’s more important than oil,” he said. “It’s an essential that is literally a matter of life and death. I take the sustained-life view.”

A son of the writer Norman Mailer, he got his “crash course” in finance acting in Oliver Stone’s movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

Garrison Keillor, host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” said he delegates the task of managing his money. “Some Swiss, bald guy does it. I have faith in him because he’s Swiss.”

Also bridging the bookish and entertainment worlds was Andrew McCarthy, former Brat Pack movie star and recently published travel writer.

Chris Napolitano, former editorial director of Playboy, said he tried investing his money on his own. “I had a sister that worked at Goldman Sachs (GS),” he said, offering his credentials. He lost it.

“The best thing for editors and writers is to not play that game,” Napolitano said. “It’s to go safe, with annuities, mutual funds.”

Playboy Googles

At Playboy, he did have a run-in with the successful initial public offering of Google Inc. (GOOG) An interview in the magazine with Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page threatened to delay the IPO, as a violation of the “quiet period.”

“Did I buy Google stock? No, I did not,'' Napolitano said. ``Our copy editor did.”

Investing in a gala ticket -- at prices ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 -- yielded high entertainment value. The program featured Alec Baldwin indicating with one four-letter word his feeling after the first presidential debate, and Dick Cavett recounting how Muhammad Ali, who sat in a chair nearby, slept in Cavett’s bed at his Montauk home, to the surprise of his wife.

Arty Armory

The Park Avenue Armory celebrated its fifth anniversary as an art space last night, with a glamorous arrangement of birthday balloons.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings got guests dancing, including art dealer Marianne Boesky, daughter of Ivan Boesky, the actor Patrick Stewart, and Strauss Zelnick, chairman and chief executive officer of Take-Two Interactive Software. (TTWO)

The first artistic director of the armory, Alex Poots, said he’s announcing his initial slate of programming in January, to begin in the spring.

“I’ve been listening to the space to figure out what will work here,” said Poots, who maintains his post as director of the Manchester International Festival in England.

One thing learned last night: The 55,000-square-foot Drill Hall makes a great party venue. Poots stayed on with the after- party revelers, a young crowd who flirted over the music of DJ Mick Boogie and snacked on Wafels & Dinges waffles.

Large screens showed videos of past performances in the hall, everything from Royal Shakespeare Company to Shein Wei Dance Arts to motorcyclists spinning around as they painted on the floor.

Members of the After Party Committee included Benjamin Lerer, partner at venture-capital fund Lerer Ventures and co- founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group, and Uma Seshamani of Barclays Capital Inc.

“Hopefully we helped raise awareness around this amazing institution,” Seshamani wrote in an instant message this morning. “The space is amazing -- one of the largest in the city, unique in style, and the breadth of arts featured I think resonates with a varied crowd both in age and interests.”

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and Lewis Lapham’s podcast.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net

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