Okay, let me put my Liz Smith mask and Richard Johnson hat on.
Last night, I went to a party at Alexis Stewart's house. It was Alexis, Martha, me and a few friends celebrating the new issue of Harpers Bazaar, which has a profile of Alexis and few snaps of her TriBeca apartment.
First, I walk past the police-horse stable, which is right downstairs from her pad, and picked up a scent that smells roughly what Trump: the fragrance, smells like. Then, I go into the building wearing the only $1,000-plus suit I own, and begin walking toward three ladies I know work for Martha and Alexis who are checking in guests. The doorman, however, stops me before I can get past and wants to know what my business is. "Im going to the Alexis Stewart party," I say. He says, "Over there," he declares. "Doy!," I say back. "That's where I was headed." Maybe it was my Birkestock shoes that said I was in foreign territory.
Right off the elevator of her apartment, I am greeted with Dom Perignon Rose Champagne, 1995. A very good choice, though not quite as nice as 1996. I'm hungry and snag a shrimp on a toothpick. Good. Except now I'm having an honest to God Larry David moment. There's no obvious place to ditch the toothpick. Into my jacket it goes. Oy. The shrimp got big play from guests. The shot glasses of green gaspacho did not.
Jennifer Hutt, Alexis's partner on their new Sirius radio show, "Whatever," comes over and sidles me with a bonafide Long Island air-kiss. I like Jennifer. Despite her wealthy upbringing (Charles Koppelman's daughter), she (pictured above with Alexis at the party) has an ironic down-to-earth quality that balances Alexis's well-known demeanor--that of ending encounters after between 90-seconds and two minutes unless you are her friend. Jennifer rags her about this on the show, but I understand it. I give less time than that to most PR people.
Martha sidles me. Oooooh. I like Martha too. We met several weeks ago at a Sirius party. But when I saw her in my lobby earlier this week, and said hello...well...she sort of looked at me like I owed her money. It must be the context of a party--she just doesn't recognize me without a drink in my hand. Now, she recognizes me, or someone reminded her that I was an important BusinessWeek editor. I ask her, "What's all this I hear about your affection for Howard Stern, Martha?"
"Affection?," she shoots back. Jennifer had related on her show, which I reviewed in an earlier blog, about how Martha was all a twitter when Jen told her by cellphone that Howard and his daughter were at the restaurant Martha was on her way to. And then I heard this week that Martha, Howard and Fiddy Cent were having a bull session at the studios of Sirius the other day. I wish someone had taken a picture of that. Would that Warhol were still alive to capture that meeting of the minds on canvas or in a photo.
"I just think he's an original, and very successful," said Martha. She says she doesn't like some of the things he says and does on his show, but that she can certainly still respect him from a business and creative standpoint. I dunno. Call me a prude if you must, but I can't respect someone whose idea of entertainment is throwing cold cuts at a naked girl in his studio. Stewart also noted that Howard "has a lovely daughter." Does he throw coldcuts at her?
Alexis' apartment was quite nice, though she says she is looking for a new place. The bathroom was really great looking, but despite my need to use it at one point, I opted out since I didn't see anyone else using it. And the whole room looked like one big guest towel that wasn't for actual human use.
Charlie Koppelman told me that the cancellation, or rather the lack of renewal, of The Apprentice was not a big deal; that Martha had only committed to one season. He also said that they were told by Mark Burnett when the deal was cut that Trump was not going to be doing an Apprentice at the same time. Hmmmmmmmmm. Oh well. I like Koppelman anyway. He has a lovely daughter.