Ah, New Yorkers: we’re pretty cool when it comes to having celebrities in our presence, or at least, unspoken rules dictate that we should be. If you’re not, you’re either a tourist, or new to town, in which case: get out of my way, I have to get to work/lunch/the subway. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule: The Obama Family. So when we got word that the First Lady was having lunch at Gramercy Tavern (literally, around the corner from BlackBook HQ), like hell we weren’t going to get the chance to be twenty feet from the place. Editorial reaction, pictures of the scene, and Ms. Obama’s exit? Oh yes.
Secret Service agents and cops were all over the place, naturally, and onlookers generally stuck around for about twenty minutes to half an hour to wait it out. This guy kept moving unmarked white vans in front of us. Asshole. We were gonna have Assistant Editor Ben Barna test the Secret Services reflexes by doing a cartwheel in front of the crowd, but we thought better of it: Ben’s both a bleeder and a Canadian.
Danny Meyer catered the UN luncheon yesterday, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Michelle hit up the Gram for lunch. They take walk-ins and rezzies, and have a moderately priced menu with a special lunch prix-fixe (that she probably didn’t opt for). Personally, I wanted to try for a walk-in res, but Eiseley had already ordered lunch and I’m self-conscious about being frisked, so we decided it was a no-go. We’d be onlookers, too. People exiting the restaurant generally had no idea she was even there, it’d seem, as they were all kind of shocked at the complete circus that greeted them outside. And then, at about 2:10 PM, the First Lady exited the restaurant.
Five Secret Service agents pour out, Michelle in the middle of them. Loud applause and cheering erupt; she smiles, waves, and then gets in her car. It maybe lasted all of five seconds. If that. Personally, between the buildup and my unrequited crush on Michelle Obama, I got the chills. She’s got a great smile and I felt like an indescribably fluffy pillow sacked me in the face. She’s smiling in my general direction OMG. It was wonderful. And then, fifteen seconds later, 20th was essentially the same as it was two hours ago: another brutally boring Flatiron thru-street.
Ben Barna, Assistant Editor: “It was pretty exciting stuff, I’m not going to lie. But then again I’m a starfucker and she’s a supernova. Quick climax to a long build-up, but totally worth it.”
Eiseley Tauginas, Assistant Editor: “I was shocked at how many people were gathered outside before we arrived to catch a glimpse of her. Word travels fast. It was well worth the wait to see the crowd’s reaction when she stepped out. Seeing Michelle Obama in the flesh made me aware of the reality of the American Dream. Beautiful, smart women can be role models, and if they marry the right way, they can have a Secret Service detail too.”