Doing Good: Auction Date With Editor Tonight & Sandy Fundraiser Next Week

Back in September, I posted about an auction of some lovely ladies to benefit the National MS Society. People were encouraged to bid on a date with these gals. My editor, Bonnie Gleicher, one of the great women who stand behind this humble servant, was put up for sale…or at least rent. I agreed to write about it and help curate this date .Well, that date is tonight. A gallant young man named Craig Clemens (who everyone believes is not an ax murderer) will take the brilliant and beautiful Bonnie out on the town. Craig paid $500 for the honor. The young couple will look for love in all the right places starting with a couple of tickets to Rock of Ages, that Broadway musical full of ’80s hits. Bonnie, associate editor of Blackbook, will be mixing business with pleasure as she is reviewing this show for an article due next week. I must weigh in: 

Craig, Bonnie is a career girl with promises to keep and no time to waste. You must be on top of your game. Dress for success and for heaven’s sake don’t come smelling like the first floor of Macy’s. Open doors and smile a lot. Have a couple of little jokes scribbled on a little piece of paper or inside your wrist. Be a good listener; Bonnie has a lot to say.

 I’ve never met Craig but he has been described as "good looking" and "pretty young.” I have been told he is a "worldly traveler" and a "lover of nightlife.” I can’t wait to meet him as we have so much in common  (except maybe the good looking..ok, and the pretty young  and I guess worldly traveler part). After Rock of Ages, the young couple will come to Hotel Chantelle to hear me spin rock anthems and cool, cool new stuff. I DJ with the always-debonair Luc Carl and bad boy Sam Valentine. Our weekly rock party will celebrate them, their newfound love, and love in general with a bottle of Beau Joie Champagne and a table right in the middle of the action. I will pose for pictures with the couple on their first, maybe of many, date. At one point, I will say, "Goodnight Mr. Clemens, and make sure Bonnie gets home safe and not tooooo late. She does have to make me sound good for you guys tomorrow.”

All over town the story of the haves and the have-nots is playing out. Even more so than normal. It’s easy to forget that many of our neighbors have lost everything and some just a little less than that. I’m still without heat and am writing this in long underwear and a space heater way too close. Sorry, no pictures. In places all over town, a roof or clean clothes is a luxury. People are hurting, and New Yorkers, as they tend to do in a crisis, are stepping up. Some are stepping up by stepping out. There are events all over town making contributions to people who are desperate. Yesterday’s snow and the frigid weather that came with it didn’t help. One of the haves helping out is the wonderful Jenny Oz Leroy (ex-Tavern On The Green, ex-Russian Tea Room) who is poised to do something to write about but it’s a little too early to write about. One thing I can mention is a fundraiser she is hosting at the Leroy residence, 65 W.13th St., next Thursday, Nov. 15th. It’s called “Shove Off, Sandy” and there will be food  and cocktails sponsored by her LeRoy Redux company. Contributing to the event are the Knickerbocker Bar & Grill, other restaurants, and Baked By Melissa. I asked Jenny about it:

"So the fundraiser idea started last week when I was frustrated with how to help more.  After doing the standard donation to the Red Cross and packing up supplies from the house, I wanted to dig deeper.  I decided at the very least I could try to raise money in the building. The Greenwich has many successful and seemingly kind tenants.  We are opening our home to invite people to drop by to donate or stay for some delicious food and cocktails.  

When: Thursday, Nov. 15th, 5pm-10pm

Where: The LeRoy’s home, 65 W. 13th St. apt 8B

Email info is LeRoyreduxinfo@gmail.com.  

No donation is too big or too small. We will also have a sign-up available for people who want supplies picked up from their house/apt. Contributing sponsors so far are: Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, Baked By Melissa, and my new company LeRoy Redux consulting & private events. We’ll be providing the food, cocktails, flowers etc.”

BlackBook & Supper Club’s Holiday Fête, My Resolutions

BlackBook teamed up with The Supper Club for a holiday fête and sneak preview of APL, that restaurant my crew and I have been designing at 146 Orchard Street for Camille Becerra and her crew. I actually got invited to this event—usually I’m told about BlackBook events 11 minutes after they begin. I may actually be the black sheep of BlackBook—and that’s OK, I‘ve been called worse. They say it happens, the “not being invited thing,” because I’m rarely at the office, and so they forget. If anything, I have always endeavored to be unforgettable, and so my New Years resolution will be to step up the pace. In the hectic effort to get the place presentable for the event, I was told that a publicist from Think PR, the restaurant’s flack, had severely criticized one of the key design elements and was in a tizzy about it. I get criticized a lot. If I didn’t, I would firmly believe that I wasn’t pushing the envelope as much as I should. I have always taken jabs and answered them. I used to spend hours on the old DBTH site arguing with detractors. Indeed I welcome constructive debate, and can go toe to toe with assholes anytime. I do make mistakes, and relish the opportunity to listen to the critics and possibly learn. However, these remarks irked me. There is nothing about her, from what I have seen, that speaks of any creative talent, education, or experience. I always consider the source of attacks, but despite from where it came, I was—what do they say?—miffed.

Publicists, with some wonderful and brilliant exceptions, are not creatives, and not the stars, and not the celebrities themselves, but mouthpieces and advisers to those who are. People like Nadine Johnson, Kelly Cutrone, and Brad Zeifman and I have had our disagreements, but always face-to-face, or at least phone-to-phone. Their experience and class can make a “NO” sound like a “Thank you so much for asking.” I didn’t like this wannabe talking to my client behind my back. When she showed up 20 minutes before the event, after BlackBook’s event person, the wonderful Jessica Fafara, and I had worked for long hours to get it ready, this PR person came over to say hello. I confronted her about her remarks, and she mumbled, stuttered, fell over words, and tried to deny, but quite poorly. I told her that she might consider changing the name of her company to Think Before You Speak PR and walked away. Later, I was asked by someone close to her “If I was kidding.” I’ve got to work on that part of my resolution: People shouldn’t have to ask if I was kidding or not. I’m sure she knew that I wasn’t, but if she didn’t, because her ego or brain got in the way of the truth, I’m sure she knows now. There is no need to name names here. She isn’t that big of a deal, and I’ve given her 15 minutes of fame after she gave me 15 minutes of her lame excuses and half truths, but I have this “step it up” New Years resolution thing happening, and I need to practice.

Anyway, the party was fabulous. The food was marvelous and the crowd near the kitchen door was voracious. I grabbed my chow down in the kitchen before the servers made their way up to the soiree. Mark Baker understood the Tibetan influences in the color scheme. I love Mark Baker. He so often sees what the others don’t, and he’s such a gentleman. He loves introducing me to people I have known for years, and always has this two minute spiel about each one of us that communicates how wonderful we truly are. He would be such a great publicist. Richie Rich and I had a few solid minutes together. I go back to day one in New York for him, and we’ve worked together for years. These days we often find ourselves in the same room, but the clamor of the cocktail event rarely leaves time for real conversations. We talked of our innocence so many years ago. I told him that I really wasn’t that innocent, although I swear I was not guilty. We talked of long gone friends and legacy, and then talked some more. He was always above and a bit removed from the fray. He was always an honest broker. He was always more fun than the rest, without the baggage.

Mr. Baker introduced me to Ms. Tamsin Lonsdale, who doesn’t need a publicist to say she’s a lady. I so enjoyed meeting her in person, although we seem to have been Facebook friends all along. This event at APL was for her amazing international creation, The Supper Club. I’m going to interview her real soon, but I want to tell you a bit about her right now. Her publicist or assistant forwarded me this:

The Supper Club is a member’s only social association bringing together talented and like-minded individuals for exclusive salon-style soirees in alluring locales across the globe. Reviving the traditional ways of entertaining in a fresh, unconventional way, founder and British entrepreneur Tamsin Lonsdale hosts multiple private events each month at the newest restaurants in the city and gorgeous estates and residencies, and least likely of places to charm the charismatic and connected crowd that makes up our membership base. With high-style, a discerning palate, and a unique sense of whimsy, The Supper Club is now serving London, New York, Los Angeles, and beyond.

The shindig was sponsored by Patron, with Cupcakes by Baked by Melissa and Bon Bons and Hors d’oeuvres by Chef Camille Becerra. Most importantly, there was a philanthropy partner attached to the event. The St. Bernard Project, which provides real homes to real people, was on hand to tell of their good work. Check them out.