Table 1: We assumed the gathering of editorial firepower at this table was some sort of ASME adjunct meeting. Three of the table’s five members included ASME president and Glamour editor Cindi Leive, Esquire editor David Granger, CondeNet editorial director Jamie Pallot, and Runner’s World editor David Willey. (There was another pair of women we couldn’t identify.) Granger came by to say hello before heading to his table, and we told him what a great hire he’d made in luring Eric Gillin from Maxim to relaunch Esquire.com. (We worked there briefly nearly seven years ago, and the site’s look-and-feel hasn’t changed much since then.) “He’s great,” Granger said. “Why do you like him?” Because he’s manic. “Yes,” Granger replied, nodding in way to signify that this was a very good thing indeed.
2. Peter Brown, as always, although we couldn’t identify his lunch date.
3. Joe Armstrong, as always, and we had the chance to ask him who his date was when he came over to say hello. “Deeda Blair,” he said, referring to the repatriated Washington D.C. socialite who landed on the board of the NIH and thus became one of the biggest players in biotech. She’s apparently a “connector” of the first order, to dip into “The Tipping Point.” According to Brian Alexander’s book “Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion,” She is still the one person in the world who can sit next to the catwalks of Paris during the spring shows, put the arm on a few of the 500 or so women who regularly support couture by purchasing dresses priced about the same as a BMW, and come back with a quarter of a million dollars for a new DNA sequencing machine for somebody’s lab.” That’s it; we’re convinced Joe always has the most interesting guests.
4. Perilously empty in the early going, the corner table was finally filled by Jann Wenner and his posse, with the ringleader looking more impishly bear-like than usual. No clue about his companions, however.
5. Allen & Co.’s top media guy, Stanley Shuman, and guest.
6. Terry Allen Kramer settled here after pirouetting around the room to say hello to everyone. She was joined by a round gentleman we didn’t know.
7. We were minding our business in the waiting nook when the astoundingly beautiful Rachel Roy (identifiable despite her wraparound sunglasses) sat down across from us. Her presence was explained a few minutes later, when her husband Damon Dash bounded in with a grey-flanneled mountain named Andre Leon Talley. We were talking to Joe when they arrived, and he immediately shook hands with ALT to say hello. “That’s a beautiful bag,” Joe said, point to his enormous burgundy leather Chanel bag. “This is just my gym bag,” he said dismissively. “That’s your gym bag?” Dash asked a minute later, still disbelieving. As for Dash and his wife had time for lunch today, well, we read someone that he has a lot of time on his hands these days.