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Lunch: Charlie Rose, Judi Giuliani & Pals Dig Into 2010

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was back to business at Michael’s today as the city’s famous and fabulous trickled back into town, determined to get the new decade off to the right start. “I feel cautiously optimistic about 2010,” one regular told me. “You can’t hide under your desk forever. It’s time to go out and make things happen.” The scene was a little subdued, but plenty of the regulars were at their perches. One little birdie tells me George Lucas was in the dining room for a power lunch on Monday. So, shake off those recessionary blues and get out there and network. Complaining about the economy is so 2009!

I was joined today by my good friend Dr. Phillip Romero who reported that his family therapy practice was booming over the holidays. All that forced togetherness and passive aggressiveness packed into gift giving and its attendant stress is “good for business,” Phil told me. His thoughts on the zeitgeist: “We’re going through a cultural transition because we’ve reached the end of a cycle. The magnitude of the change is profound, and the high level of anxiety around the world is grounded in reality.” But Phil says he’s “very optimistic” about the new year, because people are starting to come to terms with the reality of change and are responding in new, creative ways. “Staying true to one’s self is essential.”

Phil is doing his part by getting two pet projects off the ground. He’s self-publishing his book, Phantom Stress and working with Joe LaPlaca of allvisualarts.org on The Art Imperative, a multi-media project which explores the concept of art as imperative to cultural resilience around the world. The guys are currently in talks to turn the work into a documentary series for BBC.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Charlie Rose and Lifetime’s Andrea Wong

2. Casting queen Bonnie Timmermann

3. Steven Rubenstein with a gal we didn’t recognize.

4. Showtime’s main man Matt Blank and an exotic gal who wins today’s best dressed honors.


5. Allen & Company’s Stan Shuman with two pals

6. The ‘Imber Gang”: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer. When I stopped by the table to say hello, I couldn’t help but notice the good doctor’s name on an impressive looking tome. Turns out Gerry (“I never sleep”)found time to write a new biography between doing nips and tucks on the creme de la creme of New York and working on his new skin care line. Genius on The Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted comes out next month from Kaplan. “This guy was fascinating,” explains Jerry. “He was a raging drug addict who was the chief at Hopkins for decades and was one of the pioneers in many aspects of modern medicine like anesthesia and mastectomy.” Physician, heal thyself indeed.

7. Dr. Phillip Romero and yours truly

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia with Brooke Hayward and a handsome young gent we’ve met before but couldn’t quite place.

11. Would love to have been a fly on the wall for this one: 48 Hours Mystery executive producer Susan Zirinsky and Kerry Kennedy, who was sporting a bandage around her right hand. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Susan was the inspiration for Holly Hunter‘s over-caffeinated Washington D.C. news producer in one of the best films ever made on the news biz, Broadcast News? Now, you do.

12. Judi Giuliani and my friend Bettina Zilka. The gals must have had lots to talk about, because they lingered a bit after the dining room had cleared out.

14. Herb Allen and pals

15. Media money man Scott Singer, looking incredibly dapper in navy pinstripes.

16. Jerry Inzerillo with, we hear, some well-heeled folks from Saudi Arabia.

17. Avenue magazine’s Judy Price (Loved that gorgeous brooch!) with a distinguished gent we didn’t get to meet.

18. My good friend, public relations maven Lisa Linden who was nice enough to stop by my table to introduce me to Julie Menin, host of New York Nonstop’s Give and Take. Nice to meet you!

20. New York Times scribe Lynn Hirschberg

21. Financial TimesGreg Zorthian

22. Andrew Harntett

23. Hunter Murtaugh of EMI Music

24. Martin Puris

25. Lawerence Mullman

26. Attorney Jordan Ringel

27. Hallmark Entertainment’s Janet Jacobson

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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