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Rick Fox, Arianna Huffington and a Real Housewife of New York City

1003_mockup.gif— DIANE CLEHANE

It was SRO at Michael’s today with movers and shakers jammed into every corner. I was so glad I got there early and was able to chat with Rick Fox and his girlfriend Eliza Dushku (who we loved on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) when they arrived at the stroke of noon. Having watched the former LA Laker morph into a serious ballroom dancer during his stint on Dancing With the Stars, I just had to ask him if he’d kept up with his smooth moves. “No I haven’t,” he told me with a laugh. “I guess I need to call [professional partner Cheryl Burke] if I ever need to do that again.”

Rick said he was in town for Internet Week to promote Off Season, a podcast production he is working on with Michael Eisner as producer. “It’s great and that’s where the future seems to be. I’m having a lot of fun with it.” As for Eliza, who is truly stunning in person, she’s in town to film an episode of  White Collar. When asked if she is playing a good girl or femme fatale on the USA Network series, she demurred. “A little of both, I think.” With that, the dazzling couple sailed off to take their place at their table in the center of the room.

I was lunching today with Myrna Blyth, editor-in-chief of thirdage.com, the longest-running site devoted to female baby boomers. Ever since Web entrepreneur Josh Speyer bought the site in 2010 and brought Myrna, who was once the guiding force of Ladies Home Journal and More, on board, over two million visitors have been flocking to the site for everything from boomer celebrity news to the latest health breakthroughs. While magazines seem to shun the 50-plus crowd, which Myrna thinks is a “big mistake,” thirdage is welcoming ‘women of a certain age’ who have have real buying power and who want talk  — and talk — about what matters to them online. “I think it’s wonderful to give such a powerful group the voice they deserve,” says Myrna. “Thirdage is for the woman who wasn’t born yesterday and wants to make the most of today.”

Here’s the rundown on todays’ crowd:

1.  Fidelis Global’s Gerry Byrne and Hollywoodlife.com‘s Bonnie Fuller, presiding over their second monthly “Influencers” lunch. The table was so jam packed that we could barely make out all the attendees, but we were able to spot Cosmo editrix Kate White; Neil Vogel, co-founder of the Webby Awards; Cablevision’s Tad Smith; Real Housewife LuAnn de Lesseps (that’s Countess de Lesseps to you!); Veronika Ward of MediaCom Interaction; Estee Lauder’s Marisa Thalberg; MMC’s chief revenue officer Aly Racer; and WNBC-TV’s Jane Hanson.

2. Michael Holtzman

3. Alan Grubman and NBC’s Richard Engel

4. Michael Fuchs and producer Jean Doumanian


5.  Allen & Co.’s Stan Shuman with another distinguished gent

6. The return of ‘The Imber Gang.” Welcome back guys! Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff GreenfieldAndy Bergman and Michael Kramer were all back at their perch after taking some time off to travel.

7. Men’s Health honcho David Zinczenko and Grubman Indursky & Shire’s Eric Sacks

8. New York Social Diary’s David Patrick Columbia with Toni Goodale and another well-heeled gent

10.  My good friend, PR maven Catherine Saxton, with Rohina Bhandari, managing director of Pinebridge Investments (Nice to meet you!) The gals were all abuzz about the upcoming royal gala dinner benefiting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association and Young Americans Challenge on June 23 at the Pierre. (Catherine is chairing the event and Rohina is on the committee) Royal watcher alert: HRH Prince Edward is scheduled to attend, so break out the tiara and buy a ticket!

11. Accessory maven  Mickey Ateyeh with Jessica Gold of truthplusblog.com.

12.  Rick Fox, Eliza Dushku and Christine Wayne

14.  Stephen Swid

15.  After our lunch, Myrna and I went over to say hello to Arianna Huffington and Alan Patricof. A little birdie told me Arianna is launching a baby boomer vertical, so I’m sure Myrna has some content she’d love to share.

16. Steve Ratner

81. Pamela Fiori and a stunning blonde gal we didn’t get to meet

17. Judy Price and Lorna Graev

81. Peter and Jamie Gregory

82. Myrna Blyth and yours truly

20.  Politico Ed Rollins and wife Shari

21.  Fashionista Jaqui Lividini (love the new shorter ‘do!) and Dr. Joyce Brown

22.  Joel Moser

23.  TV Guide‘s Jack Kliger

24. Steven D. Greenberg

25. Jim Casella

26. CBS 48 Hours Mystery producer Susan Zirinsky and defense attorney Joe Tacopina 

27.  Chanel’s Barbara Cirkva

29. Estee Lauder’s Pamela Van Zandt

Faces in the crowd: Between pours today, Michael’s wine director Seth Alan Liebman told me about an exciting new on-line venture he’s involved with where wine lovers can go on-line and get expert advice (including Seth’s) to help select the perfect wine. Thewinearray.com (catchy name!) is the brainchild of Michael Nelson which allows visitors to peruse a list of wines specially selected by the experts and rated on their various components. The result: a list perfectly tailored to your “palette preference” says Seth. Cheers!

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

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