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Posts Tagged ‘Leslie Sloane Zelnick’

Power Lunching with Eliot Spitzer, Star Jones and Joanna Coles

1003_mockup.gifIt’s the last Wednesday power lunch of the year (or the last one ever if you believe those wacky Mayans), and the usual suspects at Michael’s came bearing gifts to be traded over Cobb salads today. Some regulars (Linda Fairstein) were hosting year-end catch-ups with pals, while others (Steven Stolman) broke bread with their bosses. Of course, even if Christmas is less than a week away, there are those who mean business with lunch.

I caught up with Eliot Spitzer while he was waiting for his guest to arrive and asked him how he’s faring over at Current TV. “Nobody’s watching, but I’m having a great time,” he told me. “I don’t mean to be facetious, but I am really enjoying myself. It’s like having a cocktail party with friends every night.” Pausing for a moment he added, “Somebody needs to buy the network.” And perhaps they will, he mused, if for no other reason than to snap up Current’s distribution system.  Either way, New York’s former governor isn’t quitting his day job, so to speak. “I’m glad all my investments are in real estate, not media companies, but if someone can make money at it, great.” Indeed.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Best-selling author Linda Fairstein, hosting her annual holiday lunch for her former colleagues from her days as head of the city’s sex crimes unit. “I love doing this for these women who are all tops in their field. We’ve been having this lunch every year for over a decade, and for one afternoon they are treated like queens of the world,” Linda told me as she placed artfully decorated gift bags at each place setting embellished with the words ‘Boss Lady.’ The incredible women who were taking a break from their usual daily grind of solving and prosecuting the city’s most heinous crimes: New York Supreme Court Judge Ann Donnelly, Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, trial division chief; Audrey Moore, chief the Special Victims’ Unit; cold case division head Melissa Mourges, who just this week got a conviction on the ‘Dating Game’ murder; Kerry O’Connell, chief of the trial bureau; and Martha Bashford, head of the Sex Crimes Unit. Ladies, I salute you.

2.  Peter Brown

3. ’Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and David Zinczenko (Happy Belated Birthday!)

4.  PR scion Steve Rubenstein

The holiday scene at Michael's

The holiday scene at Michael’s

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Lunch: Bottoms Up!



It’s not always the random movie star sighting or bold-face name at table one that captures the lion’s share of our attention at Michael’s during our weekly Wednesday visits. Sometimes it’s the sheer force of the buzz radiating from all those titans and moguls plotting their next big move that keeps us riveted. Just asking: When did people start doing some serious drinking at lunch again? “People are nervous,” says our spy. “So they’re ordering a lot more wine.” We’ll stick to Diet Coke, thank you — we wouldn’t want to be napping in our Nicoise for fear of missing some big scoop.

I certainly had to keep my wits about me today to keep up with the steady stream of folks who stopped by the bar to serve up some dish, say hello or offer a business card. Between bites and glad handing, I caught up with my pal Diane Dimond who joined me for lunch today having breakfasted at Table One this morning with her longtime agent Wayne Kaback and Joni Evans. Diane, who has worked for everyone on television including Court TV, Fox and MSNBC is now turning her efforts to writing. She’s just launched her own site and told me she’s excited about the possibility of writing for — the terrific new Web site that’s got some serious estrogen-fueled energy behind it. It’s the brainchild of Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Joni and a whole host of power gals. You’re nobody these days unless you’re on the Web — but you knew that, didn’t you?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Howard Rubenstein and a squadron of power brokers.

2. Former New York City council president Andrew Stein with three gents we didn’t recognize…

3. “Mayor” Joe Armstrong and Men’s Health honcho Dave Zinczenko. As usual, a chat with these charming gents always yields some interesting tidbits. Dave shared the May issue of Men’s Health with me, which has an interesting study ranking the ‘Most Sexually Satisfied Cities.’ The ‘randiest’ locale: Indianapolis, Indiana — turns out those drivers in the Indianapolis 500 get plenty of folks motors running. The least sexually satisfied citizens: the denizens of Lexington, Kentucky. (Insert your own joke here). Just in case you movers and shakers were wondering, Gotham comes in at 71. Something to think about as your emailing your boss at midnight tonight…

4. Gerald Schoenfeld and his lovely wife Pat with powerhouse producer Jean Doumanian.

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