I had the great pleasure of meeting with the smartest woman to go to Bryn Mawr, which is really saying something, and afterwards seeing the scion of a great restaurant family in his new digs. The woman, Joanna Semel Rose, frightened me when I knew her towards the end of her college career, as she was so patently smart I felt failed in her company. This was later enhanced and intensified when I had the great pleasure of meeting and interacting on a pretty deep level with Joe Mankiewicz, the great writer/director of some of the best films of our time, or at least that time, and he reinforced my impression of her, as she had worked with him. Joe had been at a dinner at Bennett Cerf's, where he expressed the opinion that of all the writers who were bestsellers at the time, the only one who was really a good writer was Gwen Davis-- I didn't know him, and was yet to meet Bennett, who did say at that dinner: "That's going to cost me some money," as he was bidding for my next book. (He didn't get it, but Doubleday did, and it was TOUCHING, which ended up in an important publishing scandal/setback/disappointment/borderline obscenity, and was the reason for my friendship with Kurt Vonnegut, which made the whole ordeal worthwhile.)
Anyway, I loved Joe, who came to visit me in San Francisco with his wife, and he loved Joanna. So in the ensuing years I always felt privileged if a little handicapped to be in her company, as she is truly extraordinary, and a great argument for women, many of whom are incredibly special and making the world a better place. We spent some good time today and she approved of my new book, which means a great deal to me, though I am not saying what it is because I am publishing it anonymously, as I think befitting, since if I didn't have the consciousness of the great women(and some not so great) who have helped fashion me, it wouldn't exist. So I feel it is from all of us. To the benefit of all of us, I distinctly hope.
After that, I stopped in to the new Sirio's on Fifth Avenue. Sirio Maccioni was the great restaurateur I wrote about for The Wall Street Journal Europe when I had my strange and curious and unexpected career with them, and I loved him and Egi, his wife, and their sons. Marco was dashing, handsome and charming, and I worried about him, because I wondered how it would affect someone so open-hearted and caring (he really loved dogs, including mine) to have such an overwhelming dad. But I am delighted to report he not only grew more handsome and genial, he seems completely on top of his act, not to mention Sirio's. The new restaurant is flagrantly glamorous, and people seem to be flocking to its dashing interior by Adam Tihany, where they actually look as tastefully glittering as the place.
I was genuinely relieved, as I have watched with some regret the downsizing of 'Dashing' during my run on the planet, as people seem to have lost interest in what is genuinely attention-worthy. Instead we have really silly people capturing what is the truly diminished limelight, like the Kardashians, who have nothing really going for them but a bright dead lawyer father who I think would be embarrassed. So it is a joy to see an heir of a darling family standing up to fully meet the task, better-looking than ever, increasingly gracious, married to a lovely woman who has produced yet another winner, Massimo. I so love Happy Endings, or, even more, Happy Continuings.