There have been weeks this Winter when I barely left the house, so this month I’ve been trying to get out more.
I attended a lunch at Ammos, a Greek seafood restaurant near Grand Central Station (52 Vanderbilt Avenue, to be exact) for a new product launch from Christo. I met Christo backstage at the Yeohlee show for Olympus Fall Fashion Week, and was immediately captivated by his charm, expertise and sincerity. When his publicist sent me the invitation, my immediate answer was “sure!”
I held the door for an elderly man who was walking in behind me, but just as I was about to let go of the door, I heard a thud, and a loud “S..t!” He had fallen and was sprawled out over the transom. I had the door in my hand and a tote bag. If I tried to bend down the door would have closed on his head, so I stood there waiting for him to get up. Luckily, the coat check/hostess woman came over and helped him dust himself off and he wasn’t really hurt, thank heavens.
Heaving a sigh of relief, I went upstairs to where the lunch was supposed to be. I met my PR contact (a delightful woman) and said hello to Christo, who probably didn’t remember me, but gave me a warm greeting. There was only one other woman there right on time, and she worked for a woman’s magazine. The product of a doctor and a college professor, I’m NEVER late. I’d rather be twenty minutes early, and two minutes late. We all sat around, a bit uneasily, waiting for some others to show up. I didn’t realize that it was going to be a formal lunch…thank heavens I had left two hours open.
One by one the editors showed up, but it was a small group. The lunch was amazing! Christo’s brother owns the restaurant and obviously pulled out all the stops to make us go “wow!” which we did. From the beginning to the home made yoghurt with pistachio nuts and honey at the end, fueled with great wine, this was an easy assignment.
Christo’s speciality is curly and wavy hair. His marketing manager was present, and her hair fell in graceful curls and she looked amazing! The product we came to investigate, however, is Christo’s new, anti-aging treatment that the Christo Fifth Avenue Salon literally “cooks” up and puts in the fridge for a night, before it is used on a client. Combined, all of the ingredients allow healthy hair growth right at the follicle and also repairs dead ends with frizz fighting strength. We each got a sample to try at home, but I haven’t tried mine yet because I’ve been running around all week.
Later in the week, I forced myself to attend one of Laurel Touby’s mediabistro parties–this one supposedly for online media. I remember when Laurel started out, and would hold these incredible (and huge) networking mixers in lofts and other unique places. You could spot her because she wore a trademark feather boa. But Laurel is now a company (mediabistro) and she has others hosting parties for her, so they lack the same intimacy and charm the once had. When I walked into Slate, a bar in the 20’s, I was right behind a man who took one look at me, decided I wasn’t young or cute enough for him, and refused to make small talk while we waited to check in at the desk. As it turned out though, I was given a green armband for the wrong party! But the green armband crowd’s party was featuring free drinks! I’m dieting, and I also reminded myself that I was there to network not to party, so I reluctantly stayed upstairs, trying to break into the small groups of people standing around, chatting. I am not good at this, and I really hate it. I did stay about an hour and I met one or two interesting people, but only one other writer, and HE was looking for job contacts. The majority of the group appeared to be heavily slanted toward online marketing and they were looking for buyers. I do not buy that type of service, and so after about an hour, I went downstairs, actually accepted a free seltzer (awww, it’s true…and the one thing I could’ve had cosmos for free I didn’t accept) and then wandered out, congratulating myself for staying an hour.
I really am trying to do more interesting things about town, and I’ll report them to you.