Some weeks I can’t get invited to the opening of an envelope, let alone yet another celebration of yet another bogus set of awards. And then there are stretches of five days where I start out at a downtown soiree that would make Dawn Powell envious and wind up sucking dessert out of a rubber tit, with a little Robuchon tossed in for good measure in between. Fete No. 1 was in honor of our friends Dr. Bugs and his new bride, Lady Bugs, who were married on Easter Island in a Vows experience apparently deemed unworthy of glass cubicle notice — maybe because they were (barely) wearing native garb rather than Marc Jacobs. Their best-selling novelist friend provided the dramatic SoHo venue for a dumplings-to-duck Chinese buffet (I am a total sucker for crab Rangoon), with superb mezze from Sahadi’s (I’d forgotten hummus could have flavor) and Chilean wine in seemingly bottomless bottles. Everyone I talked to was fascinating, whether the crinolined ex of a famous fromagier or the 76-year-old Explorers Club member who instantly recognized the porn star in the room.
After a day off to recover, I suited up and headed over to Atelier for a small press lunch with a hotelier who is opening a Japanese joint with the JR of France. Oddly enough, food insecurity did not come up in conversation, although “elephant polo” did, which made it very hard to worry about the ducks that gave their diseased livers for our starter and our stuffed quail. Babar was not meant to play in rich men’s games.
A book party for a friend who has just published one on “fiber farms” was almost as surreal, at a yarn shop in the West Village (babies and wine always strike me as an unsettling combination). But nothing compared to the festa where I hooked up with a friend and really wished I had wangled an invite for my consort and his camera. This was a design/food thing that started strangely, with all the guests corralled near a tiny bar dispensing Bellinis, and ended downright bizarrely. It was a cross between a scrum and a Jewish wedding, with the hordes swarming the tables once screens were pulled back and the concepts explained. The actual dishes dictated the cooked dishes, so we were treated in one instance to a little metal tube, like one for lipstick, packed with a tuna mixture that was meant to be pushed up as you nibbled. Another was a cold pea soup served in a little cup with a handle for your finger; Russian salad came in a plastic cube for some reason. At one point I looked at the empty containers on our bar table and thought it could be a bad morning at the gynecologist’s. But it got weirder, with the aforementioned dessert packed in a condom-like baggie attached to a rubber breast. The idea was to pump the mousse through the nipple into your mouth. It had its moment, but the image I will need brain bleach to remove is of a roomful of guys of all ages blissfully suckling. I always thought Dennis Kucinich was right in advocating a Department of Peace to replace the warmongering one. Now I know exactly what would make it work — the replacement of MREs with Tits, Ready to Suck.