I was chagrined to think we might have been just catapultees, but my consort and I still had an outstanding time mingling by the fire the other night in an apartment just down the street from the Bloomberg palace. Real critics were there, and at least one real blogger, and a whole cast of other characters I both recognized and didn’t. The super-savvy and always-gracious boss turned up, too, with French journalist in tow, and that made me even more appreciative of the marketing wizardry on display. What better way to signal how nimble your organization will be even if apple carts are cluttering the streets? What better way to instruct hyper-wealthy clients on entertaining at home than DIY in a real home with a buffet of cheese and killer charcuterie, with no waiters beyond the hostess and one supremely efficient bartender? As that superb and agile hostess said, always serve one homemade thing (mushroom soup in demitasse, say) and you can get away with buying the rest. It was one great performance. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether to feel reassured or terrified when the top of the food chain is demonstrably tightening its links. . . .