Postcard from New York
Sunday 15 November 1998
For me, part of the thrill of Manhattan is the knowledge that, while one's career may have placed one temporarily in the skies, who knows what the future brings - it could plummet, just as it rose, shooting 87 storeys down below into the peculiar perdition of a failed editor-in-chief - broke, broken and practically unemployable.
It's a chilling thought. And one that inevitably runs through the mind as I sit, later in the day, two rows in front of Michael Douglas, and one behind Camille Paglia, at the opening night of Sandra Bernhardt's Broadway show. Miss Bernhardt is hilarious, but she turns her eagle eye - with some sympathy, for sure, but enormous wit - on hubris and its often dire consequences.
I am a nervous soul, so it is not without a certain trepidation that I walk, in the company of my colleague Ethan, into the after-show party. Now Ethan is a walking, talking, six foot three advertisement for WASP America; handsome, smart, and above all else, fearless. This makes him the perfect companion at fancy parties.
True, it's generally a mistake to go anywhere with someone considerably more attractive than yourself. There's nothing more irritating, surely, than the person you're talking to looking over your shoulder to look at the person you're with. But as you grow older, this is the kind of thing you must learn to accept. Somehow.
Of course Ethan would be a disaster - and quite unthinkable - if one's ambitions for the night were romantic. I would simply never score. But the big advantage of going to something like the Sandra Bernhardt party with Ethan is that he spurs me on to do the right thing, as if I had all the might of the Conde Nast editor-as-star-system (not to mention the dress allowance) behind me, because tonight I talk to the right people.
He elbows me sharply to say "hi" to Sandra, to thank her for being our November cover star, and to say "hello" to Camille (and yes, we'd love you to write for the mag). The funny side of all of this side of New York life first becomes apparent when some girl comes up, bums a cigarette and says, quite superfluously - we've already given her one - "It's not for me, it's for Gina Gershon."
Later on at Barney's, at the launch party for Simon Doonan's book, Ethan nudges me again, and hisses with excitement, "There's Yves St Laurent, go talk to him." I do, explaining what a fan I am, how much I admire the work of Hedi Slimane at Rive Gauche. "Yves" turns round and says "Gee, thanks!" in a Brooklyn accent. It's not Yves, it's some other guy with big specs, and I've blundered. In this town, that kind of thing can be fatal.
Life & Style blogs
Looking past the search results: Google 2.0 will 'build airports and cities' says report
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
iOS 8: how to free up memory on your iPhone or iPad to install the update
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...