Bloomberg News

Scene Last Night: Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Gray, Spike Lee

March 15, 2013

New York Observer Turns 25

Jonathan Mechanic, a partner at Fried Frank, Jared Kushner, chairman of the Observer Media Group, and Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group LP. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

“Two laps around the room, no more than one glass of wine,” said art dealer Larry Gagosian last night at the New York Observer’s 25th anniversary party.

“Show up, and I don’t mean just physically,” said Deborra-Lee Furness, an actress, director and producer, and wife of Hugh Jackman, in between huddles with Katie Couric and interior designer Kelly Behun Sugarman. “You never know what can happen.”

The crowd packed into the Four Seasons Pool Room presented ample social opportunity, with actress Katie Holmes in one corner, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc. (GOOG:US), in another. There was artist Chuck Close and Observer writer George Gurley.

Living this New York moment required strategy.

“Wear a great dress, so everyone stops to talk to you,” said clothing designer Stacey Bendet.

“We’re staying in one place, so everyone sees us,” said Broadway producer Jordan Roth.

“You say hi, you lie, and you move on,” said Peter Davis, editor of the Observer’s Scene magazine.

Many guests were included in the newspaper’s list of the “100 most influential New Yorkers” published this week.

“I’m just a boy from Jersey,” said Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker of making the list.

Spike Lee, also on the list, sat on the ledge of the pool in a puffy Moncler jacket, talking into the din.

“The secret to a party like this is finding a spot near the food and drink,” Lee said.

Smoked Duck

Ronald O. Perelman, chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., was with daughter Samantha, a student at Columbia Business School. They passed by the buffet offering smoked duck, turkey and bass.

Wendi Deng Murdoch made her entrance in a Rodarte dress without her husband, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. (NWSA:US) “He’s ice skating with the kids in Central Park,” she said. “He’ll be here soon.” He made it.

Miss Universe China 2011, Luo Zilin, who is competing on Oxygen Media’s “The Face,” spoke with Tom Hooper, the director of “Les Miserables.”

“The joy of tonight is that I’m not ’working it’ at all,” said Hooper. “I’m here to have fun.”

Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group LP (BX:US), and one of the Observer’s “25 to watch,” arrived early enough to have a clear path to Jared Kushner, the newspaper’s owner.

Naive Kid

In remarks delivered on the steps of the Pool Room, Kushner said he was a “25-year-old naive kid” when he bought the publication seven years ago. Since then revenue has tripled, he added.

Near the anniversary cake, Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, talked with filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

“The secret to working a party like this? Make sure you greet your hosts,” Weinstein said.

“Stay the whole time,” Trump added.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Scott Reyburn on art, Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net


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