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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Lavish is not a word normally associated with book parties. Most of them are characterized by warm white wine and pallid cubes of cheese. Unless you are a member of the celebrated Guinness family, in which case your guests will be treated to Blood Orange Bellinis and delicate crab cakes in a mind-blowingly glamorous apartment in the right slice of Park Avenue. And Ivana Lowell is a Guinness whose searing memoir, Why Not Say What Happened?, was just published by Knopf. A soaringly high New York society crowd gathered at hostess Danielle Ganek's vast apartment to hear about Ivana's extraordinary family life, including stories about her grandmother, Maureen, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava; and her mother, writer Lady Caroline Blackwood (who was once married to Lucien Freud). Ms. Lowell, a slim brunette stylishly turned out in an Alexander McQueen sweater dress, described herself as more of a storyteller than a literary genius like Robert Lowell, her late and beloved stepfather." (Observer)


"Congratulations, Sandra Bullock: You've managed to avoid the Best Actress curse. We're not talking about the unfortunate trend of Best Actress Oscar recipients losing their husbands after the win — that one famously claimed Bullock as a victim, too — but instead, the just-as-dire career misfortunes that tend to befall most of the ladies who've picked up golden hardware over the last ten years. If all goes according to plan, Bullock's next three films will be Gravity, an ambitious space drama directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n (Children of Men), an adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's acclaimed novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Stephen Daldry (The Hours), and an untitled comedy that would find Bullock co-starring opposite A-listers like Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. Finally, Bullock is making the great-sounding movies we always hoped she would make! You would think more actresses would have done this after winning their Oscars. You would have been wrong. Sure, some major names have won that Best Actress trophy over the last decade — Reese! Charlize! Halle! — but instead of leveraging their Oscars to get into fantastic movies, their careers almost always hit a post-kudos rough patch." (Vulture)


"Up on Madison Avenue and 75th Street, the Whitney Museum of American Art was holding its annual gala benefit and after party. This is always a big, festive, black tie party with hundreds attending. While over in Central Park under at tent at Rumsey Playfield (at 72nd Street) , the Central Park Conservancy was holding its annual Green Ball, known to one and all as the Halloween Party. Fantastic costumes or non-traditional black tie was the dress code. More than 400 attended the oostume/dinner dance and they raised $700,000. Costume Contest Prize Winners were: Best Group: The Tea Party, made up of the John Stossel Table; Best Individual: The Concession Lady, Julie Smith, who took a couple of weeks to make her costume. She took pictures of the real things and then modeled her “Stand In” stand after them. It was so real that as she was walking into the party, people asked if they could buy some chips; Best Green Costume: The Tea Bag Couple: Rosalind and Ken Landis. They stapled green tea bags all over his suit and her dress; and Best Couple: Sully and the Wayward Geese: Rick and Ana Blank." (NYSocialDiary)

"China, in fact, understands this dynamic much better than its Western hemispheric rival; the reality of enduring American strengths and significant Chinese weaknesses is better appreciated in Beijing than in Washington. China knows that American power and influence in Asia is based on two things: its military and economic pre-eminence and Washington's unmatched several-decade record of underwriting peace and prosperity in the region. The vast majority of Asian states welcome the presence of the U.S. Seventh Fleet -- critical support, as America's forward deployments depend heavily on their acquiescence and cooperation. China, by contrast, may be the loneliest rising power in recent history. Other countries in the region may look forward to the economic opportunities presented by China's rise, but Beijing has few genuine or reliable allies. It remains distrusted by almost every maritime power in the region. Domestically, even China's Premier Wen Jiabao recognizes that China is a potentially unstable combination of a strong and rich state ruling over a poor and weak country. Beijing's lead in forging regional free trade agreements has helped enhance its economic clout. But for China to translate its economic growth and size into political leverage, it will have to become the dominant center of consumption in Asia." (ForeignPolicy)

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