Wednesday, April 04, 2007


candace bushnell Elaine's
Candace Bushnell at Elaine's 1997

When I thought about things I might be doing in Manhattan, being driven through Central Park in a chauffeured Bentley didn’t even make the list. I ‘persuaded’ JSL to be my non-date date* to a party at the Central Park Boathouse to launch the Bentley Brooklands Coupé , an all singing, all dancing, hand assembled coach built luxe-mobile. (For those of you care about such things, production will be strictly limited to 550 cars, with a 530bhp, twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 that produces an enormous 1050Nm of torque)

As the Boathouse is all of about 100 yards from Fifth Avenue, it is obviously far too far for very important people to walk, hence the chauffeured Bentleys. As most of the UES road exits were shut for repairs, we purred our way right round the top of the park before we exited on the north side & were dumped back in reality. Then we headed to Elaine's for supper.

JSL & his Paris Review past make him what I’d call well-known there – we were offered the best table in the house. They make a very good Cosmopolitan, but the food is bog standard Italian & certainly not the point (the table hopping action is).

JSL introduced me to Gay & Nan Talese. And I garnered a serious compliment from Gay who looked at me and then said to JSL. "She's beautiful, very young - but not fragile". La di da di dah. Elaine joined our table after supper: she's a large lady with a sleepy presence, behind which lurks a razor sharp brain.

Each person that left the restaurant filed past her for a well-defined nod, handshake or brush of the cheek. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had been wearing a ring papal-style for customers to kiss.

* Date here in NYC is a flexi-term that can equate to walker in London. A walker here is a gay man as JSL explained through clenched teeth when I described him as such.

I wore: TopShop navy blue long puff sleeved silk tunic. Grey opaques. Gold vintage chains. Blue patent platform heels. Cream 1950's cotton swing coat. Janet Collin stone handbag.