It rained in New York on Sunday night and then through Monday morning after which it got colder. The city is still quiet, as if many people haven’t returned from the holiday vacation. I went to lunch at Michael’s which was not its bustling self.
I lunched with Nazee Moinian. Nazee is a beautiful Iranian-born and Jewish woman married to Joe Moinian, also a Persian Jew, who is a very successful real estate magnate in this country. The Moinians, who are a very gracious couple, have five children and live here and on eastern Long Island (in a house that once belonged to Saul and Gayfryd Steinberg). A couple of summers ago, JH and I covered a private fundraiser that Nazee and Joe had for Senator Hillary Clinton.
Joe and Nazee Moinian
Nazee just completed the courses for her Masters at Columbia where she had a 3.9 average. She’s a very attractive forty-something woman who has her eye on greater goals. Having grown up where and how she did, in a land where everyone no matter their religious affiliation, had to learn and memorize the Koran in Farsi, her comprehension of that part of the world is very informed compared to almost any of us. As a woman with children, her concern principal concern is for their safety and good health. Once, when I asked her what her goals might be, she told me it was to sit at the table with the men and women who had/would have control of the policy of use of nuclear weapons. In other words, peace. Nazee is a real optimist.
I’d actually never met a woman, or a man, before who had that specific and lofty goal. How she is going to achieve it is also unknown, at least to me. But she is one of those individuals who you just know will get there somehow. At least get to the table.
In the meantime, she is considering going for her PhD. at Columbia (in International Relations). Last year she and a group of people met with Jacques Chirac in Paris about the situation in the Middle East. She was astonished to learn that M. Chirac didn’t know there were Jews living in Iran, and that indeed, there is a large population of Persian Jews in the world. Also last year she and her husband Joe gave a small private dinner for Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, to promote the message of a peaceful coexistence not only in the Middle East, but in the world.
The notion of private individuals influencing public policy, indeed foreign policy, is hardly a new one. Forty years David Rockefeller’s private jet was one of the few in the world that had access to Soviet airspace because he was one of those people. But the idea of a beautiful young Persian Jewish wife, a New Yorker and mother of five is somewhat – not entirely – unique and another example of why New York is a most amazing place.
Fun and Games department. When JH and I started up the NYSD six and a half years ago, many asked if we thought there was an audience for our brand of editorial. And as you know our readers cover the entire globe every day. Since then there have been several other web sites who’ve launched into the same orbit.
One of these web sites in particular is put together by people who have chosen to remain anonymous for reasons known only to them. Their stock in trade is a some kind of Rube Goldbergian statistical device which determines who rates where on the social ladder, and with whom, as if to say that polls determine the social order.
Their statistics seem to be at least partly the result of surveying web sites such as NYSD and Patrick McMullan.com which run copious party pictures. The more images of an individual, the more boldfaced mentions, the higher the individual moves up the ladder of success (or, as in many cases, excess).
This willy-nilly way of mapping the social scene seems fair way in a limited sense. There is a crowd of 20- and 30-somethings who are all at store parties, downtown clubs and occasional charity galas; they fit the bill. Tinsley Mortimer is an example of this “orbit.” And Veronica Hearst’s daughter Fabiola Beracasa. Both of these young women rank right up there at the tippy-top of this ersatz social dotcom. Mainly, I suppose, because they’re out at parties all the time. And in different outfits. And occasionally different poses.
It’s fun, stupid, but cute. And harmless. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if both Ms. Mortimer and Ms. Baracasa might have wanted to slit their wrists after a certain amount of this kind of publicity that advertises the mindless and the vapid. Although it’s a fun diversion if you’re running on empty and plan to stay there. And at least it’s not violent like those Japanese video games that some people never quite grow out of.
I mention this matter because last week, Gawker, a very popular daily gossip web site pointed out that this unnamed web site had removed a “link” to the NYSD, and the Gawker columnist wondered what the significance was.
Personally we had no idea there ever was a link from that site to ours. I’d been to visit the site when it first launched. Amused by the idea but soon after bored by its fruity folderol, never got around to it again.
Anyway, soon after Gawker wondered wha-hoppen, the nameless-faceless-web writer sent an explanation:
Why we squashed DPC... We decided to finally remove Mr. Columbia's site from our link list for a very simple reason: DPC's incredibly boring. Well, we guess there are more inspirations as well. His target audience already qualifies for reservation spaces in the cemeteries; his writing has become as dull as an airline plastic knive (sic) and his all-inclusive policy of ugly people pictures has gotten on our nerves. No one reads his magazine, except the occasional C-list Hamptons and 10021 residents who make its "distinguished" pages. Otherwise, the kind help staff recycles the damn thing. So, there is no bitter feud. Just a lack of appreciation for an old man who couldn't.
Now you have to admit, that is pretty funny. “DPC’s incredibly boring…” Every writer’s nightmare fantasy. Could easily be true; taste is phenomenal. “Dull as an airline plastic knife…” Oy. That’s a keen eye, at least for plastic. And “a target audience (that) already qualifies for reservaton spaces in the cemeteries…” That’s you, folks; sorry but c’est la vie, (according to the authority). And then: “his all-inclusive policy of ugly people pictures has gotten on our nerves.” Oh dear oh dear.
I first heard of all this yesterday morning after Dominick Dunne, who reads Gawker, phoned a mutual friend to report the nasty impart of the nameless-faceless one.
Well, I will say that this time of year is the dull time for us chroniclers and our barnacles. Even the weather is dull, although certainly not boring considering its implications. I’m always surprised at the mean-spiritedness that emerges so frequently from us audiences, or the so-called nameless-facelesses who blog their (little) hearts out. I always wonder why? For what? To be a bitch? To possibly hurt? Insult? Maybe; you never know.
I have to say it is funny, however, both haha and odd, to be referred to as “old.” And true, very true, especially if you’re very young (which is how we all view people who are younger than we by decades). But it makes you laugh too because no matter your age, one of the surprises in life is that you never really grow out of feeling the way you felt when you were a kid. Curious but true. And when one gets to a certain age, there are all kinds of anxieties which arise in a variety of ways. Not dissimilar to acne, for some of us who shall remain nameless (and faceless). Because it’s a process of processing. There are all kinds of clarity that result too. Which is how you can laugh at the real idiots, no matter how silly or nasty they seem.