Catching the Light
Glimmering this week: Mangesh Hattikudur, Oz Woloshyn, Rowan Jacobsen, Joanna Coles, Glynnis MacNicol, Rachel Sklar, Michael Wolff, Foster Kamer, Leon Neyfakh, Mickey, Kate Osborn, Felix Salmon, Paul Greenberg, Kate Dwyer, Ben Mullin, Colin Stokes, A.J. Jacobs, Ryan Brown, Allie Rowbottom, Jon Lindsey, Brock Colyar, Delia Cai, Elizabeth Nicholas, Helen Holmes, Tyler Bainbridge, Terry Nguyen, Drew Ohringer, and many more…
It’s peak party season, and half the conversations are about the party you just went to or the party you’re going to next. This week we focus on how the stuff of life coursed through the city at just two parties on Wednesday night.
OUT AND ABOUT
On Wednesday evening, in the $16 million penthouse which serves as the official British Residence in New York — across the street from the United Nations, not far from Greta Garbo’s old apartment, overlooking the Pepsi-Cola sign — a new podcast company called Kaleidoscope celebrated their launch in the swanky style to which podcasters have become accustomed. The company’s co-founders Mangesh Hattikudur, who previously founded Mental Floss and was in charge of podcast development at iHeartMedia, and Oz Woloshyn, an Emmy and Peabody Award winner, seemed perfectly at ease among the Andy Warhol and Denzil Forrester paintings. How did they swing the opulent digs? “Well, because Oz is British,” Hattikudur said. “We sort of conned them into throwing a party here.” “We actually just stole the keys,” said James Beard Award winner and host of the company’s first podcast, Obsessions: Wild Chocolate, Rowan Jacobsen. “They don’t know we’re here.” How did Woloshyn’s father, who was happily swooning around the party, feel about where his son landed in New York? “I love this apartment,” he said, “It’s just a pity he’s only got it for the evening.”
Unmissable in the crowd with her shock of white hair was former Hearst chief content officer and Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief and current Kaleidoscope investor Joanna Coles. Last week, she ripped up California’s Pacific Coast Highway, riding a Triumph on her first long motorcycle trip. Had she always wanted to ride? “No, but the opportunity arose, and it just felt like a fantastic way to see that coastline.” How did she prepare? “I bought a very nice, well-padded jacket.” Hannah Young, deputy consul general of the U.K.’s New York consulate, wandered over. “Do you have a picture of the king up yet?” Coles asked. “No, we’ve only got the Warhol of the queen,” said Young. “We haven’t had the official photo yet. They haven’t released the official photo.” Next, the New York Post’s Page Six editor Emily Smith stopped by. Had she made any trips recently to rival Coles’s seaside trek? “No, but I need to.”
“This feels like a media party in 2008,” said No One Tells You This memoirist Glynnis MacNicol. “I took the elevator with Michael Wolff. He had no idea who I was but the last time I was anywhere close to him was after he published his book about Rupert Murdoch, this was 2008, and I said, ‘What was the most interesting thing you learned?’ And he said that Rupert Murdoch takes an enema before all long-haul flights.” At this party, MacNicol stood chatting with writer and TheLi.st founder Rachel Sklar. What’s the best party they’d ever been to? “The Christopher Hitchens post-White House Correspondents’ Dinner party in 2008,” said Sklar. “I lived in Williamsburg in 1999, so the entirety of my time there was my favorite party,” MacNicol said. “A lot of the quote-unquote good parties really depend on how you felt walking into the party,” mused Sklar. “Or it depends on how you felt when you walked out of the party and who you walked out with,” MacNicol said. “Cha-ching,” Sklar rang.
On hand to sample the chocolates, cacao-themed cocktails, and an impressive array of hors d’oeuvres were the aforementioned Wolff (Did he have a minute? “No.”), Futurism content director and this reporter’s roommate’s favorite New York Times contributor Foster Kamer (“I can’t believe Michael Wolff wouldn’t talk, I wonder if he’s under indictment.”), Fiasco podcast host Leon Neyfakh with his poodle Mickey, chic as ever, in a bag slung over his shoulder, Kaleidoscope head of podcast development Kate Osborn, there with her best friend Will Shapiro, a senior director of data insights at Flatiron Health (“Will is a lover of many things, especially culinary,” said Osborn, with an eye toward the chocolate display, “this felt like an important event for him to come to.”), Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon, someone who looked an awful lot like Longform podcast co-host Evan Ratliff, former CEO of Nylon and CollegeHumor Paul Greenberg, New York Times and New Yorker contributor Kate Dwyer, New York Times media reporter Ben Mullin, and New Yorker associate cartoon editor and former softball coach Colin Stokes. “I went to a fun party last night at Odeon,” said Stokes. “Every glass was prepared for a martini, locked and loaded.” Another attendee of that party later told The Fine Print, “The photographer-to-person ratio was the same.”
Also present were astrologer Dr. Rakesh Kumar (who’s featured in Hattikudur’s upcoming podcast Skyline Drive), former chief North America correspondent for The Independent David Usborne, who came with his partner Yoshi Saito (“We are working on moving out of New York City,” Saito said, adding that they’ve set their sights on Maui.), S/B Films creative executive Jake Cheetham (“I’m here in my capacity as an executive in the film and television industry” Trying to pick up podcasts? “Exactly.”), self-proclaimed “human guinea pig” A.J. Jacobs, who came with his son Zane (“I went to the nerdiest festival I’ve ever been to, but it was delightful. It was called the Wonderful World of Words at Mohonk Mountain House. That was with [New York Times crossword puzzle editor] Will Shortz and a bunch of puzzle fanatics. It was too nerdy for Zane,” Jacobs said. “I gave a presentation including my favorite puzzle of all time, which was a Baltimore Sun spot-the-difference puzzle where they printed two identical images by mistake, so it just drove people insane.”), Semafor media reporter and marathon runner Max Tani, former Hearst, Gawker, and Mel executive Ryan Brown, and Mark Christian, who runs “a platform for wild harvesting cacao in Amazonia” and lives on Riverside Drive. “I had a dream last night. It was a beautiful dream where sand was turning into snow,” Christian said. “It was like this diorama: Snow was falling, and I was just walking through sand, and it was warm.”
“Getting a tattoo at a party is 2014 and this is 2022,” said poet Janelle Tan in the glare of a massive ring light as nurse practitioner Judesha Nuredini shot an attendee up with Botox at the launch party for Allie Rowbottom’s debut novel Aesthetica at the Georgia Room in Midtown later on Wednesday. “I’m usually not a big fan of Botox parties, but this is a Botox book launch,” said Nuredini. “We’re doing a lot of Botox lip flips, that gives you a little bit more lip show when you’re smiling, some brow lifts, for getting rid of the furrows, because no one wants to look angry.” Was making someone look angrier in the cards? “We only want to make you look happier.” Rowbottom, who The Fine Print last encountered on a boat this summer, certainly looked happy now that the party was in full swing. “I’m reading after the intermission, which is the easy part. I’m like, ‘Now that people are here, great,’” she said. How had the crowd reacted to the Botox booth? “The girls are going for it,” she said. “It’s just a little, so it’s a good entryway.”
Of course, there were plenty of reasons for Rowbottom to be happy. Apart from the book’s release, she recently moved to Malibu with her husband and fellow novelist Jon Lindsey. “I surf and we were living in Silver Lake and it was just too much of a drive, so we traded our condo in Silver Lake for a little condo in Malibu. It’s great, man. It’s so quiet, you can see stars,” Lindsey said. “There’s so much weird money, but it’s all hidden in the hills and in enclaves. You rub elbows with Sean Penn on the beach, but you don’t really have any access to that world. You just kind of see him and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, how is that old guy so buff? Oh, that’s Sean Penn. He’s on HGH.’” Until Christmas, though, they’re staying with Rowbottom’s godmother on the Upper West Side.
Mingling under the disco ball were New York party reporter Brock Colyar, Vanity Fair senior Vanities correspondent and imminent debut novelist Delia Cai (“I’m excited to go home for Thanksgiving with my family and hang out with my brother. We always go watch a $5 dollar matinee, because such is life in central Illinois,” she said, after texting Vanity Fair’s publicist for permission. “We get Slurpees, popcorn, the whole works.”), New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Vogue contributor Elizabeth Nicholas, Daily Beast culture reporter Helen Holmes (“I hung out until 5 a.m. with my bodega guy, who’s my friend,” she said. “Last Thursday, I stopped in at his bodega right before I went home to get some seltzer, and then he was like, ‘Let’s go to a party.’”), Perfectly Imperfect newsletter founder Tyler Bainbridge, Dirt staff writer Terry Nguyen(“I actually have a pilates class at 6:30 in the morning tomorrow, and it’s 9, so I could still go home at 10:30 and get about eight hours of sleep,” she said. “I love waking up early, that’s how we get shit done.”), and erstwhile party host Beckett Rosset.
Also catching the light were Our Struggle podcast host and school teacher Drew Ohringer (“Many of my students found your article. I had to do a roleplay with my boss where she’s like, ‘Well, what if I’m a concerned father?’ I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s literary.’ It kind of worked actually,” he said. “They can never quite get me because it’s like, ‘You’re a nerd, but also you’re a mess,’ and they don’t know what to do with it.”), Astra deputy editor Samuel Rutter in a luminous white jacket (who was stopping by on his way to a National Book Awards party), and Sex Magazine co-editor Zach Sokol, who was supposed to DJ for the first time in a while later that night. “I’m super rusty,” he said before introducing photographer Matt Weinberger as a “young gun who literally is crushing it in terms of out five or six nights a week. He’s like Cobrasnake 2.0.” Turning to Weinberger, he said, “I don’t know how you have the fucking bandwidth — sorry, what’s the word I’m looking for? The spirit.” Weinberger conceded the distinction. “I don’t have the bandwidth, but I have the spirit to push through,” he said before they shot each other with compact cameras.
Had any of them taken Nuredini up on the party favor? “Not yet, but I’m not above it,” said Nicholas. “Look at how much he’s bleeding,” said Holmes, gesturing to a gleaming man with a track of bloody dots across his forehead. “I contemplated getting Botox for attention, but that’s too much blood.” Ohringer might be a mess, but he wasn’t going to blunder drunkenly into the Botox chair. He was happy to observe the procession of injectees. “There are a lot of beautiful women here, including this one right now,” he said as the latest patient mounted the chair. “Wow — she reminds me of a girl I was in love with in Iowa City.”
➾ 7 p.m. Oxford professor and philosopher Amia Srinivasan will discuss her book The Right to Sex with New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino in the Rare Book Room at the Strand bookstore.
➾ 7 p.m. Politico Playbook co-author Rachel Bade and Washington Post pentagon correspondent Karoun Demirjian will launch their book Unchecked with a conversation moderated by New York Times reporter Nicholas Fandos at The Powerhouse Arena bookstore in Dumbo.
➾ 7 p.m. Allie Rowbottom will discuss Aesthetica with Astra and New Yorker contributor Leslie Jamison at McNally Jackson Seaport. (BYOB: bring your own Botox.)
➾ All Day Thanksgiving — no social column next week. Have a lovely holiday!
Have a moment? Let us know!