Fly on the Wall – Mel’s Diner Goes to NY
It’s the Mel’s Diner motto: As much as you are what you eat, where you eat says something about a person too. The company people keep can also speak to what deals may be brewing. So even when I’m not reporting from news- and bread-breaking excursions, I keep my beady little eyes (and those of my fellow Super Fly correspondents) scoping restaurant seats to bring you Fly on the Wall, a dose of dining intelligence revealing who shows up where … and with whom.
So here’s what I know: One of my first orders of business during my visit to B&C’s NY office last week was reviewing the original Fly on the Wall record, a collection of papers on display in Deputy Editor Michael Malone’s office. This is where staffers have for years written down notable NY-area sightings.
The most recent addition to – heck, let’s call it the Fly Paper: B&C Senior Editor Glen Dickson spotted 007 himself, Daniel Craig, Sept. 27 at Nichol’s, a British pub on Montauk Highway in East Hampton. Apparently someone from Page Six was also there, but Super Fly Dickson zoomed in on the table. Craig was dining on buffalo wings and mussels, accompanied by four friends (two men and two women, one of which appeared to be his girlfriend) and lots of laughs.
Also on Malone’s Fly Paper: Film critic and TV personality Elvis Mitchell, was out in front of our offices at Park and 26th Sept. 1, just walking … Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon was crossing the street with her daughter at Amsterdam and 75th on Sept. 8 … and Emmy-winner Kristen Johnston was at Broadway and 11th in mid-August.
I notice Super Fly Dickson is the only person on staff who actually saw anybody eating in NY, leading me to wonder if A The rest of the New York staff needs to get out more or B The famous good-eating in New York is overblown.
With that and feeling ever-so-far from Hollywoodland, where every trip to the grocery store is a virtual TV tour and Britney Spears shows up for my non-dates with ex-boyfriends, I lurch through my slight flu at an invitation to Pastis in Manhattan’s fashionable meatpacking district.
My buddy and author/writer/cupcake eater Sarah Grace McCandless suggest s we meet up for celebrity-hunting (her words) at Pastis. During her last meal there she witnessed one famous, tall, blonde actress bypass the hand-washing part of her visit to the loo.
Now, I see nothing of the kind myself, but I do snap some evidence of why that might have been the case.
The restroom setup at Pastis is not all the way Ally McBeal, shared-style, but it’s not far off. The sink is a long trough between the doors to separate sets of stalls for men and women. The mirrors are by the shared sink, so eventhough no one cared to stare about whether I was washing up, I was compelled to bolt without touching up my lipstick after a man commented on the shade of red I was preparing to don. What a terrifying dinner out it must have been for that super-stalked starlet, essentially standing in the boys room. Poor, dirty dear had to get out of there!
On my walk back to the hotel, I was soothed at the site of The Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street, a beautiful bake shop credited with creating the nationwide cupcake craze in the 1990s.
I was also heartened to hear that in the meantime, while I was away, a much more civilized restaurant bathroom encounter occurred back home: Two of my best friends were dining — (without me!) — at the restaurant at The Sunset Marquis Hotel when one of them, who is too blog-shy to be named, took a long time to come back from the bathroom. As it turns out he had an episode that had to be just as thrilling as SGM’s hands-free night at Pastis, only cleaner: He held the door for an appreciative multi-hyphenate Billy Bob Thornton, who like my friend is a humongous, nearly-all-they-ever-wanna-talk-about-is-the-Cards St. Louis Cardinals fan.
BE A SUPER FLY CORRESPONDENT, tip us off to where the TV biz eats — industry bigwigs, talent, anybody working in TV in your town – with a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mel’s Diner Fly on the Wall tips will remain anonymous if you choose.