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A beautiful Brad Pitt, in town on a private visit, joked with friends that his wife — that’s Jennifer Aniston for those reading this on another planet — trusted him to behave himself better on the streets of New York than on the set of his soon-to-be-released blockbuster, “Troy,” in which he plays Achilles. Brad said Jennifer thought he was running around naked in one too many scenes. So he explained to her, “The Greeks were naked all the time — eating naked, playing naked — they liked to be naked. I just didn’t realize I was the only one doing it in the movie. I thought everyone else was, too.” Oh, honey, what a whopper.

Brad had just flown in from Chicago where he, George Clooney and Matt Damon were filming “Ocean’s Twelve” at the Arthur Heurtley House, built in 1902 by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Oak Park section of the city, much to the delight of the local residents. Many of the children in the neighborhood got to be extras with the dubious bonus of pickpocket lessons from Matt Damon’s character in the backyard of the architectural masterpiece. Matt brought his latest girlfriend, interior designer Luciana Barroso, to Chicago with him to keep him grounded, if that’s the word. They went to baseball games, walked on Michigan Avenue and hugged and kissed when they bid each other farewell outside the city’s Peninsula Hotel — just like in the movies. When Luciana got in the car, Matt screamed out, “Bye, baby! Have a good trip.” Who wrote his lines?

This story first appeared in the May 7, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


Karen LeFrak led the charge of the hat brigade into Central Park for the 22nd annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards luncheon. Karen is the new president of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy and she looked every petite inch the presidentessa in a rose-colored hat, a pink-checked skirt and a matching coat by Rena Lange that she bought in London just for the occasion. Karen had a buoyant Mayor Bloomberg at her table, looking dapper in a smart, blue blazer and a red tie, along with Jamee Gregory, wearing a blush tweed suit by Chanel and a pink hat; Jessie Araskog; Marcia Mishaan; Cynthia Lufkin and Julia Koch. Stopping by the table, which was covered in an Hermès cloth and centered with a poodle topiary, were such as Katie Couric, Allison Rockefeller, Patricia Hearst, Susan Burke, Evelyn Lauder, Serena Boardman and 1,200 others of that ilk of ribbon and silk. The Mayor congratulated the ladies and financier Stephen Schwarzman, the corporate chairman, on raising $2.2 million to help maintain the park and said he hoped to see everyone back at the same spot in February when artist Christo will wrap up the shebang in his signature fabric. Instead of straw hats, they’ll probably be wearing sable, the sweet things.


Our mayor, looking dapper again in a dark suit and a lovely tie, turned up with his lady fair, Diane Taylor, at the Irvington Institute’s “Through the Kitchen Dinner” at the Four Seasons. He said it was one of the few times he could go out to dine and eat anything he wanted. I didn’t check his plate, but he looked really happy. This annual culinary extravaganza, which has been going strong for 19 years, invites the guests to stroll through the Four Season’s vast kitchen to choose delicacies from a succulent feast, featuring every delicious dish you’ve ever heard of — and some you haven’t — but there’s still time next year.

Each table in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons was named for such keen idols such as Bo Derek, Cher (where the mayor sat), Robert Redford, Cindy Crawford, the Beatles and Regis Philbin, and decorated with mementos of the idols’ careers, pictures, books, etc. Regis was so touched by the decor of the table named after him that he took everything on it — pictures and all — home with him and showed it off on his show the next morning.

Every year, Lauren Veronis has hosted this dinner as she did again, assisted by Aerin Lauder and Eric Zinterhofer; her husband, John Veronis; her daughter, Perri Peltz; Eric Ruttenberg; Hilary Geary, and Mary and Marvin Davidson. Jamie Niven auctioned off the many splendid prizes and everyone cooed, “Isn’t Jamie a wonderful auctioneer?” And here is just a few of those who came to the foodie fete of the year: Nan and Tommy Kempner, Joan and Robert Tisch, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Carol and George McFadden, Marie Josée and Henry Kravis, Paula and Leon Root, Charles Gargano, Donald and Catie Marron, Stacey and Donny Deutsch, Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner, Paula Zahn, Pauline Pitt and hundreds of other gourmets just like them.


Paul McCartney is nothing if not sensitive to the feelings of others. In his preparation for his summer concert throughout Europe, McCartney decided he wants to be able to speak with his audiences in their native language at each and every stop. So he employed 11 personal tutors to teach him Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, Czech, Finnish, French, Norwegian and Swiss dialects. Even if only to say hello. Whatever, now he’ll be able to sing “Besame Mucho” to Heather, whenever he feels like it.


Viscount Linley, the 42-year-old nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, is making plans to bring his successful furniture business to New York, with quality carpentry, design worthy of the adjective “royal” and clients as diverse as Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John and interior designers Peter Marino and David Easton. Linley’s shop, specializing in furniture, upholstery and lighting in the posh Belgrave section of London, has always been an absolute smash. He is scouting for a new location on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, and everyone knows he has already designed the famous boardroom table at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.


Ricky and Ralph Lauren’s daughter, Dylan, will turn over her Dylan’s Candy Bar for the “Kids in Candyland” party to benefit Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s Children’s Program. Renee Rockefeller, Eva Dillon and Valesca Guerrand-Hermes are on the committee. Leading the parade of yummy mummies and cute, little kiddies to the cookie counters are the party’s chairmen, Alexandra Kramer and Julie Regal.

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