08 November 2006

The "Inn" Crowd

As heartbroken as I was to see Ye Olde Waverly Inn, one of the city's oldest and sweetest little restaurants, close a few years back, it's hard for me to rejoice that's it's reopened. Why? It's owner.

The cozy nook tucked at the corner of Bank and Waverly—one of the loveliest corners in the city—is now owned by Graydon Carter, the odious, celebrity-sucking, pompous, flip-haired editor of Vanity Fair. The man personifies all the frivilousness, hypocrisy, vacuousness and self-worship of New York society. This is a guy who thinks the guest list to his annual Oscar night party is a matter of social import. If you want to know what Heartlanders hate about New Yorkers, all you have to do is look at Carter's bloated, snug, self-satisfied face.

Of course, such a man would have to have his own "place," where all his friends [read: currently desired newsmakers] can hang is clubby conviviality. But why did he have to choose the old Waverly, which was always about modesty and low key Village bohemianism? Well, for one, because he lives down the block, on Bank. Uptown power brokers always want to believe they hasn't lost touch with their artistic, youthful "roots." That's why they buy townhouses in the Village.

Willa Cather, Alyse Gregory, editor of The Dial, choreographer Hanya Holm, caricaturist Alfred Frueh, along with other eccentric demi-celebrities, used to dine there. Now we'll get Scarlett Johansson while a stretch white SUV idles outside. If you can get in at all, that is.

No comments: