People bemoan the divisions that exist in America today. On a recent trip to New York City it took a New York minute (actually seven minutes) to show the grand demarcation that has occurred and it is more like a rupture.
We were recently in New York to celebrate my wife’s birthday when the encounter happened. My wife follows from afar the social scene in New York with her principle source of information being the New York Social Diary which she reads daily. The creator and editor of the Diary, David Patrick Columbia, usually lunches on Wednesday at Michael’s restaurant, the East Coast version of Michael McCarty’s famous Santa Monica restaurant through which a significant portion of America’s great chefs have graduated. It is also the place to have lunch on Wednesday in NYC and be seen. Great food and my wife’s chance to meet the man who writes the Diary -- sounds fine to me.
After my wife schmoozed McCarty who introduced her to Mr. Columbia, she returned to our table. When we walked out we passed by Columbia’s table which was needless to say in prime turf. While wife person was once more chatting up the King of the Diary, I cordially introduced myself to his lunch mate, Jesse Kornbluth. I had no knowledge of the man, but when we walked out seven minutes later I turned to my wife and stated there would be a column from that conversation.
Mr. Kornbluth runs a website, HeadButler.com, but is more prominently known as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair in addition to writing for publications like the Huffington Post. He is the author of a couple of books which gives him some street cred, but he dropped on me that he has written liner notes for Paul Simon albums so I figured he had some socially redeeming value.
I mentioned I was also a writer to which he asked for whom I write. Understand that Kornbluth, through his physical being, body language and attitude, had established himself as a New York Intellectual. If I told him I wrote for Slate but lived on the West Coast, he would most likely look down on me. After all most New York “intellectuals” think like Woody Allen about Los Angeles, “I don't want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.” When I told him I wrote for Townhall.com, he appeared to conclude he was speaking with a Neanderthal who would be a subject of study.