Liz Smith: Manhattan Icons Marry — Arnold Scassi and Parker Ladd!

Superstar couple Arnold Scassi (left) and Parker Ladd

And more from our Gossip Girl: Rick Perry — just a splashy diversion? … Judy Garland honored at Lincoln Center … “The Buffalo” is back at El Rio Grande!

“PERSONAL privacy shouldn’t be defenseless against the intrusions of powerful institutions. Journalists are indispensably well positioned to expose abuses of power, but a press pass is not a moral unlimited-ride card. If the (Murdoch) scandal caused journalists to reflect upon their own power, and their capacity to abuse that power, it would be a good thing.”

So writes Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker.

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This week at 6 p.m. as I entered the elegant Le Cirque on Manhattan’s 58th Street, I encountered the New York Post’s columnist Cindy Adams, who was leaving just as I came in. She had dropped by a private party being given by fashion designer Arnold Scaasi and his partner, the book expert Parker Ladd.

Cindy just twinkled her fingers at me and went swiftly on her appointed rounds, but by not sticking around, she missed seeing the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and his Deputy Mayor, Patti Harris, Barbara Walters, Martha Stewart, Linda Wachner, Mica Ertegun, Liz and Felix Rohatyn and many others of equal stripe. They all crushed in to compliment Arnold and Parker for their 50 years of togetherness. After “living in sin” for so long, this delightful couple finally were allowed by the state of New York to get married.

Media galore was omnipresent at this get-together. The Times and Bill Cunningham and Patrick McMullan and W reporters mixed with celebs to interview and photograph.

I was delighted to have the photo, taken 50 years ago, of Arnold in a kind of kilt, and Parker in another more British costume, as they attended a party on Capri when they first met. (As I eventually came to know them and later visited Capri with these two men, it meant a lot to me, bringing back memories.)

I can’t begin to list all the names of those who attended this anniversary, but I did note at the dinner after the cocktails, there was my favorite, Glendina Weste, who has kept house for Scaasi for many years. She looked so resplendent that I left my seat between Arnold and Parker and went to visit with Glendina.

Glendina doesn’t like everybody on the Scaasi/Ladd list. She has been known to leave Arnold a note about a certain actress who sometimes calls and annoys her: “Dear Mr. Scaasi … that shit So-and-So called at 2 p.m.!”

I love Glendina. I wish her a happy anniversary too.

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I WOULD like to recommend that political pundits buy or get the August issue of Texas Monthly.

Paul Burka’s edicts in the current issue of this magazine are now important. Writers won’t know what they are talking about without the Burka wisdom on Gov. Rick Perry. (My pal, Gail Collins, on leave from the New York Times, is doing a book now on how the Lone Star State has influenced U.S. politics for all the years since John Nance Garner became vice-president under FDR. Gail will be ahead of the game with a head start, as events are catching up to her work-in-progress.)

I think the Texas governor is about to be a splashy diversion in the coming 2012 presidential election. (Are you listening, political world? John Nance Garner, Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, the two faux Texans, Presidents Bush and Bush, the Brown and Root family of South Texas, the king Ranch, and now, Rick Perry?)

Writer Burka offers a number of features of wisdom. (1) Perry is not George Bush. (2) It’s not a big deal that Perry was once a Democrat. (3) Perry is cannier than you think he is. (4) Texas is not “a weak governor” state. (5) Perry is not a male hair model. (6) Perry is from the middle of nowhere. (7) Perry is an Aggie (8) Don’t discount the luck factor.

I was sorry Mr. Burka didn’t go on to numbers 9 and 10 but one can’t have everything.

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ALL-SINGING, All-DANCING, all Judy Garland! Manhattan’s Film Society of Lincoln Center is celebrating the woman who was called — without argument — “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.”  Lincoln Center is running 31 Judy movies, including the epic “A Star Is Born” and the hysteria-inducing “I Could Go On Singing.” (When Garland hits the last notes of “By Myself” — be prepared!) All the other favorites will be seen, including —“Wizard of Oz”…”For Me and My Gal”…”Meet Me In St. Louis”…”Presenting Lily Mars”… Babes In Arms”…”Girl Crazy”…”Easter Parade”… “Summer Stock.” The festival also includes two of Judy’s straight dramatic roles — “A Child Is Waiting” and “Judgment at Nuremberg.” Judy at Lincoln Center runs until August 9th. Go, and see what real talent is.

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If you have never been to the El Rio Grande restaurant that has two branches — one on 38th street and the other on 37th street in my Murray Hill building – well, you haven’t lived.

For years I took people into the “Texas side” to see the enormous Flying Winged Buffalo that emerged out of the wall. Then, some dodo got drunk, jumped up and pulled the magnificent buffalo down, grabbing its horns. This was not funny. But who’s to blame? Those El Rio margaritas are lethal!

Today, however, the Awesome Winged Buffalo returns, and you can come have a margarita and guess the weight of this divine creature. If you are right, you get chicken wings for life. Or go to www.facebook.com/elriony. See for yourself how Texans celebrate when they are lucky enough to be in New York!

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