Liz Smith: My Pink, “Flowered Bear” Birthday

I READ about a lady who makes ice cubes out of leftover wine. I never knew that was possible …” reads the funny card from Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue.

And it follows up: “… to have leftover wine, I mean.”

IF you were given a birthday celebration where you found a big bear made entirely out of beautiful pink flowers in the entrance hall — well, what would you think.

I thought it was pretty swell. Then the guests – just ordinary people like Mike Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City … Joan Ganz Cooney of “Sesame Street” … Pete Peterson and John Studzinski of Blackstone … Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg of their own successes … heart expert Dr. Holly Andersen … “The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg and manager Tom Leonardis … actress Holland Taylor (about to become Ann Richards onstage) … Manhattan’s premier hostess Louise Grunwald … fashion’s Billy Norwich … Wowowow’s Joni Evans … high finance guys Bob Perkins and Ernie Pomerantz and Rick Morris … Hearst’s Ellen Levine … media’s Joe Armstrong … Clear Channel’s dynamic Bob Pittman … restaurateurs Cathy Treboux and Robert ‘Mac’ Nagle … those PR mavens/movers/shakers/secret keepers Beth Kseniak, Maurie Perl, Peggy Siegal … “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl … “Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden … writers Aaron Latham, Walter Owen, Marie Brenner … Citigroup’s Lisa Caputo, once and still Hillary’s strong right arm, who whispered that Mrs. Clinton wanted to come but couldn’t make it … director Joel Schumacher … my new best friends Catherine and Seth Rosenberg … psychiatric counselor Elizabeth Peabody … archaeology’s Iris Love — and many others equally distinguished who slipped my mind or slipped me a $20 to forget their names. One came bearing a loving greeting from Barbara Walters. After all this, what can one think of themself?

I felt pretty darned good what with Peter Duchin playing the piano and Suzanne Goodson sitting beside him going over lyrics. And, then there was my only godson, age 14, 6’2” inches, star athlete and ace student standing up and saying, “Lizzie is the youngest person I know. Growing up, I thought everyone has a Lizzie!”

SO THANK you to Mary Wells Lawrence, the woman who broke the glass ceiling in advertising (making “Mad Men” look pathetic) — it was Mary who invented the “I Love New York” commercial … painted airplanes in pastel colors and brought Volkswagen to America.

The Landmarks Conservancy of NYC, which has helped so much to heal certain of Sandy Hurricane’s disasters, will make Mary a “Living Landmark” next Nov. 14th in the Plaza Ballroom. Even though I am now authentically 90 and “he” is only about 45, Mr. Duchin and I intend to write a song for Mary and sing it that night.

Well, don’t stay away on that account. It could be quite funny. I once fell down onstage at the Landmarks and that didn’t keep the Rockefellers and Astors from applauding and they kept coming to the Conservancy, doing their good work.

PEOPLE are talking about the great magic making actor Nathan Lane, especially after he did his stuff at the recent Stephen Sondheim music-only tribute at the Philharmonic.

THERE IS no one in the world like Nathan. He who helped make Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” into a world-wide classic. And we will see Nathan as “a camp homosexual of the Thirties” when he stars beginning April 15th in “The Nance” at the Lyceum Theater.

OPENING tonight at 254 W. 54th Street, and running also Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at 54 Below — the original Tovah Feldshuh in “Tovah: On, Off & Now Under Broadway.”   As Golda Meir once said: “Some people love you and some people love you and show up.You show up — how can you say NO to a Prime Minister?”

Tovuh! One of the most talented in the theater.

THE EVER-glamourous Jackie Collins has done it again! Written another sizzler about life in the high lane and the cover of her novel is to die for because, naturally, Jackie launched onto the title The Power Trip. She is describing how the rich and mighty these days take to the water to impress themselves and their friends with super expensive yachts. (Well, they always did — take Wm. Randolph Hearst on his boat with his inferiors; or Bogie and Bacall, or any number of power players who like to get away from it all.)

This is supergirl Jackie at her best. Dig her jewelry on the back cover. And the bookmark that comes with this fiction is a leopard. I wonder where Jackie keeps her actual leopards?

This column originally appeared on NYSocialDiary.com on 2/7/13

2 comments so far.

  1. avatar Lila says:

    Liz, congrats on your birthday!

  2. avatar jjfnygrl says:

    Ms.Smith,
    Thank you for the fun photo and I love the Gregory Peck stamp! I can just imagine how wonderful that floral bear must have smelled!

    I visited New York 10 years ago and one of the first things I bought was the famous white
    “I heart NY” t-shirt. I still wear it.

    Be safe and warm in the storm!
    Jackie