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HIS FAVORITE THINGS: Music, wine and song were in the air at Vanity Fair’s 4 Times Square offices Tuesday afternoon to celebrate Graydon Carter’s 60th birthday. Vanity Fair deputy editor and classically trained pianist Doug Stumpf played “My Favorite Things” on an electric keyboard, while staffers sang lyrics written by contributing editor David Kamp, “My Graydonish Things.” Lyrics included: “Mid-cent’ry modern and books by O’Hara/ Pear liquer poured by Reinaldo Herrera/Mac and cheese garnished with truffle shay-vings/These are a few of my Graydonish Things…” Collegue Matt Tyrnauer hailed Kamp’s songwriting as “charmingly goofy” on his Twitter Tuesday night.
Other gifts Carter received for the big 6-0 included a Risko caricature of himself and a one-star review from the New York Times of his midtown restaurant, The Monkey Bar. The restaurant recently swapped chefs after getting low marks for the food when it first opened. “Frank Bruni’s review in The Times was the perfect nightcap to the perfect birthday,” Carter said.
One of the cheekier ideas, however, didn’t quite work out. A few inspired staffers had called in a seductively tight, beaded sheath dress for a mystery staffer to do a kind of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” number for the celebrating editor in chief. “We called in the dress for Christopher Hitchens,” lamented a Vanity Fair spokeswoman, “but alas it didn’t fit.”
—Stephanie D. Smith