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New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, gave quite a party last week to honor Harry Evans on the occasion of his latest tome, "They Made America." A stellar crowd jammed the mayor's house, ignoring the rain, and people literally hung from the stairs as Harry described his joy at writing this amazing book, directing thanks to his wife, Tina Brown.

I glimpsed the eastern establishment in action -- Barbara Walters; Sony's Howard Stringer; the First Amendment's best friend, lawyer Dan Abrams; Blackstone Group's Steve Schwarzman; Washington's Margaret Carlson; Gov. George Pataki's strong right arm, Diana Taylor; columnist Richard Cohen and his psychoanalyst friend Mona Ackerman; Miramax Books' Susan Mercandetti; Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes"; the Council on Foreign Relations' Richard Haass; The New Yorker's Ken Auletta; finance adviser Ken Starr; former Texas governor Ann Richards; Henry Kissinger; the New York Times' man at the UN, Warren Hoge. Oh, yes, and tycoon Barry Diller, who was en route to wife Diane von Furstenberg's jewelry shop opening.

So here was yet another fashionable crowd, talking about polls, the Yankees and all that jazz. Harry's book is a must. It's gold on the outside and in. It tells us all about America's innovators -- the people who could and did. My absolute favorite in it -- Joan Ganz Cooney of "Sesame Street"!

People fight to be invited to Vanity Fair's annual Oscar party at Mortons in La La Land. Now, they're fighting for invites to a Graydon Carter party in New York tonight. This dinner for Giorgio Armani celebrates the publication of Carter and David Friend's "Oscar Night: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties." It has fab photos of stars and others like yours truly with Monica Lewinsky. (Didn't they see me with Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Matt Damon? Guess not!)

Isn't it great to know that the fashion police are on the job?

If only the homeland security department did as good a job inspecting the uninspected ship containers that come into the country daily. Last week, fashionistas were up in arms because Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg had worn the same nifty pantsuit three nights in a row to charity events.

"The whole town is talking about it," as one socialite was quoted. Oh, my word -- as if we didn't have better things to worry about. As if Caroline didn't expend a large part of her wife-mother-writer energies in doing excellent things for New York's schoolchildren. Maybe she's too busy to worry that W will snap her.

Curmudgeons are "in" Off-Broadway this season. There is Judith Ivey's funny, sad portrayal of Martha Mitchell in "Dirty Tricks" at the Public Theater, and now comes an incomparable portrayal of Francis Biddle by Tony winner Fritz Weaver in "Trying" at the Promenade Theatre. The irony is that both these fascinating dramas present characters involved with the office of U.S. attorney general. Mitchell's controversial husband, John, was Richard Nixon's attorney general and Biddle held the post for FDR and also served at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials.

"Trying" is a soothing autobiographical reflection of two disparate lives shared, although they were 50 years apart. It has two glorious performances, one as expected by Weaver and the other by newcomer Kati Brazda as his young secretary.

Tribune Media Services

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