A Taste Of Amanda Hesser

What could be more odd than attending A Taste of Living hosted by T:Living s editor and notorious interim Times restaurant critic Amanda Hesser? Who would really pay $30 to walk around a bunch of corporate showrooms, eating food on a stick cooked famous chefs, and be accosted by an associate editor? Why, starving Gawker intern Erik Kaiser, that's who! His night to remember after the delectable jump.

Upon arriving at the Architects & Designers Building on 58th Street, I was immediately whisked to the 9th floor where I first made contact with the infamous, and taller than I had imagined, Amanda Hesser. The building is a giant circle jerk — I mean, product placement campaign — for the various companies throughout the building. I felt like I was entering the twilight zone of has-beens, wannabes, Kohler faucets, and Sub Zero appliances. I fit right in.

As I approached, I took note of Lady Hesser's pink floral shirt, which reminded me of a dead Hibiscus plant, her charcoal pants (heavy starch), and shiny black shoes. I almost mistook her for Anna Wintour, but there was no dead animal in sight. I told Amanda what a fan I was, and it was great to see her as the editor of T:Living. I oozed with compliments, made her blush a little, then inquired what the hell T:Living was? And how it actually differed from all the other T: Magazines. Her response: There s a lot of food in it. Wow.

In retrospect, she really didn t say anything of note; that or I just stopped listening halfway through. I imagine it has fashion, food, and design within its glossy pages, much like the other ones; so again, nothing new there.

However, Editor Hesser did mention that the magazine has great photographers, very creative people, as well as, being a fabulous project to work on. Again, anything new here? Five minutes in, I finally broke free of her grasp, and walked away jotting some notes. I immediately took a phone call, and when my call was complete, someone promptly approached me. Was she hovering, waiting for me to finish?

What were you taking notes for? she demanded. Who do you work for? With the forceful tone and unpleasant demeanor, I thought I was being attacked by a member of Saddam's elite guard, albeit wearing a smock and pumps.

I was just taking notes about the event, nothing serious, I lied.

The POLITE thing to do would be to tell us who you re working for.

Do you know Gawker? I asked.

No.

It s a media site, I m just taking notes on the event.

Will this be published tomorrow? What were you taking notes for? The POLITE thing would be to tell us. She sounded edgy.

No one. I said.

What s your name?

Erik, I replied, and walked off.

The only saving grace of the entire event, besides the open bar, was the hot boy from Avenue Q. I stalked, I mean noticed, him being escorted around to EVERY silly showroom, snapping shots with all the managers and salespeople, and hating every minute of it. I found my savior on the 9th floor, 8th floor, 7th floor, and after that, he seemed to disappear. Towards the end of the event, I asked for him, and was politely told he had left. At that point, I had my fill of boring, and found my way to the door.

I went to coat check and walked out. As I was leaving, I noticed that Omar Watson from NBC4 News was arriving, and I couldn t be bothered to talk to him who would?