SWhen Tina Brown's Talk magazine launched in 1999, its party was one of the biggest events of the year, an overblown, garish party that sprawled over Liberty Island. Today it's a sad memory of where magazines once stood in the New York social strata. Bob and Harvey Weinstein, then the dominating heads of Miramax Films, had lured away Brown from The New Yorker and Ron Galotti, the real-life inspiration for Sex and the City's Mr. Big, from Vogue. The Daily Beast, which launched last month and is bankrolled with a supposed $18 million of IAC's Barry Diller money, splurged for a party last night at tiny Pop Burger in the Meatpacking District. People were treated to mini hamburgers and hotdogs.For the 1999 bash, guests had to take a boat from Lower Manhattan, and the party was full of celebrities (De Niro, Madonna, Demi, Paul Newman...) and literal fireworks. It resulted in the union of Salman Rushdie and his now-ex wife Padma Lakshmi, who met there. "Weinstein Brothers Revel in Vulgarity, Glory of Manhattan," was the headline in the New York Observer. "[Publisher Ron] Galotti continued his Bullworth -esque excursion into black culture by swaggering through a rap he had written for the occasion." At Pop Burger, there was an open bar. It was hard to get a drink! The event was hardly star-studded—a round up of the usual suspects you see at every media event, add a dash of Christopher Buckley and his post-National Review fame. When fact the mini-burgers ran out after 8:15, making some people sad. Yet, free prosecco still felt decadent for our lowered standards. "I'm surprised we were even able to have this!" said one guest while quaffing champagne. And the small talk? About the layoffs and the recently laid-off, as well as "I'm not even allowed to bitch about work anymore, because at least I still have a job."
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