Karen Koeningsberg is the founder of the charity called Cherished Feet which collects shoes for indigent people all over the world. I’m proud to say she is a friend and so I immediately accepted her invite to attend her private birthday party at the prestigious Boom Boom Room in the Standard Hotel, in NYC’s ultra-hot Meatpacking District.
It was a beautiful event packed with beautiful people, one of whom was blogger Megan Averbuch of Belles and Rebelles, who was so interesting and so well dressed that I felt the need to take photos of her!
I was also glad to see my old friend Paul Sorvino there. I hadn’t seen him in so many years, but I was glad to see that he still looked great and that his operatic voice was as strong as ever. You should have heard him belt out “Happy Birthday”, and how long he held the note!
It made me recall so many years ago back in the 80’s when Paul and I hung out at a place called “Columbus Cafe”, which was a phenomenon in NYC. I don’t think that ever before or since has there been such a celebrity hang-out in New York. Paul claims to have been the first to start hanging out there. It was on 69th Street and Columbus Avenue and was run by two brothers, Paulie and Charlie Herman. Paulie is now out in LA running a restaurant called Ago.
I too was a regular, and met everyone at Columbus, including Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Christopher Reeve, ( before his accident), David Bowie, and even Mike Tyson. Anyone who was anyone in show biz hung out there when they were in NY.
I was there the night Mike Tyson picked up Robin Givens, threw her over his shoulder and walked out of the place with her like that. Not only was I there, but he literally pushed me out of the way to get to her. I had struck up a conversation with her downstairs outside the rest rooms, not knowing who she was, and Mike came by, shouldered me out of the way, picked her up caveman style, threw her over his shoulder and walked up the steps and out of the place just like that. And it never even occurred to me even once to start a fight with him! Not even once!
I also reminded Paul Sorvino of a story I knew he would never remember. He played the part of “Big Paul Cicero” in the Scorcese classic Goodfellas, and it’s hard to believe it came out in 1990, cause that’s 21 years ago. I remember the day like it was yesterday,because for some reason, I was supposed to call Paul that day. I had just come from seeing the film, and he was so realistic in the role that I was literally nervous to call him. I’m not kidding when I say that. It’s the truth. I was really nervous to call him. And when I told him that on the phone, he said to me, ” What are you a shmuck? I’m an actor, not a gangster!”
He told me playing that part so well affected him for the rest of his life because people really think he’s a gangster. He actually comes from a long line of noblemen from the Naples area of Italy and says his family goes back 1,000 years. He explained that he’s technically a knight from a group of knights whose job it was originally to protect the Pope. Paul looks like he could protect anyone. He’s 6’4″ and massive, but very gentle in the way he speaks and acts.
He helped Karen cut her birthday cake and sat and talked to everyone who was there. I read on Page 6 of the NY Post that he got hit by a car a couple of days later, but thank G-d wasn’t badly hurt! Not even a car can hurt Paul Sorvino!