A few nights ago, after nearly a year of intricate planning, the launch party for KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL was an evening to remember, complete with canine-packed gift bags, strawberry-flavored “Kate-tinis,” cocker spaniel cupcakes, and giant dog bones filling the windows at Manhattan’s chic MacKenzie-Childs –which rolled out a red carpet and trumpets at their whimsical flagship store on West 57th, with its signature hand-painted china, glassware, and furniture.
With my new blonde-haired puppy Lucy making her canine entrance to the flash of photographers, it was an overflow crowd of more than 300, including the Queen of daytime TV, Judge Judy, bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Police Commission Ray Kelly, his wife, Veronica, and their son, Fox TV anchor, Greg Kelly.
The host of the evening was my great friend, the legendary CALVIN KLEIN, whom I’ve known for many years, having first interviewed him for a classic Playboy Interview years ago. A great dog lover with two chocolate Labs, Calvin, in association with the book’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, turned the evening into a tribute to The American Kennel Club’s Humane Fund & Responsible Dog Ownership Days.
At the party, we were delighted to have on hand AKC President Dennis Sprung and the organization’s superb Director of Communications, Lisa Peterson.
I’ll be reunited with them both on October 16th, the weekend of the AKC’s uniquely entertaining and informative MEET THE BREEDS event, held at the Jacob Javits Center, where signed copies of KATIE will be sold by Borders.
As for the launch party, my publisher, Hachette’s Center Street imprint (led by my great editor Harry Helm ["KATIE'S" greatest champion], and its President, Rolf Zetterstein) and I will be eternally grateful to the entire staff of MacKenzie-Childs, most notably to the brilliantly-organized Jamie DeVault, Director of Retail and Trade Operations, who made the evening technically perfect in every way, together with the store’s magnetic and generous owner and CEO, Lee Feldman, who was so incredibly hospitable in opening up his store to us.
One culinary pleasure of the evening was the incredibly delicious and refreshing “Kate-tini,” which was generously conceived and executed by Lake Placid Spirits, the nation’s top creator of a premium handcrafted, grain-based vodka. Each batch, I’m told by the owner, Ann S. O’leary, is created with care from natural ingredients and is distilled in copper column pot-stills. P3’s uniquely smooth flavor is owed to the crisp, clean water drawn directly from Lake Placid and their signature final filtration (or polishing) using garnet from the southern Adirondack Mountains.
Can you believe how happy my guests were to be drinking something this special? It wasn’t until the end of the evening that I tasted it–but the fresh strawberries used in it were sublime–and you have to run out and get this vodka and make up a batch of “Kate-tinis” for anyone over age 21!–the recipe listed below in the enclosed photo.
As pictures are worth much more than these words, I include some visual highlights of the evening, most every one of them starring my six-month-year-old trooper, Lucy, passed from legend to legend throughout the evening, filling the paws of her predecessor, the unforgettable Katie, my cocker spaniel that started it all. A thousand thank yous to everyone that made it possible.