Last week was the long awaited return of the Real Housewives of New York City and the ladies were super excited! As newbie Kristen Taekman pointed out this premier was a long time coming. Taekman was the host of one of two parties for the cast. The event was held at the Bleecker Street Arts Club in New York’s SOHO, my personal favorite section.
The multilevel space was the perfect fit for the quirky blonde beauty who, as she stated in episode one, is not much for the sometimes stuffy Upper East Side. Complete with Elvis Presley coiffed bartenders and a screening area on the upper floor, the mood was light and social. It was the perfect coming out party for the newest cast member who has made a great impression on fans, especially by filling the venue with some of the Twittersphere‘s most enthusiastic bloggers and Bravoholics.
I asked Taekman how her first official night in the limelight felt. “It’s all surreal”, she gushed. “It’s been a year in the making, this whole thing started a year ago so I just feel like it’s overwhelming. I keep thinking this is just a fun Elvis party and all my friends are here and I keep forgetting that the show is going to come on in like 20 minutes.”
When asked what the biggest surprise of her whole Reality TV experience was she said, “The biggest surprise is the girls I met. I really formed some great friendships. I didn’t go to college and I would imagine that this is sort of what a sorority would be like. Love or hate…I formed this bond with these women and even if I was enemies with somebody that’s standing over there we still have this bond.” I guess we have to keep watching to see who she may be referring to.
Even if Taekman has any enemies among the cast it wasn’t apparent that night as the girls all showed up in support, except Sonja Morgan, but we will get to that later. Even Ramona Singer was out, sans wedding ring but with her steady date of Pinot Grigio. I sat next to Singer during the screening, who was also with a mystery man, but my guess is he was a friend…a friend that made sure her glass remained full. Singer seemed a little stressed when the night began, some even felt she wasn’t happy to be there, but eventually even I got a smile and a wink from her. Despite all the scenes of her and ex hubby Mario, she kept from becoming Ramotional. I told both Taekman and Heather Thomson how I felt a little uncomfortable watching some of the show with Ramona, to which Thomson replied, “Ramona is all good. She’s absolutely fine.”
Thomson was there with husband Jonathan Schindler who I caught having a laugh with Countess LuAnn De Lesseps. When asked how her first season as a part timer went De Lesseps joked,”When I heard the lines for the new season I was like ‘THANK GOD!’,” referring to the tag lines at the beginning of the show. “You know it’s fine I’ve enjoyed this season so much. I really had a great time so this actually works out perfectly for me. We made a deal, Bravo and I, and I’m very happy with it. “
Keeping a comfortable distance from one another were Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher who was there with husband Reid. They were all smiles posing for group photos, but I didn’t spot any warm fuzzies between the two beyond that. Drescher and De Lesseps actually both left before the screening.
Back to Ms. Morgan, who was in Austin for the SXSW edition of Watch What Happens Live, but made it back in time to have her own post premier party at the swank Tokya Lounge on the East side of Midtown. Everything that Taekman’s party was this one wasn’t. Where the Bleecker St. affair had a feeling of the more the merrier, Morgan’s party was exclusive, and she wanted it that way.
“I’m so glad you could make it,” Morgan said to me from a booth she was sharing with her closest friends. “It was so much to put this together with the press room and the no plus ones.” Even without plus ones, Morgan and Singer, who co hosted the event, had quite a turn out, an estimated 250 people that included designer Malan Breton, gossip hound Rob Shuter, Long Island Princess Ashlee White, Flipping Out star Jenni Pulos, and Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black.
“I came to do the Bethenny show tomorrow and I was in town so Sonja asked me to come so I came by!” said Black, who tries to watch most of the NYC franchise. She has been quite busy since her own series has been on a break. “I work full time, I’ve got a skincare company, I’ve got a handbag company, a charity, and a 12 year old, and a husband so things haven’t slowed down for me,”she said. She also says that the rest of the Miami cast is doing well. By the way she had one of her handbags with her and it was stunning!
There was no George appearances at either party, but infamous Housewife ex husband and ex boyfriend Harry Dubin attended both. “I don’t really watch the show,” Dubin who I spotted at two filmed events last summer stated, “but I’m REALLY in it a lot next week.” He then asked me if I’ve read ex wife Aviva’s book Leggy Blonde yet and advised me not to. I’m sure this has to do with what Aviva told us last month…and it only makes me want to read it more.
Parties and Bravoleb sightings aside this was about the premier of season 6 and both Taekman and Thomson have been anxiously awaiting my thoughts on the first episode. In a nut shell, I think it’s the start of a great season and Taekman brings a lot to the show, but, and please don’t hold this against me, no more forced Aviva and Ramona scenes…pleeeeease. Did I just lose my next invite? Hey this blonde can’t help but be honest! Ya habibi!
For more on the RHONY premier check out this video from John Basedow for Examiner.com!
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