I have returned from France to reclaim my identity, which has been stolen by the New York Post and replaced with that of a Hip Hungarian Hotelier.
You see, Sunday's Post ran a pic of myself frolicking on a St. Tropez Beach in front of Club 55 with Uma Thurman. No crime in their running that picture and frankly, why on earth wouldn't they want to run a picture of a TV guy who nobody knows with a blond superstar?
Hilarity ensued when they identified me as the Hungarian (I kinda look it) frequent Thurman boyfriend (not a bad mistake) and hotel magnate (I like the title) Andre Balasz. I spent my Sunday incredibly hung over on a boat in the Mediterranean (not the ideal place to be hung over, actually) oblivious to my fame in another man's name.
When I checked my emails late Sunday, Nina Garcia -- herself still under the St. Trop sun at Club 55 -- was the first to alert me of the pic and made no mention of my identity theft.
To walk into Le Club 55 is to fall in love with it. The paparazzi camp out on either side of the beach to catch Thurman-like frolickers. The photos that would really tickle me to see are those of myself, Sir Ian McKellen, and Liam Neeson searching the St. Trop coastline for my glasses, which washed away as I was in mid conversation, literally still talking about the "Confessions" tour and still passionate enough that I could allow my specs to disappear. We looked forever and got some Swedes and Germans in on the hunt, but never found them.
We ate and drank (and drank) so well for the last 10 days. Lunch my fave -- light salads (nicoise!) or fish (loup!) followed by the most buttery lettuce and a cheese course that consistently sent me reeling. All washed down with the lightest rose imaginable. Why are the French and their rose so civilized and why are we and our diet coke so not?
We watched the World Cup finals Sunday night in the heart of a postcardy French Villlage, La Garde Freneit. There were TVs set up in the town square and some of us hung in a local bar (above) and others watched in the town square. The head-butt heard round the world didn't go over well in this little town.
My friend John put it best when he said we'd all just witnessed a superstar disappear from a Wheaties box. We flew home yesterday and John and I spent most of the (nine hour) endless flight obsessing over our flight attendant, Claudia. Her hair was so hot it could set off fire alarms, her smirk said "I know something that you don't," and her stewardship and master of the cross-check and bev service was pure gold.
Claudia, wherever you are, thanks for making us feel right at home yesterday.