I turn 40 in a few weeks and I feel like I’m supposed to have some sort of monumental and indulgent celebration. Or maybe I should do something I’ve never done before, like take a cruise to a faraway exotic land or go sky diving or date a white guy. Instead, I’ll probably end up throwing a small, simple party in my tiny shoebox-of-an-apartment, but I’d secretly like to have a big blow-out.
I’m envious of a birthday party I just read about in a new e-book by celebrated and controversial designer, artist and restaurant consultant, Abbe Diaz. To give you a bit of her history, in 2004, Abbe, the former maître’d of several NYC hotspots, including Smith, 66 and The Park, published her journals as a humorous- and often times, scandalous- book titled PX This—Diary of the “Maître d’ to the Stars.”
You might be asking yourself, “What the hell is a PX?” Well, PX is restaurant lingo for ‘Personnes Extraordinaire’, which, hello, is French for VIP. When Abbe worked as a maître’d, PX was the label given to important guests, including A-list celebrities and, in some cases, royalty. By sharing her observations of the elite upper crust and exposing the dubious practices of celebrity chefs, Abbe’s first book ruffled the feathers of a lot of very big, very important birds.
Now, ten years later, Abbe has returned with the juicy, name-dropping sequel to PX This aptly titled PX Me. (How I Became a Published Author, Got Micro-Famous, and Married a Millionaire). Abbe is a fervent journal writer and she has once again collected her entries to publish a ten volume e-series for release this summer (the first three installments were released in early June.) PX Me picks up right where PX This left off and we find Abbe jet setting between NYC and Miami, eating at glamorous restaurants, and rubbing elbows with the likes of Tara Reid, Donald Trump, Maxwell and Leonardo DiCaprio. Hell, her birthday party- the one I am so jealous of- was hosted by P. Diddy and the guest list featured an astounding list of an early 2000’s Who’s Who, including Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Clive Davis, Usher, Pat Field, and Naomi Campbell. There were showgirls popping out of giant cakes and even the Harlem Boys Choir serenaded Abbe with a festive rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Now, that, my friends, is a motherfucking birthday party!
Of course, in the book, Abbe’s life is not all glamour and fine dining. Her boyfriend, fashion legend and interior designer Marc Bagutta, sometimes acts like a putz and also, Abbe is continuously running into people that she skewered in her first book. As someone who publicly shares the salacious details of my dating life on the internet, I could definitely relate to Abbe’s nervousness when running into someone she’s written about.
But perhaps the real scandal in PX Me lies in the startling discovering of what appears to be a complicated, underhanded debacle involving The New York Times and Gawker, complete with a hidden gay romance and allegations of very shady journalistic practices. As if reading her journal isn’t voyeuristic enough, to add to the juiciness, Abbe reprints sassy email exchanges between herself and chief media figures. The plot is very intricate and of course, I don’t want to give any of it away, but it’s not difficult to imagine Abbe running around the cobblestoned streets of SoHo in her fabulous Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos, trying to uncover the truth.
Check out Abbe’s fashion blog here. Trust me, the girl knows her shit and her impeccable shoe collection would make even Carrie Bradshaw turn green with envy.