Hide the rib bones, here comes Chris Christie
Joe and Rosalie Vicari, of the Andiamo Restaurant empire, hosted a political fundraiser Tuesday for Gov. Rick Snyder at their posh Macomb County home. Close to 100 guests shelled out a minimum of $1,000 each in support of the nerd. After an hour of noshing on a spread of Italian food and Celani fine wines (Celani is Vicari's business partner at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre), the home was suddenly awash in Secret Service types. And then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie emerged, dressed in a navy pinstripe suit, with an entourage of security and his friend, Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci, in his wake. After Snyder addressed the crowd, he and Christie stood in a picture line, and each guest was given an instant 5-by-7 photo of themselves and the pair of governors. By the way, there's no truth to the rumor that the Ambassador Bridge was shut down briefly in Christie's honor.
Fans of Orbit Magazine may want to help author Rob St. Mary, a former Detroiter (now living in Colorado), who's trying to crowd-source $17,000 to offset the cost of a full-color book, "Re-Entry: The Orbit Magazine Anthology." The anthology would be published next year by Wayne State University Press and would document the story of the three scrappy Detroit magazines — "White Noise" (1978-'80), "Fun" (1986-'90) and "Orbit" (1990-'99), all published by Jerry Peterson (aka Jerry Vile), which reported with an alternative spin on music, art, food and culture.
The funds are being raised on Patroncity.com, and depending upon your level of patronage, you may win drinks with Jimmy Doom, dinner with Jerry Vile or a variety of other prizes. For information, go to orbitbookdetroit.com.
Mary's power lunch
More than 700 people attended the College for Creative Studies' 33rd Detroit International Wine Auction Oct. 18 that raised over $2.4 million for free art programs for 4,000 needy Detroit kids, among other good things. A nice chunk of that came from one auction item: a power lunch with GM CEO Mary Barra and an opportunity to discuss topics of the winner's choice. The private lunch, to be catered by Bacco Ristorante, sold for a whopping $100,000 to Lear CEO Matt Simoncini.
Barra and her husband chaired this year's event, and Tony Barra was particularly humorous on the mic, ribbing his auto magnate wife affectionately. "My wife is very shy," Barra said, as magazine covers showing her as GM CEO flashed overheard. "She doesn't hold up well in front of lots of people while she's under pressure," as a photo was shown of her looking cool and collected while being grilled by government officials. Michael Martini of the Louis M. Martini Winery in Napa Valley, California, was an exuberant Featured Vintner, 30 years after his father, Louis P. Martini, was the event's third Honorary Chair. Lead sponsor General Motors transformed its Vehicle Engineering Center into a shimmering dinner setting for a Bacco-provided five-course meal.