06/13/2013 10:21 am ET Updated Aug 13, 2013

Vanity Fair Publishes 'The Secret Conversations' of Fabulous Ava Gardner

"CHANNING TATUM is about to make the transition from big star to huge star. If he does, he'll become that rarest of all things: an old-fashioned movie star in the age of reality TV."

So writes Rich Cohen in the new issue of Vanity Fair with Mr. Tatum on the cover. Essentially, it's a well-put-together puff piece to promote his two coming films, "White House Down" and "Foxcatcher." But that's fine -- La Publicite. Lots of lovely pictures of Channing, including an especially hot shot from 2001, when he was modeling, pants slung low.

• BUT FOR the nostalgia buff in me, I adored the Vanity Fair article by Peter Evans, the man who was to ghost-write Ava Gardner's autobiography. However, that book was never published, in part because Evans was being sued by Frank Sinatra (the author had the temerity to mention Sinatra's mob associations.) In time, the book was abandoned and Ava went on to work with another writer on "My Story."

In this VF excerpt from "Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations" writer Evans, who died last year, reveals a more candid Ava than she allowed in her published memoir. It's fun! Ava was some woman. Tragic, in many ways, but strong, too, with a clear view of herself. Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra are openly discussed.

And I like this self-assessment from Ava: "You can sum up my life in a sentence, honey. She made movies, she made out, she made a fucking mess of her life. But she never made jam!"

And, of course, the article is packed with gorgeous photos of the woman about whom Elizabeth Taylor said--"Oh, please. Ava Gardner is much more beautiful than me."

• HERE'S SOME really good news! The most popular little luncheon in this old town has long been the one set up in the name of the late Henry Grunwald, onetime editor of Time magazine and wed to the popular girl-about-town, now grown up -- Louise Grunwald.

Back in the Dark Ages, when socialites roamed the East Side, afraid to go West, I even scooped the budding romance of Henry and Louise at the old Quilted Giraffe. They married soon after to escape my writing anything further about their private lives.

Lo, these several years, Henry, was lost to us but before he left, he wrote an amazing book called "Twilight," about how it felt to lose one's sight. This touched everybody and in his name was established a fund to benefit The Lighthouse, which Louise still hosts as one of the best, cleverest, funniest and most inspired gatherings in money-raising history. I have had the privilege to emcee the Grunwald lunch year after year at the Metropolitan Club.

So this year we are celebrating on October 1, a Tuesday, and you wouldn't want to miss it, for the honoree this year is none other than that fanciful and romantic former Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and general all-around social and fun-loving Henry Kissinger. I will see if I can think of something you don't know about Doctor Kissinger and we will sell a lot of tickets. He has always been a controversial international figure, a regular lightning rod of attraction.

You can get ready to reserve right now. Call Kelly Boyle at the Lighthouse at 212 821 9428.

• Our recent listing by Ellen Easton of all the famous restaurants, chains, stores, etc. that are missing from

New York City, caused lots of talk. Now reader Laurence Chrysler wants to add one - the Brussels!

I was at a dinner the other night with fashion's Tim Gunn, the voice of reason on "Project RunWay." We were talking about how sloppy people look these days (and I include myself as an offender). Here's Tim being derisive: "Leggings, leggings on men...

The tighter the my opinion, leggings and skinny skinny pants look like underwear to me! I can't imagine a man going out on the street like that."

Here's Gina, a reader who remarks: "I long for the days when women and men groomed themselves and got dressed before going outdoors -- rubber flip flops, tattoos, underwear worn on the outside, bras worn as tops. And what's with the backwards baseball caps?"