A chauffeur-driven Mercedes sedan nearly knocked me down on Madison Avenue this past Sunday around 5:30 p.m.
Its occupants were calling my name, so I looked inside.
There was entertainment reporter Claudia Cohen, PR maven Peggy Siegal and classy actor Michael Nouri, all dressed to the nines in black tie. The women sparkled; Claudia sported a string of beautiful pearls as big as pinballs.
"Where are you guys going?" I asked.
Luckily, there were no other cars in the briefly deserted street.
"To the Philbin wedding!" they shouted, and sped off into the twilight.
Indeed, the later report I got from various sources about the wedding of Jennifer "J.J." Philbin to Michael Schur made it sound like the event of the year. (Full disclosure: J.J. worked as an intern for Pat Wechsler and me at New York magazine about 10 years ago. She was a great kid.)
Donald and Melania Trump were there, as were Regis' co-host Kelly Ripa and her hubby Mark Consuelos; "Live with Regis and Kelly" producer Michael Gelman and wife Laurie Hibberd; and soap star Susan Lucci, who makes occasional appearances with Regis in concert.
I'm still waiting for word about Joan Rivers, who no one said they saw. It's hard to miss Joan. (She and daughter Melissa did, however, put in an appearance at last night's relaunch of "TV Guide" as a large-format magazine.)
Mother of the bride Joy Philbin, ever the fashion plate, was described as having worn a beautiful turquoise gown. The big party was held at the Pierre Hotel's ballroom, which can comfortably fit a few hundred.
The nicest invitee? Why, Kathie Lee Gifford, Regis' longtime former co-host, and husband Frank Gifford, who were front and center.
Believe it or not, the Philbins and the Giffords, who are neighbors in Connecticut, have remained quite friendly since Kathie Lee decamped from the show three years ago. I say "nice touch" to Reege and Joy.
J.J. is a scriptwriter now on "The O.C." Her new husband worked on Lisa Kudrow's just-canceled "The Comeback" and on "The Office."
They are both graduates of "Saturday Night Live," which means they should have an amusing marriage with a lot of ironic humor and punch lines that sometimes don't work. Congrats to them both!
Everyone who's anyone in the music business is heading to the Bahamas this weekend.
That's where Sol Kerzner's Atlantis Hotel and Casino is putting on a musical spectacular on Friday and Saturday nights.
The reason for the celebration? Today is the 70th birthday of Sam Moore, the stunning soul legend who gave us such immortal hits as "Soul Man" and "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby."
This weekend will also mark a 70th birthday party for Atlantis owner Kerzner and a belated 60th for R&B sensation Patti LaBelle.
On Friday, Kerzner hosts LaBelle's 60th birthday with a concert being taped for broadcast on UPN.
No less than Prince is expected, along with Usher, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Ashanti, Michael McDonald, Ashford & Simpson, Bebe Winans and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.
Actress/rapper Eve is hosting the show, and Patti is expected to reunite with Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash of her old group LaBelle to perform "Lady Marmalade" on the special.
The next night, the Atlantis opens its Marina Village with a star-studded jam session celebrating the joint 70th birthdays of Kerzner and soul legend Sam "Soul Man" Moore. (Today is Moore's actual birthday, and he's never been more on top of his game.)
Billy Preston, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, The O'Jays and Sheila E. are on for that, as well as players from the previous night.
Prince, who included "Soul Man" in his "Musicology" shows last year, may wind up jamming with Moore, the original singer of that classic hit.
Regrets came from Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper and Sting — all of whom are touring or recording. Otherwise, they'd be there for Moore.
The whole deal is organized by Kerzner's very own Jerry Inzerillo, the music man who's turned Atlantis into a Woodstock of the Caribbean — that is, an elegant, upscale Woodstock. The only mud-bathing at this exclusive resort is in the spa!
Last night, Bob Dylan finally got an award. It wasn't a Grammy. It was a Quill.
Dylan won the first Quill ever for biography for his wonderful memoir, "Chronicles, Vol. 1."
In fact, every Quill won last night was the first.
That's because Gerry Byrne, an elegant fellow who used to be publisher of Variety, finally did what no one has done right before: He figured out how to do an Oscars for books.
He got Publishers Weekly and Reed-Elsevier Business Publications, NBC Universal and Verizon to buy into his dream. He got Al Roker's production company to film the show, which will air on NBC stations Oct. 22.
Byrne even got NBC News anchor Brian Williams to emcee the evening, our beloved and beauteous Jane Hanson from New York City's Channel 4 to host the accompanying show, plus lots of stars who lent some pizzazz to the evening — Matthew Modine, Jon Stewart, Robert Klein, Kim Cattrall, Tony Roberts, Tamara Tunie (from "Law and Order" and "As the World Turns"), Jules Feiffer, "Rent" star Anthony Rapp, Erica Jong, Maria Bartiromo, Dave Barry, TV producer/novelist Stephen J. Cannell, Candace Bushnell, Nick Hornby, Rocco di Spirito, Annie Parisse (also from "Law and Order"), Dr. Joyce Brothers and famed actor Tony Lo Bianco.
On the classy side, they even had as guests the remarkable Dina Merrill and husband Ted Hartley, romance queen Barbara Taylor Bradford with her husband, Robert, and Court TV's Catherine Crier, who came with her channel's leader, Henry Schleiff. (Note to producers: Dina, a fine actress and Robert Altman favorite, is looking for roles. She'd make a great grande dame in any film!)
I mean, I know Gerry was a Marine, but this was a job maybe for the Green Berets. Book publishing has never been able to pull off anything remotely glamorous in the past, and nothing that could be shown on TV other than public access or C-SPAN.
The book world is self-defeating, really: Company publicists (not the indies like our pal Sandi Mendelson) act like they'd rather you didn't know about their books, especially novels. It's quite different from movies or music, where the PR people won't leave you alone.
So my hat is off to Gerry and his sponsors: They've done it. They gave Dylan an award. (Readers vote in bookstores for these honors — no blue-ribbon panels.)
The other winners were J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" (Book of the Year); "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd (General Fiction); and "1776" by David McCullough (History).
No, they weren't all literary choices, but they were mainstream enough to get people into the stores.
Gerry, the book industry may finally have someone else to thank besides Oprah.