By Lesley Rousso
So I embarked on my latest Andy Cohen crawl last weekend. He was in town doing signings of his newest book The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep look at a Shallow Year. I ordered the Kindle version months ago so I had already read it earlier in the week. (See The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Review).
The first signing was Sunday the 23rd of November at the Miami International Book Fair. At 10 am downtown on a Sunday morning. I had a friend’s 40th birthday party the night before, but I behaved so I was only slightly hungover. I took my aunt to this one because she also loves Andy. On a side note, this was my first time at the book fair and it was super cool. It was a street fair with books about everything and an entire kids’ area at Miami Dade College. The only drawback was the expensive parking, 20 dollars for the hour I was there. I didn’t have time to browse much but I’ll go again next year and check it out. They charge admission to the street fair but I made a donation the month before and got Friend of the Fair passes. This paid off (as well as making me feel like a Mensch*) We went to the auditorium and the line was already pretty long for the Q&A portion. The Friend of the Fair line, however, had 3 people in it. We got to go in first and sit directly in front of Andy. He came out, totally casual; Lacoste shirt, jeans, flip-flops. First thing he did was tell us about his night on the beach and admits he was a lil’ hungover. Yeah, him and me both.
People lined up, asked him questions, got hugs. Two women actually started CRYING when they asked their questions. Listen I love me some Andy Cohen, but he’s not The Beatles for god sakes. All in all he was adorable, as he always is, and made us laugh for a good forty minutes. We went to get in line for the signing which was outside and downstairs. The girl next to me and I had a plan to run down the back stairs and skip the escalator, I literally almost hopped over a wall. Oh whatever! At least I didn’t cry. At a book signing you always have to write your name on a post it, stuck to the page they’re signing. I wrote Mommyrou (Lesley). He looked at my book, looked at me and said, “Hi Lesley! You came to my show.” I died, really I did. We had a full five-minute conversation which included him asking me if I liked the book and I told him I loved it and that I wrote a review. To which he thanked me, like genuinely thanked me. This is what I love about him. He’s a real, approachable person. I gave him a gift bag of stuff for Wacha. He opened it right there. He signed my book and I told him I’d see him later at The Palm. He was so nice to me. He’s like the Davy Jones to my Marcia Brady, or the Susan Lucci to my Andy Cohen.
Part two: The Palm Restaurant, Bay Harbour islands.
The Palm in Bay Harbour is located 30 minutes from where I live, right over the bridge from The Shops at Bal Harbour. Too bad I was on borrowed time. Note to self, return soon. Darren and I checked in at The Palm which was a tickets only event. The tix were $35.00 and included a signed book, and lots of yummy hors d’oeuvres. We went to the bar first and got some drinks and then sat down towards the back. It was pretty full when we got there but it’s a small space so it felt cozy. I was on the end of the left side, the side Andy made his entrance from. He came out saw me and he smiled at me and grabbed my hand. Again, happy me! He did a similar Q&A and again was hilarious. I will tell you one thing, don’t hold your breath waiting for The Real Housewives of Miami to come back. He loves the cast it seems, but ratings were bad, etc. and he thinks it needs a major shakeup if it does. Right after he finished everyone got in line to take a pic with him. I gave him a silly gift and once again he was so sweet and gracious. He’s just a nice guy, no two ways about it. It was a gorgeous evening, we put the top down and stopped for sushi on the way home. Another successful meet up with Andy.
*Mensch a person of integrity and honor, example “That Andy is a real Mensch!”
*Be a Mensch and order some of these great gifts (and even win one) in time for the holidays: