Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy threw a party last night at the Plaza Hotel and everyone came. And no one could get in.
A black tie birthday fete for 40 year-old Combs was set for 9 p.m. in the Plaza’s main ballroom. But by 10:20 or so, the only guests who’d made it inside were Spike Lee and his wife Tonya, “Cosby Show” star Malcom Jamal Warner, Regina King, and Martha Stewart.
Hundreds of guests, gussied up in all kinds of “formal” attire, stood under a makeshift tent in front of the Plaza waiting to be allowed in. But the crush was a circus until famed security man Mike Zimet showed up with his phalanx of guards. They quickly brought in barricades, established queues and some order to the insanity. Thanks to Zimet’s plan, the hotel’s actual guests were allowed to come and go.
Meantime, the rain drizzled down.
But there was no red carpet, oddly, on the outside. VIP guests had to find clever ways of entering the event. Luckily, there weren’t too many of them. Bono and Herbie Hancock were at the high end. Some Kardashians were at the low. These were the people who didn’t go to the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, the IAC Barry Diller media party, the Matt Damon thing, the party for Ethan Russell’s book about the Rolling Stones, or half a dozen other Thursday night events.
Combs, hotel insiders insisted to me, actually did pay for the party. Or rather, Ciroc Vodka sponsored the party, so the whole thing was an advertisement. (For the life of me, I’ve never seen or been offered Ciroc Vodka. What is it?)
What would the party be like? “Loud,” said one hotel employee. The only food expected would be in the form of desserts. The whole thing didn’t look too appetizing though, especially for us old folks who already had headaches! But it was fun to watch. No word yet on when, or if, Combs showed. I’m sure he did. R&B legend Al Green was hired as the night’s entertainment.
In the end, one observer opined, Diddy put the “ho” back in “ho-tel.”
Many years ago at one of his other big birthday parties ‘ at Cipriani downtown ‘ Combs had a huge number of dancers and singers perform “Hey Big Spender” for him. Mariah Carey arrived in a wedding dress. At a summer party, I met Lil Kim, neighbor Donna Karan took a tour, Diddy passed out funny brownies, and hired strippers danced on a platform above the pool. You couldn’t top any of it now if you tried!