One of New York’s favorite characters, the famed, legendary, award-winning writer Gay Talese, took the subway yesterday. Round trip, from the Upper East Side to Tribeca and back.

The occasion? The nattily dressed raconteur was a guest at a small, private luncheon at Locanda Verde for actor Stanley Tucci.

I didn’t ask which train he took, but my guess is he went by number 6 train downtown to East 51st St. where he transferred to the E train at East 53st St. and Lexington Avenue.’ This requires one long, steep escalator and one short one. He would have arrived at the Canal Street station of the E train, possibly using the Franklin Street stairs. This was made possible over twentysomething years ago by the building of CitiCorp.

It’s unclear whether other celebs at Tucci’s lunch, given by Paramount and the Diamond Information Center, did anything similar. Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, and Oliver Platt were among the other guests. Also attending were Tucci’s parents, a lovely couple from Westchester.

Julianne is not to be missed, by the way, in Tom Ford’s about to open “A Single Man.” She’s a sensation, no kidding.

There was much discussion of Stanley’s two hit roles this year, in “Julie and Julia” and “The Lovely Bones.” And of Meryl Streep’s gracious toast to Tucci at the Gotham Awards. Stanley said of Streep, “We will be married in the next five years.”

What about her husband of the last three decades, Don Gummer, someone asked? “Oh, that!” Tucci yelped.

His mom’s favorite Stanley Tucci movie? “Big Night, of course,” Mrs. T. replied. And then again, she has the copyright on an out of print “Big Night” cookbook that she’s looking to republish.

As for Gay Talese, his return trip was mundane and successful. He turned up at the screening of “Invictus” dressed in black tie, no worse for the wear from his adventure below 42nd St. Now he can return to his usual neighborhood routine, as Elaine’s, at East 88th St., is accessible on foot.

…Meantime, in midtown, most everyone walked to the new, gorgeous Oceana, where Ann Curry hosted stunning Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo for her starring role in “The Stoning of Soraya M.” Shohreh, who’s a regular on ABC’s “Fast Forward,” is on the shortlist for the Best Actress Oscar’this year along with Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, Marion Cotillard (from “Nine”), and so on. Shohreh, by the way, already has had one Oscar nom, in 2004, for “The House of Sand and Fog.” She’s in the club, as they say. Keep an eye on her. If Academy voters watch that DVD, she’ll be on the list again!

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