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The new Manhattan lunch hangout? At Patroon (owned by former 21 Club grandee Ket Aretsky), Ron Galotti, publisher of Vogue, Gina Sanders, ditto of Gourmet, Carole Ference ditto of Live! in from Los Angeles and busily chatting on her cell phone in the hired car outside.

Big doings this Thursday (May 1) at Le Cirque in Manhattan where Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair toast author Sylvia Morris on publication of her bio (Random House) of Clare Boothe Luce.

Susannah Pask checks in from Bridal Guide where, she says, they are almost 9% ahead in first-half revenues to $14.7 million, compared with the first six months of '96. Biggest first half in the mag's 10-year history.

Walter Anderson's "The Confidence Course" went to a fifth printing at HarperCollins. In his day job, Anderson's editor of Parade.

Top N.Y. PR exec and onetime Peace Corps volunteer Barbara Alden Taylor returns to hometown Dallas as senior VP-corporate communications for Voyager Expanded Learning, the private sector company working with public schools to improve education. A national rollout is in the works.

Texans and taking a whack at Garry Wills for his critical pan of a poem called "The Alamo." Using as his source a Mexican Army officer, Wills argued "it took no courage to defend the Alamo." While hailing Garry as one of the finest historians since Plutarch, loyal Texan Dan wasn't buying that nonsense, not at all.

Skiing Co., the Times Mirror publisher of Ski, Skiing, Snowboard Life, is relocating from N.Y. to Boulder, Colo. President Andy Clurman says business isn't bad either, with first half revenues up 26% over a year ago.

Smart move by Playboy Enterprises corralling Marianne Howatson. Bonny and canny both, as befits a Scotswoman.

Arnold & Co., the Beachwood, Ohio ad agency, named a new media director, Gregory Wereb.

Jay Shutter takes on new post of director of database research and technology at CMP Media in Manhasset, N.Y. At Vanity Fair: Patty Doyle Debano joins as promotion director; Michelle Kugelman is promoted to beauty manager.

Outdoor Life will be hosting ad and media types May 15 for a day of, well, outdoor life, in Millbrook, N.Y. Flyfishing, sporting clays, bows & arrows plus barbecue. Bring your own sunblock.

A couple of 1997 Maggie Awards (from Western Publications Assn.) were handed out in L.A. to Sunset for editorial coverage of home & design and gardens.

Good news: Sapporo Beer of Japan says its U.S. sales last year exceeded plan and so they'll be shipping more this year.

Weather Channel, my fave viewing in East Hampton, promoted Courtney Jewell to director of local ad sales.

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