Pop Culture

The Tribeca Festival Was the Eric Adams and Robert De Niro Show—Whatever the Air Quality

“There were those who decided to flee,” he said, his tone shifting. “But we had someone that was clear. We had a raging bull.”

Cue “Brother De Niro,” as the mayor called him. The star, who will be fêted with a three-day “De Niro Con” in September to coincide with his 80th birthday, glanced around the room at Matt Damon, who was standing by the bar, and his Killers of the Flower Moon castmate Brendan Fraser, standing in the center of the room.

“John Lindsay, Abe Beame, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani—I don’t know what happened thereMike Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio,” De Niro said, deadpan. “This is just a partial list of New York mayors who did not give me keys.”

Stephanie HsuBy Daniel Arnold / Chanel. 

Soon after the remarks, I bumped into the mayor in the restroom, where I asked him how the day was going. He responded by saying, “There isn’t anybody more legendary than Bob,” and was whisked out by his detail. He did not grab a mask from the box on his way out the door.

The air got better, and over the weekend dozens of films screened at a number of theaters throughout downtown, video games were played, and David Duchovny performed at Baby’s All Right with his band, which was probably awesome. On Monday, there was an annual Tribeca Festival event that’s technically ancillary programming, and very much invitation-only, and quite possibly the starriest Gotham dinner of the season. It’s the Chanel Artists Dinner that the French fashion brand throws at Balthazar, Keith McNally’s paean to bistro dining that out-glams the Paris spots that inspired it. Balthazar, with its hall-of-fame-eatery status enhanced by a serious post-pandemic glow-up, is the perfect place for a big buyout by a luxury juggernaut and a film festival owned by James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems that’s stuffed full of film legends and the fresh-faced rising stars of Tinseltown. Balthazar is exactly the restaurant a budding Hollywood star would probably want to come to anyway.

“The first time I ever had a meal by myself, I showed up with a book at Balthazar and sat at the bar,” the actor Zoey Deutch told me, glancing around the space, still in awe.

“They brought me a glass of Champagne on the house,” Deutch said, and I told her that’s a classic McNally move for any solo diners.

Phoebe TonkinBy Daniel Arnold / Chanel. 

On Monday, the Champagne was free, and nobody was dining solo. The three red booths in the back—tables 60, 61, and 62—housed De Niro and Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton and the French artist JR, a frequent De Niro collaborator. Rosenthal sat with Katie Holmes, with Oscar Isaac sitting with Fraser, and Tracee Ellis Ross at the end of the table. Mayor Adams probably would have really liked this party.

Chanel had dressed nearly 30 attendees just for the evening, and dispersed them in their shimmering fits to different tables throughout the block-size eatery: Suki Waterhouse and Camila Morrone at one table, Lizzy Caplan and Rachel Brosnahan at another, Chase Sui Wonders and Ayo Edebiri at another. (The director Ari Aster was wandering around Balthazar as well, but it’s unclear whether Edebiri finally got through to him, ensuring that he was aware of her very strong thoughts on Beau Is Afraid.)

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