It was brunch time on a sunny Saturday in New York’s West Village. Julian Schnabel, the celebrated artist and filmmaker, was holding court at Sant Ambroeus’ main table. The larger than life New York artist was surrounded by seven friends, most of whom cowed by Schnabel’s towering personality. Dressed in one of his signature pajamas outfits, he introduced “Paolo!,” his “favorite waiter,” to the crammed table. Rula Jebreal, the stunning Italo-Palestinian journalist (and Schnabel’s life partner), was squeezed to his left, and folding chairs were added so Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson could fit in. Power-agent Bryan Lourd stopped by, dangling a baby over eggs crostino so the artist could cradle the newborn for a second or two. Downtown fixtures gave quick greetings while the artist nodded behind his sunglasses. Schnabel “had” the room. Nothing could upstage him.
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