Guests at the event, hosted in conjunction with Chevy Tri-State, were treated to a sampling of delicious menu items from the newly-opened Juniper Bar in the exclusive downstairs VIP lounge.
Guests gathered around as Melissa Rivers discussed life growing up and her deep, personal bond with her mother, larger-than-life Comedian the late Joan Rivers – the subject of her new book The Book of Joan. She told the captive audience that, “Our mother-daughter relationship was so real. Everyone saw a bit of themselves in our relationship.”
She shared anecdotes of unique moments with her mother, including when immediately after her son Cooper was born, her mother took off and ran away with him quipping, “He was her favorite accessory.”
After the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work came out in 2010, the world became aware of how hard Joan worked in her day-to-day life, with rarely a day taken off. Melissa told the audience that she her mom’s work ethic was something normal until around 7 years ago, when she told her mom she was tired. It took reassurance from Joan and a step back to realize that her mother was no ordinary workaholic and had energy unlike any other person she knew.
Melissa, like her mother, has worked incredibly hard to achieve success in the entertainment industry. In fact, she found that to succeed in the entertainment industry as the daughter of a famous parent, she has had to work extremely hard to reach the point where she is today.
“You may get the interview, but you may not get the job. If you get the job, you have to work ten times harder to prove yourself because people are going to think you got the job because of who you know,” she said.
During the Mamarazzi town-hall, Denise Albert’s mother stood up and told the audience about one time when she was in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office when Denise and her brother were kids and in ran Joan carrying infant Melissa wearing a bathrobe.
To conclude, Melissa told the crowd gathered that her mother imparted an important saying that will stick with her forever. “She always said that this too shall pass. When things are good and bad, appreciate it or know you’re going to get through it because it doesn’t last.”
Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein, THE MOMS, are co-creators of a multi-platform lifestyle brand featured on TV, online, in print, in taxicabs and now on radio nationwide. The MOMS are hosts of the SiriusXM radio Stars program The MOMS with Denise & Melissa. Albert and Gerstein have turned motherhood into a platform that reaches millions of parents each year. The MOMS created a town hall event series that they moderate called Mamarazzi® where they provide influential moms and media with access to celebrities to discuss issues surrounding parenting. Recent Mamarazzi events have included celebrity guests Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Garner, Kevin James, Elizabeth Banks, Tina Fey, Hugh Jackman and Pitbull. THE MOMS regularly partner with film distributors, book publishers and celebrity publicists to present engaging and informative conversations around topics important to parents year round. They have also been spokespersons for Netflix family programming. Albert and Musen Gerstein have presented their fashion show for moms during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week three times called Strut, The Fashionable Mom Show, which they co-founded and showcases a wide range of apparel for real moms. It’s the first runway show where the models are all moms – in all shapes and sizes – featuring affordable and fashionable options for a diverse audience. All mom models walk to raise awareness for their favorite cause. From 2010-2011, The MOMS created and hosted a half-hour TV show with NBC called Moms & the City and A Dad Named David. The MOMS are regular contributors to The Huffington Post Parents and Denise to Huffington Post Divorce and have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America and Fox News Channel among many others. Albert is an "independent" mom (don't call her a "single mom") to two boys and Gerstein is happily married and a mom of three.
ABOUT THE BOOK OF JOAN:
Joan Rivers was known all over the world—from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa. Joan and Melissa Rivers had one of the most celebrated mother-daughter relationships of all time. If you think Joan said some outrageous things to her audiences as a comedian, you won’t believe what she said and did in private. Her love for her daughter knew no bounds—or boundaries, apparently. (“Melissa, I acknowledge that you have boundaries. I just choose to not respect them.”) In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa shares stories (like when she was nine months old and her parents delivered her to Johnny Carson as a birthday gift), bon mots (“Missy, is there anything better than seeing a really good looking couple pushing a baby that looks like a Sasquatch who got caught in a house fire?”), and life lessons from growing up in the Rosenberg-Rivers household (“I can do tips and discounts and figure out the number of gay men in an audience to make it a good show. That’s all the math you’ll ever need.”). These were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to life in the family that Melissa describes as more Addams than Cleaver. And at the center of it all was a tiny blond force of nature.In The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation, Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers valium one of the four basic food groups.
ABOUT JUNIPER BAR:
Juniper Bar is a sophisticated, multi-leveled restaurant, bar and entertainment space in New York’s Midtown West, just steps away from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. Home to an expansive main level bar area, intimate 30-seat dining area, and classy event and lounge room, Juniper Bar is perfectly configured to become the hottest new neighborhood local. Named after the bright blue Juniper berry, which is known for its piney flavor and use in flavoring gin, the space has been stylishly designed with a color palate of teals, greys, and bursts of orange.
Photos Credit: Fredy Mfuko/Mission 101 Productions & Diane Cohen