Al Malnik Will Always Have St Louis In His Heart

MAKING THE A-LIST – More than 1,000 people packed Maryland Plaza on Thursday night for St. Louis magazine’s fifth annual A-List party, making it the mag’s largest such event yet. The event was jammed with pretty people, networkers and local celebs.

Particularly inspiring were the Human Disco Balls, which were performers perched on the plaza’s fountain dressed in black bodysuits with mini mirrors attached, and the Parkour Performers, who were athletic types doing flips and turns and running up walls. One of the ladies in the crowd was so inspired that she joined the Parkour crew and did a cartwheel down the middle of the plaza – high heels, skirt and all – to the delight of onlookers.

Front and center was the always affable Joe Buck, the top A-lister and on the magazine’s July cover. Joe was accompanied by his wife, Ann. He told this colyumnist that he was looking at a super busy weekend leading into the All-Star Game.

Others we spotted enjoying the lovely weather and the head-turning crowd: Ray and Kerri Hartmann, Guy and Kim Phillips, Jasmine Huda, James Butler, Jacob Bell, Leslie Tunney, Derek Stanley, Melanie Moon, Gerard Craft, Mark Reardon, Sara and Kurt Hentz, Jeff Small, Sam Koplar, Ted Koplar, Frances Thompson, Stephen Schenkenberg, Nicole and James Edgerton, Meghan and Eric Fritsche, Amit Dhawan, Valerie Mills, Meghan and Robert Fort, Melissa and Greg Bohlmann, Greg Lukeman, Kevin Johnson, Suzi Schrappen and George Mahe, Dave Lowry, Carrie Edelstein, Ellen Soule, Jerry Talamantes, Ralph Butler (with his band), DJ Steve Meier, Debra Bass, Maggie Pearson, Rena and Todd Abrams, Linda Hall, Pete and Tanya Feretti, Carrie Houk, Zoe Houk Robinson, Brook Dubman, Brian Smith and Matt Moynihan.PARKING BROUHAHA – KSDK (Channel 5) reporter Leisa Zigman, working on an I-team assignment (the I is for investigation), has unearthed examples of St. Louis police officers both on and off-duty parking their city vehicles in no-parking places across the city.

But that’s not the whole story. Some members of the Police Department caught wind of Zigman’s investigation and have tried to stymie it. Their method? Retaliation.

For years, KSDK employees have parked illegally all around their headquarters at 1000 Market Street downtown. There is limited legal parking in the area, and staffers park their private vehicles as well as news vans in no-parking areas around the building. Up till now, sources at the station tell us, no one ever got a ticket. But suddenly, tickets are popping up like beads of sweat on a cop’s brow.

The station employees are turning the tickets over to management, which sent out a memo to staffers asking them to try to park legally if at all possible but not to worry if they can’t. No notice on how the dispute will be resolved. As for Zigman’s investigation? Full steam ahead. Stay tuned …

TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION – South Florida kingpin and St. Louis native Alvin I. Malnik, 76, got a lot of face time after pop nonesuch Michael Jackson died. Malnik – a product of Clark Elementary School, Soldan High and Wash U. – was a longtime friend of Jackson’s and says the King of Pop asked him to become godfather and parent to Prince Michael II, nicknamed “Blanket,” if anything happened to Jackson.

Malnik was interviewed about his connections to Jackson by NBC’s “Today Show,” CBS and the Palm Beach Post, among others. Malnik is an attorney who had close ties to the Rat Pack.” Malnik says that Jackson became the godfather in 2003 to Malnik’s then 11-year-old daughter, Spencer. Malnik also was the owner of the exclusive Forge restaurant in Miami, which he sold to his son Shareef.

Jackson sat with Malnik at the head table during Malnik’s 70th birthday bash at the Forge in 2003, which was attended by my predecessor at the Post-Dispatch, Jerry Berger. Berger was a longtime friend of Malnik’s. He wrote about the party that “the invitation to Florida itself was unique: a taped message from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. But the event lived up to its billing. Jackson, accompanied by a full phalanx of bodyguards, was on hand to welcome Malnik’s guests, including B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, F. Lee Bailey and celeb lawyer Roy Black.”

Berger said the Harbour Group’s Sam Fox and his wife, Marilyn, friends of Malnik’s since high school days, were no-shows but were represented by a magnificent floral masterpiece from the Fox den.

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