Well, at Least Katie Holmes Is Having a Good Time 1

We’re teetering on the brink of an unthinkable future. Our democracy hangs by a thread. “How are you doing?” feels like a useless greeting; everything is bad now. Americans are simultaneously fed up and burned out. We feel a fiery rage and debilitating grief. But hey: at least Katie Holmes is having a good time.

The 41-year-old actress is, as the New York Post put it this month, “The queen of public make outs.” Like your friend who can’t read the room and won’t shut up about her new boyfriend after you tell her your grandmother just died, Holmes has spent a historically shitty summer living out La Dolce Vita with her beau, a chef named Emilio Vitolo Jr.

The two were first seen together the first of this month, dining al fresco in SoHo. Vitolo is the 33-year-old son of Emilio Vitolo Sr., a famous New York restaurateur. He’s something of a man about town, as made evident by the fact that he was a cover boy for Man About Town magazine back in 2014. (The spread was shot, unfortunately, by infamous creep and alleged serial abuser Terry Richardson.)

“You have to work your ass off to get where you want to be,” the dude who works for his dad said in the interview. (Vitolo Jr also has some acting credits to his name; he appeared in an indie film called Tapestry, plus the TV shows Royal Pains and Inside Amy Schumer.)

Anyway, Holmes is apparently “absolutely head over heels in love with Emilio,” according to US Weekly. She calls him a “stable guy in her life.” Plus, he can cook and drives her around in a bright red car. Good for them!

If I sound overly invested in the pair’s budding romance, it is because (I am, and also) the paparazzi interest in them reminds of simpler times. Remember when celebrities roamed the streets and that was news?

Seeing Holmes go on eating tours of New York in all her glorious coats is a welcome distraction from the fact that we live in End Times. (Don’t tell this to Rachel Emmons, a 24 year-old designer and previous fiancée of Vitolo, who reportedly learned of their breakup through a text sent just days before he first was seen with Holmes, per a Daily Mail item.)

Last Sunday, my A train was delayed. I had to walk down Eighth Avenue to another subway station. I wore a fleece-lined coat, but it was in the seventies—autumnal weather the day before had me overly excited, and dressed, for the season. With each step, I found more sweat beginning to bead my upper lip.

And then I saw her, like a mirage—Katie Holmes, out with her daughter Suri, enjoying an early dinner at Jack’s Wife Freida. It is a popular bistro in the neighborhood and just the type of place you’d want to take your teenage kid for burgers. Vitolo was not present. It was a family night.

Katie Holmes, my bastion of celebrity frivolity, the women who tabloids love to show smooching, was there being actually a very normal person. She was wearing a sweatshirt or maybe an oversized sweater. Her hair, usually left windswept and down, chicly messy, in photos with Vitolo, was up in a very rushed bun. I stared obviously and she gave me some justifiable stink eye back, but other than that, her focus was on her kid.

Yes, Katie Holmes appears to be partying like it is Phase 4, and living her best quarantine life in the midst of a potential societal collapse. But sometimes she’s also just another New Yorker sitting outside eating fries on the street.