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Leah Garchik

We are not in the In Crowd. We do not go to galas or fetes or benefits. We were not at the opening of Philip Kaufman's latest film. We have never air-kissed a Getty or tongue-kissed a Traina. But for five minutes every morning, when we're sure no one is looking, we tuck our Datebook into the pages of the Chronicle sports section, turn to Leah Garchik's column, and for a few furtive moments feel as if we're eavesdropping on the cool kids. Garchik, it has been said, is “San Francisco's answer to Liz Smith,” but we much prefer the detached wit of our version. (We like that she insists on calling society types “swells,” and we especially like the scattershot appearances of our city's Zelig, Robin Williams.) A sample, chosen at random: “Willie Brown, dolled up and sleek in formal clothes, came early (a mayoral first) to the pre-Webby VIP party Wednesday night and arrived without his usual entourage. This may have been carefully planned. It was a great place to meet Internet movers and shakers, particularly ones wearing strapless dresses.”

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