“She started insulting people. She’d love the pictures one day, and the next she’d say, ‘S---, s---, s---!’” Machado recalls, shaking her head. “We had 17 art directors in five years. She would hire an art director, fire him the next day, pay for the whole contract.” Photographer Art Kane worked for the magazine, and Lear pushed Machado to convince him to sign on as art director: “She gave him an enormous contract. And one day he came in and he said, ‘I don’t give a s--- about you. And you’re a horrible woman.’ It was like, pffttt! He quit after two weeks. It was absolutely crazy.” Though the magazine was a debacle from the start, Lear managed to keep it going for six years. With a contract and a stake in the business, Machado outlasted most staffers, finally leaving several months before it folded, in 1994.
By then she had turned to buying real estate, primarily on Long Island, eventually moving there full-time. In 1991 she opened Country Bazaar, a gourmet shop in Water Mill that featured a far-flung assortment of gastronomic delights as well as gift and tabletop items, like the lazy Susan on her table now as she serves lunch. She designed a line of the spinners in glass— “very thin so they don’t wobble”—and had them produced in Mexico. “The most practical thing in the world,” she notes. “Especially with Chinese food, when you have 10 dishes.” She later converted the store to a gallery, which she ran for two years. And she continued to entertain, meeting her current husband, Riccardo Rosa, when he arrived with a friend at a party she gave. “He came through the door and never left,” Machado says. That was 32 years ago. The pair marked their 25th anniversary with a big party, and married in 2003. Why? Because her grandsons, Malcolm and Monty, thought that at Machado’s and Rosa’s ages, the word “boyfriend” was a hoot. “I said, ‘That’s enough. Now [say] your grandfather.’”
Just another practical solution of the type Machado has orchestrated her whole life. “I think it’s survival,” she says. “That’s the way I am with men, with everything. I’m going to survive.”