Duchamping at the bit? O.K., all you arty people: Manhattan is absolutely overrun with “shows” this week. Not the thea-tuh kind, not Comedy Central’s The Man Show (which currently has our Precious clenched firmly in its hairy grip), but shows full of pricey junk with which to cram your apartment. The snow of shows begins tonight with the Art Show, at which 70 dealers will hawk pictures by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Diane Arbus, John Singer Sargent, etc. Whom you might elbow at tonight’s gala preview: co-chairs Karenna Schiff (appears to be going by her husband’s name now that Daddy failed to bat it in), John McEnroe (must have plenty of time on his hands now that brother Patrick has taken over his Davis Cup coaching gig) and a whole lotta Lauders. We’re sticking to eBay, thanks….
[Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, 5:30 p.m., 766-9200, ext. 248.]
Twist my Armory: Don’t say we didn’t warn you, ’cause today two more “shows” stand off. At the 69th Regiment Armory, don your green gardening gloves for the Horticultural Society of New York Gramercy Garden Antiques Show’s preview cocktail party. The “garden chairs” are an earthbound lot whose most notable name is Chris Meigher, and the board of directors includes David Granger. Who knew that the editor of Esquire fancied pansies? Oh, wait-wrong guy. This David Granger has been a distinguished member of the stock exchange for 75 years, the H.S. librarian tells us. Sor-ry! Meanwhile, downtown, it’s an opening preview party for the “contemporary art”–filled Armory Show (think urinals and the like), which, just to confuse people, is one of the few shows this week to not take place in an actual armory. Your honorary co-chair: two-timin’ Jo Carole Lauder (see yesterday). What it’ll drum up: mo’ money for MoMA.
[Horticultural Society, 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th Street, 6 p.m., 757-0915, ext. 201; Armory Show, Piers 88 and 90 on the Hudson River, 12th Avenue between 48th and 50th streets, enter at the 55th Street ramp, 6:30 p.m., 708-9680.]
Polish the coke spoon-purely for academic reasons, of course. The New School drops some windowpane and opens a three-day conference on “Altered States of Consciousness,” with tolerant-sounding panels like “Alternatives to the War on Drugs: Rational Routes to Harm Reduction” and “Drugs and Inspiration”-gee, sounds like a great cover story for the Times magazine! “I got pressed,” said organizer and psychology professor Arien Mack, “whether rightly or wrongly I still don’t know, to make sure we had somebody talking about psychedelics, because the people in that world feel that there’s sort of been a cordon sanitaire.” (Professors love to throw around phrases like “cordon sanitaire.”) Is this just a big excuse for some wild parties? “Not if I can help it. It’s very serious, heh heh. I’m curious to see what the audience will be like-because obviously one can’t control the audience-and how much this is gonna be a hippie-leftover-from-the-60’s-and-70’s kind of thing. We will have a reception after the last session, and there will be wine. There will be wine, but that’s all there will be. No cigarettes of any kind, because they don’t allow them in the building.” Fine with us: Has anyone else noticed how the phrase “Mind if I smoke?” has been completely eliminated from Manhattanites’ vocabularies?
[Tishman Auditorium, New School University, 66 West 12th Street, 10 a.m., 229-2488.]
Hardy boys, indeed: Meet a tweedy, bespectacled fellow who’s compensating for his hair loss with a scrabbly beard! The Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair (and gigantic middle-age pickup scene; think the New York Review of Books personals come to life) comes to town with rare editions of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, some cookbooks, Dickensia…. We think this counts as part of this week’s “Show” trend.
[P.S. 3, 490 Hudson Street, 6 p.m., 533-2429.]
Before J. Lo, there was Charo, who called us from Fort Lauderdale, where she was “Working! I am a working cucaracha, ha ha ha, always on the r-r-r-road, but so happy that everybody’s telling me that it’s a little bit cold in New York, and I am glad to see cold weather because I live in Hawaii and I am tired of 80 degrees every day. I am sick of it. Same papayas ….” Of the music journalists proclaiming a Latin renaissance, said Charo, “They don’t know sh*t! Everybody thinks that Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony invented la salsa! This new group that come out with a high-tech sound, they just base it in the thing that it was already invented and applauded and digested ….” Anything else? “I turn down a TV series and now I have another offer for a pilot, but the high that I obtain from personal appearances is far away much better than television-however, if the script is very different, I may go back and do that pilot, but I’m not sure. It’s up to if they make a little more better.” Any fond Love Boat memories? “The original casting …. The new one, forget it, the new one sucks-but the old one, the original, it was a combination of song, friendliness, almost like a family, and I did enjoy very much and I was pregnant in the last one that I did, and I don’t remember if you remember me looking like a watermelon with high heels. My sister made my dress and we were going crazy. It was the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy and I was supposed to look like teeny, but I really look like a sausage. But it was good memories.” Then she collapsed into a coughing fit. Tonight and through March 4, Charo performs her special “high-tech merengue” at The Pete ‘n’ Keely Show. Look, it beats the Official Xena: Warrior Princess Convention, O.K.?
[John Houseman Theatre, 450 West 42nd Street, 2 and 8 p.m., 239-6200.]
Bite my Binoche: The city suffers from a surfeit of tango lessons today. If you must get out of bed, work that early-90’s revival, girlfriends, and go get empowered all over again by Thelma and Louise at the Screening Room, where, in a transparent move to drum up Oscar momentum for the execrable Gladiator, they’re staging a premature Ridley Scott retrospective. If you like foreign chicks in capes and corsets, check out the ubiquitous, apple-cheeked Juliette Binoche in The Widow of Saint-Pierre. The press release promises “sweeping romantic epic,” “love triangle,” etc.-gives one a terrible English Patient flashback! Surely part of the desperate Miramax plot to build Oscar momentum for Mlle. Binoche’s performance in the sickly Chocolat.
Food and whine? A new level of wine snobbery: people who profess to hate wine snobs, yet can’t help talking about how they drink wine the “real” (i.e., European) way, like it’s tap water. Example: An organization self-explanatorily called Wine Brats wants you to spend $50 to get corked at an event called “Sonoma Uncorked” benefiting Share Our Strength. “We’re a nonprofit education group that is trying to make wine fun for the next generation,” said Wine Brat Jeff Quigley, from Sonoma County. “Our demo is 21-to-36-year-olds” (39 and married, Mr. Quigley is the “granddaddy” of this swingin’ group), “young adults who are trying to get interested in wine and food but don’t want the snooty cultural baggage that has come with it in the past. Like in Europe-yes, there’s the châteaux, but it’s also an everyday thing, there’s a balance and a moderation. We do it on our terms; we took that kind of Sonoma lifestyle that we live … you know, obviously in wine country there’s the five-star restaurants, but there’s also hanging out in backyards, grilling burgers, drinking zin and listening to rock ‘n’ roll, you know what I mean?” We sure do, and it’s enough to make anyone miss the “snooty cultural baggage” of yore! Snapping tongs behind the grill tonight: Blue Hill’s Dan Barber, Dylan Prime’s Mina Newman, Pico’s John Villa, Quilty’s Katy Sparks and Annisa’s Anita Lo (just call her “A. Lo”).
[W Hotel, 541 Lexington Avenue, 6 p.m., http://www.winebrats.org.
This one’s for our “enlightened” editor, currently draped in a pareo somewhere off the coast of Mexico with a margarita in his paw …. It’s the Year of the Iron Snake (naughty-sounding), and Tibet House U.S. is having a benefit concert. Who’s performing: ubiquitous quasi-socialite Moby, former Maniac Natalie Merchant, Emmylou Harris (she lives!), Patti Smith (not the one married to John McEnroe, right? Right?) and David Bowie (hope he at least combs his hair out of his eyes for the occasion). Who to compare prayer beads with: Buddhist lites like Uma ‘n’ Ethan (hope he at least shaves for the occasion) and Goldie (“Kate Hudson’s mom”) Hawn.
[Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 247-7800.]
Literary geezers in Queens! Suit up in seasonally appropriate lightweight herringbone and plunk your fanny on the No. 7 train for this high-wattage night: Susan (“What Plagiarism?”) Sontag, Norman (“What Wife?”) Mailer and John (“Where’s My Nobel?”) Updike all read (but will they share a mike?) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of … a readings program in Queens! Watch for forthcoming Vanity Fair think-piece on how Flushing is the “hot” new neighborhood; in the current issue, they uncover some activity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn ….
[Music Building, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard., 7 p.m., call 718-997-5000 for complicated directions.]
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, 8 p.m., 247-7800.]