If you’re in the Hamptons today and you notice that the beaches and restaurants seem oddly empty, that’s because every high-powered lawyer, spin doctor and political fixer in town is inside sweating bullets to minimize the fallout from a recent, unfortunate late-night incident involving a young woman, an expensive German automobile and much unpleasantness. If you’re in the city, where it’s safer, the Partners of Pentagram, a sinister-sounding design firm whose Web site made our computer crash, serves “summer cocktails and snacks” (burp) in its office on the site of the old M.K. nightclub-where we once went in 10th grade wearing a miniskirt (now back in! We feel old!)-to celebrate the publication of Pentagram Papers 30, a promotional pamphlet by Vanity Fair writer Jonathan Van Meter about the doo-wop architecture of Wildwood, N.J. Dress: architect chic (blue Oxford cloth shirts, silly socks). Meanwhile, the digital artists who wowed the Whitney earlier this year have their second coming, an opening reception for The New York Digital Salon: Selected Works-computer art with titles like Polymath and Audiovisual Environment Suite. On second thought, maybe we’ll take our chances on the wild streets of Southampton ….
[Pentagram, 204 Fifth Avenue, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 802-0257; New York Digital Salon, Corning Gallery, 667 Madison Avenue at 61st Street, 6 p.m., 646-497-3744.]
Got balls? The grass at Wimbledon may be a marshy mess after being stomped on by Andre Agassi’s gigantic calves-but here in New York we have strong hardcourts that can take the beating: The U.S. Open starts in a month and a half! Today, 500 applicants will vie for approximately 100 ball boy–ball girl spots. How’s the money? “Minimum wage,” said USTA mouthpiece Tim Curry, who we don’t think is the Tim Curry who played Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. “But some of them are kind of like the ball geezers-they get paid a bit more, and they have additional responsibilities.” Which we hope don’t include pulling wayward balls out of Pete Sampras’ shorts, as Mr. Sampras asked of some young, shell-shocked ball boy at Wimbledon, who-along with everyone present except Mr. Sampras-didn’t quite see the humor in being asked to plunge his hands into a grown man’s shorts.
[USTA National Tennis Center, Corona Park, Queens, 3 p.m., 718-760-6200.]
More proof that the only people left in the city are architects: Frank Gehry (you know him as the fellow who designed the Condé Nast cafeteria) and others gather to toast the 30-year collaboration between architect eminence grise Philip Johnson (95 years young!) and developer Gerald Hines (a spry 75). What it’ll cost you: 500 bucks. What it benefits: a $6 million capital campaign for the Center for Architecture, scheduled to open on La Guardia Place in the fall of 2002. Wake us up then.
[Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 6 p.m., 683-0023, ext. 16.]
Have a conscience? Larry Clark, the guy who brought you Kids, single-handedly vaulting Chloë Sevigny-who, let’s face it, resembles a 19th-century street urchin, perhaps Cosette in Les Miz-into the pages of Vogue as a “style icon,” today comes out with a movie called Bully, about a complex and abusive relationship between two longtime friends …. Meanwhile, aforementioned Vogue is continuing the Hamptons hump in an event co-hosted with BMW: a screening of a short movie, Powder Keg-essentially just a long BMW commercial that’s the excuse for an after-party at the Conscience Point nightclub (see above: girl, auto, unpleasantness) with the inevitable Ronson sister (Charlotte? Samantha? We’re no longer sure) in the D.J. booth and, let us hope, some newly installed air bags on the club’s V.I.P. entrance. “We definitely expect a good amount [sic] of celebrities,” said Conscience Point owner Noah Tepperberg. “Ang Lee is going to be there.” We’ll see.
[Bully, 777-FILM; Conscience Point, 1976 North Sea Road, Southampton, 10 p.m., by invitation only, 966-5000.]
All the pretty horsies: Yes, it’s the big, thundering climax of the Bridgehampton Polo Club kickoff (clip clop, clip clop, clip clop), with Stephanie Seymour and her breasts …. Meanwhile, you can dig deep today for other worthy causes, such as the Parrish Art Museum (Southampton), the Empire State Pride Agenda (East Hampton) and the James Beard Foundation (Sagaponack). But the real action is back in Soho, where a dance troupe, 1*4*8* The Collective, is presenting a piece called Hey, You’re in MY Space!! We found dancer Collette Stewart, 28, in Jersey City. A Pilates teacher by day, she described her dance number, “First Date”: “It’s kind of this girl who’s trying really hard to make a really good first impression, and things don’t come out right-by the end, she just kind of loses everything. My costume changes depending on my mood; it’s very pedestrian clothing. Last time I wore black pants and a red turtleneck. There is sort of this fear about modern dance-’I don’t get it and I don’t want to deal with it’-and I want to let the audience know that they don’t have to get it!” O.K., we got it.
[Benefits-hey, buddy, if you have to ask …; Hey, You're in MY Space!!, Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer Street, 8 p.m., 334-7479.]
All the pretty seahorses? We take back all the deprecating remarks we have ever made about the Hamptons. Why? Because today we are in the city, and here are our options, possums: 1) a swim with seahorses from Battery Park City’s South Cove to the North Cove Yacht Harbor; or 2) French waiters jogging along East 60th Street with bottles of Champagne in celebration of Bastille Day. New this year: Chefs are going to join the waiters, spreading pâté on fresh baguettes to eat during their race-walk, proving definitively-yet again-that the French are completely, profoundly bonkers.
[Swim with seahorses, South Cove, Battery Park City, 1:30 p.m., 888-692-7946; Bastille Day, 60th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues.]
Waltzing Matilda! But first, in a dizzying cross-promotional strategy that some might read as “desperate,” the online magazine Modern Humorist throws a barbecue with Amazon.com president Jeff Bezos! “There will be a very detailed and explicit guest list,” said MH co-founder John Aboud. “And the people with that list will be informed to expel people with extreme prejudice.” Just hand over the keys to the S.U.V, bub. Later, the cat at the Algonquin hotel, below, celebrates its sixth birthday (watch for sad attempt at a James Thurber–like piece on cat’s birthday in upcoming New Yorker.) But who is this cat, Matilda, really? “She’s a pedigreed cat,” said Algonquin mouthpiece Barbara McGurn. “She’s a rag doll and really a beauty. Since she isn’t from a shelter, her birthday party is for a shelter-sort of noblesse oblige. She sits at the check-in desk, she’ll sit in the luggage cart, she strolls around. She’s just so beautiful and elegant; she doesn’t jump around at all, but she’s very curious. She just loves to look at people and walk behind them. She eats just regular cat food.”
[Jeff Bezos, B-Bar, 40 East Fourth Street, 12:02 p.m., by invitation only, 741-5106, ext. 14; Matilda's birthday party, Round Table Room, the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 840-6800, ext. 171.]
Sacco it to me? After a week of critters (horses, seahorses, kitties), it’s a relief to find a benefit for actual human beings-in this case, Free Arts for Abused Children. Your honorary chairperson: craggly actor Harrison Ford! (We put the odds of his actually showing at about 30 to 1, but if he does, wish him a happy 59th birthday-it was July 13!) Your more-likely-to-show chairpeople: Lot 61′s leggy blond bar mistress, Amy Sacco, and Harper’s Bazaar fashion fool Mary Alice Stephenson. On the committee: both Sykes sisters. Theme: “A Few of My Favorite Things.” Our stomach hurts.
[Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, 10th floor, 7 p.m. cocktails, auction to follow, 974-9092.]
“You’re in a harness,” said chef Joey Altman from San Francisco, describing his experience. “Basically, you learn in a day how to swing through the air like one of the Flying Wallendas- twirls and flips and they catch you-and then you’re 25 feet up in the air and your heart is beating out of your chest, very exhilarating-it’s really cool!” Tonight Mr. Altman’s new show, Appetite for Adventure, debuts on the Food Network. The premise of Appetite for Adventure, said Mr. Altman, is “about experiencing activities, not all outdoors, that you can do-whether it be fly-fishing or whitewater-rafting, trapezing, sand-railing-and then introduce gourmet food into that. Basically, we want to show people you can go out and do any adventure that you want to do and not feel that you have to be relegated to hot dogs and hamburgers and gorp.” Excuse us, but what is the connection between trapezing and gourmet food? “Well, after spending four and a half hours flying through the air and doing all this trapezing, you’re hungry, so we thought about, ‘What does it feel like to fly through the air?’ Well, it feels like you’re a monkey, and what do monkeys eat? Bananas. So we came up with a banana snack that was unique and that you can do very easily wherever you are.” We are not making this up.
[Food Network, 10:30 p.m.]