Another reason not to move to San Francisco, even though New York’s economy is looking a bit rickety: For 22 years, the City by the Bay has been hosting an Exotic Erotic Ball , which arrives
on our shores tonight accompanied by many waxy-looking female-bodybuilder types (see grim photo). Madonna attended this overanxious, sex-positive spectacle in, like, 1982 and they’re still trying to milk it. “The whole thing started in my penthouse in ’78, ” said founder Perry Mann. “It’s wild, crazy, hot fun. It’s whatever is in good taste and whatever tastes good. It’s the love-ins of the 60’s brought to the new millennium, it’s -” Click .
[Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, 8 p.m.,
Me Tarzan, you Jane Pratt: Normally, at least five staff members of Jane would be going on “special assignment” to the Exotic Erotic Ball, but yikes- there’s a dire scheduling conflict! The magazine’s corporate parent, Fairchild Publications, is giving a holiday party for all its titles (including W, WWD , etc.) under one roof. (That’s called “Christmas on a budget ,” folks!) The mandatory fun begins with an “off-site” conference, where employees will be assured that business is grand; then there’ll be cocktails, dinner and a tedious “Fairchild First” employee-awards presentation; and finally dessert and dancing to a D.J. (the macarena , etc.) Watch Details editor Daniel Peres load up on cupcakes and then do the white man’s overbite next to the nice people from
Supermarket News ….
[Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street,
6 p.m., by invitation only, 630-4000.]
Better your home than mine …. Major seasonal- tchotchke alert in effect tonight at the swishy preview party for the Lenox Hill NeighborhoodHouse’s”Holiday Bazaar “-scores of fancy Upper East Side matrons ( Bunny Williams, Annette de la Renta, Mario Buatta ) prowl bins stuffed with flavored mustards, grosgain ribbons, needlepoint slippers, dried berries, ceramic angels, scented candles, cashmere gloves …. Meanwhile, there’s the “bohemian” version of this event, Greenwich House Pottery’s “Made in Clay” benefit, at which rich “hippie” downtown moms mull wooden salad forks.
[Holiday Bazaar, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, 6 p.m., 744-5022, ext. 1355; Made in Clay, Greenwich Hill Pottery, 16 Jones Street, 6 p.m., 242-4106.]
Before Balthazar, there was the Bauhaus : exuberant young Germans who were very enthusiastic about machines. On Feb. 9, 1929, they donned aluminum foil and spoons and clanked their way to a big “Metal Party”-those were the days! Now Brooklyn artist and glass blower Josiah McElheny is reenacting his own Metal Party out in DUMBO: free drinks, hundreds of mirrored-glass spheres, Polaroids, electronic music and specially designed Mylar sheaths for the guests (this being 2001, the party is sponsored by Banana Republic ). “This kind of participatory thing is kind of a Germanic fun,” said Mr. McElheny. “Like, ‘You will have fun in the way that I tell you to have fun,’ in the sense that you have to put on this costume and stuff. But my belief is that that provides a kind of freedom, whereas if you have a quote-unquote democratic space where you can come in and there’s no rules, it can be very intimidating and alienating for a lot of people.” Ummm, it may just be us- call us crazy- but we like our fun without Germans telling us what to do.
[Opening party tonight, 126A Front Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, installation opens to the public on Dec. 1, 980-4574.]
Ding Duong! Who says Friday is the new Tuesday ? Uptown, the Kenneth W. Rendell Gallery hops on the wartime bandwagon and celebrates Winston Churchill’s birthday today with champagne and a display of some of his papers …. Downtown, fancy, “splashy” people like Marjorie Gubelmann, Anne McNally, Elizabeth Saltzman and Anh Duong are dressing in “high style” (is it time for muffs yet, ladies?) and swooshing to the winter party for the New Museum of Contemporary Art .
[Winston Churchill birthday party, 989 Madison Avenue, 5 p.m., 717-1776; New Museum Winter Party, W New York Union Square, 201 Park Avenue South, 9 p.m., 219-1222, ext. 299.]
So we recently sprang for premium cable (we’re movin’ on up!) and now we watch HBO almost exclusively: Britney Spears concerts (can someone please throw a burqa over her?), the silly Mind of the Married Man , the fantastic Curb Your Enthusiasm -the fun never ends …. But of course, we still make time for cozy old American Movie Classics , which has a new program, Backstory (à la VH1’s Behind the Music ), which purports to deliver all the juicy scandal behind a particular movie. It recently focused on Miracle on 34th Street , that 1947 weepie starring Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara. Except: “There’s no scandal connected with Miracle on 34th Street ,” Ms. O’Hara told us over a crackly phone line. “Everybody was happy; the only one who was mad in the beginning was me , because in 1946 they let the first legal aliens go out of the country, and boy, I was on that first aeroplane out of L.A. to Ireland. I arrived at my mother’s house and the phone rang, and it was Twentieth Century Fox. I was so mad I almost blew up into the sky with anger. So I came back in a rage-an Irish rage-and then I read the script and I thought, ‘Oh now, this is a fairy story,’ and I calmed down …. Young Natalie-or as I called her, Natasha-she used to call me ‘Mama Maureen,’ and she made me the most beautiful little figures and figurines in her class at school, and they all blew away during Hurricane Hugo.” Today Ms. O’Hara, who lives mostly in the Virgin Islands, flies into New York to introduce a special screening with activities beforehand for the tots.
[Loews Imax, 1998 Broadway, 1 p.m. games, screening to follow, 367-9473 or pick up free pass at Macy's Herald Square Visitor's Center.]
In her cups? Hmm, another San Francisco–sounding type of event; this is getting a bit eerie! Artist Gail Tauber has a reception for an exhibit she put together, Coffee Cups: Object as Emblem -and the free
latte better flow or we’re not getting out of
bed. “It’s like mushroom-hunting; I see coffee cups everywhere,” said Ms. Tauber as WQXR tootled in the background. “I love cups. I was sitting in Payard Patisserie luxuriating and I’m staring at the floor, and their floor is a mosaic with cups in it! I wore a T-shirt with a Greek coffee cup on it until it fell apart . I used to be a coffee fanatic, then I developed an ulcer and can only drink tea. But the cups are the same.”
[205 West 88th Street, 1 p.m., 579-4654.]
The next Maer of Miramax? Oh, why not …. That cheeky monkey, Talk editor Maer Roshan, is moderating a
panel on “the art of creation” -no, this is not a Talk event, he’s just the kind of chipper guy who likes to moderate panels in his spare time. Who will be discussing their “personal processes”: Michael Cunningham, author of that Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Hours , which was based on Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway ; the inevitable Sarah Jessica Parker (actress and ground zero visitor); three playwrights; and crotchety New York magazine critic John
Simon. We called Mr. Roshan to ask what issues he’d be exploring. “I’m exploring our issues of Talk right now,” he said, cheekily. “I feel I haven’t had time to even focus on it yet. I’ll think about it over the weekend.” Is Talk having a holiday party? “You know, I imagine we are. I don’t see why we wouldn’t … I’m not sure.” Meanwhile, Mr. Roshan’s amazing boss, Tina Brown , returns to Elaine’s tonight with Mel Brooks and Talk/Miramax Books president Jonathan Burnham to celebrate a book about The Producers , in which Sarah Jessica Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, stars-the synergy makes one’s head spin. Bring the incomparable Elaine a Christmas present.
[Art of Creation panel, Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts, 172 Norfolk Street, 7:30 p.m., 592-3359; The Producers book party, Elaine's, 1703 Second Avenue, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 641-3572.]
Danner or Kummer? Sounds like a couple of Santa’s leftover reindeer, doesn’t it? Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom, Blythe Danner , and mild actor-comedian Chevy Chase are turning out at the University Club to display their “other talents” (Mr. Chase will play jazz piano ) for the MacDowell Colony’s yearly benefit. What it will cost you: $750 , minimum. Meanwhile, Atlantic Monthly food columnist Corby Kummer celebrates his new column, “Palate at Large,” and discusses his “principles of excellence” at Daniel. What it will cost you: nothing but your pride, honey, nothing but your pride.
[MacDowell Colony benefit, University Club,
1 West 54th Street, 7 p.m., 535-9690; Corby Kummer party, Daniel, 60 East 65th Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 288-0033.]
The babe and the bullfighter! Why is everyone-Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Ernest Hemingway -bananas for bullfighters? Fashion photographer Ruven Afanador signs copies of his ne wbook, Torero: Portraits of Matadors of Columbia, Mexico, Peruand Spain at Rizzoli. Reasons to go: wine, live Spanish guitar music, chance to wear a ruffled peasant blouse. Later, 24-year-old, pre-Raphaelite-tressed cabaret temptress Jane Monheit (left) hits the Algonquin Oak Room to sing some standards and holiday favorites for fortysomething male music critics tinkling ice cubes in their Scotch and glumly trawling for skinny flapper chicks.
[Ruven Afanador signing, Rizzoli, 31 West 57th Street, 6 p.m., 759-2424; Jane Monheit, Oak Room, Algonquin, 59 West 44th Street, 9 p.m., 840-6800.]
Phew! Pack your macho boyfriend and his corduroy jacket off to the Film Forum, where a fascinating documentary about the B-52 bomber (185 feet long, 450,000 pounds, goes 638 miles an hour- vrrrrrooom !) is beginning a two-week run!
[209 West Houston Street, 727-8110.]