Poe, po’ or Pogrebin? Oh, the sweet, smoky agony of autumn continues, with guys squiring around their new “intellectual” October girlfriends (just wait till January,
fellas, when “intellectual” suddenly morphs into “crazy”) and women wondering when, exactly, it’s time to stop messin’ around with wraps and vests and capes and break out
a real coat …. Pre-Halloween fuss proceeds apace with the Central Park Conservancy’s gala, which is themed to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” -think spray-painted tree branches, fog machines rumbling the floorboards, anatomically incorrect black papier-mâché “crows” swooping down on the tabletops, and actors Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore and their lesser-known showbiz paramours tapping, tapping, tapping at the chamber door …. What it’ll cost ya: $1,000. ( Boo !) Poor man’s benefit: the Affordable Art Fair preview in Chelsea, where fair manager Helen Allen promised “canapés and stuff-cheese and crackers and fruit and what have you” (a.k.a. dinner) and lots of cheap art . “There are so many people out there who decorate their walls with posters,” she said, which hit where it hurts. “What’s wrong with a poster? There’s nothing wrong with posters per se …. If you want Monet’s Waterlilies but you only have $25, then you’re better off going to the Met and getting a poster .” Finally, on the Upper West Side, implacable StarTrek star turned controversial photographer and high-culture viscount Leonard Nimoy hosts a party celebrating Ms. co-founder andall-around
supermom Letty Cottin Pogrebin’s first novel, Three Daughters . Bonus dirty excerpt from page 56 that uncannily echoes a scene playing out all over town right now : “She recoiled, grabbed the headboard, and pulled herself upright. ‘You’ve had sex with a man!?'”
[Halloween Ball, Sorcerers' Tent at the Mall in Central Park, mid-park at 72nd Street,
7 p.m., 310-6619; Affordable Art Fair, Pier 92, 6 p.m., 800-594-TIXX; Three Daughters book party, Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, Symphony Space, 95th Street west of Broadway, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 741-6900.]
Bartsch putsch: Is it just us, or is Halloween the new New Year’s Eve, with all the attendant pressure to dress up, go out, be extra-boisterous, etc., plus a subtler, insidious pressure that this is somehow your civic duty, defying the real terror “out there” …? You’ve got the East Village commoners tarting themselves up in Gothic gear and eating couscous out of coffins, etc.; slightly waxen Victoria’s Secret model
Heidi Klum at Capitale (a new nightclub in a former bank); and slightly-rusty-but-still-working nightlife fixture Susanne Bartsch at Copacabana (old nightclub transplanted to a former warehouse). “I’m going to be a delightful witch, a good witch- I’m going to wear a hat! ” Ms. Bartsch said. “You know what? I’m going to be bewitching! It’ll be a good mix of people, lots of things to look at, and very ‘energy.'”
[Susanne Bartsch party, Copacabana,
11th Avenue at the corner of 34th Street,
10 p.m., 741-3120; Heidi Klum party,
Capitale, 130 Bowery Street, 11 p.m., by
invitation only, 420-9420.]
Attack of the avant-garde! Up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art- O tempora! O mores! -punk poet Patti Smith (not to be confused with Patty Smyth, the long-suffering lady from Scandal who’s married to tennis genius John McEnroe) is performing an All Saint’s Day of poetry, reflections and song for aging boomers in crinkly leather jackets …. Later, downtown, 12 female dancers don black slip dresses and aprons and slink down a courthouse staircase in Descent , a Martha Graham–esque piece reflecting on women as objects of desire within the domestic realm . “We have a permit!” said dancer Camille Dieterle, from (of course) Williamsburg. “It’s very intimate and interactive, a lot of gestural stuff, very sensual-at times, the audience is very physically close to the performers.” What is she implying? And whatever happened to the quaint Friday-night pastime of going out and seeing a nice movie with your sweetie?
[Patti Smith, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 8 p.m., 570-3949;
Descent , Stairwell B, 50 Lafayette Street,
10 p.m., 718-302-5024.]
Hairy guy, naked girl: All your “alternative” friends with the lunchboxes, Betty Paige bangs and Arne Jacobsen furniture are lining up for a Har Mar Superstar get-together in lower Manhattan-Har Mar was Kelly Osbourne’s date at the Video Music Awards. But who is Har Mar Superstar, really? “He rules!” said Jane music editor Jeff Johnson. “He’s kind of a crazy, like, white R&B dude who looks like a young Ron Jeremy. He’s always wearing underwear that are too small. He’s really hairy, but he puts himself across as a smooth ladies’-man guy.” Meanwhile, sedate Knopf staffers unbutton their blouses just a bit at a party for Elisabeth Eaves (see delicate-boned but determined photo), a former journalist for Reuters who has written a raw -therlong memoir about her stint as a stripper at the Lusty Lady -peppered with pensive asides from Jane Austen, Doris Lessing, etc . We wish her all the best, though we have to confess we are slightly weary of women writing “high art” books about discovering how empowering it is to be a stripper, escort, etc., not to mention the burgeoning body of man-lit about “unplugging” and really taking the time to get to know Dad, Tibet or a cabin in the woods ….
[Har Mar Superstar, John Street Bar & Grill, 17 John Street, 9 p.m., 349-3278; Elisabeth Eaves book party, Belly, 155
Rivington Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 572-2104.]
D*mn, we forgot to train for the marathon … again … ! Some 30,000 haggard, hard-core runners huff and puff their way through the boroughs to the feeble cheers of their sex-deprived spouses …. Or you could snuggle on a bearskin rug at the Explorers Club, which is serving Bloody Marys at its first film festival! Highlights include a documentary on hippos, for Manhattan’s many Discovery Channel fans. Lucky editors might enjoy Flip-Flotsam , a look at the life cycle of the thong sandal in Swahili culture. “It’s a great little recycling story,” said festival planner Jeannette Salfeety.
[Marathon, 6 a.m., somewhere on Staten Island, 423-2249; Explorers Club film festival, 46 East 70th Street, 9:30 a.m., 628-8383.]
Donald helps Donna: Will tout New York please lay off Donna Tartt for taking, ooooh, 10 looong years to write her second novel ? God knows we wish some people would spend a little more time polishing up their fiction and a little less burnishing their media images …. Ms. Tartt braves a semi-hostile public tonight at Barnes & Noble; she refused an interview, but fashion designer Donald Deal , who’s celebrating a decade in the fashion biz tonight, was all too happy to pause from pinching models’ arm fat in Chelsea and tell us his hopes for spring: “Muted turquoise and corals and raspberry-I’m a color freak! This homage to black is, for me, really over. Color is happy, and we need happy.” Yeah, get Donna Tartt out of those clunky oxfords! In other fashion-literary news, playwright Wendy Wasserstein told us she’s wearing crinkly Issey Miyake to tonight’s Artists for the Cure benefit at Carnegie Hall, honoring cartwheelin’ designer Betsey Johnson, and also that she’s workshopping a stage musical based on the movie version of An American in Paris , which has our big-cheese editor ready to break into cartwheels himself ….
[Donna Tartt reads, 33 East 17th Street,
7 p.m., 253-0810; Donald Deal shows,
336 West 37th Street, 11th floor, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 727-2220; Artists for the Cure, Carnegie Hall, Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, 7:30 p.m., 516-681-2037.]
Madam, I’m Mamet: More proof that the whole city has gone mad for all things Victorian: Everyone’sfavorite terse playwright, David Mamet, has produced Boston Marriage , a drawing room comedy set in the early 1900’s that stars Martha Plimpton, the thinking woman’s Michelle Pfeiffer , and Kate Burton , whom non-theater buffs may remember from her wonderful work in the infidelity movies The Ice Storm and Unfaithful . Ms. Burton ( daughter of the late, poxy Richard ) called from rehearsal and said, “I play”-deep chuckle-“just this big ham- bone. No, I play a fairly well-to-do woman, a very funny, articulate, well-educated, very funny woman …. It’s different from anything he’s ever written before. It’s very feminine, it’s very female, it’s very poetic, it’s very florid, and it’s really just a hoot . There are a lot of jibes at men and what idiots they all are , and it’s sort of like he’s finally letting that happen.” Us, we’re just worried our Precious is going to start sporting (and cooking) mutton chops …
[425 Lafayette Street, 8 p.m., 239-6200.]
Poster children? If you failed to turn up anything at the Affordable Art Fair (see Oct. 30, above), ree -lax, because the city is Cheese Cube Central tonight …. You’ve got the discreet charm of nonagenarian Louise Bourgeois at the “Artworks for Merce” sale benefiting the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; a nearsighted little clump of international print dealers gathering at the Seventh Regiment Armory; and down near Nolita there’s a party for The Art of Noir , a big coffee-table book about film noir, and a poster fair . An unframed copy of the Postman Always Rings Twice poster- unframed -will set one back $6,000. (We’ll say it again: Boo !)
[Merce Cunningham Studio, 55 Bethune Street, 11th floor, 6 p.m., 344-8420; Print Fair, Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, 5 p.m., 674-6095; Film Noir, Posteritati Movie Poster Gallery,
239 Centre Street, 6 p.m., 226-2207.]