Make vroom! Welcome to November, a month that people take a little bit too seriously , a month of melancholy and corduroy , and the only time of year you’ll hear New Yorkers utter the word “succotash” with a straight face on the crosstown bus …. Now that subway service is starting to lag and subway cars are turning back into rolling homeless shelters (can you spell “projected $6 billion city budget deficit for 2003″?), all sorts of New Yorkers have decided that they actually live in Europe and are zipping perilously around town on Vespa motor scooters , looking like, well, complete idiots (if you’re not a skinny guy from Rome, don’t even try it … ). And so tonight, an 1,800-square-foot Vespa boutique opens in Soho with a party-invitees include skinny designer/homemaking hostess Cynthia Rowley , the usual retinue from The Sopranos and
actor Matthew Broderick ( baby on board! ).
[13 Crosby Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 822-8171.]
Sufferin’ Soon-Yi? Woody Allen recently called himself a “failed artist” in the Italian press, so one can only imagine the earful his wife is getting …. Tonight, three guys in their 30′s from Levittown, Long Island, present a satire, Who Killed Woody Allen? (plot: the Woodman has been poisoned and his celebrity friends are all suspects). “It’s kind of odd and sort of dark,” said director and co-writer Tom Dunn , who came up with the idea after he lost the rights to produce Mr. Allen’s Death . He insists there’s nothing vindictive about it. “We’re making every effort to get him down; I think he’d get a kick out of it. We’re not dealing with the Soon-Yi thing, personal stuff. It’s sort of a send-up of celebrities more than it’s about Woody-Woody’s just a device, I guess.” Meanwhile, it’s beginning to dawn on us that our Thanksgiving is decidedly not going to be straight out of Hannah and Her Sisters but more like Take the Money and Run , maybe with a soupçon of Sleeper ….
[Triad Theater, 158 West 72nd Street, 9:15 p.m., 206-1515.]
Two more store parties … Get ready for your man to stink like a sperm whale! But first , the mossy scent of wet wool floods midtown as Burberry hotshot Rose Marie Bravo welcomes a passel of Brits- Viscount David and Viscountess Serena Linley, model Stella Tennant, editors Glenda Bailey and Sykes sisters Lucy and Alice (not Plum, alas; she’s in London)-to the spankin’ new 24,000-square-foot, six-floor Burberry store on 57th Street , with its floating, folded-wood grand staircase, decorative fireplaces, gentlemen’s lounge and tea bar. Quasi-deep question to pose to the addled Brits: Are stores the new palaces? Meanwhile, slightly loopy French designer Paco Rabanne -who makes clothes out of metal discs, believes in Nostradamus , etc.-launches his new ambergris-based fragrance, Ultraviolet Man ($55 for a 3.4-ounce eau de toilette spray). Question to pose to French people : When the heck did your men stop washing and start wearing eau de toilette ?
[Burberry store opening, 9 East 57th Street, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 228-5555; Ultraviolet Man launch, Vue, 151 East 50th Street, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 564-6367.]
Break out the ear plugs, do-gooders! Strangely resurgent 80′s pop-metal band Bon Jovi is playing at a party for the Robin Hood Foundation (helps poor children); still-experimenting-after-all-these-years musician Laurie Anderson is booked at the Dia Center for the Arts fall gala; and, downtown, the Rhythm Collective and Full Circle Souljahs are thumpin’ away at Safe Space’s benefit-watch for committee member and moon-faced Columbia undergrad Julia Stiles to trot out the “urban” moves she busted in Save the Last Dance ….
[Robin Hood Rocks party, Roseland, 239 West 52nd Street, 7 p.m., 227-6601; Dia Center, 548 West 22nd Street, 6:30 p.m., 243-7300; Safe Space, Capitale, 130 Bowery Street, 8 p.m., 226-3536.]
Buttolph, buttocks … Our pet theory-that New York Times restaurant critic Biff (“One Star”) Grimes went on hiatus to sulk about his section’s “buzzy” hire of Nigella Lawson -is blown to smithereens! The New York Eats Out exhibit at the New York Public Library, which Mr. Grimes has been curating these many months, opens today, drawing extensively from the Buttolph Menu Collection you didn’t know the great library was harboring …. Later, one more reason to skip Secretary : The Film Forum shows The Phantom of Liberty , Luis Buñuel’s kinkiest comedy- leather-clad maîtress whips businessman’s bared rump as moviegoers titter smugly into their spouses’ necks.
[ New York Eats Out , New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 11 a.m., 930-0830; The Phantom of Liberty , Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 727-8110.]
Rosie’s got balls … Magazine-editor-gone-terribly-awry Rosie O’Donnell resurfaces suddenly as auctioneer at the Promise Ball benefiting juvenile diabetes, M.C.’d by NBC’s Chuck Scarborough (wears lady’s glasses). Meanwhile, the milking of The Sopranos ‘ moment continues, with “Comedy You Can’t Refuse,” a night of Italian-American comedy and music hosted by Steven R. Schirripa , (plays Bobby Baccala, one of the more lovable characters on the show). “It’s going to be easygoing fun, and that’s it,” Mr. Schirripa told us. “I’ve hosted quite a bit of stuff, you know-goddamn phone.” We inquired about his book, A Goomba Guide to Life . “I’m sick of talking about it.” No prob!
[Promise Ball, Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 689-2860; Comedy You Can't Refuse, Comedy Garden, , 8 p.m., 307-7171.]
Prima Donnas! O.K., so no one’s exactly staying up all night under the bedclothes with a flashlight and a big bag of Cheetos, unable to put Donna Tartt’s new novel down …. So what? The most overscrutinized second act in American letters stomps to the Upper East Side tonight for a reading and some finger foods …. Meanwhile, in Williamsburg-the new home of the landed gentry-it’s a Generation Y band called the Donnas . Donna R., a.k.a. guitarist Allison Robertson, 23 and married(?!) , called from outside Minneapolis to address misconceptions about her group. “There are so many , I mean it’s hard to figure out where to start -we have a list! The biggest ones are that we’re not good people; that we’re, like-you know, slutty and really f*cked up …. I think a lot of times, people think of us as a joke band -you know, like it’s all a big farce -and it’s sad, it’s sad that people can’t grasp the fact that we, like, know full well what we’re doing. We know fully well where the humor is and where the humor isn’t .” Anyone else miss the Spice Girls?
[Donna Tartt reads, Lenox Hill Bookstore, 1018 Lexington Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 472-7170; Donnas, Warsaw, 261 Driggs Avenue, 8 p.m., 718-387-0505.]
Feeling the Pinchbeck: Shopping and tripping: A pre-holiday sample sale downtown benefits amFAR (worthy AIDS charity)-”There’s lamps, pillows, body lotions, stuff like that,” said amFar’s Stefanie Paupeck. Later, a panel titled “Shamanism and Globalization” features yage-swilling carpet knight Daniel Pinchbeck , Open City co-founder and author of Breaking Open the Head : A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism . Anyone else feel we’ve had enough of men writing about inner quests and ladies writing about the “work/life” balance?
[Samples Off Fifth, International Toy
Center, 1107 Broadway, 3 p.m., 806-1724; Shamanism and Globalization, Lecture Hall, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 7 p.m., 854-6842.]
Two more Daniels: Downright adorable chef Daniel Boulud celebrates his new book, Chef Daniel Boulud Cooking in New York City . Special Eight-Day Week correspondent Noelle Hancock asked M. Boulud, ” If you could be any food, what would you be?” To which he saucily replied: “It depends on whether you want to be licked, chewed or smelled. If I want to be licked, I’d like to be rum-raisin ice cream with chocolate chips …. As for chewing, I’d like to be a piece of sausage-it’s so tough and dry.” What does he think of the phrase You are what you eat ? “Why do you think I’m holding a hot dog on the cover of the book?” Is there anything that he doesn’t like to cook? “I don’t like to cook things that are slimy and gooey … like okra. But as long as it’s fresh, I don’t mind if it’s pig’s feet, frog’s legs or calf’s brains. And if I don’t want to cook it, I’ll get someone else to do it for me.” Somewhat easier crash mark for tonight: Details editor Daniel Peres has a party for Politically Incorrect washout Bill Maher , whom Mr. Peres has hired to write a column in an ongoing attempt to get someone- anyone! -to read Details . Post-post-ironic party-escort possibility: radio host Kurt Andersen!
[Daniel Boulud, Daniel, 60 East 65th Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 933-5267; Details party, Paramount Bar, Paramount Hotel, 235 West 46th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 630-4839.]
Karenna Gore warning in effect for tonight, as her environmentally conscious but tubby Dad – Al Gore to the rest of us-bellies into town with wife Tipper to do some sloppy, public French kissing and plug their new book, Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family , at the 92nd Street Y. Prepare yourself for lots of “humorous” one-liners from Mr. Gore about Florida and chads and “stolen elections,” which reveal a seething inner rage that he’s apparently quenching with lots of eclairs.
[Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, 8 p.m., 415-5500.]