How to maintain your vacation tan? If you’re like us, you’ve replaced your desk-lamp bulb with one of those faux-sunlight bulbs they use on hydroponic plants. Though in a Web-based world, no one cares how tan you are: Today Internet tappers such as Elizabeth Spiers (gawker.com) and David Patrick Columbia (newyorksocialdiary.com) sit on a panel in Tribeca that’s tied in with a book-launch bash for Buzz: Harness the Principles of Influence and Create Demand by Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O’Reilly. We called Ms. Spiers-whose Web site is “dedicated exclusively to frivolity and excess” -at her East Village pad, and the Alabama native told us she’d recently returned from a speaking engagement in Des Moines. “I was speaking at the Meredith Corporation, which publishes Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal ,” she said. “It’s funny, because my parents don’t really understand what I do. They’ve never heard of people like Tina Brown and have never heard of any of the New York–based publications. I could be writing for The New Yorker and my parents would be like, ‘Oh, that’s nice ! You’re writing for a local publication.’ But as soon as they heard Better Homes and Gardens , they got really excited.”
[ Buzz launch, Tribeca Grand Hotel screening room, 2 Avenue of the Americas, 5:30 p.m., 212-886-2074.]
Sydney beats New York? Not bloody likely ! But so say the folks at Travel and Leisure magazine (The poor man’s Condé Nast Traveler ? Or the other way around? Can we get a ruling on this?), who dole out their annual “World’s Best” awards tonight on a pier on the West Side Highway, as the pier’s cuddly crowd of transsexual prostitutes looks on with glee. According to the mag, New York is the world’s sixth-best city , while the aforementioned Aussie outpost wins to honors. T&L editor Nancy Novogrod celebrates 10 years at her post and, after dinner, guests have the chance to win an African safari. No word yet if you get a meet-and-greet with the Reverend Al Sharpton in Liberia .
[World's Best Awards, the Pier, West Side Highway at Charles Street, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., by invitation only.]
It’s National Salad Week … Have fun trying to sleep tonight with that knowledge. Meanwhile, now that MTV is one long reality show ( Zzzzzzzzzzz ), sister channel VH1 attempts to save the music at its annual benefit out on Long Island. A silent auction includes signed photos of bonkers babe Mariah Carey and Hootie and the Blowfish (heh, heh-it’s too easy), along with a tinkly Steinway piano. Whom you’ll make beautiful music with: Revlon honcho Ron Perelman , Mad. Ave. wild man Donny Deutsch , rap mogul and yoga buff Russell Simmons and trumpeting Wynton Marsalis . It all plays out at a nice house in East Hampton , where the summer people are in a tizzy just because some nice young men , in the first blush of romance, have taken to having public sex on the beaches adjacent to multimillion-dollar homes.
[VH1 Save the Music, Reid residence, 68 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, 7 to 9:30 p.m., 212-808-4747.]
The ho’s of the ho-ho-Hamptons pull out all the stops this weekend, so try to ignore the five hours on the L.I.E., and the fact that sand plus sunblock combine to form that thin layer of paste that won’t wash off, as the East End is going to be trying its best to approximate what it thinks a swish seaside community should be like …. First up, this afternoon-designer Donna Karan teams up with Charla Lawhon , InStyle magazine’s miniskirt-eschewing editor, to host a benefit for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, where you can shop a designer garage sale alongside Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Petra Nemcova , fertile TV hostess Kelly Ripa , highly underrated (and underutilized) actor Kyle MacLachlan , and comedienne Ali Wentworth and her husband(!), George Stephanopoulos. Then grab your sticky mat for Guild Hall’s screening of Ashtanga, NY , a documentary about yoga master Pattabhi Jois and his devoted following, filmed during his 2001 New York City workshop. After the flick, drop by the party at Bamboo, where you can compare your tree pose with rangy Willem Dafoe , Beastie Boy Mike D. and macrobiotic Gwyneth , who might recite some Sylvia Plath poems if you’re nice to her. After two shots of wheat grass , hop on your Vespa ( brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrup! ) and scoot over to Russell Simmons’ house in East Hampton, where he’s throwing a phiesta, Art for Life , to benefit underprivileged urban youth. It’s hosted by the ubiquitous Sex and the City cast member ( Cynthia Nixon today) along with actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer ( The Kings of Comedy ). If you’re one of the lucky few “stuck” in the city this weekend, memoirist and anti-irony ironist Dave Eggers reads from the paperback edition of his novel You Shall Know Our Velocity! on the Lower East Side tonight. Expect “perky” camisole-clad editorial assistants hoping the bush-haired author’s new bride doesn’t show up ….
[East Hampton Benefit, Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, 8 p.m., 212-935-1558, ext. 170; Super Saturday 6, Nova's Ark Project, Water Mill, the Hamptons, 1 to 6 p.m., 212-268-1205; Art for Life, Russell Simmons' house in East Hampton, 6 p.m., 212-997-3020; Dave Eggers, Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street, 7 p.m., 212-358-7501.]
O.K., so remember when we said that New York City is a trove of fun and stimulation on summer weekends , and that only shallow, social-climbing fools endure the hassles of getting to the Hamptons? Well … we lied. Take today- please ! Then again, maybe a potato painter could be fun …. Meet East Village artist Peter Arkle , an Edinburgh, Scotland, native who grew up eating loads of potatoes and so now has an exhibition of his drawings and paintings of the sturdy vegetable on display downtown. How does he choose his potato models? “I usually just run out to the nearest deli, or sometimes a fancy food shop,” said Mr. Arkle. “I decided that very common Yukon Golds made perfect models. Sometimes they even have faces. With all those eyes, it’s easy to see faces in potatoes.” Don’t worry, this will all be over soon.
[WALLFILL, Big Cat Gallery, 154 Orchard Street, 212-982-6210.]
“Mindy and I lived together when we first arrived in New York. We were unemployed and there was a heat wave going on, so we spent a lot of time inside with the air-conditioner reading entertainment magazines . We started doing impressions of them and felt we got a good idea of who they were, and that’s when we got the idea for the play.” That’s Brenda Withers , explaining why she and Mindy Kaling are starring in an Off Broadway play, Matt & Ben , about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck before the boys were famous. “I love Ben. Love him!” shouted Mindy. “I just want to bronze him and put him in my apartment!” The actresses haven’t formally invited the dynamic duo, but they’re welcome to come, according to Mindy, “if they can get a ticket!”
[P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-477-5288.]
You’ll kick yourself if you miss this one: Ringo Starr -who, like Paul McCartney, apparently didn’t get the memo that it’s over-plays at Radio City Music Hall with His All-Star Band.
[Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue,
8 p.m., 212-307-7171.]
If you’re a New York call girl- and who, when you get right down to it, isn’t? -you’ve probably already read Tracy Quan’ s Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl . It was alllllmost optioned by Julia Roberts , but then she married her deli guy or something …. Tonight, Ms. Quan reads from her “fictionalized” memoir at Rocky Sullivan’s Pub on Lexington Avenue, but try not to ask any racy questions. “One time I was at a reading that was attended by my mother’s best friend, ” said Ms. Quan. “It was really embarrassing, because one of the town’s local, uh, colorful, characters asked me, ‘Why did you turn to prostitution? Are you a nymphomaniac?’ She didn’t tell my mother, though.” Meanwhile, if you’re one of those people who, for some reason, love to hate the current Mayor , drop by the open-mike night at New York Comedy Club for an I Hate (the New ) New York comedy slam. “You can’t even walk down a New York City street any more between the hours of 7 and 11 p.m.!” griped producer Rich Adamo. “We got a buddy of mine to pose and then superimposed the Mayor’s headshot.It worked out great, because he’s got that same sort of miniature head like Bloomberg has-that voodoo shrunken head.” First-place winner in tonight’s yukfest receives “a billion years’ free admission” to the club for two-a $38 billion value. We say : Show up and remind the comics that if it weren’t for Mr. Bloomberg’s able handling of the city’s economy, chances are quite good they’d have been on a bus back home to Pittsburgh several months ago.
[ Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl , Rocky Sullivan's Pub, 129 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-725-3871; I Hate (the New) New York , New York Comedy Club, 241 East 24th Street, 7 p.m., 212-696-5233.]
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