January 21, 2004 – January 28, 2004
Before Seinfeld , before Swingers , before American Pie, there was Diner – Kevin Bacon before the Kevin Bacon game, Ellen Barkin before Ron Perelman, and Mickey Rourke before a plastic surgeon made him look like Bea Arthur …. Tonight, the 1982 flick gets screened uptown. And , at the other end of the spectrum, the Bluestockings bookstore hosts “Best Lesbian Erotica 2004,” with your M.C., Tristan Taormino , film auteur ( The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women ) and author ( True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn, and Perversion ) … or was that David Denby? “For me, good sex writing is like good sex,” Ms. Taormino, 32, told us from her Brooklyn brownstone. “It has to be compelling, it needs to hold your attention; you need to get invested in the people who are fucking each other, who are not fucking each other …. I want there to be context, and I want there to be something at stake in the sexual encounter-from a really good orgasm to a new relationship, or revitalizing an old relationship. I’d just like there to be something at stake.” (Speaking of lesbians, how depressing is it to think of all the horny, sexually frustrated Upper West Side and Park Slope hetero couples who will be giddily sitting down to watch the new cable show The L Word , once the tykes are tucked in …? ) Meanwhile, speaking of having something at stake, would-be Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry’s supporters gather tonight at Caroline’s on Broadway under the saucy eye of Bebe Neuwirth , with song stylings by Carole King . Let’s hope, for Mr. Kerry’s sake, that she doesn’t sing “It’s Too Late” or “You’ve Been Around Too Long.” Though the choice of Ms. King is much better than Mr. Kerry’s recent campaign pal, Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow , who was reportedly trying to get a bit friendly with some of the ladies on the bus …. What did he think this was-the Clinton campaign? But buck up, Mr. Kerry-you’ve still got the best damn hair in New England .
[ Diner at Loews Cinema, 2310 Broadway, 7 p.m., 212-924-5969, ext. 325; Best Lesbian Erotica 2004, Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, 7 p.m.; Fund-raiser for John Kerry, Caroline's on Broadway, 1626 Broadway, 6 p.m., 212-213-0220 or email@example.com.]
“Shed the pounds, ya fat bastard!” the doc tells us , but we scoff and say: Pass the buffalo wings, sawbones! “Gentleman” Joe Menchetti, a 350-pound professional B-wing eater, warns us amateurs, “There was one hot-dog eating contest that I was on Ripley’s Believe It or Not for, where the hot dogs weren’t terribly good. Those seemed to go through me pretty quick.” We’d like to spend a moment pondering what it means for this great city that bulk food-eating contests have come to town, but perhaps that’s best left unexamined.
[Frank's RedHot Battle to the Bone Buffalo Wing Eating Championship, Madison Square Garden, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 973-744-0707, ext. 16.]
Hillary’s old comrades, the Socialist Party of New York City, meets . Sez the Web site, tonight’s bash “may prove to be one of our most interesting events of 2004 (and it’s only January!).” The Partisan Review doesn’t know what it’s missing-party like it’s 1939! Or, if you happen to be Scottish , hit up Howie Nicholsby, head designer at 21st Century Kilts, for a fitting. He skirted Vin Diesel for last month’s European MTV Awards. “He put it on with a black wool neck jumper and a big pair of boots, and straight-away it was like a duck to water,” said Mr. Nicholsby, who added that it’s only a matter of time before New York blokes get ducky, too. “I look at it like, women never used to wear trousers- but try and tell women now they can’t wear trousers and there’d be a revolution, you know? They’ve built up, over decades, the right and comfort of wearing trousers to being socially acceptable-and it’s taken hundreds of years. So for men to start wearing skirts in the Western world, the way our society is built, its going to take major steps.” Also, 2004 is the Year of the Monkey, and we don’t plan to let this milestone go unnoticed. To kick things off, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is offering complimentary 20-minute acupuncture treatments. Heck, give it a try- you’ve already got one prick in your life, a few more ain’t gonna hurt ….
[New York Socialist Project meeting, Worker Education Center, 25 West 43rd Street, 19th floor, 6:30 p.m., firstname.lastname@example.org; Kilt fittings, the Roosevelt Hotel, East 45 Street at Madison Avenue, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 678-571-4746; Chinese New Year celebration, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, 915 Broadway, third floor, 2 to 7 p.m., 212-982-3456.]
We’re still waiting to meet a guy like Robert Mitchum, who once told a dame, “Stick with me, babe, and you’ll be farting through silk …. ” Instead, all we get is guys who want to string a girl along while yakking about their emotions and issues …. Today, our own Andrew Sarris travels to far-off Queens and introduces Out of the Past , starring that bad boy Mitchum and Kirk Douglas. Plot: Gas-station attendant is summoned to meet with gambler with whose mistress he once had affair. High jinks ensue . Ladies , if you’ve ever wanted to be one of those snow-boarding *ssholes , now would be the time: get thee to Vermont’s Killington Resort this morning and participate in a two-hour clinic for females. Proceeds go to a worthy cause (Boarding for Breast Cancer Foundation). And it will be warmer than N.Y.C. …
[ Out of the Past , American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue at 36th Street, Astoria, Queens, 2 p.m., 718-784-0077; Breast Cancer Board-A-Thon, Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt., 9 to 11 a.m., http://www.opgirlslearntoride.com to register.]
If Oscar and Emmy had a baby, what would they name it? The Golden Globes! Tonight’s the night of the most entertaining awards show in showbiz-because the stars don’t care, so they get bombed and make inappropriate jokes. Speaking of jokes, the E! network’s resident mascots, Melissa and Joan Rivers (sporting a new Lee Press-on Face), will be on the red carpet. Watch them give out this year’s Lara Flynn Boyle Award and make the inevitable “Check out those Golden Globes!” crack whenever Salma Hayek or Heather Graham walks by. If you’re looking for something high (besides those celebs), pull on your satin, Cinderella gloves and last season’s Tahari gown and allow us to introduce Jonathan Biss. Tonight, the 23-year-old plucky piano phenom takes on Carnegie Hall. “This will be my second time playing Carnegie Hall, so I know how exciting it is,” Mr. Biss said from his one-bedroom in Washington Heights. “There’s a kind of nervous energy when you’re onstage that I think is really important . ” Why should we come to see you? “I don’t like that question! I would say that what’s appealing about these concerts-it’s a series, you know-is the fact that they cover all of Schumann’s orchestral music; and the orchestra- Staatskapelle Berlin -plays this music with incredible authority.” How’d you get into this racket? “I come from a very musical family , in which both of my parents are violinists, so it was very natural for me. I think I asked to start playing piano for the first time when I was 4, but my parents thought I was too young. They gave in when I was 6.” The same thing happened with us when we wanted to watch The Making of “Thriller” .
[Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 8 p.m.; Jonathan Biss, Carnegie Hall, West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, 2 p.m., 212-247-7800.]
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, oh my! The literary troika invades the Gonk to fête Colin Harrison and his new Michiko-approved novel, The Havana Room . Bonus dirty excerpt! A black female hand appeared over his shoulder, graceful as a falling leaf, the tiny red pill floating on a soft, milk-chocolate palm. He plucked it up and clapped it into his mouth, where a thick tongue came down and swept it inward like the crushing device in the back of a garbage truck. “I probably have always been fascinated by garbage trucks on some level,” Mr. Harrison, 43, told us from his office at Scribner, where he is a senior editor. “Probably since moving to New York. All our stuff goes in them, right? They take away everything that we as New Yorkers discard, and they’re sort of this kind of automotive river that flushes us constantly.” A little ways downtown, two women we’d rather not piss off-Uma Thurman and Angela Bassett -wrap their embossedbicepsaround John Leguizamo and other big stars at the ” Room to Grow ” Benefit Auction for underprivileged babies. Stuff you can bid on includes a) selecting two outfits from Armani’s New York store and then flying with a guest to Milan for four days to attend Armani’s private show; b) having Carly Simon write a song just for you -yes, you’re so vain!-to be recorded at her Martha’s Vineyard home, where you can sing backup and tool around the island in her vintage red Mercedes ( beep-beep! ); or c) having Union Square Café chef Danny Meyer host a dinner party at your home for you and nine freeloading friends. Mr. Meyer sticks around to pour wine personally selected (i.e., left over) from his wine cellar to get everyone good and sloshy .
[Colin Harrison book party, the Algonquin Hotel, Oak Room, 59 West 44th Street, 6 to 8 p.m., 212-741-6900, ext. 277; Room to Grow Benefit Auction, Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 6:30 p.m., 212-573-6933.]
Who says Dartmouth grads never amount to anything? Aisha (6- foot-0 in her stocking feet) Tyler bounced out of Hanover, told her poli-sci degree to shove it and instead became the Tyra Banks of stand-up comedy (see sumptuous photo). She made Talk Soup worth watching again when she took over as host after Greg Kinnear pulled his ladle out, and recently popped up on Friends playing Ross’ girlfriend (as if! ). Now she’s lent her wicked sense of humor to her new book, Swerve: A Guide to the Sweet Life for Postmodern Girls . (Think Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig’s Swell books. Only good.) Today she does the sign-and-chat thing at the Wall Street Borders and gets drooled over by Goldman Sachs hacks on lunch break. But first, more eating contests? What is going on here, people? This morning, Eric Booker tries to beat his world record of downing 21 matzo balls in five minutes, 25 seconds . “I had Ben’s send me over a few matzo balls so I could study them and figure out my strategy -cut ‘em in half, spoon ‘em up or just eat ‘em like an apple,” he said from his son’s school on Long Island, where he was “dealing with a school matter.” What’s your day job, sir? “I’m a conductor on the No. 7 train. ‘Stand clear of the closing doors!’”
[Borders, 100 Broadway, 1 p.m., 212-964-1988; Matzo Ball Eating Contest, Ben's Kosher Deli, 209 West 38th Street, 10 a.m., 888-344-BENS.]
Nowhere’sadilemma: Should you go see Chris Rock bring down the house at Madison Square Garden-or cable-TV host Tina Brown and New Yorker writer Ken Auletta mull “The Business of News” at the 92nd Street Y? If you answered B, well, there’s only so much we can do for you now …. If you can’t get tix to Mr. Rock, Jane Curtin (sans conehead, she’s 5-foot-3) reads at Symphony Space.
[Chris Rock at Madison Square Garden Theater, 8 p.m., call Ticketmaster; "The Business of News," 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-415-5500; Jane Curtin reads for "Three Funny Friends," Symphony Space, Broadway and 95th Street, 8 p.m., 212-864-5400.]