Well, the debates are over, John Kerry is getting ready to watch the complete first season of The L Word on DVD, George Bush is getting ready to be the only monkey elected twice to the Presidency, and we still don’t understand tort reform (makes us think of pie). So we’re itchin’ to pick a fight about something—how about the poncho? How has it happened that all these women—from crocheted hipster to cashmered Upper East Sider —are all walking around looking like that American Girl doll posed outside an adobe? Just stop it! Much like last year’s unfortunate Ugg boots craze, unless you are very tall and very thin, a poncho will not look good on you. And while we’re at it, take off the Lance Armstrong bracelets. Just because. Now you have to admit that Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is a consistent bright spot, plus it makes us proud to hail from central New Jersey. However, the overexposure is sure to be worse than ever as the crew have put out a best-seller, America(The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. “I was sick of us before we started getting all this press,” said contributing author and executive producer Ben Karlin. “Now we can just sit back and await the inevitable backlash.” Tonight, Mr. Karlin will join Mr. Stewart and other assorted Daily Show writers and correspondents for a private reading and cocktails at the New York Public Library for the Young Lions — tweedy punks in their 20’s and 30’s who make yearly donations of $300. Expect to see: young women in Tina Fey glasses and tweed pencil skirts (insistently still wearing flip-flops; get over yourselves, ladies!) mobbing (the married) Mr. Stewart to tell him how his show is their only “real” news source, and young white male writing “teams” trying desperately to get a job because they think they are really, really funny. Good luck, everybody! If you’d rather meet a gal in a backless cocktail dress, former Gucci wonder boy Tom Ford celebrates the publication of his glossy book, called Tom Ford, at Bergdorf Goodman. Tuna tartare, here we come! [Jon Stewart and The Daily Show book reading, the New York Public Library, 8 West 40th Street, 7:30 p.m., 212-930-0887; Tom Ford book party, Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue at 58th Street, 7 to 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
It’s-a time to pay la Renta before your landlord gets-a bent-a outta shape! Oscar de la Renta, the Moby of high society, hosts the annual “Night of Olana” down on Hudson Street, a benefit to preserve the studio of the 19th-century painter and founder of the Hudson River Valley School, Frederic Church. There will be an auction (along with boozy dancing) of Olana-inspired work from luminaries such as hipsterfave Ryan McGinness, Will Cotton, Hope Atherton and Bleecker Street queen Cynthia Rowley. “This is my second year participating,” said Ms. Rowley. “I go to a lot of events that are in the art world, but I feel like this is one of the most glamorous. It’s a terrific mix of fashion, art and philanthropy. Last year we raised a lot of money. I think even my drawing went for a good price.” Expect to see a bushel of boldface-namers (Rockefeller, Sykes, Trump and—Buffett?) “It’s a really special night,” said Ms. Rowley. Crash strategy: wear Cynthia Rowley! In rival beneficial news, tonight is a preview party for the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers show, which funnels funds to the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and allows the uptown set a before-the-grimy-masses peek at the over $500 million worth of fine arts and antiques in the Upper East Side armory. Still
too well-intentioned? Put on a chemise dress, wedge shoes and big, big sunglasses on the top of your head, and then go slightly south and west, where Salvatore Ferragamo and Vogue team up to celebrate the opening of an exhibit called Sirens of the Sixties. (Maybe someday someone will suggest celebrating the sirens of the present day …. ) Your hosts are designer Mary Alice Stephenson and nightclub bouncer Amy Sacco (sigh). [“The Night of Olana,” 275 Hudson Street, 7:30 p.m., http://www.nightofolana.org; the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s 16th Anniversary Preview Party, Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, 5:45 to 9 p.m., 212-874-5457; Sirens of the Sixties, Salvatore Ferragamo, 655 Fifth Avenue, 7 to 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Autumn is something that should always be celebrated, especially in New York City, where good weather is as fleeting as Nicky Hilton’s marriage. David Patrick Columbia, high-society blogger, throws an “Autumn in New York” cocktail party at Doubles, the charmingly dumpy dining club at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel. “It’s just a private cocktail party for my friends and a way to pay back all those invitations,” said Mr. Columbia. Expect to see: the regulars from newyorksocialdiary.com. Next! If you don’t own enough of those olde advertisements of umbrellas or breath mints, the 29th International Vintage Poster Fair arrives in town with a bevy of works by the likes of Capiello, Baumberger and Toulouse-Lautrec (who has always made us wonder whether he was as short or as drunk as Baz Luhrmann made him out to be … ). [“Autumn in New York” party, Doubles, 781 Fifth Avenue, 6 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only (natch); 29th International Vintage Poster Fair, Park Central New York, Grand Ballroom, 870 Seventh Avenue, 5 to 9 p.m., http://www.posterfair.com.
Are you prepared to see Al Roker first thing on a Saturday morning? If so, head down to the Toys “R” Us in Times Square, where Mr. Roker is one of the honorary chairs for the “ Light Up a Life ” benefit, which supports the Department of Pediatrics of New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.Theorganizers seem to think more than 1,000 will show up to the Halloween-themed event with food, face painting, hairbraiding,balloonartists ( meep), magicians and fabled characters (we don’t know either). There is something called “family fun,” which involves a 60-foot indoorFerriswheel (watch your head) and appearances by Strawberry Shortcake, Winnie the Pooh (the real one) and—the Yale Wiffenpoofs. Um, O.K. [Light Up a Life children’s fête, Toys “R” Us, Broadway between 44th and 45th streets, 9 to 11 a.m., 212-821-0967.]
We know that Sunday is a day of rest and all (especially now that, by tacit unspoken agreement, a large swath of New Yorkers have realized that the Sunday New York Times is surprisingly easy to ignore), but today get outside and do some exercise for a cause! At the American Diabetes Association’s Walk for Diabetes and Fitness Festival up in Riverside Park this morning, participants walk a five-mile route along the river; the press release promises “live entertainment, vendors and exciting giveaways” (uh-oh) at the finish line. If you’d rather fatten up, head to Times Square for the last day of Gourmet ’s “Gourmet Institute” weekend, which offers a variety of panels, discussion and general Epicurean delights. Today Gourmet’s sexy editor in chief, Ruth Reichl (who just put out the mother lode of cookbooks), gives a seminar and demonstration at the Gourmet headquarters, located inside the Death Star (a.k.a. Condé Nast). [America’s Walk for Diabetes and Fitness Festival, Riverside Park, entrance at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street, 8:30 a.m., 888-342-2383; the Gourmet Institute’s Seminars/Demonstrations, 4 Times Square, fourth floor, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., http://www.gourmetinstitute.com.
Feels like just yesterday when a young fella in a fancy suit named Jay McInerny published a first novel about downtown debauchery, Bright Lights, Big City, which became essential reading for the young literary set and raised the profile of coke-snorting New Yorker fact-checkers everywhere. “It certainly doesn’t feel like 20 years,” said Mr. McInerny, calling from his cell phone en route to Santa Barbara. “The city is so different now. Me and Odeon are probably the only remnants of that era.” Odeon, immortalized on the cover of the book (with the Twin Towers eerily still behind it), was the logical choice of venue to celebrate the book’s 20th anniversary this evening, with over 200 invited well-wishers. “The great thing about this city is that it changes every five minutes,” mused Mr. McInerny. “I remember when everything we were doing felt so new —staying out late, going to a dangerous neighborhood and doing drugs. It felt like such an original life. Getting on the subway to go downtown and back really felt like you were taking your life in your hands. In many ways, the city is a safer and more civilized place. Which I guess is a good thing.” And of his book’s characters: Where would all that drug money be going today? “I think they’re spending it on private-school tuition and mortgages,” said Mr. McInerny, who in addition to his role as wine columnist at House and Garden just finished a new novel. Tonight expect to see: usual suspects Bret Easton Ellis, Julian Schnabel and Debbie Harry in addition to some youngsters like Zac Posen (who most likely hadn’t even learned to read in 1984). Crash strategy: see if the Odeon bathroom stalls can still fit four! Speaking of wine, the St. Francis Winery and Vineyards is hosting a night of red meat and red wine tasting at Guastavino’s this evening (Atkins dieters, start your engines!). Celebrity chefs such as Marcus Samuelson and Waldy Malouf will be on hand, plus members of the New York City Giants team, who apparently are foodies when they’re off the field (only in New York, kids). The evening benefits the American Institute of Wine & Food’s New York chapter. “St. Francis is one of my favorites and one of our best-selling wines,” said Smith & Wollensky sommelier Kevin. “The more powerful the wine, the better the sirloin tastes.” Now we’re hungry! And speaking of which, GQ editor in chief Jim Nelson and his deputy, Michael Hainey, host a celebration for their food critic Alan Richman’s new book, Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater, at the Four Seasons tonight. Be on the watch for leering GQ editors telling the ladies that they once ate a wolf. [Bright Lights, Big City anniversary party, Odeon, 145 West Broadway, 6 to 9 p.m., by invitation only; St. Francis’ Big Red Event, Guastavino, 409 East 59th Street, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., 718-229-6565; GQ’s Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater, the Four Seasons, 99 East 52nd street, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only.]
Cops sup on chops: The Police Athletic League is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and today holds its Women of the Year luncheon benefiting the league. “We serve over 70,000 boys and girls throughout the five boroughs,” said executive director John J. Ryan. This year’s honorees include the always Jersey-reppin’ Kelly Ripa, Time Out New York ’s Cyndi Stivers, CNN’s Paula Zahn and Deloitte & Touche’s Sharon Allen. “Liz Smith is our M.C.,” said Mr. Ryan, “and we always have a great turnout of celebrities. It’s a really great event for us.” The luncheon, which is held in conjunction with the WB11 Care for Kids fund, will be held at the Pierre. Less beneficial, we’re sure, is the mysterious party at Bungalow 8 thrown by Starwood Hotels & Resorts: The invite arrived in the shape of a giant key with a note proclaiming a “chic cabana soiree” (yikes) and with an orange-and-white fringy tassle that a certain cat we know is going to be awfully happy with! [The 16th Annual Women of the Year Luncheon, Pierre, Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, 11:45 a.m., 212-477-9450; Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Bungalow 8, 515 West 27th Street, 6:30 to 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Phew! We were worried that maybe we had overhyped America’s Next Top Model, and that perhaps it had lost some of its luster. Silly, silly us. Thankfully, we’re back with the girl-fighting and the ass-flashing and the runway competition and all the elements that make us remember just how horrible girls really can be. Thank you, UPN. Best. Show. Ever. [America’s Next Top Model, UPN, 8 p.m.]