November 10, 2004 – November 17, 2004

Wednesday    10th

We’ve learned some interesting lessons this week: that the island we choose to call home has more in common with Reykjavik than with the rest of the U.S.A.; that November is turning out, sadly, not to be the new October; that apparently a lot of Americans love monkeys. We’d like to just continue wistfully watching West Wing reruns on Bravo, but clearly, the time has come for the city to unite in the things that really

matter, like trying in vain to get a reservation at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, complaining about the Knicks’ slow start and participating in mob hatred of Tony Danza. And if you feel the need to get out there and do something, there are plenty of benefits : Tonight at Capitale, the Sanford White–designed former bank that now houses wanks from the Upper East Side, the fourth annual Aid for AIDS benefit puts out some cocktails, dinner and do-good dancing in order to raise funds for medication and education for those suffering with H.I.V./AIDS in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Among the expected are supporters like pretty-dress designer Carolina Herrera, former First Daughter (and perhaps future one, too) Chelsea Clinton and b-friend/beard Ian Klaus. If you’re feeling lucky, try to sneak past the undercover Secret Service agents (trying to blend into the downtown scene by wearing dirty jeans and Von Dutch caps) and into the after-party at Suba. Next! Equally beneficial is Housing Works’ “Fashion 4 Action” benefit tonight at the Rubin Museum in Chelsea, with proceeds going to New Yorkers suffering from H.I.V./AIDS. Hosted by the lovely Natasha Richardson (who apparently gets to be beautiful, talented

and married to tall Irish drink of water Liam Neeson- harrumph ), the evening provides the de rigueur cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a chance to shop at “charitable prices” from participating vendors like the homoerotic-catalog folks at Abercrombie and Fitch, the fancy-ass sweatpants designer Juicy Couture and expensive-yet-fabulous jean designer Paper Denim and Cloth. Expect to see: honorary chairs like the very-fun-name-to-say Mariska Hargitay and Roc-A-Fella Damon Dash. The evening calls for “fashionably festive” attire, which is the way we like to think Teresa Heinz Kerry dresses after a few strawberry margaritas at Chi Chi’s.

[Aid for AIDS benefit, Capitale, 130 Bowery, 212-337-8043, ext. 29; Fashion 4 Action, Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, 6:30 p.m., http://www.fashion4action.com.

Thursday       11th

Happy Veterans Day! If you see a veteran out there, be sure to smile (and enjoy the suspended alternate-side parking). Tonight’s do-good event is the “One World, One Child Benefit: Creating a Healthier World for All Children,” which takes place in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza. Being honored for her contribution is Olivia Newton John. “There’s a personal connection with Olivia Newton John, as well as her being our national spokesman for a decade,” said Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC) executive director Elizabeth Sword. “She was godmother to [founders] Nancy and Jim Chuda’s child, who passed away at the age of 5.” The evening benefits both the CHEC and Arts for Healing, a not-for-profit music- and art-therapy center for children with special needs, and both “share a dedication to creating a healthier future for all children.” Also being honored are Dr. Clive Robbins and Whole Foods Market, the place with the impressive checkout organization. There will be a live auction and entertainment provided from 80’s ballad crooner Richard Marx (where they unearthed him from, we have no idea). Next! If you’re a chocolate lover, you’re in luck as the Seventh Annual Chocolate Show rolls into town for the next four days at the Metropolitan Pavilion. If you think this is just a festival to walk around stuffing your fat face, you’re not thinking big picture-and by “big,” we mean there will be 40,000 square feet of chocolate, including a chocolate fashion show featuring dresses made with chocolate from designers like Patricia Field and Nicole Miller. And if you’re stuck waiting in line, you will be served hot chocolate. We’ve also learned that if you write the word “chocolate” enough times, it starts to look just plain wrong.

[One World, One Child Benefit, Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, 6:30 p.m., 914-834-2868; the Chocolate Show, Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building, 125 West 18th Street, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., http://www.chocolateshow.com.

Friday             12th

O Canada! Starting a two-night run at the Beacon Theater is “Canadian musical sensation” Gregory Charles performing his show Black and White, an autobiographical account of Mr. Charles’ life growing up as a child prodigy (he performed his first piano recital at Carnegie Hall at 12) in an ethnically diverse family in Montreal. Seriously? Who here wouldn’t benefit from kissing some Canadian ass …. You know what we mean? We think you do. More mysterious is the New Beaver Moon- hello! -Drumming Circle held in Park Slope tonight with Donna Henes, urban shaman. From what we understand (and we were a little too freaked out to investigate further), the urban shaman calls on “all eager beavers to try and dam the destructive floods of apathy.” Tell your Wiccan roommate.

[Gregory Charles’ Black and White, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 8 p.m., 212-307-7171; New Beaver Moon Drumming Circle, Mama Donna’s Tea Garden and Healing Haven (natch), Park Slope, 7:30 p.m., 718-857-1343.]

Saturday       13th

Remember pub crawling in college-the night that started with good intentions and a clean T-shirt? Today we have the Chelsea Art Crawl, a gallery-to-gallery journey that ends with a buffet supper at the “triplex home of contemporary art collectors Susan and Michael Hort” ( braggarts ). The money being raised goes to the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, which has a dual mission of supporting emerging artists and also people suffering with cancer.

[The Chelsea Art Crawl, Feigen Contemporary, 535 West 20th Street, noon for registration, http://www.remahortmannfoundation.org.

Sunday           14th

Gas up the S.U.V. and leave it in the garage: The Triple Pier Antiques Show, billed as “New York’s Largest Antiques Event” (take that, Chelsea flea market!), rolled into town yesterday, and the organizers promise “pier pleasure” (sigh). Among the offerings is a special exhibit of Art Deco lighters in unusual shapes (“precocious dogs”, “sophisticated nudes.”) There will also be, of course, furniture, lighting, Italian glass, collectibles, wallpaper designs, vintage clothing, radios, buttons, rugs and dolls ( eep ). But here’s something interesting-who knew that Piers 88, 90 and 92 were climate-controlled?

[Triple Pier Antiques Show, Piers 88, 90 and 92, 12th Avenue and 55th Street, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,www.stellashows.com.]

Monday           15th

A mighty big Monday …. Huge, in fact, like Liam Neeson in a Speedo. So grab a PowerBar and limber up: First up, the benefit spelling bee for the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses in Washington Square. Moody New York Times Sunday Styles columnist Bob Morris is your M.C. as Jesse Scheidlower, principal editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, judges a clump of writers competing, including short-story writer Adam Haslett, Devil Wears Prada author Lauren Weisberger and plastic-surgery pundit Alex Kuczynski.

Next! Safe Horizon, the nonprofit victim-assistance organization that supports victims of New York City crimes-and which thankfully must be a lot less busy than they were 10 years ago-hosts “In Our Own Words. True Stories. Real Lives: An Evening Inside Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. ” (Cue chung-chung sound effect here). Toasted will be the cast and team behind the show that deals entirely with victims of sexual crimes, including stars Mariska Hargitay (still fun to say), Sony Lincoln Square lurker Richard Belzer and Stephanie March. An after-party follows with booze and tapas at Crobar. Linda Fairstein, former bureau chief of a sex-crimes prosecution unit and best-selling crime novelist, hosts. “I think it’s great to have such a good cause, with such a serious bottom line, have an event that sounds like it’s going to be a really good time,” Ms. Fairstein said. Others rumored to attend are the usual slew of socialite types-Tinsley Mortimer, Cornelia Guest, Lydia and Gillian Hearst-Shaw, and Annie Churchill. For comic relief, there’s the 2004 Thurber Prize for American Humor awards at the Algonquin Hotel. The prize, “conferred upon the author and publisher of the outstanding book of humor writing published in the U.S.,” is a sad reminder that what often passes for humor writing today (except for Larry David) is sadly precious. Finalists include Christopher Buckley ( No Way to Treat a First Lady ), Robert Kaplow ( Me and Orson Welles ) and Dan Zevin ( The Day I Turned Uncool ). The gig to crash, however, is the 25th anniversary of Chanterelle, that delicious Tribeca restaurant, at-where else?-Chanterelle. After-party is nearby at Le Zinc and, worryingly, “groovy attitude and 70s attire strongly encouraged.” Sigh … can’t we just eat in peace without peace signs?

[A Good Spell, Fales Special Collections, N.Y.U. Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, 7 p.m., http://www.clmp.org; “Safe Horizon’s In Our Own Words. True Stories. Real Lives. An Evening Inside Law and Order: S.V.U.,” Crobar, 530 West 28th Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-577-5095; the 2004 Thurber Prize for American Humor, the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only; Chanterelle 25th Anniversary, Chanterelle, 2 Harrison Street, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only.]

Tuesday          16th

It’s been a mixed-up kind of year, hasn’t it? Hard to imagine how the pasty-fleshed powers that be over at Time magazine are going to pick their “Person of the Year.” Today, managing editor Jim Kelly moderates a debate on the question, with panelists Coleen Rowley (F.B.I. whistleblower), heir to the Peacock throne Brian Williams, newly single (take note, ladies!) Reverend Al Sharpton and right-wing blogger Andrew Sullivan. The recipient will be announced on Dec. 19, and we have our fingers crossed for Peter O’Toole. Now, what everyone really needs is another thing to throw out at the end of the month, so here’s a new magazine: Chow, a foodie mag geared toward young food lovers, which promises to “lead a food revolution by bringing new attitude, fun and energy to food writing.” The launch issue includes articles on illegal cheese, how to throw a Thanksgiving meal and how to get the right bottle of wine on a budget. Tonight’s launch party takes place at Metrazur in Grand Central. There’d better be canapés ….

[ Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” debate, Luce Room, Time and Life Building, Sixth Avenue at 50th Street, 11:30 a.m., by invitation only; Chow, Metrazur, in Grand Central Station, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only.)

Wednesday    17th

The race is getting tighter, and we’re becoming more attached to our healthy loathing of each girl on her journey to becomin g America’s Next Top Model. And is it just us, or is Tyra Banks becoming larger than life? We think you could fit at least two anorexic wannabe models in her weave.

[America’s Next Top Model, 8 p.m., UPN.]