Pigs are flying, hell is freezing over, dogs and cats are living harmoniously together, and the Yankees are awaiting reassignment from the Boss …. We only have three words to say: Let’s go, Knicks! Now who here blows up like a Thanksgiving float after eating a rogue peanut? If you are one of the 11 million Americans who suffer from food allergies, which can actually kill you—which must suck, because food is our friend (and don’t even get us started on how we feel about nuts)—tonight the Food Allergy Initiative, a nonprofit organization looking for a cure for fatal food allergies, honors four-star earnin’ superman of chefs, Thomas Keller of Per Se and the French Laundry, at Daniel. “We’re thrilled to honor Thomas Keller this year,” said Food Allergy Initiative vice president Sharyn Mann, who confirmed that peanut allergies are the most common. “But peanuts are really legumes,” she reminded us. “It’s the Brazilian nut—and the tree nuts—that are really dangerous.” Further west and south, there is yet another gala, this time for Community Access, a nonprofit that helps to house people with psychiatric disabilities (Courtney Love, are you listening?). Tonight they’ll be honoring singer Judy Collins, who has been devoted to the cause since her son’s 1992 suicide, at the Chelsea Piers Lighthouse; honorary chair of the event is Mrs. Hillary Clinton. “We don’t know if she’ll attend—the event is only six days before the election,” said executive director Steve Coe. What election? “We approached Ms. Clinton because we heard that Bill and Hillary named their daughter after the song ‘Chelsea Morning’—sung by Judy Collins,” said Mr. Coe. Expect bawdy Bette Midler, uptown girl Christie Brinkley and Bill Cosby, among others. Next! Granta, the Brit lit mag that’s pretty good—but which was really good back when its wine-tipplin’ founder, Bill Buford, was at the helm—celebrates its 25th anniversary with current editor Ian Jack and Mr. Buford. What’s also nice about tonight is that all of the city’s young social strivers will be collected in one moist, ambitious clump at Cain, the new nightclub from Jamie Mulholland (he of the wankfest Lotus), so the rest of the city can breathe in peace. The invitation reads that this new “exclusive boutique nightclub” offers a “nocturnal sanctuary of South African culture amidst the wilderness of West Chelsea.” (We’re assuming that means post-apartheid South Africa, but you never know with this bunch …. ) Expect to see: halter tops —and lots of ’em—and smooth-groomed itchy arrivistes such as Jamie Johnson, Ivanka Trump, and Theodora and Alexandria Richards. There’s an unconfirmed rumor that Teresa Heinz Kerry —who refers to herself as “African-American” because she grew up in colonial Mozambique—will ride in at midnight atop an elephant. [Food Allergy Initiative, Daniel, 60 West 65th Street, 6 to 8 p.m., by invitation only; Community Access 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration, the Lighthouse, Chelsea Piers, West Side Highway between 17th and 23rd streets, 6:30 p.m., http://www.communityaccess.org; Granta 25th Anniversary Issue, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 6:30 p.m., 212-864-5400; Cain grand opening, 544 West 27th Street, 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Tonight, fashionable types swathed in cashmere and glitter will totter into Cipriani’s for the Annual Night of Stars, where awards will be given and delicious food will remain uneaten. Expected to show are honorees such as the most-mentioned Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Helmut Lang and Beatle spawn Stella McCartney, as well as the presenters like Kate Hudson, goddess Michelle Pfeiffer and Martin Scorsese. (Do you ever get the feeling that Mr. Scorsese is the only one left who still “gets” New York?) The evening benefits something to do with fashion—which is good, since we hear there are parts of the world where fashion is simply starving! Publicity rep Diane Clehane gave us a sneak peak into the goodie bag (always the best part), and it includes gift certificates to Chanel, fragrance from Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, StriVectin (the new Botox) and, for when you realize that Botox makes everyone— everyone —look like a freak: Maker’s Mark bourbon. Further west, there’s a debut party for something called “ YPS,” which Lincoln Center apparently thinks is the hip, cool way to say “Young Patrons Society.” (We think they should have gone with “ the Notorious Y.P.S.”) The membership group is “for young New Yorkers dedicated to celebrating Lincoln Center” and aims “to create a significant community of young performing-arts enthusiasts and build a base of supporters whose commitment will be vital to Lincoln Center’s audience development efforts.” Sexy. But anyway, tonight is the inaugural cocktail party, and the invitation promises drinks, hors d’oeuvres and “new friends.” Can we get that in writing? Old-schooler D-Nice will spin—and will no doubt be amused by the “dancing” in the crowd. The invite calls for “festive attire,” so wear something ruffley. [Fashion Group International 21st Annual Night of Stars, Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-302-5511; Autumn Cocktail Party for the Young Patrons Society, Avery Fisher Hall, Grand Promenade, 8 to 11 p.m., 212-875-5460.]
As if we haven’t suffered enough at the hands of Boston , the male/female duet of the Dresden Dolls —a self-described “Brechtian punk cabaret” band who presumably took their name from a V.C. Andrews book and not from the city in which at least 25,000 German civilians perished in the Allied fire-bombing during WWII—has been picking up the all-mighty hipster fan base (read: Williamsburg trust-funders), and they come to town for a night at the Bowery Ballroom, that low-ceilinged venue on Delancey where the girls tend to show a lot of shoulder and the boys recognize opportunity. The band, which likes to put on vaudeville-style shows that have a “circus-like atmosphere” ( meep!), will be insisting on having costumes for the concerts. Is Halloween over yet? [The Dresden Dolls, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 9 p.m., http://www.boweryballroom.org.
It’s getting spooky around here …. Lots of All Hallows’ Eve activity around town —and besides that, it’s Mischief Night (or Cabbage Night, or Witches’ Night, depending where you’re from). Some men who enjoyed a little mischief in their day— Pablo Picasso and Max Beckmann —are the stars of an exhibition on the Upper East Side’s Richard L. Feigen & Co. opening today. (They could be very inspirational as far as mask-making is concerned, is all we’re saying.) Much fancier is the action over at the Waldorf-Astoria, where the Actors’ Fund of America is holding its fancy-schmancy black-tie gala called—what else?—“That’s Entertainment.” Republican-baiter Whoopie Goldberg co-hosts with stage actor and Actors’ Fund president Brian Stokes Mitchell, and the reception will include dinner and (intriguingly) tribute performances. Most exciting, however, is the awarding of the Lee Strasberg Artistic Achievement Award to the beyond-dreamy Johnny Depp. “The last two recipients were Meryl Streep and Susan Sarandon,” said executive director Joe Benincasa. “We’re so pleased with all the people we’re honoring that night.” Other honorees include Angela (“I § Mysteries”) Lansbury , presented by the curl-rocking Bernadette Peters. “Brian Stokes Mitchell will be performing at the end of the show, and we have a few surprises we’re not ready to announce yet,” said Mr. Benincasa. Crispin Glover? Down in the East Village, Two Boots Pioneer Theatre (which smells, no doubt, of that delicious pizza) is running a special “Night of Italian Horror” movie night, and it doesn’t even involve Vespas or Buttafuocos! It’s an all-night marathon of scary Italian movies like Gates of Hell, The Ghost, Deep Red, Beyond the Door 2, Demons and Burial Ground. Costumes are apparently encouraged, and prizes will be given in the following categories: Most Inappropriate, Most Disgusting, Most Frightening and (our favorite) Most Italian. [Beckmann and Picasso exhibit, Richard L. Feigen & Co., 34 East 69th Street, 212-628-0700; the Actors’ Fund of America “That’s Entertainment” Gala, the Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 212-221-7300, ext. 263; Night of Italian Horror, Two Boots Pioneer Theater (pizza!), 155 East Third Street (at Avenue A), 7 p.m. till dawn (scary), 212-254-3300.]
BOO! Halloween again, which means it’s the time for fashion and publicity assistants everywhere to wear naughty nurse (/nun/schoolgirl/librarian/witch/cat) outfits and get hit on by guys in suits dressed up as “lawyers.” Sigh. If you’re strolling through Washington Square Park and see “little people” dressed up as ghosts and goblins, do not be alarmed: It’s a parade for children, you know—the ones that this holiday is supposed to be for. However, if you are insistent on wearing that yellow Uma Thurman-in- Kill Bill number (which will probably not do you any favors at all), head to the Halloween 2004 bash at the Copacabana (you can sing the song!). The good news: It’s daylight saving time, so we’ll gain an hour of sleep. The bad news? No matter what time you’re reading this, it’s probably already getting dark. So you might as well just stand outside of wanker joint Marquee and try to gain entrance to Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween party —unless, of course, you have a life. The invite has a photo of new mommy Klummy in fright wig and lots of stuffed dead animals scattered about. Be on the lookout for celebrities on their worst behavior while believing they can go unrecognized (we’ll find you no matter what, Affleck!). [N.Y.U. and Manhattan Community Board 2’s 14th Annual Children’s Halloween Parade, the arch at Washington Square Park, 1 to 3 p.m. (there will be free candy!); Susanne Bartsch Halloween 2004, Copacabana, 560 West 34th Street, 10 p.m.; Heidi Klum’s Halloween party, Marquee, 239 10th Avenue, 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Sample sale! Sample sale! Even better than a regular sample sale (where you get to see women strip down to impressively small thongs in the impressively don’t-give-a-crap way we aspire to) is a sample sale that goes to some worthy cause instead of lining some heiress’ money-hungry pockets. Today, “Samples Off Fifth” benefits amfAR and Gift for Life, which funds AIDS research. Shoppers will find a cornucopia (a word people only use in the autumn) of stuff, including decorative accessories, personal-care products ( hmmmm), seasonal bargains (candy corn?) and more—all donated by “some of the world’s top manufacturers.” O.K. Tonight, more do-gooding downtown with the Caring Community, a nonprofit since 1973, founded to “serve the active and frail elderly of Greenwich Village and lower Manhattan in a manner that fosters independence, dignity, and respect.” And we’re so sure it has nothing to do with anyone trying to get their meaty little paws on a rent-controlled Village apartment with a wood-burning fireplace.
Harrumph! They’re having a dinner and dance at the Tribeca Rooftop and will be honoring CBS cutie (and future Mrs. Les Moonves) Julie Chen and, in an apparently unironic move, Dr. Dennis Fabian, the Village’s “renowned orthopedic surgeon” (read: hips). And, of course, there’s the inevitable “Pre-Election Indie Rock Bash” at the cooler-than-thou Delancey Bar, where Rock the Vote and the Eureka! International Film Festival team up to toast “the synergy between entertainment and political action.” Basically, it’s an excuse to get drunk and hope for the best tomorrow. [Samples Off Fifth, International Toy Center, 1107 Broadway, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 212-806-1612; the Caring Community Gala, Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, 6 p.m., 212-777-3555; Pre-Election Indie Rock Bash, the Delancey Bar, 168 Delancey Street, 7 p.m., http://www.eurekaiff.com.
The big day …. We know that everyone thinks their vote doesn’t count, and you know what? It doesn’t. So do what John Kerry did: marry a few really rich women and go goose-hunting. But do vote for him: If Teresa at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn’t a nightly comedy house-on-fire—a reality show to beat all reality shows, complete with bleeped-out words and exotic Portuguese hors d’oeuvres—we don’t know what is! [League of Women Voters, http://www.lwv.org.
The plus-sized, boisterous Toccara is being fêted as the girl to take the whole kit and caboodle. We too love Toccara—her breasts alone are reason to watch the program … they defy everything we ever knew about physics (which was never really a lot). And wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who doesn’t resemble Mary Kate Olsen snatch victory from the jaws of the skinny biyatches? However, the quiet and graceful Yaya remains our front-runner. Go, Yaya! [America’s Next Top Model, UPN, 8 p.m.]