April 13 – 20, 2005

Wednesday 13th

Lessons learned this week! April is turning out to be the cruelest for some of our favorite famous folk (as death claimed holy men, literary men and princes without discretion), the Shake Shack is as delicious as promised but the lines make you equally hungry, and thanks to The Times, we wish to live in Hilary Swank’s swanky West Village townhouse-with houseboy Chad Lowe helpfully scrubbin’ all the dishes-even more than we would like to have her upper arms. O.K.! Dunhill, that uptown store so English that they have a line of leather goods inspired by the game of cricket, throw a no doubt tasteful party for their spring line and their new design team. Expect the smell of money to be ripe.   More money happenings even further up and east, at Sotheby’s Spring Sale of “Magnificent Jewels.” Attention, J. Lo: Included is a fancy vivid yellow diamond clocking in a 8.02 carats and a 9.41-carat sapphire, of Kashmir origin, which we’re guessing weighs roughly the same as our cat. Next! A book party is thrown (ker- plunk) for Joan Caraganis Jakobson’s And One More Thing … : A Mother’s Advice on Life, Love, and Lipstick. The book, which was based on a journal Ms. Jakobson created for her daughter when her daughter got engaged, runs the gamut of advice-giving from how much to tip doormen to spotting a cheating spouse. Now how come our mother never taught us that!

[Alfred Dunhill Spring 2005, Alfred Dunhill, 711 Fifth Avenue, 7 to 9 p.m., by invitation only; Sotheby’s Spring Sale of Magnificent Jewels, Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, http://www.sothebys.com; Party for And One More Thing … : A Mother’s Advice on Life, Love, and Lipstick, 1030 Fifth Avenue, 6 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only.]

Thursday 14th

Life in the Fast lane? “I had no big trauma-nothing! It was really disappointing,” claimed author Molly Jong-Fast, on her interesting childhood experience growing up as the daughter of “Queen of Erotica” Erica Jong, and granddaughter of famed author (and commie) Howard Fast. Ms. Jong-Fast’s new book, The Sex Doctors in the Basement: True Stories from a Semi-Celebrity Childhood, illustrates the good times and bad.  Bonus book excerpt regarding an episode when Ms. Joan Collins tells our heroine that she’s too fat to get on Valentino’s yacht, page 153: “Even at the tender age of thirteen, I knew that I’d be dining out on this faux pas for the next decade. Mom looked at Joan in horror. Even then, at the tender age of forty-seven, Mom knew she’d be paying for the therapy to help me through this faux pas for at least the next decade. Joan looked at the tiled floor. Even at the tender age of two thousand years old, Joan should have known that loud, obese thirteen-year-olds turn into very menacing twenty-four-year-olds with book contracts and Apple laptops.” Sounds very similar to some of our childhood problems-minus the yacht, the celebrities and weight issues! “I wanted to write about all the things in my life that sounded profound, but I was so totally sick of reading profound things written by 26-year-olds,” said the 26-year-old Ms. Jong-Fast. ” There’s just not a lot of gravitas that you can command at 26.” ( Well, honey, you might want to reread Keats-but we digress!) “I mean, I always thought gravitas was a kind of salmon!” Us, too! Tonight, she reads at the Chelsea Barnes and Noble (though party-crashers should know that on Monday evening, a private party will be held at the elder Ms. Jong’s Upper East Side townhouse). Meanwhile, France’s “not Johnny Depp” resident, naughty cartoonist Robert Crumb, speaks with Aussie art critic Robert Hughes at the New York Public Library. Try to find out just what in heaven’s name Mr. Crumb is up to with Stella McCartney. And finally, yet another art and antique show rolls though, the New York International Art and Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. Just how many arts and antiques do you people need anyway, we ask you?! Anyhoo, the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House will host “Moments in Style” this evening, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (can we please make Devils on Horseback a standard at these things?) and a preview of all the fancy arts and crafts. There’ll also be dancing till midnight-be careful which table you climb on: You break it, you buy it!

[Molly Jong-Fast at Barnes and Noble, Chelsea, 675 Avenue of the Americas, 7 p.m., http://www.barnesandnoble.com; Robert Crumb at the New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, 7 p.m., http://www.smarttix.com; “Moments in Style,” Seventh Regiment Armory, 6 p.m., 212-744-5022, ext. 1282.]

Friday 15th

Weak in the knees over a good U.K.-based accent? Then the last month has been a good one for you, what with St. Patrick’s Day and Tartan Week and all. Now the big island has its very snooty laugh tonight at the English Ball (heh) at the Pierre hotel, where Lord Browne of Madingley is honored by the St. George’s Society of New York. Who is Lord Browne of Madingley, you ask? Well, besides having an incredibly fun name, Lord Browne of Madingley appears to be on many boards in many places and Lord Browne of Madingley was knighted ( bonk!) in 1998. The invite calls for white or black tie, so we say: Bring a penguin! Moving onto a different ethnicity whose accents aren’t quite as good, but whose food is sure to be much, much better, Joe Piscopo is honored at the Plaza Hotel (T minus 15 days till the end of the Plaza) at a fund-raising shindig for the Italian American Museum (which is looking for permanent housing in the South Street Seaport-do you have the guts to tell them no?). Expected to show: actor Chazz Palminteri, Richard Greco Jr. (who is the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy and, unfortunately, not Richard Grieco, the actor from 21 Jump Street). Finally, for the hipsters-who, poor dears, haven’t had a cover story in weeks from either New York or Time Out-they get a “concept” store called Filativa that “speaks to men and women, hipsters and traditionalists, professional artists and starving wannabes, recherché elite and impoverished college students.” Human sacrifice, dogs and cats, living together! Sorry, we got distracted. The store will only be open for 30 days and will not just be for shopping but “a creative space for inspiration.” Actually, nothing is for sale and “customers” are encouraged to design their own piece of art to be put on a Filativa T-shirt. Yeah, we know, our head is exploding, too. “It’s about people’s creativity,” argued Eric Dorfman, owner of Location NY and creator of the concept. The temporary “pop-up” store will stand on Lafayette at Cleveland Place and Kenmare.  “It’s on the cusp of Nolita and Soho,” said Mr. Dorfman. That’s not all it’s on the cusp of, fella ….

[The English Ball (still funny), the Pierre, Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only; Italian American Museum gala, Grand Ballroom, the Plaza, 8 p.m., http://www.italianamericanmuseum.org, Filativa Pop-Up Store, 199 Lafayette Street at Cleveland Place and Kenmare Street, 212-226-8800.]

Saturday 16th

If you’re like us, and have had a somewhat traumatic experience with “little people” (it was Christmas, we worked near Radio City, they were elves on lunch break, O.K.?), then perhaps the time to get educated has come. Theater director Paul Weidner reads and discusses his debut novel, Memoirs of a Dwarf: At the Sun King’s Court. And before we go on, can we please request a new rule where if a book is fiction, then please do not start the title of your novel with the word “memoir”? Anyway, the book was inspired partly by the author’s friendship with Hollywood actor Hervé Villechaize (as in: ” Zee plane, zee plane!”) and centers around Hugues, “an impoverished dwarf who maneuvers his way into the highest circles of French King Louis XIV’s court by clandestinely serving the needs of gamblers, devil worshippers, and sex-starved society women.” The noise you are hearing are the hooves of HBO executives clop-clop-clopping as they shout, “It’s Carnivàle meets Sex and the City!”

[Paul Weidner reads and discusses Memoirs of a Dwarf: At the Sun King’s Court, Jefferson Market Library, 425 Avenue of the Americas, 2 p.m.]

Sunday 17th

“In this company, I’m just happy to be a supporting actor,” said Baltimore great, writer and director John Waters of the annual gala this evening chaired by (Sir) Elton John and honoring artist Cindy Sherman to benefit the New Museum, breaking ground for a new location on Bowery Street. Mr. Waters, known for his eccentric and loveable films such as Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and Cry-Baby, displayed his own photographic works at the New Museum last year. “It’s the kind of museum that has the kind of work I love best,” he said. Mr. Waters cast Ms. Sherman in his 1998 ode to photography, Pecker, and remains a fan. “She leant great authenticity to that role,” he said. “In the art world, she’s such a star-a much bigger star than me or Elton. And I love Elton!” Don’t we all? Tonight there will be dinner and cocktails, followed by an auction of artwork by top contemporary artists and lots and lots of talk about aaaaaaaaaaahrt. If you’re idea of pretty is simply flowers, today is the last day of the 25th New York International Orchid Show in Rockefeller Center. It may not be cutting-edge art, but they are very pretty and, if you’re Georgia O’Keeffe, kinda saucy!

[New Museum of Contemporary Art Gala, Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, 7 p.m., http://www.newmuseum.org; 25th New York International Orchid Show, Rockefeller Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., http://www.rockefellercenter.com.

Monday 18th

The hip-hop elite hippity-hop over to the Apollo Theater for the premiere of Damon Dash’s “mockumentary” (which, by the way, is a funny term), Death of a Dynasty. “I’ve been waiting to release it for the perfect time,” said Mr. Dash, the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella records. “I think this is the perfect time for it.” The movie is a Spinal Tap –type look behind the doors of “The Roc,” which Mr. Dash co-founded with some nobody named Jay-Z (kidding, Hova!), and about scandals leaked to the press. “I would say this is my way to be artistic, a way to use the film as a tool to communicate, and that I’m using it to spoof it,” said Mr. Dash. The movie stars Mr. Jay-Z himself, with cameos by everyone from Chloë Sevigny (in a non-fellating role) and dope face Carson Daly to rapper Doctor Dré and actor Peter Sarsgaard. As for Mr. Dash, for his next film he promises to “lay down my Scorsese.” Let’s see if he has any more luck than Marty getting an Oscar from those Hollywood punks. Holla!

[Death of a Dynasty premiere, the Apollo Theatre, 253 West 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, 7:30 p.m., by invitation only.]

Tuesday 19th

Seriously? Tuesday really is the new Thursday, because there are more events tonight than binge-purgers in the Condé Nast Cafeteria! First up, the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival barrels into town, still hoping to be more than a so-so street fair with some movies thrown in. The opening-night gala premiere is The Interpreter, starring the incredibly shrinking Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, directed by Sydney Pollack. The film is a United Nations thriller-we just love it when Nicole plays either a neurosurgeon or a nuclear physicist or an exotic translator in the United Nations. Anyway, there’s sure to be a great and uncrashable after-party. Meanwhile, even weirder than imagining Ms. Kidman performing brain surgery will be a book party co-hosted by Nerve.com (of the erotic stories and personals) and Vintage Books for Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs at Table 50. HBO, are you still paying attention? Finally, Bill Clinton shows his big pink head as guest speaker at the 2005 Do Something BRICK Awards, which will be hosted by sexy and smart Tina Fey. Watch out for a pearl-wearing, ice-pick-wielding junior Senator to be keeping a close eye on Ms. Fey. But not for the reason you think-me- OW!

[The Interpreter, Ziegfeld Theater, 141 West 54th Street, 8 p.m., http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org; party for Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs, Table 50, 643 Broadway, by invitation only; 2005 Do Something BRICK Awards, Capitale, 130 Bowery, http://www.dosomething.org.

Wednesday 20th

O.K., America’s Next Top Model, we’re willing to give you another chance- if you really deliver the goods and show Ms. Tyra losing her MIND on some model, like you showed us in the previews. You got us with that flesh-eating virus façade- don’t disappoint us again.

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