April 20 – 27, 2005

Wednesday 20th

Sunny D! Sunshine has given our city a tongue bath, transforming the gray, sodden streets into a blossomy (and pollen-infused) Brigadoon … but we say: Stand up for your right to be depressed anyway and lie on the couch watching celebrity poker! If you do venture out (or ” oot,” as our Canadian neighbors say), look for plucky al fresco diners ignoring the chill and fumes, trying to throw themselves in the spirit of springtime in New York ( dee-dee, da-da) before summer announces itself with a mélange of odors. O.K.! The Tribeca Film Festival is still whoopin’ it up downtown, where people pretend they like short films and “art flicks,” when we know these are the very same people downloading the new Star Wars trailer and have “Darth Tater” as their instant-message icon. Regardless, the so-called cerebralists-writers and readers of the P.E.N. literary festival-are in town with a flurry of crazy smart events, and tonight is no exception with the black-tie literary gala up with the stuffed sea birds at the Museum of Natural History. “It’s the largest gathering of international writers in New York since the 1986 P.E.N. Congress,” said executive director Michael Roberts. We think most of the city was watching the Mets that year, but whatever. “There’s almost an allergy in the United States against writing from abroad.” Ha-choo! Tonight, glittery literary loonies gather beneath that giant whale (which is rumored to have a brand-new navel), including P.E.N. president Salman Rushdie (so we guess he’s just out of hiding now for real, right?) and his lovely bride Padma Lakshmi Rushdie, as well as Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Bernard-Henri Lévy (nickname: Les Nipples) and gala chair Tina Brown, who used to edit Radar magazine, we think. Your host is NBC maniac Brian Williams. If you Rick Moody stalkers are interested, he’s going to be at the cooler (and freer) event downtown. “Yes, we actually programmed against ourselves,” laughed Mr. Roberts. “We’re co-sponsoring an event with the Believer crew. I wish I could be at both places.” Superman could do it, bub. Meanwhile, Organic Style magazine (that fresh-faced and freckly publication) honors its picks for “Women with Organic Style” at a Lincoln Center ceremony. Among the honorees are the recently missing Helen Hunt, Mrs. Jerry Seinfeld and Stella McCartney, who seems to be just about everywhere these days. These women apparently have been chosen because their work “to transform the lives of children and preserve the planet benefits us all.” All we’re saying is that it’s a lot easier to be organic when you’re rich! Meanwhile, the Ethan Hawke–Parker Posey drug ‘n’ love fest, Hurlyburly, gets new life and a new theater as they christen 37 Arts, a new performing-arts complex, on 37th Street. We still liked her best in Waiting for Guffman.

[P.E.N. Montblanc Literary Gala, American Museum of Natural History, 7 p.m., http://www.penn.org; Organic Style honors "Women with Organic Style," Jazz at Lincoln Center, 33 West 60th Street, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only; Hurlyburly, 37 Arts, 450 West 37th Street between Ninth and 10th avenues, 8 p.m., http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Thursday 21st

Sweet charity: The socialite types spread themselves thin tonight, as there are more charitable events than recent Lindsay Lohan sightings! First up, the New York Public Library transforms itself into a Havana-themed soirée (we think they’re going for the glamorous Hemingway Havana-not the poverty-stricken current Havana) to benefit the library’s Young Lions (these people care about the library, really they do, even if the last book they read to the end was Bergdorf Blondes!). “It’s like if Vanity Fair were a charity-hip, but still intellectual,” claimed co-chair Melissa Gellman (we said a silent prayer she was referring to Thackeray). Ms. Gellman is one of many young social movers and shakers involved in the event, including Vanity Fair’s (a- ha) Punch Hutton, Moby arm-candy Stacey Bendet and a couple of filthy rich Observer staffers to boot. Honorary co-chair duties fall to Mr. Hurlyburly, Ethan Hawke, and we know he loves books almost as much as scooping ice cream! Expected to show: Moby (just try to keep him away), pretty girl Ivanka Trump, hip-hop-dancing actress Julia Stiles and almost First Daughter Karenna Gore Schiff. “There will be dinner and dancing, plus a 12-piece samba band,” said Ms. Gellman. Next! Holding the dubious distinction of being the last black-tie gala in the Plaza before it closes its doors is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Bergh Ball, to support their mission of stopping cruelty to Berghs, errr, animals. You can bid on dog houses designed by Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Lilly Pulitzer, Zac Posen and Isaac Mizrahi. See how these nuts interpret “doggy style” ( bling!). Be on the lookout for Chuck Scarborough in his big ladies’ glasses and Today’s frisky Jill Rappaport, among others. Completing the beneficial trifecta is “Heroes and Legends … a Night at the Fights” to benefit Tuesday’s Children, a foundation committed to assisting children who lost a parent on 9/11. The NYPD boxing team will spar against boxers from the Garda, the police of the Republic of Ireland …. Should be burley good times! And speaking of boxing, how come no one is watching NBC’s The Contender besides us and Kelly Ripa? Bang! Pow!

[Young Lions Benefit, New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 7 p.m., 212-930-0730; the ASPCA Eighth Annual Bergh Ball, Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, 7 p.m., 212-876-7700, ext. 4654.]

Friday 22nd

Go, Shorty, it’s your Earth Day: Yes, it’s Earth Day-and your earth needs you more than ever, as the Bushies leave the environment in their dust …. Well, just as a tree grows in Brooklyn, so does an Earth Day celebration get thrown in Morningside Heights, for breakfast, at the Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 110th Street. Being honored for those who “build healthy and sustainable communities” are people whose names most won’t recognize, but who are doing good green deeds. Later today, Rudy Giuliani will be honored at the V Foundation for Cancer Research’s “Spirit of Jimmy V,” which pays tribute to late basketball coach and sports commentator Jim Valvano at Pier 60. The theme is Valvano’s “never give up” attitude, and that noise you hear is Judy Nathan measuring drapes for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!  Or, if you’re feeling like being horrified (again) over big business, the much-lauded Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room opens today, detailing the unraveling of the Enron scandal. Or continue to fill your mind with romantic-comedy fluff with Ashton Kutcher’s latest, A Lot Like Love (which looks a lot like 100 other movies we’ve seen … and loved!), which hits the theaters today ( thud).

[Earth Day in Harlem, Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street, 8 to 10 a.m., 212-465-7468; "Spirit of Jimmy V" Gala, Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 6 p.m., http://www.jimmyv.org; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and A Lot Like Love, for showtimes and theaters, http://www.moviefone.com.

Saturday 23rd

Baby, you can drive my car: One of the most genius parts of the Tribeca Film Festival whoop-de-do: the Tribeca Drive-In Theater. We wonder every summer why the drive-in business is no more. Hasn’t anyone taken a look at Bryant Park on a Monday night and realized there is money to be made? Come on, people, let’s get with it! Well, Robert De Niro gets it, and the Tribeca Drive-In Theater is free and open tonight and tomorrow with an “uplifting” ( uh-oh) documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom, which follows New York City students who take up ballroom dancing. Whatever, it’s outside! Meanwhile, for all you hipsters who shun the faux vintage currently seen at J. Crew and Marc Jacobs, the Manhattan Vintage Fashion Show will be at the Metropolitan Pavilion till tomorrow. Find that perfect black 50′s cocktail dress for your next function! Meanwhile, what’s with all the Domino editors attempting “secretary chic”-ruffled satin blouses, frumpy skirts and dank hair? C’mon, ladies, we know you didn’t just get off the PATH train … !

[Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In, North Cove, World Financial Center, 8 p.m., 212-941-2400; the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, http://www.manhattanvintage.com.

Sunday 24th

Guinness good for you? Lulu Guinness is back, at her own Bleecker Street store (which, by the way, we’re beginning to blame for all the overpriced boutiques and tottering fashion sticks who now clog the pretty street and stand in line at Magnolia Bakery) to sign copies of Put On Your Pearls, Girls! The event, “Tea with Lulu Guinness,” is sponsored by Hearst publication Shop, Etc. (which we still think is one of the worst names for a magazine, ever). We wonder when people became so busy that they need all these magazines to do their shopping for them? Regardless, even we fell prey to the “Most Flattering Swimsuits” in the May issue. Sigh.

["Tea with Lulu Guinness," Lulu Guinness Boutique, 394 Bleecker Street, 2 to 5 p.m., by invitation only.]

Monday 25th

“There has got to be some way I can just stay in my room until I’m eighteen and have to leave for college.” So starts the new young-adult book, Fresh Off the Boat, by Melissa de la Cruz, author of The Au Pairs. ” The Au Pairs was a sort of sexy scandalous O.C. in the Hamptons,” said Ms. de la Cruz. ” Fresh Off the Boat is more realistic and based on my own life.” The book follows a family’s migration to the U.S. from Manila. “It was pretty traumatic,” said Ms. de la Cruz, whose family had to adjust from their former luxurious life to the life of working immigrants. “I felt like an outsider, and it was shocking. But I didn’t want to write a memoir; I wanted to fictionalize it, because that was more fun. And this way I can tell my parents, ‘It’s fiction!’” Tonight, Ms. de la Cruz celebrates at the chic French-Filipino restaurant Cendrillon in Soho. Or if you feel you still need to do something benefit-y, there’s a gala for Symphony Space being thrown at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers: dinner, a silent auction and performances by songstress Suzanne Vega and funny man Jon Stewart, no doubt beating off his many fans (go, Central Jersey!). Being honored is hilarious Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert, plus the kid-friendly Dan Zanes and wild card Alec Baldwin. Finally, if you want to be one of those people who actually know something about Long Island wines, head to Capitale for a boozy event called “Windows on Long Island Wine.”

[Fresh Off the Boat book party, Cendrillon, 45 Mercer Street, 7 to 10 p.m., by invitation only; "Celebrating Symphony Space in Story and Song," the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, 7 to 10 p.m., 212-864-1414; 15th annual "Windows on Long Island Wine," Capitale, 130 Bowery, 7 p.m., http://www.earthpledge.org.

Tuesday 26th

Bryan? No, Ryan! See the rumored-to-be-Parker-Poseyless Ryan Adams at the Garden tonight for the Fifth Annual Jammys Awards. Yes, the Jammys-real name-founded as an alternative to mainstream award shows. Joining Mr. Adams tonight will be an eclectic group, including Primus front man Les Claypool, piano man Bruce Hornsby, some bluegrass artist you shouldn’t have heard of and “Southern-boogie torchbearers North Mississippi All-Stars.” The whole freak show will be presided over by Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, who will, of course, also perform. Meanwhile, Balthazar Getty is back ( finally), and his movie Slingshot (not to be confused with Slingblade or Slap Shot) premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival. Nightcrawlers, beware!

[Fifth Annual Jammys Awards, Madison Square Garden, 33rd Street at Seventh Avenue, 8 p.m., http://www.jammys.com; Slingshot, Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, 9:15 p.m., http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org

Wednesday 27th

O.K., America’s Next Top Model …. We owe you an apology-you promised and you certainly delivered. Tyra lost her ever-loving mind last week. We are back and we are hooked.

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