Lessons learned this week: People are still mesmerized by a little pomp, circumstance and white mystery smoke ( viva Papa Ratzi!); trees do grow in Brooklyn; diets are for suckers; lots of New York men think they look good in flip-flops and flooders (we’re not in Cap D’Antibes, fellas!); and our darling girl-crush Jennifer Garner is sadly being sucked into a lifetime of bad box office and a wayward hubby as she joins into rumored betrothal with Ben Affleck …. Who’s ready to party? Professional party planner (one of those professions we shake our head sadly at) David Tutera celebrates the publication of his book, The Party Planner, at the party space Loft 11. “My staff and I have been working on it for months,” said Mr. Tutera, who describes the look he’s after as “clean, modern, with a little Asian influence.” As for the book itself, it advises readers on cocktail parties, dinner parties, special occasions and holidays. “You need to touch upon all five senses for a successful party,” said Mr. Tutera. “A lot of time, people get caught up on just one of the senses.” Meanwhile, further north, there are more diseases to throw benefits for, and tonight’s worthy charity of choice is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has their annual “Dinner of Champions” (different than breakfast, obviously, which would involve Wheaties) celebrating “the individuals in both the public and private sectors who have worked to advance research, policy, education and general awareness of M.S.” Meredith Vieira, one of the younger hens from ABC’s popular program The View, will M.C., the always-fabulous Carol Burnett will present, and legendary composer (with fun name to say) Marvin Hamlisch will perform.
[David Tutera book party, Loft 11 Westside Loft, 336 West 37th Street, sixth floor, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only; "Dinner of Champions" Multiple Sclerosis Gala, New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, 6:30 p.m., http://www.msnyc.org.
Thursday is the new Thursday yet again, as there are more events tonight than there are women wearing silky camisoles under tight blazers (and is it just us, or do these delicate little tops just plain look like underwear?). For the uptown set, we have Madison Avenue: Where Fashion Meets Art, a two-week exhibition that involves about 100 different high-end boutiques and art galleries in a fusion of art and fashion the world hasn’t seen since peanut butter met jelly or since Yoko met Coco! Tonight, there will be private receptions to chug free cocktails and view some of the more exclusive highlights, such as the Calvin Klein Collection’s horde of landscape paintings by local artist Brendan Cass and Bulgari’s unveiling of a painting by Francesco Clemente. All of the moolah goes to the Whitney Museum. Or scoot yourself over to ” Stir, Splatter and Roll,” held at the Upper West Side’s Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where the Kate Spade Company is honored for their help in raising money for Publicolor, a nifty nonprofit that uses paint and color to lift the spirits of inner-city schools. “Color has a real psychological affect on us. It has the power to affect our mood, our emotions-everything,” said Publicolor founder and president Ruth Lande Shuman. “I founded Publicolor because I wanted to find a way to help engage students. I had seen a number of middle schools, and I was appalled by the state of them. They looked like a prison; there was no joy, no color, no light. And it occurred to me that if I got a bunch of volunteers to paint warm colors in an intelligent way, we could use color as a way to underscore the importance of education.” If we had to assign a color to our middle-school memories, it would be dingy gray! At tonight’s event, “everyone will be given white jump suits and paint. They’re drinking margaritas; they have dinner and a D.J. and will have the opportunity to paint.” Isn’t that how Jackson Pollock got his start? The veiny Stanley Tucci acts as auctioneer, and designer Michael Kors and musician Philip Glass are among the “team leaders.” More homework (yuk, yuk) goes down at the ” Design on a Dime” benefit sponsored by new magazine Domino (which clearly wants to announce itself as part of the swampy Condé Nast party circuit). Six of the city’s top interior-design firms will create “special room vignettes” that will then be sold, with the proceeds going to Housing Works, which works to help New Yorkers living with AIDS. Hey, speaking of charity, Sweet Charity’s Christina Applegate (who had an unfortunate run-in with a lamppost) is co-chair. And winning the most random event of the night, Air Tahiti Nui celebrates the “world’s first and only direct flight service from New York to Tahiti” in the Hiro Ballroom at the wanked-out Maritime Hotel. Naturally, the president of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, will be in attendance, and the evening promises performances by Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti; a traditional tattooist ( yowch!); Tahitian pearls modeled by (who else?) Tahitian models; and “a band of hulking Marquesan men.” (Somebody get the hose!) We are truly at a loss what to say. Vying for most random event, the Onion Film Series presents Monkeypiece Theatre, which means 90 minutes of “Monkey Shorts,” including Chimp the Fireman, Chimp on the Farm and Zippy’s Birthday Party. When all else fails, monkeys will cure what ails you.
[Sixth Annual Madison Avenue: Where Fashion Meets Art, Madison Avenue boutiques (natch!), 6 to 9 p.m., by invitation only, http://www.madisonave.org, open to the public through the 14th; "Stir, Splatter, and Roll," Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 122 Amsterdam at West 65th Street, 6 p.m., 212-213-6121; "Design on a Dime" benefit, 157 East 23rd Street, 6 to 9 p.m., http://www.housingworks.org/dime; Air Tahiti Nui nonstop flight party, Hiro Ballroom, the Maritime Hotel, 371 West 16th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only; Monkeypiece Theatre, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 8 p.m.]
Who needs a nap after yesterday? If you’re the kind of guy (like a certain guy we know) who, while seemingly a grown adult man, loves comic books and Smallville and worships The Simpsons, then you probably live for the hilarious The Family Guy, brainchild of Seth MacFarlane. Not only are you in luck, as The Family Guy will soon make a triumphant return to the evil Fox network, but the cast and creators will be at Town Hall tonight and tomorrow for a live reading of a classic episode, a performance from the first new episode, and a Q. and A. session. The show features a hard-drinking, dry-witted dog, a diabolical toddler bent on world domination and your basic clueless New England dad. Next! Much more highbrow is the James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards Dinner. And we ask you, is there a better job than getting to write about delicious food and then being rewarded for it with-what else?-a delicious dinner? Tonight’s festivities take place at the Grand Hyatt, with guest chefs from Boston and Santa Barbara as well as a couple of New Yorkers to boot. Bring a very large purse to stuff leftovers in, but leave room for Moby.
[Just for Laugh's Family Guy Live, Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 7 p.m., http://www.ticketmaster.com; the 13th Annual James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, Grand Hyatt New York, 5:30, http://www.Jamesbeard.org.
Cherry on top! The Brooklyn Botanical Garden offers a tempting alternative to the New York Botanical Garden’s “Antique Garden Furniture” show (going on right now in da Bronx) with the 24th annual Cherry Blossom Festival. And seriously, what is more gorgeous in the spring than a plethora of cherry blossoms? (We defy you to find something prettier!) The garden has over 60 events in tribute to the flowery trees and Japanese culture in general, including a samurai-sword performance ( duck!). Watch out for a heavily disguised Tom Cruise … Fellas, if you’re looking for a great first date, all we can say is: Sure thing. (But make sure to check first and find out if she’s crazy … we’re just sayin’, is all.)
[Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival, 1000 Washington Avenue, http://www.bbg.org.
Speaking of cartoons, DreamWorks continues to plot against the reigning Pixar peeps with a bushel of animated flicks making their way to theaters even as you sleep. Flexing their mighty Speilbergian muscle is tonight’s Animation Now: Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration at Lincoln Center, which will take the audience “from sketch to screen” and give them a behind-the-scenes peek at the intense effort that goes into creating the movies that people plop their kids in front of for hours at a time (and provide actors with their easiest paycheck ever). “DreamWorks came to us with this idea, because they do have all these films in different stages of production,” said Kent Jones, event coordinator and associate director of programming. “We were obviously very interested.” And who wouldn’t be, since funnymen Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Mike Myers are all showing up to entertain? “The first film in this group out from DreamWorks is Madagascar,” said Mr. Jones, of the film that boasts the vocal talents of Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Andy Richter in addition to Mr. Rock as New York City zoo animals who find themselves in Madagascar. “I think Chris Rock is a zebra,” said Mr. Jones. Al Roker (who, if you think about it, looks suspiciously like a cartoon himself these days) hosts. Next! Last year, a fire forced an Upper East Side foodie favorite, Eli’s Vinegar Factory, to close down-but they’re back, baby! To celebrate, and as a token of thanks to the neighborhood, Eli (“Zoot Suit”) Zabar and the staff of the Vinegar Factory host a complimentary tasting of all 35 of their ice-cream flavors (we can’t believe Al Roker is going to pass this one up!). Or be healthy if you must: The “Five Boro Bike Tour” is back for its 28th year as the largest recreational cycling event in the U.S. Try not to groan as your boyfriend drags his $3,000 Italian racing bike out of storage and squeezes his fat self into some spandex …. Us, we could live without biking through Staten Island; we’ll be eating ice cream.
[ Animation Now: Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 4 and 7 p.m., http://www.lincolncenter.org; "Ice Cream Sundaes (and Saturdays)," Eli Vinegar Factory, 431 East 91st Street, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Five Boro Bike Tour, http://www.bikenewyork.org.
Fresh off his world-dominating,
take-no-prisoners win at the magazine awards, New Yorker editor David Remnick struts out into public ( strut, strut, strut … ) to interview author Norman Manea. Mr. Manea will read from his memoir, The Hooligan’s Return, about his experience in the Transnistria concentration camp in the early 40’s. Can you think of a better way to start off the work week? Perhaps cheerier (or perhaps not) is the American Music Center Awards at the American Airlines Theatre on 42nd Street (which makes it an event we’ve never heard of at a theater we’ve never heard of either). We hope we’re not giving anything away when we say we hear that swingin’ William (Count) Basie gets a posthumous Founders’ Award!
[David Remnick, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., http://www.92Y.org; American Music Center Awards, American Airlines Theatre 227 West 42nd Street, 5 to 7:30 p.m., http://www.amc.net.
Hipper strippers! Nicole Miller, known to bridesmaids everywhere as a heaven-sent alternative to puffy monstrosities, debuts her first lingerie/intimates collection (naughty, naughty!) at … the vile booby bar Scores! “We like to do things a bit differently,” said Ms. Miller, who will be using some of the hookers-err, dancers-there to model her lingerie. “A lot of them are just regular girls,” she said. “They always do other things on the side.” We know what she means-we’ve met lots of bankers, lawyers, writers and retail executives who also dance naked in clunky heels for drunken bozos! “I think it’s going to be fun,” added Ms. Miller said, who hadn’t yet decided on the music (which- hello!-every stripper knows is key). Better clean the pole, too. Perhaps more sedate will be the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s scholarship dinner honoring the great Marv Albert, among others. HBO maniac Bob Costas is the master of ceremonies, and it all takes place at the fancy-schmancy Mandarin Oriental Hotel. We know a lot of “Orange” alumni from that very same program, and all we can say is … they sure can hold their liquor!
[Nicole Miller Lingerie, Scores, 536 West 28th Street, 6 to 8 p.m., by invitation only (and no touching!); Syracuse's Newhouse University gala scholarship benefit dinner, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Circle at 60th, 6:30 p.m., http:newhouse.syr.edu.]
Our pal the pirate pointed out that all the girls on America’s Next Top Model look like aliens. To which we say: Check out their giant bobble-headed leader! Tyra Banks’ head grows larger and scarier each week, and her weave is looking angry!
[ America's Next Top Model, UPN, 8 p.m.]