Some more things we’re just not on board with: the warmed-over meat loaf that is the new New York Times Thursday Styles section. White power males swimming naked? Yuck! (We give them exactly two weeks before they publish a feature on the “shaved scrotum” hipster look for summer 2005 … ); and don’t even get us started on our weekend coping with the blitzkrieg of images of sweet thang Katie Holmes ramming her face into Tom Cruise. Isn’t their union breaking some sort of intergalactic law? Moving right along, as anyone who has followed Jonathan Safran Foer’s fancy-loafer real-estate transactions can attest, the role of author is certainly a different one today than in days of yore. The topic of “A New Literacy” is discussed at the New York Public Library, with playwrights John Patrick Shanley, John Guare and Stephen Adly-Guirgis, graphic novelist Jonathan Vankin and (our favorite) the multi-talented actor-writer Eric Bogosian hashing over just what is fiction these days. “I’ve been hanging out in libraries since I was 5. I collect books-I hope that doesn’t sound precious-I just buy tons of books,” said Mr. Bogosian, who informed us he was speaking to us while lying down. “As I lie here, I have a wall of books on either side of me. If I ever get depressed, I’ll just stand in front of my bookcase.” Us, too! “We’re not really coming to this like we’ve got a particular bone to pick, but one thing I object to is when one generation looks over its shoulder and says the next generation isn’t as literate. We’re watching literature transform.” Mr. Bogosian hopes for a lively debate while at the library. “We like to argue-none of us are really ever at a loss for words,” he said. Look for comic-book geeks ( boat shoes, thick-rimmed glasses) to be mixed in with the new intellectual effete (the “inteffectuals” with Jack Spade bags, Cartier tank watches) and the girls they’re dating (but not sleeping with). Moving on a little further north- but not all the way to the North Pole, you sillies!-the Museum of the Moving Image honors Jeffrey Bewkes and Leslie (“Les Is More”) Moonves-cue giant Earth-dominating BONG!! sound effect-at a black-tie “industry” ( read: kiss-up) event at the St. Regis. As far as we can tell, they’re being honored just … because. Next! Boa-wearing Laurel Touby, of illustrious Media Bistro fame, is throwing a book party for Dianne Jacob’s Will Write for Food. Doesn’t Media Bistro throw workshops along this very same premise?
[“A New Literacy,” New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, 9 p.m., 212-868-4444; Museum of the Moving Image honors Jeffrey Bewkes and Leslie Moonves, the St. Regis, 2 East 55th Street, 7 p.m., 212-245-6570; party for Dianne Jacob, Will Write for Food, the Works Catering, 743 East Ninth Street, 6 to 8 p.m.; by invitation only.]
It’s Cinco de Mayo!
We’ve always been a little shaky on what exactly this holiday is all about besides a flimsy excuse for tequila shots, but this day is commemorated because on May 5, 1862, “4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico.” Hell, we’ll drink to that! Anyhoo, the newbie socialite set will be aflutter tonight at the annual Whitney Art Party, which is really a chance to get gussied up and pretend to talk about art. “The Art Party is a party celebrating art and celebrating the Whitney,” clarified Lisa Anastos, founder of the Whitney Contemporaries, a group of, um, well-off peeps between the ages of 25 and 40 who have more money than your whole family does and who care about art. (Really, they do!) Among the folks on chair duty is the lovely actress Milla Jovovich, perennial “It” boy Zac Posen and the devilish Alan Cumming. “It’s great energy and great people, and what’s wonderful is that it raises money for the Whitney Museum’s independent-study program,” said Ms. Anastos. “It’s supporting the next generation.” Contemporary artists such as Alexis Rockman, Jeremy Blake and Toland Grinnell will have work auctioned, and there will be the du rigueur assortment of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres (fingers crossed for Devils on Horseback) and a performance by the super-glam René Risqué and the Art Lovers. A hint for those of you who go to these things for the gift bags: Sharpen your claws- Kate Spade and artist Ellen Harvey collaborated on the bag, and it’s valued at 200 smackeroos! Next! Anyone else notice that India is the new Japan (can’t wait to see a Hilton in a sari) when it comes to themed events (and rich brats’ weddings)? The Wildlife Trust ( growl) hosts its “An Evening in India” awards dinner at the lovely Gotham Hall. There will be a live auction, with items such as the opportunity to visit elephants in Bangalore or meet the manatees in Belize. (Bring them a nice babka.) For the more intellectual type, there’s “Measuring the Muse,” a tweedy day up at Columbia University spent discussing the latest research on the arts, including a speech, “Why the Arts Matter,” by Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. After which, go home, fire up a margarita and speak drunken Spanglish to your cat ( ¿Verdad, pequeno hombre?).
[Whitney Art Party, Splashlight Studios, 535 West 35th Street, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., http://www.whitney.org; “An Evening In India,” Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, 6:30 p.m., 212-957-9155; “Measuring the Muse: Arts Research from the Frontlines,” Columbia University School of Journalism Lecture Hall, 116th and Broadway, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., http://www.allianceforarts.org.
Paris is burning! Tonight, the general public has a very important choice to make: to go to the scary-looking House of Wax and pretend for a moment that movies are real and that Paris Hilton actually does encounter a painful and horrible end-or to see Orlando Bloom sex up the Crusades in Sir Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. The peeps who worship The New Yorker (a lot of you Nerve.com gals seem to list it as one of your five can’t-live-without items-which is a bit troubling, face it) will no doubt turn up their nose at these mainstream choices and fall prey to critic David Denby’s moist effusions over this new movie Crash … which is not a remake of director David Cronenberg’s super-creepy Crash. Time for a nap.
[ House of Wax, Kingdom of Heaven, Crash, for showtimes and theaters, http://www.moviefone.com.
In its continuing quest to not feel like the Randy Quaid to Manhattan’s Dennis, the Brooklyn Museum throws a “First Saturday” party, with a free program each month sponsored by the hypnotizing Target. ( Quick note: People who pronounce the store’s name in that irritating faux-French way should be made to ride a unicycle to work for a month.) Tonight, you can check out the Basquiat exhibit and swivel your bony hips at a dance party hosted by “one of Basquiat’s closest friends,” Fab 5 Freddy ( huh?). Holding it down for Manhattan, the Matthew Marks Gallery has a Jasper Johns exhibit (the man painted some flags and caused a big, fluffy to-do at his retrospective at the MoMA in 1996). The public hasn’t seen a new painting from Mr. Johns in eight years, but now we have Catenary (which we had to look up). It’s defined as “the curve formed by a perfectly flexible, uniformly dense, and inextensible cable suspended from its endpoints. It is identical to the graph of a hyperbolic cosine.” We hate it when art makes our head hurt.
[“First Saturday,” Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 5 p.m., http://www.brooklynmuseum.org; Jasper Johns: Catenary, Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street, now through June 25, http://www.matthewmarks.com.
Coco Puffs! It’s Mother’s Day, so remember to thank the woman who gave you life and a lifetime of issues ( kidding, Mom!). O.K.! Enough time has passed since Monday night’s big, splashy event at the Met in honor of the current exhibit on all things Chanel (we hear that many of those poor socialite dears had to make do without free Chanel frocks. Mean, mean Mr. Lagerfeld!), so it may be safe to venture up to the Upper East Side to see the actual exhibit. See the hat with the ribbon that launched a thousand inferiority complexes. Rounding off this art-heavy weekend, stop by Karl Kemp and Associates Antiques for a look at the André Villers photographs of close Coco Chanel friend Pablo Picasso. Mr. Villers met Picasso in 1953 and snapped away, giving “an intimate view of the personal world of Pablo Picasso during the 1950s and 1960s.”
Spence and Sensibility! It’s never too early in the week for a benefit! The delicate daughters of the Upper East Side (raised like hothouse orchids) throw a mother-daughter cocktail party and auction to raise money for the Fistula Foundation, an organization based in Ethiopia and dedicated to helping victims of obstetric fistula, a condition resulting from traumatic childbirth. Chairing the event is Spence senior Selby Drummond and measly sophomores Janie Ostrager and Julia Capalino. It all goes down ( hush!) at the Metropolitan Pavilion (picked clean during last week’s Kate Spade sample sale) tonight, with food by Cipriani’s. The lasses had some help from some not-to-be-sniffed-at sponsors, like a little ‘zine called Vogue and Aerin Lauder as honorary chair. Not entirely unsurprisingly, designer Zac Posen will M.C. the event, which will have an auction and fashion show from various designers like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Badgley Mishka, Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang. Meep! Whatever happened to wearing cut-off jeans and doing a car wash on Route 1 for your class trip? Meanwhile, if that’s too rich for your blood, try the dedication of the Bernard B. Jacobs and Gerald Schoenfeld Theaters at the Marriott Marquis, with Broadway faves Dame Edna Everage (hope she wears purple), the always-Wolverine-to-us Hugh Jackman and those crazy puppets from Avenue Q. And before you can say, “I love the way New York subways smell in August!”, it’s a summer sample sale from Showroom Seven, which will have reduced prices on Alice Roi, Ellus Jeans, Jennifer (“My dad’s Jack Nicholson so don’t paw me, fellas”) Nicholson and Charlotte clothes, among others. Phew.
[A Girls’ Night Out Fistula Benefit, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, 6 to 8 p.m., 212-463-0071; dedication of the Bernard B. Jacobs and Gerald Schoenfeld Theaters, the Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway at 45th Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only; Showroom Seven sample sale, 498 Seventh Avenue, 24th floor, http://www.showroomseven.com.
“I wanted to have songs that would give an insight into Rosemary from a family perspective, and from the 30-plus years I spent with her,” said Debby Boone of her new CD, Reflections of Rosemary, a tribute to her mother-in-law, the fab Rosemary Clooney. “Each song was picked for incredibly personal reasons,” she said of the list, which includes Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” (“Rosemary sang this to my son”) and Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.” “She was an extraordinary woman,” said Ms. Boone, who will be at Feinstein’s at the Regency now through May 21 (and who made it through the interview without having to discuss her 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life” or her mother-in-law’s nephew, hunk George Clooney-you’re welcome!). More celebrating for good causes takes place as Anthony Drexel Duke (which, come on, is a pretty awesome name) is honored this evening at the Waldorf-Astoria for his work in founding Boys and Girls Harbor, whose mission is to “empower children and their families to become full, productive participants in society through education, cultural enrichment, and social services.” Bringing the cheer will be a special guest, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings (who we hope feels better soon), along with Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton and a bushel of Congresspeople. Next! The Publishing Triangle Awards, which honor the best lesbian and gay fiction, nonfiction and poetry, take place-where else?-in the Village this evening. And Valkyrie-like writer Alex Kuczynski and her spouse, Charles Stevenson, throw a little party to celebrate Steven Gaines’ The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan. Which reminds us, our Big-Cheese Editor seems to have misplaced his copy-probably while crooning along with old Rosemary Clooney records.
[Debby Boone, Feinstein’s at the Regency, 540 Park Avenue, 8:30 p.m., http://www.feinsteinsattheregency.com; Boys and Girls Harbor’s Salute to Achievement, Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, 6:30 p.m., http://www.boysandgirlsharbor.net; the Publishing Triangle’s 17th Annual Triangle Awards, Tishman Auditorium, the New School, 66 West 12th Street, 7 to 8:30 p.m. with reception to follow; book party for The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan, 740 Park Avenue, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only.]
We fear it may be time to say goodbye to our obsession with our wannabe model friends on TV. Apparently, some people look down their noses at those who like to watch a little reality television. So we’ll just say good luck for now, ladies, and to those of you who mock reality TV: You really just don’t understand.
[ America’s Next Top Model, 8 p.m., UPN]