Now that Billary Clinton have pretended to fire top strategist Mark Penn, we’re preparing ourselves for Hillary 9.0 (or is it 10.0?). Honestly, it makes for better television than TMZ! (Pssst—anyone scalping ringside seats for Denver?) Meanwhile, are we the only ones who suspect that up close, John McCain smells just like flowers? Here in Gotham, in just two months all the sparkly people hop helicopters to the Hamptons, so the race is on for charities to soak up the funds before the fat cats flee. Tonight’s Gala Benefit Preview for the AIPAD Photography Show at the Park Avenue Armory boasts a Lauder as co-chair and a Rockefeller as honorary co-chair, joined by additional honorary co-chairs Agnes Gund (MoMA honchette) and Jerry Speyer (real estate honcho). Proceeds flow to MoMA’s photography acquisitions. In funkier news, actress Rosie Perez is hosting master classes that pair celebrity artists with underprivileged schoolchildren through Working Playground, an organization “I started with my ex-husband’s sister, Amy Poux. It was her brainchild,” explained Ms. Perez, calling from L.A. (where she had just, incidentally, left the company of rich slackers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, writers of her next movie, Pineapple Express, in which she plays “a crooked cop who sells marijuana”). Ms. Perez has been involved with the group for 14 years, she said. “We allow their emotional intelligence to grow through art,” she said of the kids in the 50 schools that use Working Playground. And nonprofit organizations are no cakewalk, she added: “I’ve taught. I campaign for money. I campaign by public awareness by going on shows. I campaign by doing fund-raisers. Mostly it’s begging for money.” You’re telling us. … Meanwhile, out in Brooklyn, home to a nascent gala scene featuring less Botox but equal detox, the BAM 2008 Spring Gala celebrates Paul Simon’s Under African Skies—which the knight himself will perform live—and attracts the likes of Mario Batali, Steve Buscemi, David Byrne, Caroline Kennedy, Charles Grodin, Willem Dafoe, Paul Giamatti, Parker Posey, Susan Sarandon—O.K., Brooklyn, you win!
[Gala Benefit Preview for the AIPAD Photography Show, Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street, 5 p.m., 212-4708-9680; Working Playground Interactive Master Classes, Facing History High School, 525 West 50th Street, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., 718-336-0716; BAM Spring Gala, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 6 p.m., 718-636-4182]