Thursday, May 8th

Note to self! Cut back to two Splendas, and read The New Yorker instead of watching E! The tweedy editors and camisole-clad interns at that venerable magazine take Town Cars to Barry Diller’s molten IAC building abutting the Hudson River for a gabfest titled “Stories from the Near Future,” featuring the usual lineup—Malcolm Gladwell, Jane Mayer, Alex Ross, Bill Buford, Jeffrey Toobin—squaring off with a cast of cultural movers including super-Democrat (and inspiration for Bradley Whitford’s West Wing character!) Rahm Emanuel, pretty-boy San Fran mayor Gavin Newsom, dapper police commissioner Ray Kelly, and ubiquitous foodie fetish-object David Chang. (It’s pork and noodles, people!) Don’t shoot, commissioner Kelly, that’s no flying squirrel—it’s only Mr. Gladwell’s hair! If all of this is too rich for your blood, hop your Vespa to Lincoln Center for Camelot, starring—nope, not Kiera Knightley, silly—nanny Fran Drescher! Ms. Drescher will portray the sorceress Morgan le Fey alongside Gabriel Byrne’s King Arthur. “I’m playing a myst-ay-rious, bee-you-tee-ful queen that lives in an enchanted fahrest,” Ms. Drescher explained, calling during a break in rehearsal and speaking in a much more mild version of her trademark accent than we’re used to. She added that her character has the life we’ve always wanted—i.e., lots of sex in the afternoon and lots of eating at night. “She can eat whatever she wants and not gain a pound.” And: “I’ve always been an afternoon delight.” Finally: “I’ve always wanted to make things invisible.” The producers, she said, are reveling in her accent. “They want me to play it up. And I thought I would be able to do this and maybe speak the King’s English.” Now let’s get back to spending those $600 economic stimulus checks! We called Real Simple editrix Kristin van Ogtrop to discuss her magazine’s Design on a Dime event—an auction of housewares to benefit Housing Works (as if we hadn’t siphoned enough money to them via their thrift shops already)—“It’s for such a great cause, and you almost forget that because it’s so fabulous,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like charity. It feels like shopping.” Phew!

[The New Yorker Conference: Stories From the Near Future, the IAC Building, 555 West 18th Street,; Camelot, Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 8 p.m., 212-721-6500; Real Simple Design on a Dime VIP event, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, 6 p.m.,