Wednesday, May 25
If only we could see what it’s like to be blind. Well, not see, as such, but…you know! The city has so many delightful visual stimuli-ooh, what a lovely dress! Wowee, the Chrysler Building! Aha, two pigeons fighting over an old hot dog!-that we can’t imagine the lights going out. That’s why the Foundation Fighting Blindness is hosting a crowd of society grandees for “Dining in the Dark,” a dinner designed to raise funds, and a little empathy, for the visually impaired. The guests, including recently resigned Kenneth Cole CEO Jill Granoff (shed a little light on that for us, Jill!), will dine in a totally dark banquet hall. In case you’re wondering, waiters will use a system of ropes to navigate the room (also, they’re blind, giving them an advantage, just like Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark). We won’t worry about bringing our fanciest duds-no one will see us anyway, and we’ll be spilling even more wine all over ourselves than usual…. Our sense of smell heightened by temporary blindness, we’ll be stopping by the FiFi Fragrance Awards-is that a topnote of sandalwood we detect? Beyoncé, not content with umpteen Grammys, is one of the nominees for “Fragrance of the Year, Luxe, Women,” alongside Thierry Mugler, Gucci, and…Kim Kardashian. Don’t show up doused in Stetson, gents-these folks know what they’re smelling, and their very talented noses are apt to get out of joint!
Dining in the Dark, Ritz Carlton Battery Park, 2 West Street, 6pm cocktails and red carpet, 7pm dinner, awards, and dancing to follow, call (212) 244-1470 for tickets; FiFi Awards, Tent at Damrosch Park (arrivals via West 52nd Street), Lincoln Center, 5:45pm arrivals, 6:45pm awards, 8pm celebration, visit fragrance.org for information
Thursday, May 26
Mario Testino has made everyone from Princess Diana to Angelina Jolie look great. Tonight, he’ll be honored for his efforts (not that making those ladies attractive is exactly backbreaking labor) by El Museo del Barrio and a passel of fashionable folks whose essences he’s captured. They include Anna Wintour (he made her look icy and dominant for The Wall Street Journal), Kate Winslet (he captured her new I’m-single-again platinum pixie cut for British Vogue), and Courtney Love (he made her look like a cracked-out Victorian doll for V). Sharon Bush will also be there-because, well, why not? We do hope Mr. Testino lectures the party photographers on the proper composition and color saturation of each shot.
Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street, cocktails at 7pm, dinner and dancing at 8pm, visit elmuseo.org for tickets.
Friday, May 27
Tree of a Kind
Director Terrence Malick has been known to take 30-year gaps between flicks, so the release of The Tree of Life would be something of an event even if it didn’t feature Brad Pitt as Sean Penn’s dad (don’t try to crunch the numbers on that one!). Early buzz on the film is that it’s fabulous for all those who love the Terrence Malick thing (moody, atmospheric shots; not much dialogue; the evocation of eternal mysteries) and for everyone else, well, a bit challenging. Also, there are, starring alongside Messrs. Pitt and Penn, dinosaurs, apparently! The film just got Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or–so, good or bad, you kind of have to see it!
The Tree of Life opens today.
Saturday, May 28
East Egg Revisited
We’re off to the Hamptons! Book a spot on the Jitney now-it will be absolutely packed as white-wearing New Yorkers spend the first weekend of summer seeing all the same people they see all the time in town. The season begins tonight with a cocktail party for Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons-who knew the hautest hood in the state had such a stray-pet population? But the party’s not just a spaying and neutering PSA: it debuts ARF’s renovated Thrift and Treasure Shop, which has been redesigned into a showhouse by top-dollar interior decorators. Seems like a totally reasonable use of time and money to us! Designers include the opulence-loving Geoffrey Bradfield, classically-inspired Thomas Britt, and modernist Alex Papachristidis. We just hope ARF doesn’t let any dog hair get on the new furniture.
ARF Thrift and Treasure Shop, 17 Montauk Highway (Sagaponack), preview hour at 5pm, general admission at 6pm, visit arfhamptons.org for tickets.
Sunday, May 29
We’re still in the Hamptons! (Honey, we’re just getting started.) Tonight’s host, Jessica White, is no angel-she got in a fight with a woman outside a club! She used to date Sean Penn! But that didn’t stop her from being featured as a Victoria’s Secret angel, and starting a charity called The Angel Wings Foundation. It’s rather a self-aggrandizing name, actually, but never you mind. Tonight’s dinner benefits UNICEF’s United States Fund, and is sponsored by haute fashion portal Blue and Cream. (Note to the site’s editors: If you need a model, we know have just the girl-she’s a little tempestuous, but her heart’s in the right place.)
Georgica, 8 Wainscott Stone Road (Wainscott), cocktails at 8pm, dinner at 9pm, after-party at 11pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and details.
Monday, May 30
What better way to wrap up a three-day weekend than by going to church? Right, we hear you, that’s a tentative no-but what if that church were the gloriously Gothic St. John the Divine, and that hot young phenom Alan Gilbert were conducting the annual free Memorial Day concert? The program is a double-barreled holiday special-the mournful Barber Adagio and the stirring Beethoven Eroica. You’ll be coming down from a weekend of modelizing and tanning, so soak up the last rays of sunlight on the Pulpit Green. We’ll save you a seat by us in the south transept!
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, 8pm, tickets available at St. John the Divine the day of performance on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday, May 31
Come Sail Away
It’s Fleet Week! That glorious time when the scads of seamen wash up on our shores, looking to see the sights, maybe catch a Broadway show, and enthusiastically mingle with admiring civilians. The National Arts Club pays tribute to our men in uniform with a nautically-themed rum tasting cocktail party (was there a grog shortage?), a dinner, and a performance by the USO Bells, those lovely ladies dedicated to filling the warrior-entertainment void left now that Bob Hope has put down his 9 iron. Though we’ll be standing on solid ground (relatively-the National Arts Club’s travails have been covered by this newspaper in grisly detail), we may feel a little seasick after a few rum punches-after all, we’ll be drinking like a sailor on shore leave!
National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, 6pm, members and guests only.
Wednesday, June 1
Lights, Camera, Auction
Mario Testino’s gala earlier in the week was just peachy, but we want some photography we can take home and hang on the wall! Fortunately, Friends in Deed, a charity aiding those with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers, has given us the opportunity simultaneously to do some good and snap up a few pieces to brighten up the summer place. Participating artists include Ron Galella (we always wanted a pap shot of Jackie O, how did you know?), Robert Mapplethorpe (shield your eyes, kids!), and Annie Leibowitz (who knew she could afford to donate her work!). Guests, including photographers like Patrick McMullan (talk about a busman’s holiday), collectors like onetime Warhol Factory Girl Jane Holzer, and much-photographed celebrities like the ubiquitous Andy Cohen, are invited to bid on a host of items. (We’re going for that Diane Arbus, which would look just great above the couch.)
Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 Park Avenue, 6:30pm, call 1 (800) 966-5433 for tickets
ddaddario@observer :: @DPD_