Wednesday, August 3
The Ultimate Art Machine
Is the Guggenheim the Shake Shack of museums? Locations, locations, locations! Not content with outposts in the Basque Country and the United Arab Emirates (as well as the now-shuttered Las Vegas outpost, which seems in retrospect a bit of an overreach…to expect real culture to take hold in the land of bilk and money), the Guggenheim is now creating a mobile lab, opening today, that will set up shop in nine cities over six years in a quest to spur discussion on urban life. The slow migration of the auto-company-sponsored BMW Guggenheim Lab (a mobile laboratory isn’t cheap, dears!) begins in New York with the erection of a mobile structure themed around “Confronting Comfort.” (While the Guggenheim Lab is referring to balancing individual desire with the common good, surely you’ll be reminded that a new BMW forces you to “confront comfort” in a whole new way!) Catch it while you can—the mobile lab jaunts to Berlin next, then on to a yet-to-be-announced city in Asia.
BMW Guggenheim Lab, 33 East First Street, opens today from 1-9pm, visit guggenheim.org for more information.
Thursday, August 4
When we hear “Talking Head,” we think rock star/bicycle enthusiast David Byrne, of course—we see that guy everywhere! But some talking heads come on reels, not wheels: the Anthology Film Archives continue their Talking Head screening series of documentary films featuring testimonials from a single individual. The mini-genre’s rife with unreliable narrators and charismatic characters: today brings screenings of The Confessions of Winifred Wagner (about Richard Wagner’s daughter-in-law and her friendship with Adolf Hitler) and Martin Scorsese’s Italianamerican and American Boy (regarding, respectively, his parents and the Taxi Driver actor Steven Prince).
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, The Confessions of Winifred Wagner at 6:45pm, Italianamerican and American Boy at 9pm, visit anthologyfilmarchives.org for tickets and information.
Friday, August 5
This weekend, the Shinnecock Indian reservation, in Southampton, is invaded by hordes even wilder than cigarette buyers looking for a tax-free carton. The Escape to New York music festival brings electro-loving ravers in for a weekend spent sleeping in campers (it’s glamorous camping, or “glamping,” for the Sunday Styles set), listening to music and enjoying all the good, clean fun the Hamptons have to offer. Tonight, noted memoirist Patti Smith and girl-group-but-not-in-the-Phil-Spector-way Best Coast perform on the main stage. It’s not just music and glamping (something about that word—we just can’t take ourselves seriously when we say it!): the organizers were responsible for the U.K.’s Secret Garden Party, an annual festival that transforms a manor house’s grounds into what a Telegraph reporter described as “a fairy woodland filled with strange sculptures” and “a Tower of Babel disco.” If this all sounds a bit foreign to you, gentle partygoing reader, know that in bringing a manic all-weekend festival to the States, the organizers adopted one indigenous custom: there will be a massive brunch for all attendees. Glamorous!
Escape to New York runs through August 7, Shinnecock Reservation (Southampton), visit escape2ny.com for tickets and information.
Saturday, August 6
If you find yourself among the Gilded Age relics in Newport tonight (we mean the mansions, not the social set), contribute to the preservation of one grand home. Once owned by Pennsylvania coal baron Edward Julius Berwind and modeled after a French chauteau, the house at the Elms is fine ($1.4 million in 1901 money could buy you a pretty sturdy house), but its carriage house and stables are in need of a pick-me-up. Tonight’s black-tie dinner dance—whose theme is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”–will raise money for Newport’s Preservation Society, which plans to turn the stables of The Elms from equine domicile into a historical society devoted to researching the town’s architectural history. Let’s make sure that horsey smell is powerwashed out before the important work of this research center begins!
The Elms, 367 Bellevue Avenue (Newport, R.I.), 7pm, call (401) 847-1000 x120 for reservations.
Sunday, August 7
McQueen for a Day
The Met is open until midnight tonight so that late, late latecomers can check out Alexander McQueen’s wares before the exhibit closes permanently. A night spent experiencing the glories of the museum? We remember that children’s book! Most everyone we know has raved about the Costume Institute show, but we’ve been pretty busy all summer (the Newport mansions can’t save themselves, you know, and there’s pretty intriguing costumery to check out there as well!), and the museum’s been bending over backwards to accommodate busy (lazy!) people like us all summer, with admission on Mondays and now late-night shows. Is any innovation quite so welcome in this go-go city as a museum for the nocturnal? We hope the trend catches on—nothing would lull us to sleep quite like the soft glow of MoMA’s Rothkos. (We do love McQueen, too, but we’re sure those severe, radical clothes will give us a few nightmares!)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, exhibition open until 12am August 6 and 7, visit metmuseum.org for more information.
Monday, August 8
Day for Night
We’re still vicariously embarrassed for dear old drama geek Anne Hathaway in her noble, pathetic attempt to host the Oscars by sheer force of will. She tried so very hard! She laughed at her own jokes to fill cavernous silences! Well, her new film might have put the brakes on her earnest, overbearing schtick and given us the chance to remember why we loved her in the first place. Ms. Hathaway, as a British lady separated from her one true love but for an annual brief encounter, puts her high-school-production-of-Oliver! on for the new film One Day, which she’s fêteing at the red carpet premiere tonight. Do you think Ms. Hathaway’s erstwhile Oscar co-host James Franco would consider it a suitable art project to come as our plus-one?
One Day premiere, an Upper West Side movie palace, screening at 7pm.
Wednesday, August 10
Rangel Me an Invite
It’s Christmas for politicos with the annual Charles Rangel birthday gala (the Congressman was born in June, but that’s not a slow news month that will guarantee headlines!). Planned attendees at the Plaza Hotel bash include Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer—all familiar faces from last year’s bash, which went on during Mr. Rangel’s ethics investigation. Also planning to attend is Aretha Franklin, who’ll sing for the assembled guests: she was supposed to sing last year, but fell and broke her ribs, so Psychic Friend Dionne Warwick turned up instead. Broken ribs are perhaps the only excuse that can keep prominent machers away from the ever-popular Mr. Rangel: “I felt bad—because Aretha felt so bad!,” said Mr. Rangel’s fundraising consultant Darren Rigger, who noted that Ms. Franklin was pleased to make up for her truancy. As for the party–why the Plaza and not, you know, something in Mr. Rangel’s district? “Charlie is iconic,” said Mr. Rigger. “We needed a place that had that same feel—you remember the Black and White Balls, the galas, it sends a powerful message. There’s a lot of places, and I’m not going to say bad things about other places, but this place is iconic for throwing a gala.” Indeed! If Truman Capote were alive today, he’d love nothing more than hanging out with New York politicians.
Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, 6pm-8pm, visit charlierangel.org for tickets and information.