Wednesday, December 10
Dateline NBC The Dateline cult-i.e., the roughly 400 employees who put this NBC cash cow on your TV set four nights a week-finally get to lay their eyes on their gods, anchors Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips, and executive producer Neal Shapiro, who is referred to around the offices simply as “he”-at what is billed on the invitation as an “evening of holiday cheer.” How about, “a cauldron of paranoia”? Have you ever partied with Jane Pauley? Can’t be done.
[New York Palace Hotel, 455 Madison Avenue, 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.]
The Village Voice “We always end up hanging from the chandeliers,” said columnist Michael Musto. “I used to come, like, in these outfits-I had this one Christmas ensemble, a body suit with red Christmas balls hanging from it.” But balls or no balls, Mr. Musto, who gave downtown society a scare recently when he collapsed in convulsions at a function, is planning to attend. “I feel great,” he said. Will people bring dates? “I don’t got one,” said Mr. Musto. “I guess I’ll just bring my gerbil.”
[S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick Street, 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.]
Thursday, December 11
Tudor Investment Corporation Paul Tudor Jones, the wacky, brash Master of the Universe who’s made gazillions on Wall Street, threw toga parties in the 80’s. But tonight, he, his employees and their spouses put on black tie for a night of casino fun at the New York Public Library. Last year, each guest got $1,000 in fake money for the craps, blackjack and poker tables. First prize was a trip to Roswell, N.M. (the place where the aliens supposedly landed in the 1950’s), but like any smart trader, the guy who won cashed out and exchanged the trip for $10,000.
[New York Public Library, 455 Fifth Avenue, 7 P.M.]
Condé Nast Sports for Women The ladies who luge will be setting up pins at the bowling alley at Chelsea Piers-even though Condé Nast editors threw tantrums during fashion week when they had to trek way out west to the piers. Crash strategy: Wear a sports bra over your chemise. After the last bowling ball has guttered, a select few of the staff repairs to the James Danziger Gallery on Prince Street, where Sports for Women editor Lucy Danziger and husband James Danziger throw a small dinner.
[Chelsea Piers, West 23rd Street and the West Side highway, 6:30 to 9:30 P.M.]
Rolling Stone Editor and publisher Jann Wenner used to rent out the Harkness House mansion on East 75th Street and throw the best darn Christmas parties around. But that was some time ago, and the recent parties have had very little bacchanal to them. This year, Rolling Stone tries out the new China Club, which one hopes will have cleaned up the swill from the B-list celebrity-packed opening of the night before.
[China Club, 268 West 47th Street, 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.]
Hearst Magazines What happens when you invite more than 1,200 employees from Hearst Corporation’s magazine division to Tavern on the Green for some holiday cheer? We asked a Cosmopolitan magazine staff member: “It’s no fun,” she said, “it’s too crowded, the food is decent-but it’s not worth the trouble for a few free drinks. I do my drinking at home.” Now there’s a party!
[Tavern on the Green, Central Park West at 67th Street, 5 P.M. to 9 P.M.]
Friday, December 12
Sports Illustrated Last year, the staff didn’t get a party. Instead, Time Warner sent them to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. This year, Sports Illustrated went nuts and rented out four floors of the Madison, a club. About 300 people will be doing the “white man’s overbite” to a real live deejay!
[Madison, 29 East 32nd Street, 7 P.M. to 1 A.M.]
Monday, December 15
The New York Times Magazine The glossy magazine of the paper of record swoops in where the Walt Disney Company’s Lion King roars, and invites 150 people to swell the New Amsterdam Theater on a night when the stage is dark. Free wine and beer-but, hey, this is The Times , which means if you want a real drink, you’ll have to reach for your wallet.
[New Amsterdam Theater, 214 West 42nd Street, 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.]
J.P. Morgan asset management services Last year’s party took up eight or nine rooms at the Pierre hotel-attendees can number in the thousands-so don’t expect to see managing directors spinning yarns to young financial types around the fireplace. And don’t be fooled by the dainty finger food: Afterward, the boys go out to get smashed at bars. Crash strategy: a pocketful of Dunhills. Maybe they’ll buy you a lap dance at Scores.
[Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, 811 Seventh Avenue, Imperial Ballroom, 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.]
Women’s Media Group Who are they? A cadre of high-powered New York ladies (agent Virginia Barber, photographer Jill Krementz, Cosmopolitan editor Myra Appleton, etc.). What’s on the menu? “Fruit Plate” or “Vegetable Plate.” W.M.G. members must fork over $47.50. But don’t those food options sound kind of lame? “I agree,” said one W.M.G. member. “The menu is pretty funny, but look at it this way: It’s the ’21’ Club, so even a fruit plate is pretty good.”
[“21” Club, 21 West 52nd Street, noon.]
Tuesday, December 16
The New Yorker The magazine used to have separate but equal holiday soirees for its editorial and advertising departments-but under Tina Brown, commerce and art are one big happy family, so this year the wall comes tumbling down: one party for all!
[Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.]
GQ, part 1 If you’re an ambitious media hack, you probably got a nice invitation to GQ’ s in-office Christmas party [See: Thursday, Dec. 18]. But unless you work for the magazine, you weren’t asked to this swishy event: Editor Art Cooper, staff and contributors dine by candlelight in a sumptuous loft overlooking the West Side Highway and, in the distance, the twinkling lights of New Jersey. In a cheapo move that seems confined to media Christmas parties-unlike, say, those of banks or law firms-no husbands, wives or playmates are allowed.
[Studio 450, penthouse, 450 West 31st Street, 6:30 P.M.]
Slotnick, Shapiro & Crocker Barry Slotnick may be feeling a bit out of the tabloid spotlight, what with his most recent media moment (representing the priapic Anthony Quinn) decidedly trumped by the boisterous Tawana Brawley antics of Alton H. Maddox Jr. and C. Vernon Mason-so his law firm’s holiday party should be just the thing to cheer him up.
[Slotnick, Shapiro & Crocker, 100 Park Avenue, 5 P.M. to 9 P.M.]
Simon & Schuster “Many years ago, under Paramount, there was a no Christmas party policy,” said Jack Romanos, president of Simon & Schuster’s consumer publishing group. “It came back to life after we were acquired by Viacom. It’s at the Plaza-there will be close to 500 people there … It’s not a dressy affair.”
[Plaza Hotel, 768 Fifth Avenue, 5:30 P.M.]
Wednesday, December 17
Vogue Surprise, surprise: Vogue magazine’s holiday shindig, like that of sister publication The New Yorker , is going down at Balthazar. We called a top editor to find out what time the party started, and she snipped, “Why? You want an invitation?” Most anticipated moment: Someone actually takes a bite of a food item.
[Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, 6-ish to 8-ish.]
Katie Ford and André Balazs This handsome society couple (she’s chief executive of Ford Models, he’s a hip hotelier) are known for their frolicking fun-and what fun it will be to sip cocktails in their enormous Greene Street loft! Said one previous attendee: “It’s less of a literary crowd than Bret Easton Ellis’ party. [ See : Thursday, Dec. 18.] There are a lot of major fashion people and lot of journalists-but only chic journalists. A smattering of models. You see kids playing in front of what is reputed to be a fake Francis Bacon painting.”
[Somewhere on Greene Street, 7 to 10 P.M.]
People “The problem with this party,” according to one People magazine source, “is that it’s always during the middle of a very stressful week. For most people, it’s one of the few times they allow themselves to get drunk. Everybody comes in the next day hung over and remarkably unhappy.” Entertainment in years past has included an Ivy League a cappella group and the antics of a certain staff member who, according to our source, “always collapses during the party. I was just standing there, and she just slumped on the ground.”
[China Club, 268 West 47th Street, 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.]
Thursday, December 18
Late Night With Conan O’Brien The party’s in the Late Night studio, but be glad it’s not televised-for some reason, it’s a lot less fun than the show. Conan invites staff and some of his old writer friends from Saturday Night Live , like Rob Smigel (who’s now producing David Letterman’s show on CBS). If you’re lucky, SNL funnyman Norm MacDonald will show.
[Studio 6-A, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 8 P.M.]
New York Chances are this party wouldn’t make one of New York’s “Best of …” lists-and not just because it’s on the desperately unhip Upper West Side. One previous attendee described the magazine’s Christmas party as being like “Sunday buffet at the Ramada.” Writers and editors stand on one side, everyone else stands on the other. But this year’s party may be the exception, since the staff is simply giddy over its great moral victory over the Giuliani administration regarding those bus ads. Most anticipated moment: With this year’s “Southwestern theme,” will the editorial assistants bust out the fringe?
[Citrus, 320 Amsterdam Avenue, 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.]
The Dakota Each year, the famous building brings in carolers to serenade tenants like Lauren Bacall and Yoko Ono; if it’s not too cold, the brave descend into the courtyard for steaming hot cocoa around a decorated Christmas tree. Those whose apartments face the courtyard put lighted candles in their windows.
[Dakota, 1 West 72nd Street, 6:30 P.M.]
GQ , part 2 This is editor Art Cooper’s party for the masses. He sent out an invitation with a “photo” of him sitting next to Sharon Stone and Ernest Hemingway at the Stork Club, and we must say Mr. Cooper looks very daring and dangerous! The party’s in his office-but will he be ho-ho-hoing, now that his ex-protégé David Granger is landing Esquire in the tabloids [ See : “outing” of Kevin Spacey, etc.]? Plus, tonight at least, Esquire is serving better food (see below).
[GQ, 350 Madison Avenue, sixth floor, “4 P.M. until the sun also rises”(ugh-ed.).]
Esquire Like their pals at GQ, Esquire, under the guidance of party-happy editor David Granger, throws a bash in its sleek offices (the ones that resemble offices in those Michael Douglas sexual harassment movies.) The Soup Nazi, of Seinfeld fame, is catering the event. Likely no-show: Kevin Spacey. Likely humiliating moment: emotive speech by Mr. Granger, guru of touchy-feely journalism.
[ Esquire , 250 West 55th Street, eighth floor, 5 P.M. to 8 P.M.]
Scores You can bet that plenty of investment bankers will be blowing their record Christmas bonuses at this skin joint, but today the staff bolts the doors to have its own merry little Christmas. “It’s a tremendous bonding thing for the everyone,” said Lonnie Hanover, the flack for Scores. “It’s the greatest party of all time: 250 strippers and 50 guys. This is one the guys never miss. Even Dennis Rodman can’t crash this party, although he tried last year, and he’s got a girlfriend working there. The Crystale Champagne will be flowing. Normally, it’s the customers who drink the champagne and eat the lobster, but this is for us. It’s a $200,000 party! Some of our girls are flying in all the way from Texas.”
[Scores, 333 East 60th Street, afternoon.]
Details Editor Michael Caruso better be careful: First, The New York Times declared he has “teeth too white to trust”; then he let e-mail go out to Details employees, inviting them to a holiday party tonight at an abandoned synagogue in the East Village-but those plans fell through, which means that with only two weeks till Christmas, the magazine is scrambling for a new locale.
[Call Details switchboard at 420-0689 for hourly updates.]
Bret Easton Ellis You know him as the “American Psycho”-but every year at Christmastime, his friends know him as the cuddliest Santa in town as he opens his East Village loft to more than 100 of New York’s literati, approximating that party scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s . Mr. Ellis treats his guests to catered food, rivers of booze and the sight of Joan Didion chatting with, say, Lauren Hutton, while pretty waiters and waitresses (one year they wore togas) try to avoid spilling red wine on Jay McInerney’s Armani duds. “You go in and put your coat on a rack, then go upstairs and can’t move at all,” said one past partygoer. “They pass around the most incredible food; it’s so odd to be having such fabulous food with this rat-fuck mix of guests.” After the party-which by 1 A.M. will be spilling into the stairwell-Mr. Ellis jets out to Los Angeles for a while because he hates cold weather and, well, after seeing all of Manhattan’s tweedy strivers crammed into his apartment at once, he probably needs a little nap. Be warned: A no-nonsense guy with the invite list is stationed at the front door to the building.
[Somewhere on East 13th Street, 6:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.]
Friday, December 19
Daily News At last year’s holiday party, deputy managing editor Rich Rosen and managing editor Arthur Browne mortified everyone by leading each other around the dance floor (by their ties) in an attempted bunny hop. But that was just the beginning: Now that publisher Mort Zuckerman has installed that Brit trickster Harry Evans as his editorial poohbah, who knows what will happen? Most anticipated moment : Debby Krenek, editor, chats with Mr. Evans-if he shows-around the punchbowl. Might not show: former editor (of everything) Pete Hamill-at his farewell party this fall, ex-staff member Wendy Henry, a British tabloid veteran whose nickname is “The Badger,” showed up uninvited and threw a drink in Mr. Hamill’s face.
[Studio 450 (just two blocks from the office!), 450 West 31st Street, 7 P.M. to 11:30 P.M.]
Price Waterhouse Gloating after their big $13 billion merger with Coopers & Lybrand, the accountants at Price Waterhouse are treated to a special showing of A Christmas Carol. The invite reads: “The theme of this magical show is about good will towards man, and it is intended for all ages and religious beliefs.” A Price Waterhouse spokesman explained, “That line about the Christian stuff was just to make it nondenominational, so anyone who isn’t Christian wouldn’t be offended.”
[Theater at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue and West 32nd Street, 6 P.M.]
Wednesday, December 24
Han Feng The rapidly rising fashion designer is strapping on an apron and cooking a traditional Chinese lunch at her infamously minimalist garment district loft and serving it to staff, some fashion editors and buyers. Most anticipated moment: Will her pal, actor Tim Robbins, stop by?
[Somewhere on West 29th Street, noon.]
Reported by William Berlind, Nicholas Corman, Kate Kelly and Alexandra Zissu.