Elle is other people: Personally, we’re in no mood for fund-raisers-unless they involve a bunch of firefighters or three solid hours of mournful Mahler. But a few plucky uptowners are pressing on with their “Shelter for Shelters” benefit, a tour of rich people’s downtown lofts to boost the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Homeless Women’s Shelter. Who’s on the committee: Elle Decor editor in chief Margaret Russell , poetically named socialite Cricket Burns and Rachel Peters (granddaughter of Irving Berlin, who wrote that “God Bless America” song that makes us tear up every single time ) . Your co-chairs: antiques dealer Guy Regal and his wife, Julie Dannenberg-Regal. “There was a bit of a lull for obvious reasons, and now we’re coming back quite strong,” said Mr. Regal. “I think that people have a lot of interest in downtown, and I think it’s important that we get people down there and get an awareness. I don’t think a lot of people on the Upper East Side have even been downtown. It’s very au courant . And the fact that it benefits homeless women-I mean, now more than ever!”
[Tour begins at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, 10 a.m., ends with cocktail party at Repertoire, 75 Grand Street,
4 p.m., 744-5022, ext. 1282.]
This just in: The unstoppable Miramax publicity machine begins a-whirring again with the premiere for Serendipity , one
of those snowy-romance-in-New-York movies in which John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale attempt roles usually performed by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan . Who you’ll graciously allow to cut in front of you at the bar: much-missed former SNL -er Molly Shannon , perpetually funny actor Eugene Levy , Julia Roberts ex Benjamin Bratt and author Kurt Vonnegut .
[Screening, Ziegfeld Theatre, 141 West 54th Street, 7:45 p.m., party to follow, Boathouse in Central Park (guess there was a birthday party at that frozen-hot-chocolate place), by invitation only, 869-7233.]
If you thought you were never, ever going to have to hear another variation on The Vagina Monologues , think again, sister ! Remember Susanna Kaysen , who wrote Girl, Interrupted , an account of her time in a loony bin that was made into a painfully melodramatic movie that inexplicably got Angelina Jolie an Oscar? Well, tonight Ms. K. reads from The Camera My Mother Gave Me , a squirmy new Knopf memoir about her coochie snorcher . Bonus dirty excerpt? You know, we simply don’t have the heart; why don’t you dig up last month’s Talk , which ran practically the whole book …. Meanwhile, Rebecca Miller (daughter of Arthur, wife of Daniel Day-Lewis , who’ll soon resurface with LeonardoDiCaprio-another actor who just … disappeared-in Scor-sese’s Gangs of New York ) reads from her pretty decent book of short stories, PersonalVelocity ,then scoots downtown-generous head of Pre-Raphaelite tresses flowing in the wind-for a book party hosted by Grove-Atlantic party monster Morgan Entrekin . And the gin-and-tonics are clinking again at The Paris Review as book-jacket designer Chip Kidd is fêted for his debut novel from Scribner, The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters .
[Susanna Kaysen, Three Lives Bookstore, 154 West 10th Street, 7 p.m., 741-2069; Rebecca Miller reads at the Corner Bookstore, 1313 Madison Avenue, 7 p.m., 831-3554, then parties downtown at a top-secret Lexington Avenue location, 8:15 p.m., by invitation only, 614-7900; Chip Kidd, at the home of George and Sarah Plimpton (we can’t tell you where, but it’s in the 70’s, very far east, with a breathtaking river view), 6 p.m., by invitation only, 632-4949.]
Baldwins kick! Here’s a benefit we can really get behind: Billy Baldwin and his somewhat husky brother, Alec, co-host a gala for New York Dances , a community-outreach program that gives stress-alleviating dance workshops to groups around New York. Special note to the single women of New York: The Engine and Ladder companies of the Upper West Side have been invited , and will perhaps be coaxed by choreographer Denise Darcelle McClellan into some therapeutic “sensuous, spontaneous” movement . “It may take them a couple of beers,” said the spunky Ms. McClellan. ” We’re the only culture that effeminates dance. In Spain it’s considered very macho , but here everybody thinks that if you want to be a dancer, you have to put on a tutu. But I’m sending my prettiest dancers to the firehouses to talk to them and bring them cookies-whatever they need.” Better save some Milanos for the Baldwins ….
[Landmark on the Park, Central Park West at 76th Street, 7 p.m., 316-9457.]
Go for Björk? Thinking man’s sex symbol Björk appears at Radio City Music Hall tonight with a 54-piece orchestra and an Inuit choir, but it’s already sold out, so go stimulate the economy by buying her CD and a nice piece of kidney-shaped furniture from her boyfriend Matthew Barney’s art studio at the Gramercy Park Modern show, which has been moved from the 69th Regiment Armory (where disaster-relief efforts continue) to Madison Square Garden.
[Crafts Park Avenue, Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue and 66th Street, 3 p.m., 800-649-0279; Gramercy Park Modern, Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets, 11 a.m., 255-0020.]
Hesser and Friend(s) It’s a big day for the Manhattan food community, as New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser unclips her barrettes and celebrates her 30th birthday with her boyfriend, “Mr. Latte” (a.k.a. The New Yorker ‘s Tad Friend; he alleges he’s turning “30-ish”) …. Cash bar, but the couple is springing for a cake . Bonus crash incentive: Literary agent Amanda (Binky) Urban is invited.
[Lansky Lounge, 104 Norfolk Street, 9 p.m., say “Amanda” or “Tad” at the door to get in free, by invitation only.]
Emmy, meanie, meinie, mo: Stay home in your peignoir for the sheer escapist suspense of finding out how Calista Flockhart’s stylist construes patriotic “business attire” on the three-weeks-postponed, sincerity-infused, red-carpetless Emmys , complete with Unity Dinner, Walter Cronkite delivering the opening remarks and lots of people sporting those little ribbons.
[CBS, 8 p.m.]
Columbus Day- We had hoped for an extra-vigorous and moving parade , with many more beribboned people, but as of press time it was canceled …. So hop on your own float and go see the loopy new David Lynch movie that opens today, Mulholland Drive , something typically creepy about a woman who gets amnesia after a car crash. Originally made as a pilot for CBS, the network, Mr. Lynch has said, “hated it.” The French, who really go for that kind of thing, not only turned it into a movie, they gave him Best Director for it at Cannes. Vive les frogs.
Holy basil, Batman! Moomba is no more , but former owners Chris, Jennifer and Andy Russell are pressing on to Park Avenue South with TanDa , a Pan-Asian restaurant offering lacquered five-spiced squab with mushroom and grapefruit salad in ginger-flower vinaigrette; green-lip mussels in coconut-curry broth with holy basil; and a nice grilled pork chop ( burp ). The Russells lost a close friend, Cantor-Fitzgerald vice president Andy Golkin, in the World Trade Center disaster, and they’re turning tonight’s opening party into a voluntary benefit, with proceeds going to the New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund. Meanwhile, Jimmy Buffett puts on his best flip-flops for an American tribute performance at the Rita Hayworth Gala benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. Who will waste away in Margaritaville: Princess Yasmin Aga Khan; Dan Aykroyd and his wife, Donna Dixon Aykroyd; and the Hilton sisters’ parents-just too grand for the likes of us!
[TanDa, 331 Park Avenue South, 8 p.m., by invitation only, 290-1100, ext. 38; Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom, 301 Park Avenue, 6:30 p.m., cocktails, dinner and dance to follow, 206-7447, ext. 58.]
Wall-to-wall Walter: You thought Walter Cronkite would be totally spent after sprinkling his special brand of fairy dust over Hollywood on Sunday? Not in the slightest. Tonight, the original reassuring news anchor-who makes Bro-kaw, Jennings et al. look like a couple of flaky guys with nice haircuts-drops anchor at the Lenox Hill Bookstore to sign copies of his new book, Around America: A Tour of Our Magnificent Coastline , which he researched personally from the helm of his sailboat , Wyntje . It’s the kind of thing that would’ve seemed almost corny a few weeks ago, but today seems to make a heck of a lot of sense!
[Lenox Hill Bookstore, 1018 Lexington Avenue,
6 p.m., 472-7170.]