She taught the men of New York how to walk in stilettos -and, ladies, tonight she’ll teach you, too! Veronica Vera , the proprietress of Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls , leads a women-only class tonight, “How to Walk, Sit and Pose in High Heels.” It seems Miss Vera’s school is branching out: “It was founded as a school for men who like cross-dressing,” she said, “but I’d always had the dream of expanding to include women.” Tonight’s instructors will include a “Ballet Mistress,” who focuses on upper-body movement; a woman named Maryanne Byington (“Maryanne walks beautifully!” Ms. Vera said. “It’s such a turn-on to watch her walk! It’s as if she’s one with the air “); and a male “Drag Teacher,” for those who want to learn to walk in platforms . (One reason drag queens often wear platforms, Miss Vera explained, is because ” men can’t wear Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks because they’re too narrow. But believe me, those ‘girls’ are very into their shoes-especially shoes with toe cleavage.”) Tonight’s ladies will learn how to conquer uneven sidewalks, subway grates and stairs. According to Ms. Vera, ladies, you should approach these hazards with your chin parallel to the ground , looking down only with your eyes as you walk. (We tried this on the way home from work and fell down an escalator.) Meanwhile, eternally bronzed supermodel Heidi Klum has apparently had enough of heels-she unveils her own line of Birkenstocks tonight. Watch for the black clog with silver metal rivets, studs and purple stones called “Amsterdam.” Despite the name, it’s made from leather, not hemp-the only thing going up in smoke will be the $300 you need to buy them.
[How to Walk, Sit and Pose in High Heels, Miss Vera’s Finishing School, 250 West 54th Street, Studio 11B, 7 p.m., 212-989-0906; Heidi Klum shoe-collection launch, Bryant Park Hotel, Cellar Bar, 40 West 40th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, 7 p.m., 212-627-0001.]
Anyone else spend Valentine’s Day at home having a threesome with Ben & Jerry? Let’s face it, ladies: The pickin’s is slimmer than Lara Flynn Boyle with the stomach flu. Tonight, Manhattan fillies who haven’t quite come to grips with Nerve, Lavalife and Match.com, and who simply refuse to get involved with one of that scary new breed of gay-seeming straight guys -you know the type: wears black chunky glasses and black chunky shoes , often works in magazines , swishes when he walks, is terminally “clever” and very bothersome, has puffy face , never picks up on the clues that you loathe him, chews ice cubes loudly-get lucky when eDatingCoach.com president Tina Pugliese leaps out of the computer to teach a class on “Speed Flirting.” Ms. Pugliese promises to help students overcome shyness so that they may find a “Chubby Hubby” that doesn’t come out of a carton, though we’ll be stunned if there are any shy women left in this town …. If flirting with the fellas isn’t your bag, you might just be ready for a one-woman show! (No, not that kind, silly!) Tonight, Morag McLaren performs at Don’t Tell Mama’s. Born in Edinburgh (“The Scottish definitely comes through in me shoooooow”) , she started her opera career during childhood, when she discovered Disney’s The Sound of Music (at which point, the rest of us discovered the mute button). We rang her flat in South London (and boy, are our fingers tired!), which she shares with her husband and two laddies. “I have some quite bluuuuesy numbers, ” she trilled, “and I’ll be dishing a couple of drinks of vodka-they get run into the narrative of my show. With vodka, you can’t mix it; you have to take it in a one-er” -that’s “shot glass” in American- “and I expect whatever audience member I give it to to do the same.” We were interrupted by her son asking how long he should microwave his mug of tea. “Four minutes,” she answered (ye- OW !) and then whispered to us, “To be honest, I couldn’t have given a damn. I told him I was in the middle of a very important phone call and I just grimaced at him!”
[Morag McClaren, Don’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, 10 p.m., 212-757-0788; Speed Flirting, 6:45-9:30 p.m., they make you call for the location-hence the whole “asserting yourself” thing, 212-371-0280.]
A peace march with pearls: No, not the Oscars yet (but while we’re on the subject, won’t the best part of this year’s ceremony be watching the stars use their acceptance speeches to plug their opinions on Iraq? Our blank tape is already in the VCR)-no, it’s the Year of the Ram, and tonight Uma and a whole bunch of Thurmans horn themselves happily into Carnegie Hall for the annual Tibet House benefit concert . The crooners will include David Bowie, Ziggy Marley and Laurie Anderson . Ms. Thurman and husband Ethan Hawke are honorary chairs. By the way, Uma’s brothers are named Dechen, Ganden and Mipon . And here we thought we got short-changed with a French first name.
[15th Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert, Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue at 57th Street, 7:30 p.m., 212-807-0563.]
Good grief, March already? Get all that smoking in restaurants out of your systems now , folks, because at the end of the month New York officially becomes the new L.A. (But if oxygen bars start turning up everywhere, that does it-we’re moving.) You can’t smoke in the Javits Center-but today, at Art New York, you can bet your grandpappy’s NicoDerm CQ that you’ll get a contact high standing next to the artists. Check out the “eclectic array” of contemporary art from established and emerging artists worldwide ( broken glass in a ziplock bag, lots of exhibits involving human body fluids, you know the drill … ).
[The New Contemporary Fair-Art New York, Javits Center Galleria, 655 West 34th Street, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 877-922-2022.]
Now that actor Ed Burns (picture Ben Affleck in 10 years) is back with former ex Christy Turlington , his strikeouts are confined to bowling alleys. “Ed Burns is an incredible bowler,” said Jordana Holovach , founder of Jacob’s Cure , a foundation for research into Canavan disease, a genetic brain disorder that afflicts her son. “He won our tournament three years ago. He could have been a professional, although I’m sure he’s happy that he went the acting route.” Today, Mr. Ed joins the well-shod Kenneth Cole and his missus, Maria Cuomo Cole , and others to raise money for Jacob’s Cure. New parentals Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have been known to show up in the past, and Lizzie Grubman has long been on the committee. “Prior to her accident, I swear to God!” Ms. Holovach said. “Way back in 2001, she took hold of it and said: ‘I’m going to handle this pro bono.'” Up for grabs at the benefit: tickets to The Daily Show and a meet-and-greet with funny man Jon Stewart , as well as TRL tickets donated by Carson Daly (the Keanu Reeves of MTV), and maybe a day on the set of Robert De Niro’s next movie .
[Jacob’s Cure bowling tournament, AMF Chelsea Piers Lanes, Pier 60, 23rd Street and the West Side Highway, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 212-835-BOWL.]
So our eyes are glazing over with all of the A Girl’s Guide to … books that have been sweeping through bookstores (coming soon: A Girl’s Guide to Writing a Girl’s Guide … ) and their nattering about cucumber slices and avocado masks-but when a plus-size model has something to tell us, we listen. Emme’s new book is called Life’s Little Emergencies . “It’s not the kind of book where you’re like, ‘Oh my God, she’s preaching to me -BLECCCHHHHH !'” said Emme, just back from a jaunt to St. Bart’s. Today, head over to that picturesque seaside inn we call Jersey , where Emme will be signing copies of her tome. “I’m sitting in the back of the plane on the way back from St. Bart’s, and my toddler starts screaming her head off for an hour and a half,” she said. “Everyone from seats 21 to 41 are looking at me like, ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Finally, a mother of three walks to the back of the plane with a lollipop, which I gave to her, and she went right to sleep! This young couple that was sitting in front of me kept giving me these looks like I was the worst-the worst. So when I left the plane, as I walked by them I said, ‘Just you wait !'” Later, take estrogen to new and unprecedented heights when ballsy broads Lauren Bacall, Whoopi Goldberg and Harvey Fierstein join Phyllis Newman at the “Thinking Women’s Vaudeville” benefit. Expect Rosie Perez to do a tribute to The Vagina Monologues ‘ Eve Ensler (two words: bathroom break) , and Texans Ann Richards and Liz Smith to team up for a duet-maybe with some salty nuts slung W’s way.
[Emme book signing, Barnes & Noble,
765 Route 17 South, Paramus, N.J., 201-445-4589; Nothing Like A Dame 2003 , St. James Theater, 246 West 44th Street,
6:30 p.m., 212-840-0770, ext. 268.]
You ever notice that magazines seem to have a party every time they close an issue? Well, we ran this idea by our big-cheese editor, and he just bellowed, “Get me Carol Channing on the phone!” Harumph ! Today, YM magazine throws a li’l basheroo with MTV to celebrate its April issue. Who’ll perform: the Donnas (the Dixie Chicks of rock). We called YM’s entertainment director (read: partygirl), Alyssa Vitrano , who told us, “We are basically obsessed with the Donnas and are so psyched to have them at the party. They have a really big underground following. They play their own instruments; they’re a real authentic band. They’re not going to completely sell out and go mainstream and start pedaling Coke or have a Coke deal or something.” Yep, we’re sure they’d turn that down on the spot. Anything else? “They have a single called ‘Take It Off.’ It’s about being a teenager, but not being slutty about it! It’s, like, ‘Yeah, we wanna make out, we wanna hook up; like, we hook up-so what ?'” In an attempt to be “ghetto fabulous,” the invite asks partygoers to “BYOBB: Bring your own bling-bling. ” Stop by and compare “ice” with Sassy graduate and YM editor in chief Christina Kelly , and then go home and call the gay-seeming straight guy.
[ YM /MTV party, Splashlight Studios, 529-535 West 35th Street, 7 p.m., 646-758-0544.]
If you’d published a wildly popular restaurant guide to New York , where would you be right now? Yep- sunny Mexico! “I’m looking out over the Bay of Cortez while sitting in a Jacuzzi. I’ve turned off the bubbles so I can hear you. The sun is burning my nose,” said Tim Zagat. He and his wife Nina have just published their latest Zagat guide, to New York shopping. What’s Mr. Zagat’s favorite store? Clue: It’s in Maine, not New York. “If you can’t sleep, L.L. Bean has intelligent personnel who’ll talk politics or just about anything with you,” he said. “They’ll talk to you at 3 in the morning!” Then he turned the bubbles back on.
[ Zagat Survey: New York City Shopping , Barnes & Noble, www.bn.com.]