Thursday, December 11

The truth about Gossip Girl? Partnership for a Drug-Free America (well, that sounds a bit harsh right now!) hosts its gala at the Waldorf, chaired by heavyweight suits currently under degrees of duress, including Dick Parsons of Time Warner, Les Moonves of CBS, Mel Karmazin of Sirius, Brian Roberts of Comcast, and John Mack, head of chastened Morgan Stanley. And speaking of drugs! Teenage contributors to RED: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today (apparently, it’s some movie called Twilight?), edited by Amy Goldwasser, read their essays at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Barnard freshman Maya Popa told us her essay is about “religion, how people interpret religion in a modern context … I wrote this when I was in high school.” Ms. Popa grew up in New York and attended Lycée Françaissacrebleu!—before transferring to Nightingale-Bamford—yes, of Gossip Girl–inspiring fame! “I’ve actually met Cecily von Ziegesar,” admitted Ms. Popa. “I think [the show] is hyperbole. You just take a lot of elements of any girls’ school and make them more pronounced and then you get something like Gossip Girl. I guess there are girls at Nightingale that could remind you of girls from Gossip Girl, but 99 percent of girls are just interested in doing their work.” Oh boo! … Speaking of hyperbole, the annual Lunchbox Auction allows celebrities to decorate household items, which the rest of us are then expected to pay sacks of cash for … for charity, of course! We emailed Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl: “I had a great time putting my lunchbox together,” she emailed back (whoosh!). “I scoured my files for treasures, and filled my box up with notes from writers like M. F. K. Fisher, personal photographs of chefs, old menus, even an autographed antiwar booklet that Bertrand Russell sent my mother.” Other notable lunchbox designers include chef Mario Batali and Batali’s TV beeotch, Gwyneth Paltrow. Had enough of the silly season? Turn inward as Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche—author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying—gives a talk at Columbia University titled “Finding Peace and Stability in a Troubled World.” See? Your blood pressure just dropped 20 points.

[6th Annual Gala: Promise of Partnership, Waldorf Astoria, 6:30 p.m., 212-973-3555; “Tenement Talks” with contributors to RED, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 91 Orchard Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-431-0233; the Lunchbox Auction Presented by Gourmet, Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street, 8 p.m., http://www.thelunchboxauction.org; Sogyal Rinpoche at Columbia University, Low Library, 116th Street and Broadway, 7 p.m., $20, for tickets go to www.rigpaus.org]

mbryan@observer.com

Thursday, December 11