Wednesday, December 10

Ladies! Have you noticed the new ubiquitous riding boots of winter don’t really keep out moisture like those Uggs of yesteryear—but they do make us look like we were all dorm-mates at Deerfield! Not that it matters what one wears to nibble stale frosted cookies in an office conference room while fighting off nostalgia for last year’s scandalous hoedown at La Esquina (the chocolatinis! The drunk and festive interns!). Ah, remember when coworkers were more than just competition for your employers’ shrinking payroll, and were instead tantalizingly twinkly one-night-a-year, wham-bam-thank-you-sir Christmas party baubles?! But take heart! The stubbornly ascendant country to your right fetes the Museum of Chinese in America’s brand-new Centre Street digs with an expensive shindig at Capitale, honoring architect
I. M. Pei—designer of the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, incidentally. Expect such luminaries as wedding-dress visionary Vera Wang, Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee and Steve Chen, the guy who apparently invented YouTube. (Time to break out the low-cut Target number!) And what’s thisa magazine having a blowout Christmas party! The lads at Maxim magazine invite you to join them in some merry Yuletide mayhem at the Hog Pit—the invite suggests you wear “a pig mask”! Nutty!—for an open bar bash tonight! Meanwhile, Kate McGarrigle, sister Anna and spawn Martha and Rufus Wainwright hit Carnegie Hall for their family Christmas Hour, which Ms. McGarrigle told us will support cancer research and feature “Lou [Reed], Laurie [Anderson], Jimmy Fallon, Emmylou [Harris] … very eclectic. We have drag queens, we have queens, we have a little bit of everything … I’m making 400 cookies for the gift bags. They’re in the shape of skis. I’m going crazy!” Not that the others aren’t pitching in: “I told Anna, ‘You can be in charge of wardrobes.’ I’m kind of, like, yelling at everybody and telling them what are the right notes to play—I’m the dragon lady—and Rufus is the smoother-over of everybody and Martha’s the charming one.” We asked Ms. McGarrigle about Lou Reed: “Ruuuuuuufus!” she hollered. “What was the name of Lou Reed’s record we sang on?” More egg nog, anyone?

[Museum Opening Gala Dinner, Capitale, 130 Bowery, 6:30 p.m., http://www.mocanyc.com; Maxim open bar party, the Hog Pit, 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; McGarrigle Christmas Hour, Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street, 212 247-7800]

mbryan@observer.com

Wednesday, December 10