Wednesday, February 25
Fashion Week sputters to a neon-hued end (suggesting designers were as cracked-out on those McCafés as we were!), leaving us to ponder why every outfit for fall included leather pants and a fur the size of our parents’ Labrador. (And to think we’d been holding out for sensible recession clogs!) Rising in its stead: Wales Week! (Foreign tourism boards obviously having gotten wind of our government-funded banker bonuses …) Among the Welshy activities in store are a highbrow literary reading at Idlewild Books and a Dinner Dance at the Yale Club! (“Waiter, there’s a whiffenpoof in my soup!”) “It’s a week to promote Wales, to show off what we have,” said Catrin Brace of the Wales Assembly Government. “We’re a very organic country, we grow and breed everything locally.” Ms. Brace was then telling us some other things about Wales that we didn’t catch, but we did hear her mention “the first whiskey to come out of Wales in a hundred years, and it’s gotten four stars in the Whiskey Bible—you see, Wales was a very religious country, so they closed all the stills—it’s very smooth, actually, it’s proven to be very appealing for females, I think, because it’s so smooth, it doesn’t catch at the back of the throat …” And aside from being the folks who produced this fabulous whiskey and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dylan Thomas, the Welsh claim credit for the longest train-station sign in all the world, which reads: “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantdsiliogogogoch.” (Which is exactly what we say when we check our credit card balance online.) We’d love to visit Wales in the flesh, but we can barely afford shrink visits and $6 organic grapefruits anymore (and if we had money for a vacation, we’d get blotto by a pool somewhere in Cabo reading Us Weekly …). Later: We want to adore you, Gwynnie, we really do, but you just make it so difficult. (Not that we didn’t enjoy the gluten-free pancake recipe from last week’s GOOP email!) Tonight the erstwhile actress and Batali beanpole joins a group of “Hollywood’s Hottest Yoga Fans” (hey, they write it, we just pass it on to you, dear reader!) at the Bent on Learning Gala, which raises money for the lofty Bobo goal of bringing yoga to underprivileged New York City public school students. (While you’re at it, let’s get their colons cleansed!) Other yogic idealists in attendance include Jennifer Connolly, Russell Simmons, Christy Turlington and Julian Schnabel. We suspect one hasn’t lived until one has seen Mr. Schnabel in the flying crow pose.
[Wales Week, www.walesweekusa.com for schedule; Bent on Learning Gala, Stephan Weiss Studio, 711 Greenwich Street, 7 p.m., www.bentonlearning.org]
Thursday, February 26
Does Toad the Wet Sprocket ring a bell? We’re pretty sure we used to listen to them back in high school, when Facebook was just a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg’s prepubescent eye and we entertained ourselves with cassette tapes. Tonight they’re at Webster Hall, while buffed worthies line up for the Frick Collection’s Tenth Young Fellows Ball uptown! This year’s theme is Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which makes this a hard evening to resist considering that the 1782 novel that lends the night its theme ended with a death by sword, a death by illness and public humiliation. Who wants a cocktail! Sponsors include bridal dressmaker Monique Lhuillier (let’s not obscure the objective here!) and Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line. “The whole feel will be very secretive, lots of drapery, that reveals when you pull it back,” said Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet. “There is this room in the Frick, the Fragonard room, it has these four panels about love, and one of the panels is about love letters … and then we thought about Dangerous Liaisons, becausethe book is written in letters!” Socialites flitting about will include Minni Mortimer, Zani Gugelmann, Coralie Charriol Paul, Annelise Peterson, Lauren Remington Platt, Arden Wohl, Vogue’s Sylvana Soto-Ward and Meredith Melling Burke. Further downtown, at eco-club Greenhouse, smoldering environmentalist R.F.K. Jr. leaves his pet bird at home and launches a sexy anti-coal campaign with celebs including Marcia Gay Harden, André Balazs (clearly conservation-minded, to take in his latest monstrosity on the High Line!), Real Housewife Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Téa Leoni (the hussy who’s married to that hot sex addict who can toad our wet sprocket anytime …).
[Toad the Wet Sprocket at Webster Hall, 7 p.m.; the Frick Collection Young Fellows Ball, One East 17th Street, 8:30 p.m., 212-547-0706; Waterkeeper Alliance Launches “The Dirty Lie” campaign to debunk myth of clean coal, the Greenhouse, 150 Varick Street, 7 p.m., www.thedirtylie.com]
Friday, February 27
The French want you to know they do a lot more than tromp around the world looking impossibly good in Dior getups. So they’re hosting a festival of New French Writing at New York University featuring chats between French écrivains like sultry-sounding Marie Darrieussecq and New Yorker scribe Adam Gopnik; Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Paul Auster better-half Siri Hustvedt; and—quelle surprise!—hairy-chested intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy. Make all these Frenchies explain what’s behind their country’s maniacal embrace of Le Mickey (Rourke).
[Festival of New French Writing, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South, www.frenchwritingfestival.com for schedule]
Saturday, February 28
The married N.Y. Times editor you’re sleeping with drags you to the Van Morrison concert at Madison Square Garden tonight, drinks a flask of whiskey—raising it in the air to toast “Van the man!” at the start of every song—takes his first hit of pot in 22 years and later throws up all over your apartment after playing nude air guitar to “Moondance.”
[Van Morrison at the WaMu Theater, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, 8 p.m., www.ticketmaster.com]
Sunday, March 1
Madoff, Schmadoff! The social season must keep up appearances! (Didn’t Byrdie Bell once date a guy named Ponzi? Or was it Bingo …) First up, the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation hosts a “Families of Distinction” Gala at the lately swingin’ Plaza, enlisting Obama adviser Paul Volcker to speak and honoring shoe designer Taryn Rose, television exec Loreen Arbus and other distinguished donors whose generosity has not expired with their beach house values.
[The Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation’s “Families of Distinction” Gala, the Plaza, 768 Fifth Avenue, 5:30 p.m.]