Can you believe it’s been almost a decade since Robert De Niro set out to transform downtown’s erstwhile cultural wasteland into the Tribeca we know and adore today? It was in the wake of our city’s darkest hour, 9/11, that Mr. De Niro decided that downtown needed a Hollywood bent, and before you knew it, malnourished starlets and past-their-prime male counterparts were responding to his clarion call in droves—assiduously sprucing up the quarter with trappings of self-conscious cynosures (expensive leathergoods, organic foodstuffs, you know the drill). And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the celebrity stomping ground south of Canal was born. Tonight at the Tribeca Film Institute Gala, you’ll give Mr. De Niro credit for his vision. You’ll schmooze with fellow cinema-loving downtowners, and discuss Lars Von Trier’s anti-Semitic tendencies while getting the skinny on the latest celebrity sightings at Locanda Verde. Best of all, you’ll catch the actor deftly executing his craft at an exclusive preview of Oscar frontrunner New Year’s Eve.
Tribeca Film Institute Gala, New Year’s Eve screening, Ziegfeld Theater, 141 West 54th Street, 7 p.m., dinner immediately following at the Hilton Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. For tickets, starting at $1,000, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.