New York is seeming a little more schizophrenic than usual lately, what with uptowners going downtown, downtowners going uptown and the young actor crowd going rock ‘n’ roll.
The other night at Mondo Cane in the East Village, a crowd of rabid fans — Tatum O’Neal and Ethan Hawke among them — showed up to see the Niagaras, a fun, wild band headed by Bob Whaley with his brother, thespian Frank Whaley, on drums. “It’s really more of a hobby,” Frank Whaley said of his musical interlude. Not that he necessarily prefers acting. “I’d rather be a commercial pilot — they’ve got great medical and dental benefits.”
The following night in the West Village, a benefit at the Robin Rice Gallery raised $25,000 for the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Evelyn Lauder was also one of the artists featured in the show, “The Nurturing Spirit,” and has a book of landscape photography,”The Seasons Observed,” coming out in October, with royalties going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation she founded.
Uptown, at the gala for the Young Friends of the New York Public Library, it was looking more like the downtown club Jackie 60 due to the event’s “Time Machine” theme. Chi Chi Valenti organized “cyber-slut” dancers, while husband Johnny Dynell deejayed from a 30-foot high space platform.
“Timeless headgear” was what the invitation called for, and many rigged up some imaginative solutions. Hermes Mallea, a founding chairman of the event, stuck TV antennae to a stainless steel bowl, and co-chair Norah Burden raided an industrial plastics shop to construct her Flash Gordon headgear. Junior milliner Anne Moore was in an upstairs gallery churning out silver hats at light speed for those who hadn’t had time. Carolyne Roehm insisted that her coiffed hairstyle was a hat of sorts, saying, “I’m bald underneath, didn’t you know? That’s what fashion does to you.”
This summer, the fashionable Roehm is abandoning uptown, and the U.S., altogether. She’s going back to school in England. “I’m going to study at Oxford,” said Roehm. “I’m taking two classes, Shakespeare and history.” After that, she’s going on to Scotland, where she’s planning to take a few more classes in Edinburgh.