Two of New York's cultural institutions -- the Italian-American school, La Scuola, and the Museum of the City of New York -- were in the spotlight last week.

Although Luciano Pavarotti was the guest of honor at a dinner up at the Guggenheim Museum last Thursday to benefit La Scuola, he didn't do any singing. That disappointed many, especially Princess Firyal of Jordan, whose dress had a low-cut back that bared a tiny tattoo of a red rose.

"Why isn't Pavarotti singing?" she asked.

Because the trimmed-down tenor wasn't there to perform -- on stage anyway. He did almost as much table-hopping as co-chair Susie Boniver and even skipped the chocolate mousse Sirio Maccioni brought from Le Cirque.

"I'm first Tuscan, second Italian, third French and fourth a guest of America" said Maccioni, who's getting ready for his own gala -- Le Cirque's 20th anniversary party on Wednesday.

"Already I have 1,200 acceptances," the restaurateur said. "I'm scared. But that's okay. It'll be chaos and that's what people love, after all -- it's Le Cirque!"

The night before, the Director's Council of the Museum of the City of New York hosted a party at Emporio Armani for the committee and benefactors of The Winter Ball, an event that benefits the museum.

When the Emporio spring collection was shown, the cheers were as much for the models as for the clothes. No surprise there, since the mannequins included such committee members as Tiffany Dubin, Alexandra Lind, Susan Williamson and Mark Gilbertson.

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