Two Tropical Soirees, Downtown Style
Last month saw a lot of green in the downtown scene
April was a big month for downtown, especially in the green department-which also happens to be the color of money, which is usually heavily involved. At the Bowery Hotel on April 23rd, theAfrican Rainforest Conservancy hosted its 22nd Annual Artists for Africa Benefit. The first man I saw, wearing a pink sarong as a skirt, wasCarter Coleman, President of theConservancy's Board of Directors. He offered sage advice for those of us who want to go green. "If New Yorkers are concerned about climate change, they should plant a tree in the rainforest, donate to us so we can plant one, or plant one themselves in New York City," he said. Executive Director Whitney Larkin, donning a nude dress and an African headpiece she "wrapped herself," gave similarly unique advice. "Poachers, cutting trees, and killing animals are the biggest dangers in the rainforest today, so we're re-training people to be beekeepers and butterfly famers." Nearby was Nicole Miller, who said that though she didn't plan the party, she was asked to emcee. "Lauren Hutton is hosting, but I guess it was too much talking for one person," she reasoned. Her gold and brown dress was stunning, and, of course, of her own making. "I was trying to look a little rainforesty," she said. If that's the predominant color of the rainforest these days, then this event didn't come a moment too soon. Renowned artist Spencer Turic's framed photograph stood out most, depicting nearly thirty women, naked, seated on top of boulders and embracing with legs intertwined. "My wife always poses for me. She's my first choice and my last resort," Turic explained. Turic wore a choker necklace made of tiny black skulls, which he said was made from "people who have posed for me." Now that's what I call recycling. Before bidding him adieu, I asked where he lived. "Rockland County!" He said enthusiastically, punching the air. "And proud of it, apparently!" I mused. "Not really," he said, his face falling. No doubt he'd rather be downtown. I started to feel a little disappointed-there I was with my snake bracelet and ridiculously large butterfly ring, and only a few other people seemed to take note of the "Out of Africa" theme. Then actress Maria Bello walked in, and though the outfit wasn't exactly ethnic, it was, quite literally, Out of Africa. "We designed this coat in Kenya in a camp with the Messiah. When you get hot (which it undoubtedly does, in Kenya) you can take it off and hang it here-" she said, tossing it off of her shoulders where it then hung from suspenders. "The women in the camps, in traditional dress, were asking us how big we like a man's 'organ' in our country, so we were passing around a napkins shaped like a man's 'organ' to figure out how big we liked it." I figured that statement couldn't be topped, and made my exit. Similarly themed was Boss Models 25 Year Anniversary Party at the DL Rooftop (95 Delancey Street). The space was pretty sweet, featuring a glass sun roof, colorfully lit pink and blue leafy palm trees, and a fountain trickling in the center of the room by the DJ booth. Though I'm not sure why, one corner of the room was inexplicably filled with colorful, pastel portraits of Bob Marley and others. From there, things got a bit more confusing when staff began laying a ten-foot-long yellow brick road runway down, caddy-cornered by the art. Shortly thereafter, eight models depicting various characters from the Wizard of Oz (a shirtless tin man, some random powder blue suit wearing heavyset girl with a gold face mask), strutted back and forth?and back?and forth?for over thirty minutes. For all we know, they're still following the yellow brick road (and may not have even been at the right party).Those poor models-I hope they found their way home.
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