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The lovely Boathouse in Central Park is a wonderful place for an event if the weather cooperates. Fortunately, after a few sprinkles just minutes before the American Foundation for AIDS Research's (Amfar) big Boathouse Rock benefit, the gods smiled down, and all the pretty young people who attended could go through the park without getting soaked.
Inside the event, they found a wide variety of foods and silent auction items. A great selection of restaurants including Canteen, Caviarteria, brand-new DB Bistro Moderne (which hosted an opening party the same night), Lotus, Osteria Del Circo and the Boathouse itself provided samples of their specials at tables lining the entire venue. DJs Jill Latiano and Dr. Luke spun the music, but if anyone wanted to dance they'd be hard pressed to find an inch to move in. By 8:35 PM the place was jammed with many of the 1,000 guests Amfar publicist Erica Wiertz told us they were expecting.
Those who paid for the big tickets were classified as “admirals” and “captains,” and had their hands stamped to allow them free access to all the rooms. The others gazed longingly across the planters and heavy security to see what they were missing--a large buffet from the Boathouse and some tables where you could sit instead of acrobatically balancing your dishes while standing.
The silent auction had a slew of terrific items including art, jewelry, private screenings, trips to fun places, dining experiences and a shopping spree at Kenneth Cole. Some really unique items included a night out with gossip Jared Paul Stern of The New York Post, a video collection of every film ever released by Sony Pictures Classics, and a walk-on part on Sex and the City, plus the T-shirt Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the new ads, which was designed by club personality Richie Rich (who also appeared in the Village Care of New York headdress fashion show the same night, and modeled at March's D&G casino night event). Another odd (and fun) auction item: the same bedding set Tony and Carmela have on The Sopranos.
M.A.C. Cosmetics collected celebrity kisses--well, lipstick ones on paper at least--(to “Kiss AIDS Good-bye") from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Goldie Hawn and John Cameron Mitchell (who no doubt got used to wearing lipstick in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.) The M.A.C. team also provided makeup artists to repair guests' lipstick after they'd eaten, and Temptu did temporary tattoos.
Unfortunately the rain started up again at the end of the evening, but those hearty souls who lasted were rewarded by the goodie bags which weren't available until after 11 PM (and, alas, didn't include a magic carpet to get home from the cabless park). The one trolley available to take guests to Fifth Avenue had a rather long wait, leaving the lovely gondolas to look more and more apropos. (And both the trolley and the gondolas, by the way, can be booked through the Boathouse.)