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Jitters Over September Event Planning

July 10, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

The beginning of September usually marks the commencement of New York's big event season, with swirls of benefits, book parties and film premieres—not to mention the fuss over Fashion Week. But this year will be different, with planners wondering about the appropriateness and timing of non-September 11th events. “I wouldn't touch the week of September 11,” Nadine Johnson says in a recent New York magazine piece. “And nobody wants to do anything on the 18th or 19th either.” Glorious Food's Sean Driscoll says he has nothing from September 11 to 16, and Great Performances' Liz Neumark chimes in, “I've never seen such fear and uncertainty...Everybody's afraid to be the first to book.”

The New York City Opera locked in September 10 for its annual benefit years ago and can't alter the schedule because it shares the New York State Theater with the New York City Ballet. Last year's gala, scheduled for September 11, was cancelled, and this year's will have dinner and a performance, but no dancing. Among other industries, publishing houses are postponing book launches, and television networks are tinkering with the scheduling of new shows that might not jibe well with a subdued audience.

Among the few planners who don't think the city will shut down for the weeks surrounding the 11th is Peggy Siegal, who says, “I can't see the city coming to a screeching halt in September.” And while Drew Nieporent is mulling over closing Montrachet and Tribeca Grill on the 11th, he adds, “I think it'll be a one-day issue. If we keep mourning this, we'll never get over it.”

Posted 07.10.02

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