July 17, 2014: Lena Dunham's Wildly Popular Book Tour, What’s Inside the $23,000 ESPYs Gift Bag, Should New York Fashion Week Move to July?

By Beth Kormanik July 17, 2014, 8:37 AM EDT

1. LENA DUNHAM'S WILDLY POPULAR BOOK TOUR: Girls creator Lena Dunham isn’t just planning to stop at bookstores and sign copies of her forthcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl. Instead, she is putting a different spin on the event with an 11-stop tour featuring literary, musical, and theatrical guest stars, and is offering fans the chance to audition to be her “opening act.” Many of the dates have already sold out. The New York Times:

2. WHAT’S INSIDE THE $23,000 ESPYS GIFT BAG: The gift bag at this year’s ESPY award show is valued at $23,000 and comes with some odd items—a breathalyzer, tickets to a Broadway show, and a vacuum cleaner. Not all guests can claim the swag: N.C.A.A. rules prohibit college athletes from accepting the gifts. And while over-the-top gift bags can come under criticism for being ostentatious, this one has some serious self-promotion in the form of its own Twitter account, @ESPYgiftbag. Bleacher Report:

3. SHOULD NEW YORK FASHION WEEK MOVE TO JULY?: Menswear designer Michael Bastian is skipping this year’s New York Fashion Week because he believes the September event comes too late to help sell his collection. Instead, he will show it through private appointments to his studio next week. Fashion Week Daily: “'Men’s buyers are in town for Project [tradeshow]; Michael Kors and Rag & Bone have started doing things in July...' Bastian explains that it wasn’t just the buyers who helped him make the decision to show earlier. ‘The editors have said to me that they’re thinking of stories right now, not in September. They come out of London, Milan and Paris [weeks] with story ideas in their head. If they aren’t seeing us until three months later, we’re also missing that boat.’”


BOSTON:  Boxman Studios, a North Carolina-based company, is using shipping containers to build a dining and retail experience in Somerville. Four 20-foot shipping containers, known collectively as Somblox, will house two retail storefronts and a bar/eatery.

CHICAGO:  Rock ’n’ Roll Festival Chicago takes place this weekend and is expected to draw more than 20,000 runners. The two-day event includes 5K races, a half marathon, and a finish-line festival with a performance from Cold War Kids.

The Green City Market annual Chef BBQ Benefit is tonight in Lincoln Park. The event features local chefs preparing dishes with market ingredients.

LAS VEGAS:  Alibi Cocktail Lounge, a 24-hour cocktail lounge on the casino floor, will open at Aria Resort & Casino this fall.

LOS ANGELES:  The SLS Nike SB World Tour is July 27 at the Galen Center at the University of Southern California. The event finals air live on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go.

The Budweiser Made in America Festival announced Kanye West and Iggy Azalea will perform at its Los Angeles event.

Alyssa Some is the new senior marketing specialist at Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s black-tie eighth annual “Wild About Kids” gala and after-party is November 8 at the JW Marriott Marquis.

NEW YORK:  Ronen Nissenbaum is the new managing director of the Waldorf Astoria and Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York. Most recently, Nissenbaum served as the president and C.E.O. of the Plaza Group, overseeing the Plaza Hotel in New York and development of the Plaza hotel brand.

Former North End Grill chef Floyd Cardoz is opening a new TriBeCa restaurant, White Street, in September with partners Dan Abrams, Dave Zinczenko, and Christine Cole.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  Harbourfront Centre’s “Expressions of Brazil” event is August 8-10. The event features Brazilian music, food, and films.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Inspired by Arena Stage’s upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will give away a wedding, complete with a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception for 175 guests at the Mead Center for American Theater on January 2, 2015. The giveaway includes a wedding cake by RSVP Catering, decor by Design Foundry, music and lighting by Bruce Pike Productions, floral design, valet parking by MJ Valet, a bridal suite provided by Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., an engagement portrait session by Cameron Whitman Photography, wedding day photography and videography, and other treats.

Roberto Hernandez is the new executive chef for Mio Restaurant, where he has been a featured guest chef.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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