IN THE SWIM • Brooklyn Paper


At the New York Aquarium's "Dinner by the Sea" gala fundraiser, New York Aquarium Director Paul Boyle, Assemblywoman Adele Cohen, Wildlife Conservation Society CEO Steve Sanderson and Aquarium supporter Brian Heidtke.
The Brooklyn Papers / Greg Mango

As Hurricane Isabel stormed her way up
the coast, the New York Aquarium bravely went ahead with its
annual gala in the Seaside Pavilion in Coney Island on Sept.

Hundreds of guests – with barely a hair blown out of place –
were able to dine, dance and pay tribute to honorees Rep. Jerrold
Nadler, Assemblywoman Adele Cohen and City Councilman Domenic

It was a miracle.

A few minor adjustments to the event lineup made for a seamless
evening. Rather than a show in the roofless amphitheater, the
guests were greeted by a tank full of floating stingrays, bonnethead
sharks and waving scuba divers.

Instead of the usual cocktails served al fresco alongside the
appropriately bedecked penguins and gregarious walruses, the
drinks were moved inside the Sea Cliffs building in galleries
that looked onto their underwater lairs – where guests had the
perfect view to admire just how well-endowed the walrus bull
really is.

The prevailing curatorial wisdom is that procreating animals
are happy animals, and happily, revelers were able to coo at
a new fur seal arrival. Two-month old fur seal pup Sam, the progeny
of 13-year-old mom Roxie and 11-year-old dad Yoda, zipped around
the tank for all to see.

(Which reminds me of the Aquarium’s next singles event, "Sex
in the Sea," on Oct. 11, at 7 pm. In the ocean world, animals
increase their population in a variety of unusual ways, and methinks
that even Samantha of "Sex and the City" would be interested
to learn more. The (cheap!) $40 fee gets you a tour of the Aquarium
to learn how marine animals "fall in love," while enjoying
an evening of wine and cheese and, hopefully, new friends.)

Among the evening’s luminaries were honorary dinner chair Borough
President Marty Markowitz and his wife, Jamie; Assemblyman Joseph
Lentol, Wildlife Conservation Society CEO Steven Sanderson and
Aquarium Curator Paul Sieswerda, author of the 2001 book, "Sharks"
(Benchmark Books).

Happily there weren’t any threatening predators at this gala
party, catered by Glen Cove, Long Island-based Elegant Affairs,
and the only circling of prey was being done by the guests eyeing
the bidding at the silent auction table filled with temptations
ranging from cruises to laptops.

The "Dinner by the Sea" raised funds to support the
Aquarium’s education programs and Osborn Laboratories of Marine
Science, which is currently focusing on aquatic research projects
such as marine mammal cognition, shark migration, coral reefs
and new marine pharmacological substances.

The three honorees were awarded Distinguished Leadership Awards
for their dedication and support of the New York Aquarium.

"This is an example of when swimming with the fishes is
an honor," Markowitz told GO Brooklyn.

While Brooklynites like to think of the New York Aquarium as
their best kept secret, it was discovered this week by director
Marc Forster ("Monster’s Ball") and his film crew who
have been filming scenes for the upcoming movie "Stay,"
starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. Look for our landmark
in a theater near you next year.

To make a reservation for the Aquarium’s "Sex in the Sea"
event, call (718) 265-3448.

Model employee

Supermodel Tyson Beckford was spotted on 86th Street at Stillwell
Avenue Saturday as one of the actors on the set of writer-director
Paul Borghese’s new film "Searching for Bobby DeNiro."

Borghese’s film also features Bensonhurst native and co-writer
William DeMeo ("Analyze That"), Daniel Margotta (Cheech
in Fred Gallo’s new movie "I am Woody"), James Maddio
and Karen Lynn Gorney ("Saturday Night Fever).

Borghese’s no stranger to directing films filled with muscle-bound
men, having helmed several of Playgirl magazine’s video shoots,
including "The Hottest Hunks of South Florida Competition."

Oh, you know you bought it, too.

Wined & dined

Co-authors Tony DiDio, of Carroll Gardens, and Amy Zavatto basked
in the glow of their book release party on Sept. 3 at Daniel
restaurant in Manhattan. Their new book, "The Renaissance
Guide to Wine and Food Pairing" (Alpha, $18.95) was the
starting point from which celebrity chefs such as Daniel Boulud
(who wrote a foreward for the guide), Rick Moonen of RM, Mauro
Mafrici of I Trulli Ristorante Enoteca, Michael Lomonaco of Noche,
and Johnny Iuzzini of Jean-Georges created dishes that perfectly
complemented heady wines and vice versa.

Lomonaco and Moonen lent their insights into the mysteries of
wine and food pairing to the book, too.

Among the satiated fans in attendance were Tribeca Grill’s Drew
Nieporent, Fresco’s Anthony Scotto and Fox News anchor Rosanna

"The Renaissance Guide to Wine and Food Pairing" is
available at BookCourt, 163 Court St. at Dean Street in Cobble

More from Around New York