Gotham’s low gear

Star wattage turned down in New York

This article was corrected on March 25, 2002.

NEW YORK — Woody Allen must not have been the only New Yorker who ventured to Los Angeles this year. At the three primary Oscar parties in Gotham, you had to look hard to find recognizable stars.

Gotham’s Academy Award night kicked off with little fanfare at the swank Le Cirque 2000, the East Side joint near Madison and 50th St. hosted by the New York branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In a glittering white dress, Celeste Holm circulated the room, as did Arlene Dahl and Michael Adler, producer of “The Hours” and “Kissing Jessica Stein.”

Asked about the controversy that erupted over “The Beautiful Mind,” Adler joked, “Can you imagine someone pitching a story about an anti-Semitic homosexual in Hollywood?”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an appearance, but former Mayor Rudy Giuliani bowed out, since he was en route to Switzerland.

If you showed up late to Entertainment Weekly’s 8th Annual Oscar party at Elaine’s, the lit hangout on the Upper East Side, you would have had to fight your way into the cramped entrance. Joint was packed with journalists, Elaine’s regulars and celebs.

David Spade, hoping to grab a drink with his brother, found himself flirting with “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell. Asked which pic he felt had been omitted at this year’s Oscars, Spade said, “I’m really just waiting for the arty ‘Freddie Got Fingered’ sequel.”

“Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Peirce, wearing her signature East Village black and a thin red necklace, looked pensive and pleased sitting next to an unidentified date with a winged-heart tattoo on one of her breasts. She cheered vigorously after Allen introduced the Nora Ephron-helmed tribute to pics filmed in Gotham.

Upon watching “Lord of the Rings” win the cinematography award, Pierce beamed, “I am so happy because I think they captured something that has never been captured before.”

Wearing a faux, silk/satin/fur baby-doll dress, Bushnell posed for the cameras and flirted freely. Asked by a Daily Variety reporter whether her presence signaled an interest in getting into feature films, she abruptly turned her back and said, “I need to get to my table.”

Ron Silver, Vincent D’Onofrio, Chris Noth, Richard Belzer, Bill O’Reilly, Joey McIntyre, Norman and Nancy Perlman and recent “Survivor” winner Ethan Zohn classed up the event and seemed to give the celeb-hungry throngs, waiting outside of Elaine’s, what they wanted.

The First Annual Mercedes Oscar viewing party, held at the Tribeca Grand, was slated as the competitive, edgy, youth alternative to EW’s soiree at Elaine’s. But it didn’t quite live up to its tip sheet: Roughly 200 guests descended to the venue south of Canal St., the downtown indie centrum, though few were recognizable. The ones that were ran the gamut from Victoria Gotti to Monica Lewinsky.

Attendees wore everything, and anything, from jeans to the sash-wearing Miss USA, Shauntay Hinton.

Reflecting on watching the spectacle from Gotham, Christopher Meloni (“Oz”) said, “New York is the creative and artistic center. I feel like L.A. is where the parent’s are and New York is where the kid’s are. It’s just more chill.”

“I like to come to parties and look at famous people,” said Liev Schreiber. “The Oscars are usually the time when you celebrate that.

Event also drew Ricki Lake, model Maggie Rizer and “Sopranos” stars Dominic Chianese and Katherine Narducci.

(Lily Oei and Craig Offman contributed to this report.)

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