Parties turn the intensity up a notch

Gotham is typically the opposite coast on Oscar night, but some additional parties turned the intensity up a notch this year.

As snowflakes started dropping on Manhattan, a couple hundred revelers gathered at the Gramercy Park Hotel for Variety‘s inaugural viewing party. The candlelit, dark-toned lounge overlooking Gramercy Park was outfitted with flat screens.

Among the guests enjoying a casual array of food and imbibing in “pear-tinis” included: ICM’s Kate Lee; Tim Palen and Sarah Greenberg, co-prexies of marketing for Lionsgate; execs from MTV, HBO, Comedy Central and Sundance Channel; Sunu Gonera, director of Lionsgate’s upcoming pic “Pride”; and director and Troma topper Lloyd Kaufman (whose latest film is “Poultergeist”) and his wife, Pat, who is film commissioner for New York State.

“New York cares about the Oscars too,” Lloyd Kaufman said.

An older crowd decked out in fur and finery sipped champagne in the St. Regis Hotel at the Academy’s viewing party, among them Patricia Neal, Eli Wallach, Celia Westin, Marty Richards and Albert Maysles.

Sid Ramin and his wife support the quiet approach to watching, going so far as to record the show at home for future viewing. Maysles recalled having been at the hotel decades earlier, to shoot a documentary about Salvador Dali.

Further downtown, at the Spotted Pig, New York magazine welcomed an eclectic array to its second Oscar bash. Sen. Charles Schumer, Michael Stipe and Liev Schreiber held court in various nooks of the bistro. Schreiber, fortifying himself for the Broadway bow of “Talk Radio,” ate a burger at the bar with Nicky Katt en route to bowling at Chelsea Lanes. He “hardly ever watch the Oscars. Insanely boring,” though he did admit to pulling hard for Alan Arkin and Martin Scorsese. Also on hand were “30 Rock’s” Lonny Ross, thesps Josh Charles, Elias Koteas, Christian Hoff and Daniel Reichard.

Uptown at Elaine’s, where Entertainment Weekly held another edition of its annual fete, one 60-year-old man was enticed enough to crash. Six security guards escorted the man out, denying him the chance to chat up guests like Tatum O’Neal, Sen. Chris Dodd, Bam Margera and Chris Meloni. Though he did briefly snag a seat next to the Hansen Bros.

(Monica Corcoran and Willa Paskin contributed to this report.)

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