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The life of Pittsburgh's party probably isn't you

| Saturday, July 8, 2006

Pittsburgh's best All-Star parties are the ones you probably aren't invited to.

"It's definitely an event. I'm happy for Pittsburgh. Lots of people will be rolling in for the game," said legendary Steelers running back Franco Harris, who is hosting an invite-only benefit tonight for 500 people at the Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

Major League Baseball, corporate sponsors, celebrity athletes and others will throw a bevy of expensive bashes at Pittsburgh's museums, restaurants and clubs, where free martinis, champagne and haute cuisine will be de rigueur. Some parties are open to the public, but many require invitations.

"Nick Lachey is coming in for the game. Miss Pennsylvania will be here. Derek Jeter and Mark Cuban will be stopping by. It's unbelievable," said Michael Pijanowski, who grew up in Lawrenceville and will be hosting an All-Star bash at his trendy dejAVu nightclub Monday night.

Lachey's publicist did not return calls for comment.

Pijanowski's bash is open to the public, but admission costs $10 to $125.

Some baseball stars are taking matters into their own hands. Jeter, the New York Yankees All-Star shortstop, has rented out the second floor of Diesel, a South Side nightclub on East Carson Street, for a star-studded, invite-only bash Monday night. Several big names in baseball are expected for that one, said Pittsburgh sports photographer Duane Rieder.

Pijanowski said Jeter, whom he knows socially, has an outdated view of Pittsburgh and that he looks forward to showing him the city knows how to throw a party.

"He thinks it's a second-tier city," Pijanowski said. "But he's going to see what kind of spirit we have here, the different kinds of clubs, the drinking, the style. He's going to see how we do it now."

Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, could not be reached for comment.

An extended weekend of partying began Friday night at the Carnegie Science Center, where former Pitt basketball star Curtis Aiken co-chaired the Martinis & Cigars Under the Stars Gala, a black-tie event benefitting the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and Everychild Inc.

At least five parties are planned today. Major League Baseball and Getty Images are hosting a bash at Bossa Nova, Downtown. About 400 people are expected for the invite-only affair, where party-goers can gaze at 30 vintage Getty Images baseball photographs, drink and eat, said co-owner Robin Fernandez. Many celebrities will attend, said Fernandez, who declined to identify them.

The Pirates will throw a charity benefit at the Hard Rock Cafe at Station Square, said sales manager Marrah Thomas. Sports celebrities are expected, and the bands Smash Mouth and Collective Soul will entertain. The event is invite-only, but Thomas said she expects people to begin lining up outside the velvet ropes for celebrity-watching.

The Roberto Clemente Celebration Concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Chevrolet Amphitheatre in Station Square. The event is open to the public with tickets ranging from $15 to $40. Clemente's three children -- Roberto Jr., Ricky and Luis -- are expected to attend.

The celebrations continue unabated Sunday. Rieder is hosting a private bash at his firehouse photo studio in Lawrenceville for Clemente's family, including his sons and his widow, Vera. Rieder will showcase his extensive collection of Clemente memorabilia, including uniforms, letters, gloves and shoes. Vera Clemente is bringing her late husband's 1960 and 1971 World Series rings.

Kevin McClatchy, the Pirates' managing general partner, is hosting a private party Sunday night for celebrities, MLB executives, friends and relatives at Jay Verno's photo studio on the South Side. Attendees will be treated to an hourlong multimedia presentation of the Pirates from past to present.

"It's a thank-you to a lot of people in baseball, friends and family. Lots of people worked hard to get (the All-Star Game) here, and this is an opportunity to give something back," McClatchy said. "It's going to be a blast."

The bottom line is that everyone in Pittsburgh can revel in the spotlight.

"It's about all-star hospitality. For a week Pittsburgh will be the all-star city. Pittsburghers love company," said Mayor Bob O'Connor's spokesman, Dick Skrinjar.

All-Star hot spots

Pittsburgh will be the site of several parties in the days leading up to Major League Baseball's All-Star Game on Tuesday. Many of the bashes are invitation-only, but opportunities abound for regular folks hoping to mingle with the stars.


• Major League Baseball and Getty Images Party

Where: Bossa Nova, Downtown

When: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Some 400 people are expected, said co-owner Robin Fernandez, declining to identify the VIPs who are expected to attend.

• Pittsburgh Pirates Charity Benefit

Where: Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square

When: 8 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: The rock bands Smash Mouth and Collective Soul are set to perform.

• Roberto Clemente Celebration Concert

Where: Chevrolet Amphitheatre, Station Square

When: 8 p.m.

Access: Open to the public. Tickets are $15 to $40.

About: Featuring his sons, Roberto Jr., Ricky and Luis.

• Franco Harris All-Star Celebration Benefiting Children's Hospital Pittsburgh

Where: Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, Strip District

When: 7 p.m.

Access: Invitation only.

About: More than 500 people are expected to attend this black-tie blowout, which benefits Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, says Harris' sister, Luana Scott, who is organizing the event.


@box-list• Photographer Duane Rieder's Private Party for Roberto Clemente's Family

Where: Rieder's Enginehouse, Lawrenceville

When: 7 to 11 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Clemente's sons and his widow, Vera, are expected to be at the bash. The Penn Avenue photography studio also is the site of a Clemente exhibit that is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through July 12. The exhibit is closed Sunday.

• Kevin McClatchy's Get-Together

Where: Jay Verno's Studio, South Side

When: 9 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: An intimate affair for Major League Baseball executives, players, family and friends, said Kevin McClatchy, the Pirates' managing general partner. Party-goers will be treated to a one-hour multimedia presentation chronicling the Pirates' history and live music.

• '33 Club' Presented by MLB

Where: Heinz Field

When: 9 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Heaven for true baseball fans. New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez and New York Mets third-baseman David Wright are the hosts. Other expected guests: Vladimir Guerrero, David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada, Jason Bay, Vernon Wells and Carlos Beltran.

• Dick's Sporting Goods and Nike's "Rock the 'Burgh" Party

Where: Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square

When: 7 to 11 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Guests include baseball executives, city officials, professional athletes and employees of Nike and Dick's. Entertainment by the PovertyNeck Hillbillies.

• Grand Slam Gala

Where: Prive Ultralounge, Strip District

When: 8 p.m.

Access: $7 to $500

About: Hosted by former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Rob Dibble. Miller Light Girls are to be there.


@box-list• Derek Jeter's Private Blowout

Where: Diesel, South Side

When: 8 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Hosted by the New York Yankees shortstop, it promises to be an intimate affair where Jeter and his pals can unwind away from the media spotlight and George Steinbrenner's disapproving glare.

• All-Star Bash -- Hollywood Style

Where: dejAVu Lounge, Strip District

When: 9 p.m.

Access: General admission, $30; VIP package, $125, which includes VIP access and open bar.

About: Owner Michael Pijanowski expects guests will include Mario Lemieux, Dan Marino, Mark Cuban, Miguel Cabrera and Miss Pennsylvania Tanya Lehman. Jeter is expected to make an appearance.

• The All-Star Ball

Where: Matrix, Station Square

When: 9 p.m.

Access: $10 to $20

About: Jose Canseco and his wife, Jessica, roll into town for a piece of the action. The PA Bikini Team will be there along with two Playboy Playmates.

• All-Star Gala

Where: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown

When: Following the Home Run Derby at PNC Park -- about 10:30 p.m.

Access: Invitation only

About: Some 5,000 players, owners, corporate sponsors and MLB employees are expected to attend.

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