The possibly the biggest media-real estate event of the year, and certainly the only one to to boast both Governor George Pataki, Sony Chairman Nobuyuki Idei and Showgirl Elizabeth Berkley as guests, was the opening of the Time Warner Center last night. A reported 5,000 guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, hores d'oeuvres, and Jewel's yodeling in the new $1.7 billion building. The great thing about throwing a party as a media conglomerate is that your talent comes cheap: Paula Zahn (CNN) cohosted with Jon Stewart (The Daily Show), who no longer works for Time Warner but might just wanted to check out the scene. The TW Center is home to 40 stores and 10 restaurants, though the Times questioned whether the TW Center can make "vertical retailing" work. According to Zahn, "This will give the malls on Long Island some competition." Yep, that's exactly the base the TW Center is trying to encroach upon: People who frequent Long Island malls, versus people who shop along Fifth, Madison, or in SoHo.

The Times' Alex Kuczynski gives the local color, calling it an event in a "Federico Fellini-meets-Michael Bloomberg kind of way," which, as Gothamist understands it, means the night involved lots of adulterous men, hookers, clowns, and billionaires turned civil servants. Cool!

More building facts about the Time Warner Center from glass steel and stone.