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This past weekend I took a break from The Big Apple and visited G up in Boston. It was a relief to have someone else doing the planning for once and G certainly planned a beautiful weekend.

Thursday night we had a fantastic dinner at Upstairs on the Square while enjoying the musical talents of the Winiker Orchestra. I loved that they mixed up their repertoire with contemporary tracks from artists like Kanye West; I’m ready to say that only Kanye himself could do it better.

Friday afternoon we wandered over to Symphony Hall to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform a wonderful program including pieces by Ravel, Prokofiev and Stravinsky. I particularly enjoyed the violin solo during Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2; the soloist, Lisa Batiashvili, is an incredibly gifted musician and I hope to hear her play in NYC the next time she’s in town. The space itself is very beautiful and it was the perfect way to spend a day away from the office.

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

On Saturday we took advantage of the warm weather and drove into New Hampshire to climb a small mountain- Mt. Monadnock. We hiked up the ‘White Dot Trail,’ which was pleasant, if a bit muddy, at the start and then progressively steeper as we ascended. There was still a good deal of snow on the ground, which was problematic once we were above the tree line, however it wasn’t too strenuous a hike and the view from the top was well worth the effort. It was fantastic to be outside and out of a city for a little while; there are many hikes within easy distance from NYC and I definitely recommend taking a day trip of this variety.

Part way up Monadnock

Part way up Monadnock

From the Top of Monadnock

From the Top of Monadnock

Sunday morning we had brunch at The Elephant Walk before I hopped the Bolt Bus home.  Their ‘Cambodian Bloody Mary’ was good enough for a New York brunch and the crepes were classic.

Be sure to look into all this week’s events (see posts below) and stay tuned for my weekend post!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

There are two concerts this week that I’d like to bring to your attention; they’re not sold out as of this morning but you should grab tickets soon if you want to see these musicians fresh out of SXSW.

On Thursday Asobi Seksu plays at the Bowery Ballroom. Check out the video from her single “Thursday”:

Friday night you can catch Langhorne Slim at The Bell House.

Langhorn Slim

Langhorn Slim

If you want something a bit… dorkier go to the Bell House on Wednesday for Union Hall’s Secret Science Club.

Mars expert JAMES HEAD recently spent his “holidays” in Antarctica, studying the bone-chilling landscape for clues that might help explain the mysterious Martian terrain. Dr. Head asks: Could frigid water below the surface of Mars contain evidence of life? What’s the latest news from recent Mars missions such as the Mars Express and Phoenix?

Professor of Geological Sciences in the Planetary Geosciences Group at Brown University, Dr. James Head spent his early career at NASA, training Apollo astronauts and planning lunar landing sites. As a geological explorer, he has traveled around the world (and to the bottom of the ocean in deep-sea submersibles) to study volcanism and tectonism. He is the author of more than 300 scientific papers on topics ranging from gullies and glaciation on Mars to Venusian impact craters. Currently, he is a co-investigator for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Mission, the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury and the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3).

Before & After
**Groove to spaced-out tunes and video
**Blast off with the Secret Science Club’s quantum cocktail of the night, the “Mars Express”
**Stick around for the out-of-this-world Q&A and music from PHANTOGRAM and BIG BANG TV!!

If you’re more interested in the past than the future get a history lesson on sex in NYC on Thursday at the Tenement Museum where Kat Long will be discussing her book “Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex and Sin in New York City.” I just picked it up yesterday and it’s full of details about brothels during Prohibition and street walkers in pre-Guiliani Times Square. History has never been this steamy!

This Saturday is the 1st Saturday in April, which means it’s First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum! This month the events include swing music by The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, tours of the Herman Bas exhibit and numerous other concerts and lectures.

Herman Bas "The Blue Line"

Herman Bas "The Blue Line"

Best of all First Saturdays are totally and completely FREE!

Stay tuned for more events!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I’m back in NYC and super excited about this week’s events! I will relate my adventures in Boston in a later post but these announcements must come first.

Tonight start your week off with some funky dance music at Beauty Bar:

Eugene and returning guest DJ Brian Blackout braid the tunes and work out the kinks (not the band) for the dancefloor. However, The Kinks might be heard as DJs Go-Karff & Sandman present the “Lovedolls Superstar” rock extravaganza in the front room. Beloved bartenders Hillery & Sam take care of the bar with $5 Olive Vodka drinks and $3 Buds all night. No Cover.

Also tonight you can hear the real deal on Dylan when the world’s preeminent Dylan biographer, Clinton Heylin, spins his tales at Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers. His new book, Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1963, is due out in April.

National Poetry Month is about to begin; you can get a head start tonight at McNally Jackson Books, where the all-star lineup includes a couple of Pulitzer winners and several National Book Critics Circle honorees- Sharon Olds, Philip Schultz, Mark Strand, C.K. Williams and Robert Pinsky.

On Tuesday take advantage of the (somewhat) warmer weather and make the trek out to 3rd Ward for their newest monthly event- THE…

video game

On its debut night, 3rd Ward’s Return of the Wizard is calling out Mario Kart fanatics for a battle to the death on Nintendo 64. We’ll pit you and your friends against each other in high stakes video game competition projected onto 10×10 ft. screens. Relive your glory days – minus the grape soda and nagging parents – plus ice cold beers, cash prizes, live beats from DJ Tanner and the month long title of 3rd Ward’s Video Game King or Queen. At 3rd Ward, it’s co-ed style — girls, it’s time to get the boys back for all their years of not letting you play!

You may remember my stories about the Dorkbots and their absurd antics; on Wednesday you can see them for yourself at Location One. What could be more appropriate for April Fool’s Day than people doing strange things with electricity?

On Thursday the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas presents Poems for the Millenium: Volume Three:

The previous two volumes of this acclaimed anthology set forth a globally decentered revision of twentieth-century poetry from the perspective of its many avant-gardes. Now editors Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson bring a radically new interpretation to the poetry of the Ninteenth century, viewing the work of the romantic and post-romantic poets as an international, collective, often utopian enterprise that became the foundation of experimental modernism.  The range of volume three and its skewing of the traditional canon illuminate the process by which romantics and post- romantics challenged nineteenth-century orthodoxies and propelled poetry to the experiments of a later modernism and avant-gardism. Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet and Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Jeffrey C. Robinson is Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Also on Thursday Black Taxi (whose benefit concert for Studio 42 I posted some time ago) will be playing at the Annex. Here is the video from their single “Wanted Man”:

Stay tuned for more events and of course the details of my Boston adventures.

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I am currently visiting G in Boston but I would be irresponsible if I did not alert you to at least a few more events happening in the Big Apple this weekend.

If you are 1) a fan of Michel Gondry or 2) a fan of Gabrielle Bell or 3) a fan of Ariel Schrag you should be at Desert Island Comics this evening, where the two latter will be signing their new releases (if you’re unaware “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” director Michel Gondry collaborated with cartoonist Gabrielle Bell for his segment of current indie flick “Tokyo!,” based on a story from her collection Cecil and Jordan in New York, which is why fans of Michel Gondry may also want to attend).

Book Release Poster

Book Release Poster

Tomorrow night is Brazillian Carnival Night at the 92nd St. Y:

Come usher in the Spring with a taste of Brazilian culture! Zouk Nation presents a full evening of Brazilian music and dance. The night will include two djs, a raffle drawing with prizes, along with a free lesson in zouk dancing during the first hour and live demonstrations of zouk, forro, samba de gafieira and capoeira throughout the evening.

If you’re in the mood for classy burlesque, probably of the variety I reported on last weekend, you should check out the show at Cercle Rouge.

Cabaret Poster

Cabaret Poster

I wasn’t going to post this, mainly because I personally don’t eat pork, but since I’m not in NYC anyway you deserve to know that the people who brought you the Chili Takedown are now bringing you the Bacon Takedown at Radegast Hall.

Bacon Takedown!

Bacon Takedown!

Have a great weekend everyone and stay tuned for next week’s events!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

First off, let me tell you about the event I just came across that you may want to check out this evening. The Universal Record Database is hosting a World Record Appreciation Party tonight at Pianos. You can go to watch people perform absurd stunts or sign up to perform one yourself. Here’s one of my favorite videos from their site- Fastest Time To Solve a Rubik’s Cube While Riding a Unicycle.

Starting tonight the New Directors/New Films Series will be at the Museum of Modern Art:

Now in its thirty-eighth year, the renowned New Directors/New Films festival, presented jointly by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art, introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging or not-yet-established filmmakers from around the world. All of the films in New Directors/New Filmsare having either U.S. or New York premieres, and many of the screenings are introduced by the filmmakers. This year the festival takes place at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1 at MoMA, where the festival opens on March 25.

The New York Times recommends “Amreeka,” about a Palestinian woman who migrates to Chicago; “Unmade Beds,” about an East London squat; “We Live in Public,” a documentary about the heady days of the Internet bubble and one of Silicon Alley’s most prominent entrepreneurs; and “Cold Souls,” in which Paul Giamatti, playing himself as a tormented actor, undergoes a Gondry-like process that enables him to keep his soul in storage.

Also ongoing, The Classical Stage Company is showing The Proust Project- “a new adaptation series featuring a set of staged readings based on Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.”

The Proust Project

The Proust Project

You may remember I told you about the production of Uncle Vanya I saw at the Classical Stage Company; it was incredible and I’m confident that this production will also be worth checking out. Buy tickets soon because they’re very limited!

Stay tuned for more additions and my weekend post!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I’m not quite 100% yet but I am ready to get you excited about the week ahead! Tonight there are 2 events worth considering. First, my dear friend B is part of a very exciting lineup at Beauty Bar tonight! The honorable judges Gant and Eugene Tambourine will be presiding over a disco and house-centric dance floor, so go out and get your groove on; it’s the best way to start the week!

Tenderheads Poster

Tenderheads Poster

Also tonight Slice Magazine is hosting a Literary Trivia Showdown at Dixon Place:

To celebrate the launch of our fourth issue, Slice is hosting its first annual Literary Trivia Showdown. Three teams of five authors, five editors, and five agents will go head-to-head to see who knows the most about the literary realm.

English majors unite!

On Tuesday, I may head down to the Seaport to check out the new musical based on the (in)famous DSM IV Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, which I mentioned to you some time ago. ‘Crazy Head Space’ is about half way through its run; don’t miss your chance to check out the madness!

For less umm… absurd music, check out Micachu and the Shapes tomorrow at Death by Audio in Williamsburg.

If you want to dance to an older tune you can kick up your heels at Swing46, where George Gee and the Jump Jivin’ Wailers will be throwing a Swinging Big Band Dance Party.

On Wednesday B will be spinning out at Hugs; he’s by his lonesome this week so there will be nonstop happy dance music.

Thursday is opening night for the Folding Chair Classical Theater; they will be presenting a very unique version of Shakespeare’s Pericles:

Folding Chair veteran James Arden (“30 Rock”, “Kings”, “Flight of the Concords”) will play Pericles. The rest of the play’s 30-plus roles will be played by five of Folding Chair’s ensemble players (Lisa Blankenship, Gowan Campbell, Francine Margolis, Josh Thelinand Larry Giantonio). They will switch roles at lightning speed, performing on a bare stage, using only their voices, bodies and the text to bring the play to life.

Also on Thursday you can experience a reading series in a very new and different setting- a laundromat!

Gregory Beyer, Itzak Saki Knafo, and Caroline H. Dworin, three regulars in the pages of the New York Times’ City Section will share their most hilarious, nail biting tales from their days scouring the city for stories. These journalists walk through caution tape, find hidden doors, gleefully pick through trash, and always have a flask; all for the love of the story. What better place to hear their tales too outrageous for the Old Gray Lady than a Lower East Side Laundromat. Bring your laundry and the producers will provide quarters, detergent, and stain removal advice gratis. You won’t loose your shirt (no guarantee on the socks) on this one.

Dirty Laundry Reading Series

Dirty Laundry Reading Series

ALSO on Thursday… If you are Sports inclined (I am not at all but am aware that other people seem to enjoy watching/participating in them), you should check out 12 Angry Mascots – NYC’s Only Sports Comedy Variety Talk Show. One of the Raspberry Brothers is part of the act, which is an excellent sign in my book. The show also features Comedy Central’s Liam McEneaney, Last Comic Standing’s Iliza Shlesinger, and NY Jet’s All-Pro safety KERRY RHODES.

I also want to make a couple of early weekend announcements. On Saturday you can enjoy an evening of Jazz, absinthe and champagne infused chocolate at Antik.

Wit's End Party

Wit's End Party

This month the Wit’s End Party, a fabulous soiree worth buying that new dress for, will also include music from the Red Hook Ramblers and handmade chocolates from Chocolats Meurens.

Finally, I am thrilled to announce that the Tiny Ninja Theater will be performing Treasure Island this Sunday at the Bowery Poetry Club. This show will be markedly different from their usual productions but I am certain that these talented performers will come up with some very unique and exciting ways of telling this classic adventure story.

Have a great week and stay tuned for additions!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

There are three very different and equally absurd and fantastic things happening tomorrow. First, if you like free food and you LOVE macaroni and cheese you simply must go to Greenpoint tomorrow for the great Mac Off:

Mac Off Flyer

Mac Off Flyer

If that’s not your thing, or if you’ve stuffed yourself to bursting by 6ish, head to the LES and check out the Raspberry Brothers at Pianos; they’ll be adding fantastic commentary to one of the more absurd movies of the 80s- Footloose.

Footloose Poster

Footloose Poster

If you’d rather watch an absurd movie without commentary, Quintet with Paul Newman is showing at BAM:

Robert Altman’s notoriously divisive science-fiction head-trip transports Newman to a glacial, post-apocalyptic future where humans are engaged in a deadly game called Quintet, the only objective of which is to stay alive. Bleak and hypnotic, Quintet is Altman at his most elusive, exploring the very limits of narrative and psychosocial boundaries.

That’s about as absurd as it gets…

Will post this week’s events shortly- promise!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I am very sorry for disappearing from the face of the earth this week. I have been so absurdly, unreasonably ill that I have begun to quote the bitchy girl from ‘Devil Wears Prada’ – “I feel like death warmed up” – whenever anyone asks me. Yesterday my friend T was coming into town so I stayed home from work in the hope that 10 more hours of sleep might fix something in time for me to take her out on the town. It didn’t really but I drugged myself up with decongestants and ibuprofen and took her out to Duane Park for dinner and burlesque (it was my responsibility as a hostess).

Duane Park

Duane Park

Duane Park has free burlesque shows on Friday nights. This is not the sort of burlesque I usually see; I tend towards the variety show/cabaret sort of acts, performances that are closer to comedy than dance. The two lovely ladies who took off their clothes in the stunning arena of Duane Park did so tastefully and with grace and and controlled sensuality. There was nothing vulgar or funny about it. Now the group I was with were probably much more inclined towards seeing beautiful women carefully remove their clothing than I was; it certainly seemed as though they were enjoying themselves. Actually I felt the star of the performance was really Brian Newman- the excellent trumpet player and singer who single-handedly created the speakeasy mood.

Brian Newman

One of my companions was taking pictures during the show and I promise to post any particularly lovely shots of the dancers or of Brian Newman when he sends them to me!

This evening I had a prior commitment and therefore pushed myself out of my apartment once again… to attend a special preview wine tasting event being hosted by Brooklyn Based at the Red Hook Winery.

Red Hook Winery

Red Hook Winery

Now to start with I should thank the fabulous people at Brooklyn Based who added a third tasting so that those of us on the wait list could check out this fantastic new winery. To get to said winery I took advantage of the newest form of transportation to hit the big city- The Ikea Water Taxi. I believe from now on I am going to recommend this to tourists as the best free way to see the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan from the water. It is awesome. Hurray Ikea! Even Hopstop will now include the Ikea shuttle buses in its directions! I just hope the Ikea people don’t start charging (I promise to buy something next time I move!).

The space (see above) is beautiful; there are old tin ceilings and everything feels just slightly magical. Certain old buildings are like that; they have good bones. The tasting itself was quite fun; the on-site winemaker, Christopher Nicolson, told us all about the process from choosing the grapes (sometimes sorting by hand) to mixing different batches for interesting blends (E and I both loved one that was mostly merlot but just a bit of several other varieties). There were lots of “10 point words” but while I didn’t follow it all I did find it fascinating and I’m very much looking forward to seeing these bottles in stores.

I will be posting a few events for tomorrow and then a larger post for this week. Please forgive me for my negligence with this weekend’s events; I will try not to get sick again this season!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I am feeling slightly better this morning and while I doubt I’ll be doing anything too exciting tonight (when it hurts to swallow large quantities of whiskey are seldom advisable) I want you to be aware of several additions to my previous list of fabulous events.

If you missed this year’s Beard and Moustache Championships you can at least see one man with a beard performing tonight- bearded comedian and friend to both Will Oldham and Kanye West, Zach Galifianakis, headlines tonight at the Punch Up Your Life comedy series at Housing Works.

Punch Up Your Life Comedy Series

Punch Up Your Life Comedy Series

For a more traditional (as in NYC traditional) experience head to Ulysses for green beer, AstroTurf and ‘Irish Breakfast.’

New York Night Train’s Jonathan Toubin will be spinning his rock and soul 45s at Daddy’s before heading off to SXSW later this week.

Jonathan Toubin spins @ Daddy's

Jonathan Toubin spins @ Daddy's

Have a safe and exciting ‘holiday’ and stay tuned for more of this week’s events!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I apologize for the tardiness of this e-mail; I stayed home from work today and have been lying about sleeping and drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself. Since I am posting so late in the day I will skip Monday events altogether and move right along to… St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day in NYC involves beer at noon, girls wearing very little green (and nothing else) and a whole host of other absurdities. Here are a few to consider:

Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold

  • A, who actually is Irish (born and bred), is planning to party at some less traditional spots- The Brass Monkey and Cielo in the Meatpacking District. Now Meatpacking is not always my thing; on weekends the whole velvet rope business can get out of hand, but St. Patrick’s Day is usually a pretty friendly and inclusive occasion so it might be the right time to head west.
  • For a cozier and less high maintenance crowd check out Black Rabbit in Greenpoint; their fireplace will be as cozy as always plus they will have Jameson specials and the sort of Irish music we generally know and love (the Pogues and the Waterboys).
  • Generally speaking there will be drink specials and people wearing green throughout the city so go out and join in the madness (just be safe everyone!)!

There are 2 ongoing things I’d like to mention before I forget. First, the play ‘Fire Throws,’ which A and I saw some time ago and which I reviewed, is in it’s final weeks at 3LD. While I had mixed feelings about it I do think it’s visually stunning and a unique theater experience. Secondly, The Best of Slamdance Festival at the IFC has some great selections to choose from, including two tonight.

On Wednesday, if you haven’t been to the Mixer Music and Reading Series at Cakeshop this is a good week to go; it’s their 2-year anniversary and they’re celebrating with a great selection of artists- Jedediah Berry, Matthew Zapruder and Leni Zumas will read and there will be music from La Marcha as well as special performances from your hosts Melissa Febos and Rebecca Keith; go and get your dose of poetry and cupcakes for the week!

If that’s not quite enough poetry to satisfy your literature related cravings on Thursday the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series is happening at Solas again; JERRY STAHL and FRANCIS LEVY will be reading.

If you’d like to be part of a much more controversial discussion, the first public discussion between the graffiti community and the ‘Vandal Squad’ will be taking place in response to the release of a book by a former ‘Vandal Squad’ officer:

The recent book release Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004 has caused consternation throughout the global graffiti community with charges that author Joseph Rivera is profiting off the very criminals he spent his career incarcerating.

In response, the powerHouse Arena will host a conversation between former members of the Vandal Squad and the graffiti writers, the first such event of its kind. With the intent of providing an open forum for public discussion to discuss the issues regarding the methods that the Vandal Squad employs and their impact on the lives of the writers themselves. Panelists include Vandal Squad author Joseph Rivera, former Commanding Officer Lieutenant Steven Mona, original Vandal Squad Lieutenant Ken Chiulli, graffiti legend COPE2, graffiti activist Ket, and street artist Ellis G. The event will be moderated by Stern Rockwell, Streets Are Saying Things.

Founded in 1980, the Vandal Squad’s mission was to protect the subway system from hardcore criminal acts of destruction like kicking out windows and throwing seats out of train cars. It was only with the Clean Car Program of 1984 that graffiti became the primary focus of this specialized Unit. On a mission to catch those who gained fame under tag names, the Vandal Squad had to identify and locate these individuals cloaked in anonymity (and often so transient they were referred as “ghosts”) using every means available, including the NYPD computer database, Search Warrants, subpoenas, and even vandals themselves. These strategies, and their impact on the lives of the vandals, as well as concerns about the publication of the book, will be the focus of the conversation.

Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004

Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004

Also on Thursday, Black Rabbit will be hosting a speed dating event with a Smiths soundtrack. I know, speed dating sounds a bit sketch, right? I will have you know that I once dated someone for 2 whole months after meeting him speed dating AND we’re still friends (a true rarity for me). Think about it- you spend 5 minutes talking to someone and either you like them and want to talk to them further or you aren’t that interested. It’s much much less painful than going on a date with that guy from Match.com who looked so hot in that one picture… At any rate, be optimistic, feel sexy, go make some first impressions!

I will add more events as I come across them (and as this dreadful virus leaves my system).

Past Shenanigans

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