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It’s been awhile since I chronicled my adventures in the Big Apple so these span a rather large period of time.

A couple of weeks ago I saw Scott Mathews and his band play at the Glasslands Gallery. I hadn’t been to the venue before and I fell in love with the pure whimsy of the place; it feels like a fort out of Peter Pan’s Neverland. B’s friend Eugene, who I’ve mentioned in his role as DJ Eugene Tambourine, is part of the band; he and another band member opened as their side project- The Readers. It was their first show as The Readers and while they’re clearly not confident yet you can tell that they have talent. Scott Mathews on the other hand is the consummate performer- no lack of confidence there. He backs it up with interesting lyrics and a lot of raw emotion. They’re on tour in Europe at the moment but I would recommend checking them out upon their return.

Scott Matthews at Glasslands

Scott Matthews at Glasslands

Later that week I attended a very different sort of musical performance; I saw the St. Matthew Passion at BAM. S and I had stage seats, which was a really unique experience. I was close enough to touch the violinist in front of me and there was the somewhat disconcerting feeling that the whole audience was watching me; I was afraid to fidget throughout the 3 hour performance. This was the Jonathan Miller (Director) version – semi-staged, in the round, two choruses, two orchestras – sung in English (translation by Robert Shaw) (for more info on the St. Matthew Passion click here). The vocalists were incredible and I think the director’s choice to have them wear street clothing really added to my ability to connect with the piece. I couldn’t take pictures once the performance began but here’s a shot from the stage as people were taking their seats:

BAM Harvey Theater before the start of St. Matthew's Passion

BAM Harvey Theater before the start of St. Matthew Passion

Last week I saw Brit Boras and the Cavalry play at Spike Hill. All four of them are incredibly talented musicians. I expect their performance will feel a bit tighter when they’ve played together more but you can already see that they have a huge quantity of potential. Brit has a very big voice for such a petite girl; it takes you by surprise. Liam Veuve is wonderful on the cello and both Alex Beckmann and Jay Goodmann bring talent to the table. They’ll be playing again May 24th at Mercury Lounge and I would definitely urge you to check them out.

Brit Boras and the Cavalry

Brit Boras and the Cavalry

This past Saturday my grandmother and I saw our first ballet of the spring season- Concerto Barocco (Bach/Balanchine), Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux (Tschaikovsky/Balanchine), La Valse (Ravel/Balanchine) and Symphony in Three Movements (Stravinsky/Balanchine). I vastly enjoyed all four though the Pas de Deux was definitely my favorite; I just adore how pairs of dancers move together.

Later that day I met up with JBM & Co. at the Bell House to watch the Kentucky Derby in style. It was hellishly crowded but many of the ladies were properly decked out in enormous hats, which made them amusing enough to tolerate the lack of breathing room. There wasn’t anything quite as fabulous as Audrey Hepburn’s hat in My Fair Lady, but hey, they don’t make hats like they used to…

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady

I’m looking forward to attending another event there sometime soon.

On Monday I went to Solas for the St. Mark’s Bookshop reading I mentioned in my first post this week. Andrei Codrescu was vastly amusing and while I’m not sure I’ll read his book I certainly hope to see him read/perform on another occasion.

Please check out my roster of events for the week and my recent additions and stay tuned for my weekend post!

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Don’t let the nasty weather prevent you from getting out tonight! It may very well be the best night to go out this week as there are 3 very different but equally awesome events taking place!

First off, I will be attending a St. Mark’s Bookshop reading at Solas; Andrei Codrescu will read from ‘The Posthuman Dada Guide’:

The Posthuman Dada Guide is an impractical handbook for practical living in our posthuman world–all by way of examining the imagined 1916 chess game between Tristan Tzara, the daddy of Dada, and V. I. Lenin, the daddy of communism. This epic game at Zurich’s Café de la Terrasse–a battle between radical visions of art and ideological revolution–lasted for a century and may still be going on, although communism appears dead and Dada stronger than ever. As the poet faces the future mass murderer over the chessboard, neither realizes that they are playing for the world. Taking the match as metaphor for two polesof twentieth- and twenty-first-century thought, politics, and life, Andrei Codrescu has created his own brilliantly Dadaesque guide to Dada–and to what it can teach us about surviving our ultraconnected present and future.

The Roller Derby season has begun (the next match is the 16th!); if you want to be an informed spectator head to Barbes tonight where the Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series presents ‘Hell on Wheels’:

HELL ON WHEELS documents the birth of the rollergirl revolution and chronicles the creation of the first modern-era women’s roller derby league, the Lonestar Rollergirls and their rival breakaway league, the Texas Rollergirls.

If you happen to be polyamorous and you want the world to know, head over to the Slipper Room tonight where the Polyamory Party will be filmed for MTV’s award-winning docuseries True Life: I’m Polyamorous. There will be burlesque (one of my favorite performers- Anita Cookie, will be there!), burlesque hula hooping (!), spoken word performances, a crazy light show and of course you’ll get to mingle with other members of the sex-positive community.

Anita Cookie

Anita Cookie

If you missed out on the Kentucky Derby party at the Bell House on Saturday (I was there; it was awesome and I will tell you all about it shortly) there’s another awesome event there on Tuesday- Guactacular AND the Sudden Death Gameshow! Restaurants will compete for the title of best guacamole and you’re the judge, plus it’s free! At the same time contestants will compete in a form of Jeopardy that also happens to involve drinking. Sounds like the best way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

On Wednesday experience the work of controversial Yiddish writers at Symphony Space:

Funny, surprising, and poignant stories by controversial Yiddish writers who sometimes scandalized their mainstream critics. Isaiah Shefferperforms “Gimpel the Fool” by Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Shea performs Moishe Nadir’s “My First Love,” and Laura Estermanperforms Sholem Asch’s “A Quiet Garden Spot.”

Also on Wednesday The Coral Universitat de les Illes Balears will perform at St. John the Divine as part of the Catalan Days festival, which is being presented this month by the Institut Ramon Llull. The events showcase a variety of creative talent from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, including music, dance and drama, at a number of venues in the city. Check out their calendar of events and find one that appeals to you!

On Thursday check out Max Tundra and the Junior Boys at Webster Hall. Here’s the video for Junior Boys’ single ‘In the Morning’:

Have a great Monday and stay tuned for additions!

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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.

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The last five days have been so full that I can hardly believe it has only been five days. I will chronicle my adventures and leave it to you to decide which you would like to try for yourselves.

On Wednesday I attended the InDigest Reading Series at Le Poisson Rouge, which I wrote about in an earlier post. I like the space for the most part and while the bartender was a bit clueless there was free absinthe, which was an excellent way to start the evening. Paul Dickinson read first; I found his list-style poem about the various kinds of poets (the poets who write in their cabins, the poets who write about flowers, etc.) amusing but it was the second reader, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, who the four of us found truly compelling. F and G were especially interested in him and on an impulse I bought them both copies of his book, ’19 Names For Our Band.’ The cover of the book is fantastic and probably was at least partially responsible for the impulse.

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Our minds full of poetry G and I went over to Rhong Tiam to fill our stomachs with Thai chicken soup, which was fantastic.

On Thursday evening I treated myself to even more poetry at the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas, which I also mentioned in an earlier post. Tom Raworth read first. His poetry wasn’t really to my taste, though to be fair I think it was probably more about the reading style. Peter Richards had a more dynamic style; he engaged me more and I was less likely to drift into my own thoughts. There was one line of Peter Richards’ I particularly liked:

There is no extra charge for this extra charge.

I apologize that I have no idea which poem it is from; if anyone does know please tell me and I will credit it properly. Post-poetry we had a drink at my favorite secret bar, Angel’s Share, before walking over to Polonia for authentic Polish food. There were pierogi and potato pancakes and Polish beer and finally slow painful walking to the train.

Friday, my sleep-deficit already at a dangerous level, I opted out of most more elaborate plans and limited myself to the aforementioned free whiskey tasting followed by dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The whiskey tasting was held at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit .

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

We were tasting bourbon, vodka and whiskey made by the only New York State distiller- Tuthilltown Spirits. All of the products we tasted were single-ingredient products, which means that there’s no recipe per say; it’s all in the quality of the ingredients and the methods by which they’re processed. I enjoyed the whiskey, though generally it’s not my beverage of choice, (I’m a gin girl), and Kate1 liked the bourbon. However, I adored the tiny squat glass bottles.

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Warmed by liquor we walked deep into the W. Village to one of the best Italian restaurants in the city- Malatesta. I first discovered this restaurant through an ex and while it was at first an emotional feat to go back there following the break-up (he met my parents there among other things), it was well worth it and I have now thoroughly reclaimed it for myself and my friends. Their cheese ravioli and gnocchi are most definitely the best I’ve ever tasted and where it lacks comfort (cramped, shaky wooden tables, etc.) it makes up for it in superb quality. Go. Eat. Be glad I never let men get between me and amazing restaurants.

Saturday was quite the day. It began with brunch at Jane, which I know I’ve told you in the past is one of my favorite brunch spots. It was delicious as always. I then meandered around Union Sq. for a bit and witnessed this classic Union Sq. tableau:

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

In the foreground we see a man with an alarming number of tattoos and a vintage-looking bike. In the background on the left is a man who is informing the general public about god, and the devil, and the likelihood that we will all go to hell (apparently quite high) and what hell will be like (apparently not pleasant). In the background on the right are a group of teenagers advertising free hugs. I post this only to lead up to the following statement- I LOVE NEW YORK.

On that note… I went up to Grand Central and G and I took the Metro North train to the New York Botanical Garden for the annual Orchid Show. The Orchid Show will be ongoing until April 12th and I would highly recommend that you head up there sometime before then; the conservatory is simply stunning.

Orchids

Conservatory

After strolling through the grounds and watching the sunset behind the conservatory, we took the train back into the city and dared to walk through Times Sq. in search of a secret bar I had recently heard tell of… It is called Bar Centrale and I suggest that you seek it out as well. The entrance is satisfyingly hidden and the bartender is snooty (he reminded me faintly of Truman Capote for some reason) and the jazz is soothing and the carafes of extra martini are exciting.

Once I was properly giggly we hurried downtown to a screening of short films being considered for the Downtown Short Film Festival; I wrote about the audience choice screenings in an earlier post. I found out about this series through one of my bosses, SW, and we were supposed to go together but she was called away. In this case I can’t say she missed anything too exciting, however, I look forward to seeing the actual series in April as I suspect only the better films will make it in. This screening consisted of the following films:

  • Tunnelrat: Soldiers from opposite sides trapped in a tunnel. They get out and then one ironically gets killed by his own side. Predictable and unpleasant to watch.
  • Der Pfandlaie: This involves a pawn shop and a dominatrix; there was a lot of wasted potential.
  • Reach: A tiny robot is given life but is confined by the length of his power cord; he dies seeking to reach a mysterious bird. Sad and beautiful. Maybe WallE has conditioned me to find robots adorable.
  • The Last Leaf: Illness, melodrama, survival, hope, sacrifice. Too much to contain in a not particularly well put together piece.
  • An Angel Stops By: The Angel of Death tells a porn director he must make his film into a biblical tale to avoid death. There is death. With a small twist.

All that rating made us hungry and we were lucky enough to find space at Persimmon, a marvelous Korean restaurant in the E. Village.

Persimmon

Persimmon

To finish up the day (yes- this is still Saturday, astounding as that may seem) I attended the aforementioned Jackson-themed burlesque show at Joe’s Pub- ‘Beat It Burlesque.’ I had a burlesque-virgin with me and I am pleased to say this was a perfect first show; Tigger did slightly disturbing things on stage, Anita Cookie was as bubbly as can be and GiGi La Femme was the hottest pussycat out there.

Today my grandmother and I saw the final performance of Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company. If you missed it I highly recommend that you look into their upcoming productions. The theater is tiny and intimate and if this show is any indication this is a company worth watching. Maggie Gyllenhaal was just as superb as I expected her to be and I got an extra special thrill because Meryl Streep happened to be seeing the show as well (she bumped into my grandmother in the lobby but was very nice about it).

I am exhausted but I promise to post this week’s events as soon as possible!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

We have quite the week ahead of us and I hope that you won’t let the nasty weather stop you from attending some of the great events taking place.

On Monday night head out to Galapagos to witness a new kind of open mike night- Open Variety Night!

Artists are invited to perform in New York City’s first certified green cultural venue. The monthly showcase is open to all variety entertainers: jugglers, hoofers, magicians, aerialists, physical comedians, opera singers, violin playing pogo stickers, steppers, acrobats. The stage is here for artists to work out material in front of a live audience.

The Open Variety Stage is a response to variety artists — circus, sideshow, vaudeville, etc. — not having a stage to work on new material with a live audience.  Although there are a number of open mics in the city, few provide spaces high and wide enough for the work that many of us do. We aim to create a supportive laboratory for emerging artists and professionals alike to work on material, try new bits, and reawaken old acts.

This event is particularly exciting because it is being presented in partnership with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus- a fantastic organization my friend D used to volunteer for (you might say she actually ran away to the circus…).

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

On Tuesday I for one am going to see South Pacific at the Lincoln Center Theater. Some of the original cast will be leaving the show soon so you should definitely get tickets if you want to see it! I will be sure to post my review though I very much doubt that it will be anything but glowing.

If I was not going to the theater I would definitely be checking out the Bushwick Book Club.

The Bushwick Book Club meets the first Tuesday of every month at Goodbye Blue Monday and employs the delirious talents of local songwriters who plumb the depths and scrape the ends of a chosen literary gem to create that rare and beautiful thing – a new song. All songs are then displayed, spread wide, in one hour. It’s an hour-long orgy of book-related songs and book-inspired food and drink. If that doesn’t sound indulgent enough, I don’t want to know you, you sick, sick bastard.

Head out to Goodbye Blue Monday and enjoy the indulgence.

On Wednesday the InDigest Reading Series at Le Poisson Rouge will include a free absinthe tasting from 6-7. After you’re all properly liquored up Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Paul Dickinson will read.

Absinthe

Absinthe

On Wednesday check out Sustainable NYC and join in converting your trash into treasure. Bring your “exciting cardboard” and team up with the recycling junkies, creative geniuses and pack-rats of our fine city to create wallets, postcards, pencil boxes, and more!

Starting on Wednesday you can be part of the selection process for the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival. Audience screenings will be taking place Wednesday through Saturday so for once you could have a say in which films make it big.

NYC Short Film Festival

NYC Downtown Short Film Festival

This Thursday  Tom Raworth and Peter Richards will be reading at Solas as part of the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series. These two accomplished poets are sure to bring an interesting crowd- go for the people watching if nothing else!

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series begins on Thursday with a screening of ‘Paris 36.’ The New York Times says:

The happy news about the 2009 series, whose remaining screenings take place at the Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center, is that overall it is the best in years: a heartening development after a precipitous falloff last year. In addition to “Mesrine” and “Séraphine,” it includes major new films by Claire Denis (“35 Shots of Rum”), Agnès Varda (“The Beaches of Agnès”) and Benoît Jacquot (“Villa Amalia”) and a diabolically witty homage to the mystery writer Georges Simenon by Claude Chabrol (“Bellamy”) in which Gérard Depardieu plays a Maigret-like police investigator. Mr. Chabrol’s first movie with Mr. Depardieu, “Bellamy” also marks his 50th year as a director.

The series continues until the 15th; be sure to get your tickets for the screenings at the Walter Reade Theater or the IFC sooner rather than later!

 Le Plaisir de chanter

Le Plaisir de chanter

Stay tuned for additions as the week progresses!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I hope everyone is as happy to have a 4 day week as I am! Celebrate tonight by taking home arm loads of free clothes from Thrift On!, a crazy clothes swap at the Botanica Bar. There will be a DJ, comedy, contests and mayhem. Bring something you’re tired of and remember one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

On Tuesday Sam Mickens will be playing his “soul music for the present age” at Zebulon. Time Out New York says

Zs (say “zees”) combines cutting-edge contemporary classical with avant-rock, diluting neither style in the least. The trio’s hyperinvolved compositions and feverishly exacting performances make it essential listening for any enthusiast of either genre. Sam Mickens hails from visionary art-pop group the Dead Science.

I know I’ve mentioned this venue before, but I will reiterate that this is really the pinnacle of artsy hipsterness in Wburg.

On Wednesday I will be attending a preview performance of a new show called ‘Fire Throws’ at the 3LD Art and Technology Center. It’s a modern twist on the classic play Antigone, which makes it in my opinion the epitome of ‘Questionable Theatre.’ Naturally A and I are going and I expect it will either be amazing or awful; either way we are certain to enjoy ourselves immensely.

Fire Throws

Fire Throws

If you aren’t as confident in your ability to laugh off potentially dreadful theater I encourage you to check out the Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cakeshop. Dare Dukes was the musical performer last time and I totally fell in love with his crooning city-folk style. It didn’t hurt that Dare is what my friend K would call ‘sexy ugly.’ Actually he’ll be performing this Friday at Banjo Jims, so you can judge for yourself. This week the Mixer includes readings by Janice Erlbaum, Rob Sheffield and Melissa Seley and a musical performance by Allison Clancy. It should also be noted that not only is Cakeshop a great basement bar, it is also the purveyor of yummy pastries both vegan and otherwise.

On Thursday there will be another great literary event- the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas. It was at one of these events that I heard Junot Diaz read from ‘The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ and became an instant die hard fan. As someone who enjoys both Llosa and Kanye West this was probably bound to happen. This week Brian Evenson and Jesse Ball will be reading. It tends to be crazy packed so get there early, find a comfy couch and be prepared to be be wowed.

Also on Thursday ‘Handmade Music’ will be umm… exploding at 3rd Ward. If you can get yourself out there (if it’s not too cold) these events are always worth the trip. They involve a coming together of “geeksters and the geek curious” and are generally a truly un-godly racket and a very good time.

I’ll be posting about next weekend as awesome events come to my attention. Please bring any to my attention that you come across!

Past Shenanigans

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