You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Chronicles of My Adventures’ category.

Exciting news! TheBigRedApple has officially moved to its new home- TheBigRedApple.net Please visit me there for all the latest news!

TheBigRedApple

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I’ve been meaning to give you proper reviews of several concerts I attended in the last month. I was at Phoenix‘s sold out concert at Terminal 5 June 19th; it was spectacular. At one point the singer, Thomas Mars, jumped into the crowd; people surged forward contracting to the point that half the room, which had seemed packed, was almost empty. The security guards hauled him out unharmed but I can’t say it was a particularly successful move. This video is pretty poor quality but it does give you a concept of the high energy level in the room, plus it shows off some of the crazier lighting effects:

They’ll be back at the end of August- perhaps a good way to end the summer?

On a very different note, I very much enjoyed the New York City Opera’s recital-style performance of La Navarraise in the World Financial Center Winter Garden. It was interesting to see this somewhat awkward space full of people silently listening to opera. The acoustics weren’t great and the palm trees tended to block your view but I liked the informality of it and the illusion that everyone had sort of stumbled into the performance.

A bit more recently G and I saw Black Taxi at Pianos. We were already pretty crazy about them beforehand but seeing them live definitely cemented our regard. Pianos is a tiny venue so we were also able to meet them afterwards, which was very exciting. Here are a few of Deneka Peniston’s stunning photos of the show:

J. Holms on Drums

J. Holms on Drums

Vocals by Ezra

Vocals by Ezra

Ezra amongst the crowd

Ezra amongst the crowd

You have another chance to see them tonight, at Le Poisson Rouge! Check my last post for info on the spread of events this weekend and stay tuned for additions!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I had a marvelous weekend, full of adventures! It was great to have the LSAT behind me (for the moment).

Friday night G and F and I checked out New York Classical Theatre’s production of King Lear. The show begins at 103rd St. and Central Park West and the cast members beckon the audience to follow them from one area of the park to another whenever the scene changes (sometimes with fabulous Shakespearean epithets like “come you mongrels!”). The constant moving around keeps you much more engaged, though towards the end I would have preferred to settle down. The best scene was definitely the battle near the end of the play; rushing after the cast and hearing the clash of swords through the trees as you approached them was super exciting. I would definitely recommend this production as a much simpler way to enjoy Shakespeare in Central Park- no waiting in line for free tickets, etc., just show up and settle on the grass. Here are some pictures of the show (all by Miranda Arden):

Kent (John-Patrick Driscoll), King Lear (Donald Grody) and the Fool (Andrew Sellon)

Kent (John-Patrick Driscoll), King Lear (Donald Grody) and the Fool (Andrew Sellon)

The Fool (Andrew Sellon)

The Fool (Andrew Sellon)

On Saturday I saw some very forgettable ballets at the New York City Ballet; I will not discuss them further as they were far from spectacular (the ballets, not the dancers).

Post-ballet we had intended to hit the Big Apple BBQ but sadly it was raining so G and I took shelter in Brasserie Cognac and munched on croissants until it was time to head to our next entertainment- a performance by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus at St. Peter’s Church. The chorus performed the first two pieces in the round and the surround-sound effect was fantastic. The concert showcased original pieces, one of which was declared the winner of the Competition for Young Composers. It was fascinating to hear the innovations of these talented young composers, performed by talented young NYers.

Young New Yorkers' Chorus at St. Peter's Church

Young New Yorkers' Chorus at St. Peter's Church

On Sunday G and I had yummy Israeli brunch at Miriam’s in Park Slope and then headed to Governors Island to check out Figment. It was truly a unique “participatory art” experience. There was a giant polygon to climb on and a huge putt putt golf course and rubber chickens hanging from trees and umbrellas planted like flowers and giant chalkboards… Here are a couple of pictures; some of the pieces will remain through the summer so you still have time to play!

Part of the City of Dreams Mini Golf Course, open through the summer

Part of the City of Dreams Mini Golf Course, open through the summer

Shield/Coraza by Hector Canonge

Shield/Coraza by Hector Canonge

Sunday night G and I had dinner at Prime Meats, an excellent restaurant featuring local and seasonal produce and meat in Carrol Gardens. After ordering dry-aged beef by the ounce our steak was brought out to us (raw) for our inspection, this sort of emphasis on process is inherent in the service and the quality of the food; we enjoyed ourselves a great deal and will certainly be back.

Stay tuned for news of the weekend yet to come!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I have also been meaning to tell you about several concerts I snuck out to while supposedly studying (no wonder I was unprepared).

I saw The Wet Spots at Joe’s Pub with G; I told you about the concert in a post about upcoming events somewhat beforehand. They were hilarious; I downloaded their first album on iTunes and have been singing inappropriate lyrics under my breath on the subway ever since. G’s favorite song is Texas Annie:

I was back at Joe’s Pub a couple of weeks ago to see Naomi Shelton with one of my bosses, SW, (I mentioned that show to you in advance as well).

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens

I don’t have much experience with Gospel music but I enjoyed it a good deal. SW said that it paled in comparison with the Gospel tents at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, where the “almost sexual religious fervor” of the singers electrifies the audience, but I guess there has to be some reason for leaving NYC from time to time.

Last week K and I attended the Santigold concert at Terminal 5. We drove back and forth across the country last summer and my friend MGF gave us Santigold’s album Santogold when we reached CA; we then listened to it as we drove through the desert and are now great fans. It was therefore especially meaningful to us when she said “I don’t know if you’ve ever gone from town to town in this country [K and I hug ecstatically] but I have on this tour and I can tell you NO ONE DOES IT LIKE NEW YORK!!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was in general a fantastic show. Her dancers/back-up singers had amusing robotic dance moves and everyone had very gold costumes. Amanda Blank opened and her crazy LED decorated pants were an excellent way to start the show. Here is a somewhat shaky video:

And here is a somewhat indistinct photo of mine:

Santigold

Santigold

I will write about my more recent adventures this past weekend as well as the events coming up this week later today- stay tuned!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I have been meaning to tell you all about the Media That Matters Film Festival for some time; I went to see the premier a couple of weeks ago with K and we were both very impressed with a number of the short films. The films showcase important social issues and are designed to raise awareness; the site can then direct you to charities that work to combat the issues being addressed.

I can’t seem to embed the videos here but they are all available to watch on the festival website.

K and I particularly liked The Next Wave, directed and produced by Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger, which tells the story of the Carteret islanders. Their island homes are being flooded due to climate change and they will soon be forced to relocate to the mainland, losing much of their culture in the process. The colors are startling and the film is beautiful as well as compelling. What was most interesting to both of us was that the issue of Global Warming, though at the heart of the film, was never directly mentioned. You were left with a much deeper understanding of the impact that it’s already having without the distraction of innumerable statistics.

The other film we were both especially drawn to was Why Do White People Have Black Spots?, directed by Anya Kandel. The film is simply an interview with a group of young people in Ghana; their questions about Western Society are part of an ongoing dialogue between youth around the world. Some of the questions, like the title question, were funny, while others, such as “why are you rich and we’re poor?” were more focused on the larger disparities. K and I both felt that hearing a variety of questions coming from children was significantly closer to real communication than our diplomats tend to get.

Please check out the films and consider giving a donation to help the efforts of the wonderful people who are working to save the world (it’s splendid that they’re out there as not all of us are of their ilk).

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

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!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

Last week A and I went to see Lorenzo Pisoni perform his childhood in his one man show ‘Humor Abuse.’ The theater is tiny and Pisoni draws his audience into the story (sometimes literally) while keeping them on their toes (beware of those sandbags!). One of my favorite lines went something like…

‘So it was me and a lifesize model of me and several helium balloons in the steamer trunk and it was summer and it was hot and sometimes the balloons would break, and it was very loud. This started when I was three. I HATE balloons.’

The tricks and acrobatics were exciting but it was the story that really drew the piece together and made it feel worth watching. I only wish clowning was always that engaging!

Friday night I saw Emanuel and the Fear play at Crash Mansion (I mentioned the show to you in my weekend post). The number of instruments on stage is a bit overwhelming but all of the sounds are used to great effect, including the voices of the two vocalists- Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley.

Dallin Applebaum and Liz Hanley

Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley

Liz Hanley, Brian Sanders and Colin Dean

Liz Hanley, Tom Swafford and Brian Sanders

Saturday was beautiful and I hope everyone spent as much time out in the sunshine as possible; I certainly did! I had a picnic in Prospect Park with a group of friends and then we all wandered over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to experience the cherry trees in bloom. They will be blooming for several weeks and you can keep track of their progress and plan your visit accordingly through the website.

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday evening G and I attended one of the Jazz at Lincoln Center events. Of course first we wandered around failing to find the theater and then failing to find the box office but eventually we made it to our seats. This event showcased some pieces by Wynton Marsalis, who was also performing, and some stories by Langston Hughes. I will admit the whole thing was a bit too edgy for me. There was a whole series devoted to various animals and generally speaking no matter how interesting it is to make a saxophone sound like a monkey I still do not think it’s worth buying tickets to hear the result. However, some of the jazz was more traditional and certainly the technical skill of the musicians was more than adequately demonstrated. There was also tap dancing, which was marvelous to watch, even from the balcony. P.S. If you attend any events at the Rose Theater you should call the box office and ask for the seats behind the stage; they’re cheaper and you’ll be right on top of the action (I intend to do this next time).

We grabbed a bit of a hurried dinner at Cafeteria (classic Chelsea restaurant- music loud enough for a club, men with too much product in their hair, modernist furniture and slightly pretentious everything, however pretty yummy for all that) before heading over to the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas to see The Raspberry Brothers in action! Jerm says I was one of the first to begin promoting their show but luckily others have now caught on; check out his interview with Andrew Singer in The Apiary. The Apiary is also recommending the improv comedy festival at The Creek LIC this weekend, which also includes an act from one of the Raspberry Brothers (amazing how comedy comes together).

The Raspberry Brothers

The Raspberry Brothers

On Sunday G and I experienced a somewhat different form of comedy at the Barrymore Theater, where we saw an all-star cast perform ‘Exit the King.’ The whole cast is fantastic but I felt like Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon were really incredible. The script was witty and occasionally just a tad profound without feeling dark. For example;

He acts as if no one has ever died before!

No one alive HAS ever died!

The final scene is rather hypnotic and was not necessarily the best way to draw the story to a close. I adored the absurd capes and crowns and had to fight the urge to go and find a very long piece of fabric immediately (I played dress up a lot as a child).

Sunday night I had dinner in a bubble. Yes, a giant plastic bubble, the Raumlabor’s Spacebuster to be precise. This art installation by German artists focuses on the idea of using vacant space. The bubble will be traveling to various locales around the city this week and you should try to attend one of the events. It is definitely an amazing experience to dance to tunes spun by Jonathan Toubin inside a bubble in the courtyard of the Old American Can Factory... so I expect the other events will be at least as enjoyable.

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Add that to your plans this week! Also be sure to look at my earlier post for other events to consider and stay tuned for additions!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

On Monday I went over to Beauty Bar to dance to Eugene Tambourine and Brian Blackout’s fantastic grooves. They spun funky dance music and the floor really got going around 10:30; I dragged myself home at a reasonable hour but I certainly could have danced all night.

Beauty Bar

Beauty Bar

This is a recurring Monday night dance party so be sure to keep it in mind when you need to jumpstart your week!

On Thursday, after Tina’s class, I swung by Flatbush Farm to check out the Basque Cider Festival I mentioned earlier. It was being held in the Bar(n), which is an awesome space I haven’t spent time in since last summer. The food was all very interesting but the Sarasola Cider was definitely my favorite part.

Friday night my friend CL and I went to the Langhorne Slim concert at The Bell House. CL is friends with Sam Lowry, who was the first act of the evening, so we were there early and had time to check out the space before it was full of people. The folks from Union Hall really did a fantastic job with The Bell House; the stage is great and there’s an enormous amount of room for the crowd. I love the high ceilings and the random chandeliers. The front room has a similar vibe to Union Hall- all comfy couches and soft lighting. Sam Lowry writes some really beautiful lyrics and I’m excited to integrate his music into my playlists. The show really picked up steam when the next act, The Woes, hit the stage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many instruments used in a rock concert. The musicians seemed to switch instruments for every song, keeping the audience guessing what might appear next. They played everything from a slide guitar to a tuba to an accordion, and their music blended jazz and blues and country into something unique and catchy. I loved Osei Essed’s voice and the spectacle of the whole thing was marvelous.

Dan Romer playing the accordian

Will Orzo playing the accordion

The Brass

The Brass

By the time Langhorne Slim came on the room felt full of electricity. He fed off the energy of the crowd and put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen. He was all over the stage, interacting with the crowd, messing around on the guitar and just having a blast. At the end of their set the band brought people from the crowd onstage to dance and the scene was fantastic. I like his recorded music but it doesn’t capture the pure energy of his live performance; if you get a chance to see him don’t hesitate to go.

Saturday morning my grandmother and I met at the Whitney and ate brunch at Sarabeth’s before checking out some of their special exhibits. Jenny Holzer’s exhibit was interesting, though all the LEDs gave us both headaches. Her work is deeply political and I would only recommend it if you’re interested on that basis.

Jenny Holzer 'Green Purple Cross'

Jenny Holzer 'Green Purple Cross'

I think we both preferred the familiar pieces from the permanent collection. Perhaps this will sound a bit conservative but I really love Hopper. I love the images he chose to capture and the feeling evoked by the way he presents them. The Whitney has some truly beautiful Hopper paintings and if you’re at all interested in his work I would recommend checking them out.

Edward Hopper 'Second Story Sunlight'

Edward Hopper 'Second Story Sunlight'

Saturday night I continued the theme of art for the day and checked out some of the events at the Brooklyn Museum. First Saturdays are always awesome, if a bit haphazard. The dance party in the Beaux-Arts Court was definitely my favorite part this month; I loved the mix of people- families with little kids, students, couples, everyone dancing and having a great time. The Brooklyn Museum sits on the edge of a few neighborhoods so I feel like the make-up of its visitors is more ethnically and culturally diverse than that of a lot of the major NY museums; it’s a great place for people watching in general and they often have really stellar exhibits.

Sunday morning K and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to wander around DUMBO. We had brunch at Five Front. They were understaffed and we had to wait around for ages but they were quite apologetic and gave us free drinks and a gift certificate and the food, when it finally came, was excellent. I’m looking forward to going back once it’s really warm and eating in their lovely outdoor space.

DUMBO

DUMBO

Post-brunching we walked down the street to the winter location of the Brooklyn Flea. I’ve been meaning to get over there for some time and while we didn’t buy much (K got a t-shirt) we had an excellent time browsing.

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea

Sunday night F and I had dinner at Buttermilk Channel, which is a fairly new restaurant on the border between Carrol Gardens and Redhook. The space is lovely and the food, a sort of NY version of Southern Comfort, is excellent. Order the buttermilk fried chicken but ask for whipped potatoes instead of cole slaw; you will be absolutely satisfied.

Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk Channel

I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as I did; I will be posting this week’s events just as soon as I can pull them together!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

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!

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!

Past Shenanigans

May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031