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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 had a lovely weekend, mostly fairly low-key as I’m gearing up for a very busy week (stay tuned for upcoming events; I’ll be posting again later this evening). Friday I went to Bumble and Bumble for a long overdue haircut. Bumble and Bumble’s Downtown Salon is one of those places where you feel as though you need to look good when you come in the door- the staff are all pretty and stylish and the space is minimalist in a truly beautiful way. The views of the Hudson and downtown are stunning and the experience of being pampered really starts while you’re waiting in one of those terribly comfortable chairs.

Bumble and Bumble Downtown- Waiting Area

Bumble and Bumble Downtown- Waiting Area

View from the Waiting Area

View from the Waiting Area

My relationship with my stylist, Denise, has now officially lasted longer than my longest romantic relationship (not telling how long), which is probably more a sign of how awesome she is than how poorly I sustain romantic relationships (then again…). She is truly fantastic. Actually I would have had this haircut last week but she was doing the styling for Fashion Week. Did you know the models almost always have long hair? If you see them with short hair it’s always a wig!

Post-pampering I felt uber-indulgent and decided to have dinner at Spice Market. I actually had no idea just how big that place is and was somewhat overwhelmed but the hostess seated me in the perfect spot- facing the kitchen.

Counter facing the kitchen @ Spice Market

Counter facing the kitchen @ Spice Market

I could watch all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen and relax feeling like I wasn’t too on display. The chicken samosas are amazing, as is the chocolate pecan tart. There is really something marvelous about eating alone, people watching and relaxing without having to make conversation. If it isn’t something you’ve tried in NYC I would highly recommend trying it as soon as possible.

Saturday I met P + Co. and H and my favorite protégé for brunch in Park Slope. We met up at Scottadito Osteria Toscana, where unlimited mimosas and coffee are included in your brunch. It’s actually much quieter than I had feared it would be and we were taken care of very well, especially considering that we all came in at different times and stayed for hours. The Eggs Florentine were especially delicious.

Saturday night I joined my friend Y and her ever changing cast of characters to see Ferry Corsten spin at Webster Hall. Y is very into the trance scene, which is a fairly specific sub-culture quite independent of many other kinds of  dance music. B for example is really quite disparaging of trance. However, I find the scene unique and rather intriguing; there’s an enormous mix of ethnicities and nationalities at any trance event and the overwhelming attitude is one of openness and excitement. I never have the sorts of issues I have at Hip Hop clubs (men rubbing themselves all over you), and I’m never made to feel like an outsider as I sometimes have at Indie Rock concerts. Of course part of this is that trance is linked to drugs like ecstasy, and happy people aren’t that judgmental. Y and her friends don’t do drugs so I feel comfortable going out with them. Y is actually quite the mother hen- she protects our bubble of space and makes sure no one gets too pushy or out of control in our vicinity. I always feel very uplifted by the music and the energy and the crazy lights and the whole atmosphere of the space.

Ferry Corsten @ Webster Hall

Ferry Corsten @ Webster Hall

Ferry Corsten @ Webster Hall

Ferry Corsten @ Webster Hall

Ferry is a pretty big deal in the trance world and the electricity in the crowd was fantastic. I stumbled out around 3:30 with my ears ringing and the lights still etched onto my retinas. Today I made a huge brunch for some friends- poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and biscuits and this gorgeous fruit tart. Mmm… a satisfying weekend!

I’ll be posting about this week shortly; it’s going to be full of fantastic events!

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To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I should probably be out somewhere watching the Oscars or at the very least watching them here in my recently cleaned apartment, but I am simply not in the mood for glitz tonight. Therefore, I will take this time to tell you about my amazing weekend and the amazing week ahead.

Friday night was a very very secret-themed night. My friend G and I went to a semi-secret Japanese restaurant for dinner. It’s called Kyo Ya, and it’s between 1st and A on 7th St. but you probably wouldn’t see it unless you realized that you should be looking for a set of stairs going down to an unmarked door.

Kyo Ya

Kyo Ya

The food is interesting and different from what I usually think of as Japanese. G’s ‘black cod with miso glaze’ came with a grouping of unidentifiable but delicious sides/sauces, which he very much enjoyed. The barbecued beef was good, though wrapped around rice it was complicated to eat with chopsticks. I only truly dislike chopsticks when it comes to cutting things; I haven’t mastered whatever trick is necessary. Probably the most exciting part of the dining experience (not to say the food wasn’t excellent) was a trip to the ‘secret bathrooms.’ One of the walls, which looks like wood paneling, unexpectedly opens to reveal doors! G says this was really the thing that made the restaurant fantastic.

Staying with the theme of secrecy we met up with some friends at PDT for drinks. It was J’s birthday and one of his friends knows the bartender so we were miraculously able to get a reservation for 6 on a Friday night. Be aware- this is generally close to impossible. PDT is hidden inside Crif Dogs on 8th St. between 1st and A. When you walk into the restaurant on your left there is a phone booth; you go in, pick up the phone, and tell the hostess you have a reservation. The other side of the phone booth opens and you are in PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

PDT

PDT

G had something with bacon infused bourbon and said it was amazing (since I don’t eat pork drinking it also seemed wrong). You can also order food from Crif Dogs- I recommend the waffle fries with cheese and jalapenos.

Saturday morning I pulled myself into my best upper-west attire and went up to Lincoln Center to see the ballet with my Grandmother (she’s picked up tickets for the spring season so expect more ballet posts in the future). We preceded the show with brunch at Cafe des Artistes. We loved the paintings of nymphs and such covering the walls.

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

We were fairly satisfied with the food, though the french toast at Petite Abeille is definitely superior as are the eggs benedict at Jane (sadly neither of those places is very convenient to Lincoln Center).

The program at NYC Ballet yesterday consisted of three short pieces:

Ballo della Regina– Music by Giuseppe Verdi and Choreography by George Balanchine

Ballo della Regina

Ballo della Regina

When I first started watching ballet I had a hard time with those that didn’t expressly tell a story. The more I see of it though the more i enjoy this sort of thing that is purely about movement, the line of the body, the music and its relationship with the dancers…

Davidsbundlertanze– Music by Robert Schumann and Choreography by George Balanchine

Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze

Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze

This was my favorite of the three. I adore Pas de Deux and these couples were just stunning. My grandmother’s favorite, Philip Neal, danced, and one of my favorites, Janie Taylor, was heartbreakingly beautiful.

Glass Pieces– Music by Philip Glass and Choreography by Jerome Robbins

Glass Pieces

Glass Pieces

This piece was actually three pieces, the second of which I really enjoyed. There was a row of dancers along the back of the stage who were silhouetted; their legs seemed to blur into darkenss and their movements were dreamlike and beautiful. The third I couldn’t seem to get into because of the exceedinly shiny costumes (see above). They were simply too absurd.

My party last night was stellar. I definitely reccommend flavor tripping should you have the opportunity. Everyone had subtly different experiences with the berries, some much more extreme than others. I really loved how lemon slices tasted- like lemon drops but even more sugary! You can order them from the Miracle Fruit Man and they will be shipped to you overnight encased in dry ice (which is kind of exciting in and of itself). The masquerade element was also highly sucessful, G and Kate1 made some super elaborate masks and many people revealed that they possessed elaborate feathery things perfect for the occasion.

I will post again shortly with events for this week!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

President’s Day weekend is now upon us and those of us who have off on Monday have lots of options for how to spend our 3 days of freedom. Here are the ideas that are top of my list:

Friday Night:

I’m only going to recommend one event tonight because this is the only event you should even consider. When Michael T hosts a party you simply must go. This is the man who did the best cover at the Bowie Ball. The man who wears tuxedos and face powder. The man who inspires a cult following of hipsters and party people. The man who hosts regular panty parties. Tonight he’ll be at APT hosting “The Horrific Return of Tattler.” My friend Fucci will be spinning and if you tell them at the door that you’re there for Fucci the cover is only $5. Be there. Be fabulous.

Michael T

Michael T

Saturday Daytime:

Your first challenge on Saturday, if you aren’t planning something romantic, is to find a good brunch spot that also isn’t planning something romantic. I am the queen of brunch, it is my favorite meal, not to mention a NYC institution. K and I will be having a lovely platonic brunch at Elizabeth, which boasts not only a delicious brunch menu but also a year-round garden.

Elizabeth's Garden

Elizabeth's Garden

You can also check out those of my favorite brunch spots that have not succumbed to the madness:

  • Jane– charming, classic, the Eggs Benedict is lust worthy.
  • 5 Points– mmm… pitchers of bloody marys!
  • Resto– Belgian beer and Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate

Post-brunch I recommend checking out some of the amazing vintage stores in the LES; with every non-single person otherwise occupied you’ll have the 60s bell-bottoms and 50s heels all to yourselves. New York Magazine has this (fairly) comprehensive LIST. I particularly recommend Yumi Kim for a good mix of old and new.

Saturday Night:

I would like to make one addition to my previous post, file this under “Angry Events;” the Warehouse Party at Refuge will be a “Valentine’s Day Riot” including Brooklyn’s own Theophilus London live, the sexy Roxy Cottontail and the totally rad Dances With White Girls. As if that wasn’t enough there will also be an enticing kissing booth, live performance art and installations by The Lowbrow Society for the Arts, true bittersweet candy hearts, dirty prizes and naughty giveaways.

Sunday:

Take this day for sleeping and basking in the knowledge that you have a whole extra day of weekend yet to come. Stay out later than usual Sunday night at KGB Bar for a fiction reading with Jonathan Baumbach and Paul Mamont. Or go over to Film Forum to see Our City of Dreams, a movie about 5 female artists working in NYC. And if you’re a music nerd you should be in Greenpoint checking out the merchandise at the Brooklyn Record Riot featuring more than 35 record dealers, DJs spinning and plenty of kielbasa and Polish beer at Warsaw.

Monday:

I for one hope to check out those photography exhibits I told you about recently and maybe even squeeze in another Oscar movie. If I hear about more events I’ll add them asap! Please let me know if you have anything to share!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

I just got home, having called it a night a bit early given my growing sleep deficit. Friday night was fantastic! K and I  had a reservation at Satsko but when we got there we discovered (through some surreptitious glancing around the streamers/curtains) that it was frighteningly empty. No decent place should be that empty on a Friday night so we wandered down to Spitzers instead. Of course we had to wait for 45 minutes but we munched on truffle mac and cheese and drank Tanqueray and tonic and all was well. K and I both have a real thing for truffles. I kind of want them on everything… they’re actually a good reason to sell your soul to corporate America- more money means more truffles (and shoes). After a vastly satisfying meal we walked down the street to The Slipper Room to enjoy the aforementioned Hot Box Burlesque. We were pleased to partake of acts featuring Bunny Love, Bambi, Peekaboo Pointe, Queen Laquifa and Tigger.  This was an excellent representation of burlesque. I was very pleased because K and I had three burlesque virgins with us. There was comedy, there were absurd costumes, there were dollar bills all over and there was a drag queen. Perhaps the most exciting performer ‘sang’ the national anthem with her thighs. Yes. She put the microphone between her thighs and scrunched them to play the national anthem.

Singing with her thighs

Singing with her thighs

It was  pretty incredible and I will admit to being jealous of this talent. In fact by the end of most burlesque shows I tend to  feel compelled to perform burlesque. It’s not that I would feel uncomfortable with the nudity, what holds me back is really my lack of dancing skills and comic timing. Sigh…

Friday night finished up with my first bar brawl. This must have been in the wee hours of Saturday morning, there had been a good deal of drinking, dancing and burlesque and some short dweeby looking guy pushed K and she pushed back and then he really pushed her hard, almost knocking her off her pretty little heels. Then I was trying to beat him up and his tall, comparatively sober, friend was holding me back and it all could have gotten quite ugly (trust you me I would have won) but luckily the sober friend dragged the dweeb outside and K and I were able to feel triumphant.

This morning I had to be up at an ungodly hour to meet my grandmother for brunch at Petite Abeille. It’s a marvelous little Belgian place near Union Sq. but I’ll admit brioche french toast was not quite what I wanted first thing this morning. My grandmother is a fantastic woman and a true New Yorker. We go to the opera and the ballet together and visit all the museums and do a great deal of shopping and brunching. She spoils me dreadfully. This morning she bought me lots of pretty things. She has stellar taste and I would be at a loss without her. We trooped up to Lincoln Center in time for our matinée at The New York City Ballet. This afternoon they did a program of three short ballets:

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Stravinsky Violin Concerto/Choreography by Balanchine

Stravinsky Violin Concerto/Choreography by Balanchine

La Valse; my grandmother paticularly enjoyed this one because she’s been watching Philip Neal perform since the start of his career and she still thinks he’s “very handsome.”

La Valse/Ravel and Balanchine

La Valse/Ravel and Balanchine

And finally, West Side Story, which was interesting in this context because only some scenes were performed and the singing wasn’t always coming from the dancer playing the character, and the dancing is a bit different because the dancers are trained in ballet. On the whole it was not my favorite rendition of West Side Story but I did love their version of the dance where Tony and Maria meet. I was just bummed that they didn’t have the ‘I just met a girl named Maria’ song; I used to sing that in the shower all the time when I was about 12.

West Side Story/Bernstein and Robbins

West Side Story/Bernstein and Robbins

According to Playbill the revival of West Side Story will be opening on Broadway quite soon. Apparently the Puerto Rican characters will be speaking/singing in Spanish.

The production “will introduce the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs,” according to a July 16 announcement.

Laurents, who earned solid reviews (and a 2008 Tony nomination) for staging the current Broadway run of Gypsy, stated, “This show will be radically different from any other production of West Side Story ever done. The musical theatre and cultural conventions of 1957 made it next to impossible for the characters to have authenticity. Every member of both gangs was always a potential killer even then. Now they actually will be. Only Tony and Maria try to live in a different world…”

West Side Story has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Laurents. The staging will retain the original choreography of late director Jerome Robbins, who conceived the project by using Romeo and Juliet as inspiration. As previously announced, the Robbins choreography will be restaged by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).

I’m not sure how I feel about this innovation but I’m curious enough that I will probably try to find cheap tickets, or at the very least monitor the reviews. We really haven’t had much beyond revivals and Disney shows on Bway lately, which seems really unfortunate since I’m sure there are a lot of creative new projects that just aren’t getting funding. If ‘Cars’ becomes a Broadway musical I may have to set up a picket line.

Tonight I went with a few friends to see all the Oscar nominated short films at the IFC Center. First were the live action shorts:

  • Auf Der Strecke (On The Line): A bit disturbing, rather unsatisfactory ending, very little smiling.
  • Manon on the Asphalt: I am too much of a francophile to not have LOVED this. It’s tragic but so sensuous; I love the close-ups of her hair, the leaves above her, the dreamy way her thoughts travel amongst the people who are important to her. It’s a splendid death scene.
  • New Boy: There are Irish accents and a very charming teacher and a whole group of bright eyed children who learn to be friends with the new boy; I hope this one wins simply because it’s optimistic.
  • The Pig: This is sort of a comedy about two men who are in the hospital and a painting of a pig.
  • Spielzeugland (Toyland): I cried hysterically through most of this. It’s about the Holocaust. There are too many movies out right now about the Holocaust.

After a brief interlude, and the purchasing of popcorn, we sat through the animated shorts:

  • La Maison en Petits Cubes: We travel through the past by going further down in a house that has been built up over time as water levels have risen (environmental msg? not sure).
  • Lavatory/Love story: Too cute. Way too cute.
  • Oktopodi: Two octopuses are in love and rescue one another from various dangerous situations.
  • Presto: If you’ve seen WallE you’ve seen this one- magician vs. his rabbit.
  • This Way Up: Hard to describe, involves undertakers, clowns in hell and some other trippy trippy stuff.

There were definitely others that we saw today that weren’t actually nominated but I’ll admit that they’ve all blended a bit in my mind at this point. I have been told that all of the nominated shorts can be seen through iTunes and I highly recommend that you check them out at some point before the Oscars; it’s very fun to know what’s happening in those categories.

Tomorrow I am going to try to make myself get some work done but I will post about any particularly exciting events happening this week!

Past Shenanigans

March 2017
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