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It’s my first week of funemployment and NYC has never felt so full of promise! There are lots of excellent events to consider attending this week.

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) starts Tuesday at the Public Theater:

The Summer Play Festival (SPF) stages original new plays and musicals by emerging writers during the summer months at the legendary Public Theater in New York City. Since its inception in 2004, SPF has invested millions of dollars in emerging theatre artists, produced over 500 public performances, and has provided an opportunity for 75 writers, as well as hundreds of directors, designers, actors, stage managers, and interns to present their work in a protected environment.

This year’s lineup includes a “testosterone-driven new musical” (Departure Lounge), which is possibly the most questionable statement I’ve heard this summer. All tickets are $10, so this is an excellent way to get your dose of questionable theater cheaply!

Tuesday night you can be part of the drama at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, where an interactive retelling of an 1873 Murder Mystery casts the audience as the detectives. You can learn about the underbelly of NYC a century ago and test your intuition.

If you’re looking for a slightly more athletic participatory event on Tuesday, you can head out to The Bell House and join the Ping Pong Tournament. The Tournament is strictly amateur and just $5 to join but be forewarned- “whiners will be paddled!”

pingpong001

On Wednesday night at The Slipper Room you can experience a book release party of an unusual nature; this dirty book needs an array of naughty performances to usher it into the world:

On July 8th, Fugu Press will release “Scarlett Takes Manhattan,” the first graphic novel by Dr. Sketchy’s creator Molly Crabapple and her longtime collaborator John Leavitt. Set in the demimonde of Gilded Age New York, “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” tells the story of poor Bowery girl Shifra Helfgott, who rises to become the premier fire-eater of her age. Chock full of rigged boxing matches, dirty politics, and turn of the century lesbian culture, “Scarlett” has been described as “disgustingly wonderful” by Warren Ellis and led Margaret Cho to call Molly “THE artist of our time.” Hosted by Amber Ray, New York’s “Salvador Dali of Burlesque” / Book signing by “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” creators Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt / Burlesque by Gal Friday / Fire performance by Jo Boobs / Vaudevillian music by The Two Man Gentleman Band, who will debut their new song “Scarlett Takes Manhattan” /  Free red-hot flavored cupcakes by Glittle Cupcakes.

scarlett flier

Also on Wednesday you can see Reality Bites at the ball fields at McCarren Park, as part of the Summer Screen Series by L Magazine. This is the movie that used the trope of home video years before youtube would propel our angst into the public realm. Check out the original trailer here.

ALSO on Wednesday, if you want to see some truly vintage movies head over to Dead Herring, where there will be a screening of “rare old-time cartoons hand-picked by Owen Kline and Tom Stathes, all projected on 16mm film.”

Thursday afternoon, if you’re funemployed (like me!), you can grab some gourmet munchies for a pittance at the World Financial Center Restaurant Showcase:

The 16 eateries of the World Financial Center will offer a tasting of world class cuisine for as little as $1 (and as much as $5) under the palm trees of the World Financial Center Winter Garden.

EAT

This may be the last week to see Twelfth Night at the Delacorte, but Thursday is opening night for another distinguished outdoor Shakespearean theater- Shakespeare in the Parking Lot! This year the parking lot, on the corner of Ludlow and Broome, will open its season with Midsummer Night’s Dream; what could be more dreamlike than Puck in a parking lot?

Finally I have one special advance theater notice: there will be two performances of Cirque Jacqueline July 25 and 26 at the Players Loft. This one-woman play about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has received excellent reviews and the tickets are likely to sell out quickly, particularly as they’re only $20 apiece! The New York Times says that its author and star, Andrea Reese, “becomes uncannily Jackie-esque.”

jackie0poster

Have a great week and stay tuned for additions!

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This is my last week of traditional employment so I’ve been a tad busy tying up loose ends; next week you can expect to see more timely posts.

Tonight there are a couple of awesome events to consider if you haven’t made plans for the evening. At Santos Party House you can experience truly multidisciplinary art. Narcissister, a burlesque performer/artist will be running the show, which will also include music from Andrew W.K. and some crazy artwork by the NYTimes-lauded video artist Kalup Linzy. Be prepared to be dazzled.

Also tonight, for a more pampering experience you can head up to Yonkers where the owners of 66Main are hosting an open house extraordinaire– complete with free massages, cocktails, deluxe hand-rolled cigar sampling and free accessories. You may not actually be able to afford the apartments but you can certainly enjoy the shwag.

Tomorrow there will be a fantastic opening party at The City Reliquary; Indigenous includes works from Dixie Appel, Laila Caron, Ming Lin, Victor Kerlow, Anny Oberlink, Anna Pelavin, Maggie Prendergast, Betty Roytburd, Samantha Silverman, Alex Tatarsky, and more.

This exhibition seeks to commemorate the many places that have come and gone, all of which have contributed to a colorful New York City upbringing. This multimedia installation will include works on paper, film, literature, and assorted ephemera, providing a unique perspective which will complement the already vast collection currently housed in the Reliquary. By recognizing places which have played a formative role, through image and memory, Indigenous – A Group Show hopes to inspire visitors to remember those things which have made their New York experience worthwhile. Visitors are invited to record their stories and add to a growing archive of memories.

Also on Wednesday you can try to out-dance the burlesque dancers at The Bowery Electric; the Burlesque Dance Party is an all out participatory burlesque extravaganza:

Featuring the bombastic talents of Amber Ray and Boo Boo Darlin with gorgeous go-go and hosted by the Ladies of the Shack, Miss RunAround Sue and Legs Malone. DJ Jess is on the decks spinning those toe tappin’ beats made all the more fluid by our fabulous FREE SHOTS throughout the night courtesy of North 44 Vodka. Pop Pistol’s on the door – takin your hearts and your cash. The go-go contest and makeout minute are only two more reasons to hustle on down – and bring your friends, your lovers – and everyone in between!

On Thursday Swedish artist Anders Holst will be playing “selections from his recent release, Romantika, his previous EP, Five, as well as smooth and jazzy interpretations of some classic romantic tunes” at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency. Pick up your tickets here.

AndersRomantikaCover

Have a good week and stay tuned for additions and tales of my recent shenanigans!

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“Summertime… and the livin’ is easy;” I can hear Billie Holiday crooning in my ear as I type those words. It is going to be a GREAT weekend everyone! I will be in Boston with G and his fellow BC Law grads but you have a delectable spread to choose from.

Tonight, at Public Assembly, enjoy burlesque and sideshow to the backbeat of live rock n roll!

Public Assembly flier

Tonight you can party for a cause at the Bed Stuy Food Not Bombs Benefit:

turnip the bass

Tonight is also opening night for a lovely new French film showing at BAM- Summer Hours (L’heure d’été), directed by Olivier Assayas and starring Juliette Binoche and Charles Berling, amongst others. You know I’m a huge francophile so I’m biased, but you can watch the trailer and decided for yourselves:

Also tonight, you can check out a very interesting musical experience at Joe’s Pub- Futurity, a Musical by the Lisps:

Futurity is an original indie-rock musical by Brooklyn-band The Lisps. A theatrically staged song cycle, Futurity tells the story of a Union soldier in the Civil War who is an aspiring science fiction writer. The work fuses traditional Americana, found text, experimental music, and The Lisps’ own brand of quirky co-ed pop.

This weekend is the last weekend you can see the Raspberry Brothers make fun of Snakes on a Plane at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas; when you need some AC and a nice reclining seat, not to mention a good laugh, check them out.

snakes

Saturday night go to your first great dance party of the summer- the Down and Derby at Studio B.

derby

If soul is more your thing boogie down at the Five Spot Soul Food Supper Club:

soul

If it’s a concert you want I highly recommend checking out Emanuel and the Fear at Mercury Lounge. You may remember my stellar review of their show at Crash Mansion. They were also mentioned by L Magazine as one of the 8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear. Don’t miss them!

On Saturday and Sunday you can challenge yourself as never before at the great Crawfish Boil for NOLA 2009! A ticket entitles you to:

4 crawfish pours (4-5lbs of crawfish per person) along with corn on the cob, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, sausage and spices served with unlimited beer and New Orleans Hurricanes!

Sounds like a challenge to me!

This weekend is also the New York Airshow at Jones’ Beach! Performers include the USAF Thunderbirds, the Warbirds Over Long Island and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds! Bring your sunscreen and enjoy the spectacle!

New York Airshow 2008

New York Airshow 2008

Sunday is the first Sunday Best event at the Brooklyn Yard:

Tacos, sangria, little kids running around, trees, water, and good, good music. Residents Doug Singer, Justin Carter, and Eamon Harkin are playing alongside soulful house maestro Quentin Harris all afternoon and evening.

Sunday night there’s another great show at Mercury Lounge (I hate them but they have the best shows!)- Brit Boras and the Cavalry! I told you how much I enjoyed their show at Spike Hill; now it’s your turn to be impressed.

And if you’re looking for a traditional BBQ (of sorts), I recommend Flatbush Farm for all your Memorial Day needs:

As Obama Nation observes Memorial Day, the Farm will offer a traditional American-style BBQ on our outdoor patio: grilled barn burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, shiskebabs, grilled hot dogs, chips and potato salad. Drink pourer Jason Roberts will serve up the new and refreshing BUMBLE TEA—Earl Grey infused vodka-based sweet tea!

Have an amazing weekend! See you next week!

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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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I apologize for not posting yesterday; there were extenuating circumstances involving Time Warner and other factors. I hope everyone had a good weekend and a good Monday!

Tonight you have the opportunity to check out a truly hipster-y event at the most hipster-y venue I know- Zebulon. I first described the space some time ago. Evil Horns’ Noir and Not Waving But Drowning will have a free multimedia spectacle tonight:

Smack in the middle of their theater run providing dark sounds for the Noir show at the Voorhees theater, the Evil Horns perform music that sounds like if Angelo Badalamenti and Cecil Taylor met Tom Waits in a dimly lit back alley. With black and white 40s style projections by Linsey Bostwick and Cory Einbinder, and burlesque by Darlinda Just Darlinda, followed by the amazing Not Waving But Drowning playing timeless music on mandolin, Stroh violin, viola, lute, bass fiddles, and percussive devices.

Today is the first day to check out the new installation on top of the Met. Roxy Paine’s Maelstrom is all set up against the dramatic backdrop of Central Park and Midtown Manhattan- be the first to experience the rooftop this summer!

Roxy Paine on the Roof- Maelstrom

Roxy Paine on the Roof- Maelstrom

If all this nice weather has put you in the mood to embrace earth-friendly wares you should check out Nimli’s pop-up store, where you can find everything from home décor, beauty products and jewelry to clothes for men, women and kids- all eco-friendly!

Also tonight, you can embrace your inner 50s housewife (you know she’s in there longing to throw dinner parties and wear cute little dresses, ok, well, maybe she’s not in everyone) at the KGB Bar where the editor of the new anthology “Dirt: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House” and some of the contributing authors will be discussing all things housewife-y.

Wednesday night check out Heeb Storytelling at Joe’s Pub:

Heeb Magazine’s critically acclaimed Storytelling series returns to New York City for a night of irreverent storytelling: seven-minute tales by actor Nathan Phillips, comedian Jenny Rubin, writer Amy Sohn, musician Robin Gelfenbien and others. Hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress!

On Thursday there’s a great line-up at the Mercury LoungeBryan Dunn, Wakey! Wakey! and Casey Shea. Now you know how I feel about the Mercury Lounge, but I think Wakey! Wakey! might be worth putting up with the troll.

mercury-lounge-poster

Also on Thursday you can be the first to experience the insanity that is XRay NYC:

Billed as an over-the-top Big-Top and an Eclectic Cabaret, XRay will feature a wild mix of elements: DJs, go-go dancers, burlesque, performance art, spoken-word, short videos, magic, and live music (with an electronic edge).

Apathy- one of the performers for Xray NYC April 30th

Apathy- one of the performers for XRay NYC April 30th

Enjoy your week and stay tuned for additions!

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I have a very busy weekend planned and I’m not even going to half of the events I’d like to go to.

Tonight I will be missing the Brit Boras concert at Pianos I told you about but I urge you to do what I say and not what I do (haha) and dance the night away! I have it on good authority that the cellist is adorable and the music’s good too.

Also tonight, Look Presents Detour: NY’s Premier Film Noir and Arts Festival. Go out to Galapagos for independent film noir, steamy burlesque and all sorts of other “unexpected adventures.”

Ongoing throughout the weekend is the Migrating Forms Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives:

Migrating Forms is the organization that grew out of the New York Underground Film Festival (1993–2008), presenting five days of new experimental film and video.

Here’s the trailer for this year:

On Friday Clay Space 1205 hosts an opening party for their new 11-artist group show from 6-9pm. Ask about their spring classes and ceramic workshops- pottery classes aren’t just for bored housewives afterall!

Clay Space 1205

Clay Space 1205

Friday is also opening night for the Raspberry Brothers at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas! I know I’ve told you about them in the past and now you’ll be able to see them every Friday and Saturday night at midnight! This month their victim is ‘Dirty Dancing’ and you can find me in the audience this Saturday night giggling whilst trying to eat popcorn.

dirtydancing

On Friday night I will be rocking out to the tunes of Emanuel and the Fear at Crash Mansion. Here’s their promo video:

On Friday and Saturday you can hear Wynton Marsalis play at Lincoln Center:

Tap dancers Jared Grimes and Dewitt Fleming, Jr. join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalisin “Spaces,” a five-movement tap ballet by artistic director Wynton Marsalis along with the premiere of “Jesse B. Semple Suite,” based on stories by Langston Hughes set to music by JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner. The “Jesse B. Semple Suite” will feature actors Anthony Thompson Adeagbo and Summer Hill Seven.

Saturday night check out the Cameo Art Gallery in Williamsburg, where Sigmund Droid will be turning up the funk factor with his dirty dance punk.

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Space

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Gallery

Also on Saturday night there’s an awesome lineup at the Bowery Poetry Club– Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry editor of the New Yorker, is the featured reader and Racket provides the tunes. The late show is !BadAss! Burlesque with Velocity Chyaldd.

!BadAss! Burlesque

!BadAss! Burlesque

Ongoing this month, the ISSUE Project Room is presenting all sorts of experimental madness at Old American Can Factory near the Gowanus Canal, before making their big move to their new digs at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Read what Brooklyn Based has to say about the artists/musicians/performers involved.

P.S. Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival go on sale to the general public on Monday!

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Tomorrow, in addition to the events I’ve already mentioned, you can check out the dance party Libation at the Sullivan Room:

Tea Party Music and Manchildblack invite you to the mecca of global soul culture, Libation! Tonight, the bi-monthly dance party that Time Out NY hails as a “full-on throwdown” features DJ Ian Friday on the decks all night long. Come and check out why Libation has made Thursday the new Friday!

Libation

Friday night I already know of three events worth considering (more are likely to present themselves). First, you have a second chance to party in a Russian bathhouse if you missed the last one. Gemini and Scorpio will be making a different kind of heat at the Russian banya in Kensington.

The opening reception for Queenz Arrive, an exhibit of work by the matriarchs of graffiti art, is sure to be more exiting than your average gallery opening.

flyer_queensarrive

If you want to dance without stripping down to your bikini, check out the dance party Midnight Creep at the Bell House:

Brooklyn DJs RUT ROH and SOUL KOREA come to Brooklyn to present MIDNIGHT CREEP, the party that effortlessly weaves together hiphop, disco, new wave, funk, pop, house, and more for maximum dancefloor pandemonium!

On Saturday the Draw-a-Thon hits the TEATRO IATI THEATRE for a night filled with erotic poses, bound females, masturbation poses, lil girls, nudes on bikes, snugglers and other visually stimulating spectacles to bring out the artist in you!

If you want your erotic spectacle without the charcoal and drawing pad check out Little Banana Burlesque at the Bowery Poetry Club:

Miss Coney Island Pinup 2008 Kristen Lee presents Little Banana Burlesque…..sex, bananas & rock n’roll! Hosted by Rose Wood. Starring burlesque performers Atta Girl, Coco LaPearl, Della Dare, It’s a Little Stormy, Philly Caramel, Poppy T and Rosey LaRouge. Special variety act erotic singing sensation Charlie Demos. Raffle! Prizes! Bazooms! Bananas!

Finally, on Saturday 92Y Tribeca hosts FUSION 2009 Film Competition Finalists Showcase; the festival celebrates the work of women filmmakers at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Be the first to discover these talented directors and screenwriters!

Stay tuned for additions!

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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!

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!

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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!

Past Shenanigans

October 2017
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