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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

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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!

Past Shenanigans

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