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Can you believe it, our little country another year older? Last year I spent July 4th in Roswell, NM where the Honey Bear Dancers put on a show worthy of our great nation; here’s a video for your viewing pleasure (Happy 4th of July!):

Aren’t you glad you’re in NYC and not Roswell, NM? Haha. Well, there are some great things for you to do here this weekend (though none of them involves the Redneck Woman song– as far as I know). I’ve already posted some great events for Thursday.

This week is the start of the HOT! Festival at the Dixon Place Theater; this “queer” theater festival is as questionable as they come:

From free events like Smash the Church, Smash the State: A Queer Vision of Independence (co-presented by Bluestockings and City Lights Books) to the pointed and provocative work of artists like Arcade, Dorsey, Bornstein and Justin Bond and shows like The Mattachine Project and the Baraka de Soleil curated Black-Out, HOT! Festival strives to provide a platform for art and ideas that embody progressive and uniquely queer voices.

For more questionable theater this week and next you can head to the Joyce Theater to see the Umbilical Brothers “mimic every sound imaginable, creating a warped world where they whip up another uproarious fiesta of carefully choreographed mayhem.” F just saw their show and said it was hilarious; after seeing this video I can see why:

What happens when a boy from Arkansas and deux garçons français decide to play punk rock together? Go to Zebulon Friday night to experience the result- Paris Suit Yourself. Writing for Interview Magazine, Matthew Evans says:

Onstage, the band’s chemistry fuses the   bonafides of gospel with the fiery theatrics of early punk rock, as if Atche invokes the haunted vocal grooves from Archie Shepp’s “Attica Blues,” bolstered by strained rhythms echoing the DKs’ “Holiday in Cambodia.” All of that’s wrapped in a handsome wardrobe, and instilled with a techno flow that colludes the deviating sounds.

Head out there and judge for yourself.

On Saturday you have many options for celebrating the birth of our country (messy and imperfect but still inspiring in its absurdity).

Union Hall is celebrating our more esoteric athletic pursuits with a bocce ball tournament! There will also be karaoke and burgers (for the less athletic amongst us).

If you aren’t bocce tournament material but want to be on a team littlefield’s 1st Annual Super Festive 4th of July Gowanus Scavenger Hunt and BBQ is for you! Send in your team info and spend the afternoon scurrying around and making new discoveries on the shores of the Gowanus.

littlefield

If it’s dancing you want Studio B is the place to be; there will be different DJs on both of the two floors as well as DJs spinning on the open rooftop- get down like it’s 1776.

studiob

For most of us July 4th means fireworks and while in NM pretty much anyone can set off their own (in their backyard, on the road in front of their house, in the middle of the highway…), in NYC it’s all about being in the right spot to see them. New York Magazine has some great tips; I second their West Side Highway suggestion.

On Sunday laze around the Brooklyn Yard; the weekly Sunday Best series will include guest DJ Losoul this week. Here’s a shot from one of last year’s events:

Brooklyn Yard '08

Brooklyn Yard '08

Stay tuned for additions and happy Independence Day!

NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

To view this post at its new location click HERE!

First of all can we just stop and freak out for a minute that it’s going to be in the EIGHTIES this weekend?! My uncle called me and reminded me to clean my air conditioner’s filter before turning it on (you should too)! In other words, you should get outside as much as possible this weekend!

I told you all about my wonderful picnic in Prospect Park last weekend and the subsequent rambling through the Cherry Orchard in the Botanic Garden; those would both be excellent activities for this weekend as well.

If you’re a fan of beautiful old villas and landscaped gardens overlooking the Palisades and you’ve never been up to Wave Hill this is certainly the perfect weekend to check it out. There are various events for Arbor Day happening, including tours of the gardens where wild flowers, magnolias and lilacs are in bloom. The views are dramatic and there’s a lovely Sunday brunch buffet (make your reservation by 4pm today).

Wave Hill

Wave Hill

Another great outdoor activity- join New York Like a Native on a walking tour of a part of Brooklyn you don’t know well or that you think you know well. You’ll learn something new about the history of your area and most of the tours include a treat (like a beer or an ice cream cone).

For a somewhat more active learning experience you can participate in a crazy scavenger hunt on the LES with the Anthropologists on Sunday. When did you last go searching for clues downtown?

If you want your sunshine with art on the side the TOAST is for you:

The TriBeCa Open Artist Studio Tour is a free, self-guided tour of approximately 100 artists’ studios throughout TriBeCa. Bringing artists and the public together, it provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the artists and see their artwork at the source, the artist’s own studio. An artist-run organization, TOAST has led a true metropolitan “grass roots” path.  It began as an ad-hoc group of artists who wanted to revive a neighborhood art walk.  Now a not-for-profit organization, it is still a grass roots effort, run by the participating artists. Neighborhood businesses and supporters supplement most of the needed funds not covered by the artists’ entry fees.

When you’re ready to step indoors there are several fantastic exhibits worth checking out. First, the exhbit of Picasso’s later works at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea has gotten fantastic reviews.

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

Picasso at the Gagosian Gallery

A new exhibit at the Met, “The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984,” has also received some good buzz. Thirty artists from the Boomer Generation are represented by 160 works in all media.

They were all making art that combined elements of Pop and Conceptualism with social concerns about consumerism, political power and gender. Their work kept ideas to the fore but rematerialized them as images. Many of those images were photographic, extracted from everyday life, a life that was increasingly a creation of media culture, as Andy Warhol well knew.

This piece, by David Salle, sparked my interest and I’m hoping to check it out in person sometime soon.

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

David Salle- 'The Coffee Drinkers'

Tonight is the opening of a much more contemporary artist’s exhibit at 3rd Ward; check out the work of Poster Boy, which is now being endorsed by the advertisers!

A piece by Poster Boy

A piece by Poster Boy

Also tonight, you can party for a cause at Montien’s, where there will be great drink specials to raise money to shoot the pilot episode of “Foreign Bound” : A travel-reality show that focuses on inspiring and educating the younger demographic and aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and effective communication between borders.

There’s a great line-up tonight at Crash Mansion, including new releases from Musiciens Sans Frontieres and Josephine. RSVP to NewYorkUnderbelly for reduced admission.

Saturday night get a double dose of soul with  Dig Deeper and yummy soul food at Five Spot Soul Food; get your tickets here.

Dig Deeper

Friday and Saturday at BAM you can see St. Matthews Passion– an incredible operatic piece by Bach. There are only stage seats remaining so get yours right away!

Also at BAM Saturday is the 10th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival: The New Cookers:

A swinging hard bop jazz quintet—born out of the tradition of the late, great jazz genius Freddie Hubbard—The New Cookers are known for their driving rhythms and engaging performances, celebrating the original Brooklyn jazz music makers and adding their own sound to that rich legacy.

On Sunday you can get a hefty dose of Shakespeare for free at Symphony Space, where the Classic Stage Company will be presenting Shakespeare Birthday Marathon 2009.

shakespeare

And don’t forget about the improv comedy festival at the Creek LIC that I mentioned earlier, not to mention the first roller derby game of the season and the Wit’s End Jazz Party, both of which I also detailed previously.

Have an amazing 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 apologize for the tardiness of this e-mail; I stayed home from work today and have been lying about sleeping and drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself. Since I am posting so late in the day I will skip Monday events altogether and move right along to… St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day in NYC involves beer at noon, girls wearing very little green (and nothing else) and a whole host of other absurdities. Here are a few to consider:

Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold

  • A, who actually is Irish (born and bred), is planning to party at some less traditional spots- The Brass Monkey and Cielo in the Meatpacking District. Now Meatpacking is not always my thing; on weekends the whole velvet rope business can get out of hand, but St. Patrick’s Day is usually a pretty friendly and inclusive occasion so it might be the right time to head west.
  • For a cozier and less high maintenance crowd check out Black Rabbit in Greenpoint; their fireplace will be as cozy as always plus they will have Jameson specials and the sort of Irish music we generally know and love (the Pogues and the Waterboys).
  • Generally speaking there will be drink specials and people wearing green throughout the city so go out and join in the madness (just be safe everyone!)!

There are 2 ongoing things I’d like to mention before I forget. First, the play ‘Fire Throws,’ which A and I saw some time ago and which I reviewed, is in it’s final weeks at 3LD. While I had mixed feelings about it I do think it’s visually stunning and a unique theater experience. Secondly, The Best of Slamdance Festival at the IFC has some great selections to choose from, including two tonight.

On Wednesday, if you haven’t been to the Mixer Music and Reading Series at Cakeshop this is a good week to go; it’s their 2-year anniversary and they’re celebrating with a great selection of artists- Jedediah Berry, Matthew Zapruder and Leni Zumas will read and there will be music from La Marcha as well as special performances from your hosts Melissa Febos and Rebecca Keith; go and get your dose of poetry and cupcakes for the week!

If that’s not quite enough poetry to satisfy your literature related cravings on Thursday the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series is happening at Solas again; JERRY STAHL and FRANCIS LEVY will be reading.

If you’d like to be part of a much more controversial discussion, the first public discussion between the graffiti community and the ‘Vandal Squad’ will be taking place in response to the release of a book by a former ‘Vandal Squad’ officer:

The recent book release Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004 has caused consternation throughout the global graffiti community with charges that author Joseph Rivera is profiting off the very criminals he spent his career incarcerating.

In response, the powerHouse Arena will host a conversation between former members of the Vandal Squad and the graffiti writers, the first such event of its kind. With the intent of providing an open forum for public discussion to discuss the issues regarding the methods that the Vandal Squad employs and their impact on the lives of the writers themselves. Panelists include Vandal Squad author Joseph Rivera, former Commanding Officer Lieutenant Steven Mona, original Vandal Squad Lieutenant Ken Chiulli, graffiti legend COPE2, graffiti activist Ket, and street artist Ellis G. The event will be moderated by Stern Rockwell, Streets Are Saying Things.

Founded in 1980, the Vandal Squad’s mission was to protect the subway system from hardcore criminal acts of destruction like kicking out windows and throwing seats out of train cars. It was only with the Clean Car Program of 1984 that graffiti became the primary focus of this specialized Unit. On a mission to catch those who gained fame under tag names, the Vandal Squad had to identify and locate these individuals cloaked in anonymity (and often so transient they were referred as “ghosts”) using every means available, including the NYPD computer database, Search Warrants, subpoenas, and even vandals themselves. These strategies, and their impact on the lives of the vandals, as well as concerns about the publication of the book, will be the focus of the conversation.

Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004

Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004

Also on Thursday, Black Rabbit will be hosting a speed dating event with a Smiths soundtrack. I know, speed dating sounds a bit sketch, right? I will have you know that I once dated someone for 2 whole months after meeting him speed dating AND we’re still friends (a true rarity for me). Think about it- you spend 5 minutes talking to someone and either you like them and want to talk to them further or you aren’t that interested. It’s much much less painful than going on a date with that guy from Match.com who looked so hot in that one picture… At any rate, be optimistic, feel sexy, go make some first impressions!

I will add more events as I come across them (and as this dreadful virus leaves my system).

Past Shenanigans

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