The Weekend Shortlist May 9 to 11
Friday May 9
Known equally for her head wraps as for her distinctive and soulful voice, Erykah Badu hits the stage at Radio City with one of the most versatile group out there today, The Roots. While the Heartland Brewery is one of the last chain restaurants left in the city that makes their own beer on premises, it’s still not a bad spot in midtown for dinner, while the menu is American, it’s a pretty good place for a steak and a home-brewed pint. With more than 80 draft and bottled beers combined, it’s hard not to like House of Brews though with more than 20 screens playing sports, on game night, it can get packed. While CDs and DVDs have nearly been replaced by iPod’s and Tivo’s, the good news is that Entertainment Outlet sells new and old movies in all formats, cheaper than any megastore in midtown.
Friday May 9
Prepare to dance as Melbourne, Australia’s Midnight Juggernauts bring their electronic/disco/dance music rock. Seriously, this band is one of my new faves. Joining them are two great electro rock bands, NYC’s Shy Child and Holy Ghost! What I like about Three of Cups is that the food is classic Italian fare like Pizza made in a wood-fired oven, risotto, pasta, while also offering more exciting dishes like lamb stew in a barolo wine reduction, served with potato gnocchi. The atmosphere is relaxing, bordering on romantic. With a name like Whiskey Ward, it’s expected that they deliver the goods, which lucky for this bar, they do. Whether it’s Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey, or Single Malts, they got em’ along with a pool table and a damn good jukebox. Who doesn’t like cupcakes? Sugar Sweet Sunshine has one of the best in the city. With 10 different kinds, it’s hard to beat.
Saturday May 10
Ex-Moldy Peaches singer whose underground success has recently surfaced to the main stream with help from the movie Juno, plays The Town Hall in support of his new album Sixes & Sevens along with local singer/songwriter Tim Fite who oddly blends country, hip hop, and indie-rock successfully, and folk singer Laura Marling from England. While Times Square is obviously an expensive mess of restaurants, Havana Central offers affordable Cuban food like Camarones con Coco – coconut dusted jumbo shrimp fried and breaded with pineapple ($12). The former office of 1920s mogul John W. Campbell, this utterly spectacular bar is in Grand Central Terminal. Who knew? If wine is your thing, Vintage has a wine list with over 200 kinds by the glass or bottle from most of the boutique wineries in Long Island and Upstate New York.
Saturday May 10
Now in its fourth year, Noise! 2008 is a three-day festival, tonight being the final night, where emerging and established noise and sound artists get together and perform. Tonight’s artists include, Damian Catera, Tom Roe, John Baird, Skyline, and Andrea Parkins. Those looking for good and inexpensive Italian food should most definitely check out Supper. Do yourself a favor and try the “Priest Stranglers” pasta with Marinara and soft Ricotta di Pecora cheese. A good bar nearby is 2A. With two floors of windows, it’s great for watching the remaining hipsters who can still afford to live in the city pass by. If all your dinner/drink plans fail and you need an all-in-one, the Whole Foods on Houston Street is your upscale go-to-grocery store for dinner and snacks.
Sunday May 11
Happy Mother’s Day! Though Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens share the same great funk and soul label (Daptone) as Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, she has a voice that was meant to be experienced live, and what better a day than on Mother’s Day? Burger joint in the front, upscale lounge in the back, the menu at Pop Burger includes basics like 2 pop burgers for $5 for a quick fix or if your lounging, the likes of tuna tartar with soy truffle jus ($15). The Gaslight, a great hotspot bar in the meatpacking district, is dark and cozy while affordable for the area. If you don’t know Amy’s Bread, when you order a sandwich at a café or restaurant in the city, ask where they got the bread. There’s a good chance it’s from Amy’s because she’s one of the best bread makers in the city.