The Weekend Shortlist July 4 to 6
Friday July 4
If you haven’t figured out if you want to party at a show or close to some fireworks display, then this show will solve both of those problems as Sonic Youth play at the Seaport for FREE. Expect long lines to get in, but in the end, it’ll be well worth the hassle. While most people buy hot dogs and grab a beer at expensive restaurants in the Seaport mall, you’ll be smart and head over to Burritoville for inexpensive and delicious California inspired burritos, all under $10. For drinks, Jeremy’s Ale House has a lively crowd and a beer list that will get you a pint for $5 and under. If you get down to the financial district early, check out Century 21. They won’t try to sell you some property, but they have some great designer clothing on the cheap, plus the place is huge to roam.
Friday July 4
For fans of Cuban music with a twist, Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos play the music of Cuban legend, Arsenio Rodriguez, while Ribot puts own exotic stamp on the songs, creating groovy rhythmic jams. While Mexican restaurants may be everywhere, not all are created equal. One that stands out, in that hood, is Los Pollitos II. Having gone several times, what makes me come back for more are the Chilaquiles for brunch and the gorditas for dinner. The guacamole is damn good too. Did you say you like beer? I like beer! Hooray for puppies! At Pacific Standard, the front bar has 16 beers on tap and the back room looks like a high school library. I think this is my new favorite bar. Don’t forget to ask about the frequent drinker card program! I’m totally serious. If you like your coffee black, Gorilla Coffee specializes in deep roasted flavors and provides it through fair-trade.
Saturday July 5
In its tenth year, the curated Warm Up series features live music and DJ’s. At this first show of the season, the Nublu club and label host, and feature the Nublu Orchestra conducted by Butch Morris, DJs Justin Carter & Probus (Nublu), Dex aka Nomadico (Underground Resistance), and So Percussion performing Steve Reich. Being that you’re in Queens anyways, you HAVE to take the 7 train to Sripraphai, one of New York’s top Thai restaurants. What makes it better than most is the fact that the ingredients are fresh, and instead of choosing your entree with a choice of meat, they offer a novel sized menu with pics of every dish, most under $10. Once a heavily Irish neighborhood, Saints and Sinners is one of the best looking Irish bars left. Grab a Guinness at the bar or traditional Irish food. If you can, head over to Baruir’s in Sunnyside for one of the best cups of coffee in Queens.
Saturday July 5
Wu Tang Clan’s RZA returns with his Bobby Digital persona and his new album Digi Snacks. A master beatmaker, he’s had a lot of practice doing soundtracks since his last album, getting even better, and it shows on his album. He’s also fun to watch live. Part restaurant and part club, China 1 serves up more upscale Chinese food than you’re used to. With décor that’s more dungeon lounge than China, this is a fun place to hang. With an MP3 jukebox that has 3000 albums to choose from, nicknamed “El DJ,” Hi Fi is a rock lover’s wet dream. With daily drink specials, this place is cheap, and that’s a rare thing in NYC these days. If you’re still in the mood to party after this early reading, hit up Second on Second for some karaoke, where you can sing till your throat is sore!
Sunday July 6
Location: Murray Hill, NYC
Bands: Love Trio & U-Roy + Afrika Bambaataa + Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Show time: 3:00 PM FREE
Venue: Central Park, SummerStage
Food: Seven’s Mediterranean Turkish Grill
Drink: Shalel Lounge
Miscellaneous: Boat Basin Cafe
A mix of hip-hop, dub, and Afro-beat, this FREE show puts on stage the legendary, new and second generation talents of dub group Love Trio with legendary Jamaican dub singer U-Roy, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inducted DJ Afrika Bambaataa, and Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, the son of Afrobeat father Fela. For good Mediterranean food on the UWS, Seven’s is an excellent choice. Specializing in Pides (stuffed dough), they also serve most of the staple Turkish dishes. Hidden, though well worth the hunt, Shalel Lounge is a romantic spot with a cave-like atmosphere, and an excellent though pricey beer and wine list. Overlooking the water in Riverside Park, the Boat Basin Café is a really beautiful outdoor café with one of the best views of the Hudson River and NJ. You heard me, NJ! The menu is mostly burgers and sandwiches and plenty of BBQ. Best of all, it’s affordable and fun.