The Weekend Shortlist October 3 to 5
Friday October 3
With heavy influence from African music legend Fela Kuti, this afrobeat-loving group seamlessly continues his legacy in making African funk. Having members who have worked with members of Fela’s original band, making this group nothing short of amazing. Speaking of interesting, ever have Oaxacan food? Chiles & Chocolate serves up some fantastic, not exactly Mexican food. Try the smoky flavored Mole Negro, one of the best mole sauces I’ve had in NYC. Before leaving, you must try one of the hot chocolates like the Chiles Y Chocolate. A hint of chipotle without too much heat is a nice kick-start for the night. The Gate is a great Park Slope bar with excellent beers on tap and an outdoor courtyard to chill. If time permits, you must, and I mean MUST go to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a non-profit organization that helps kids with their writing, that’s fronted by a store selling super powers.
Friday October 3
Who says legends get old? Take a look at Jerry Lee Lewis who’s still going strong. A Rock and Roll legend with more than 50 years in music, he’s still belting out hits like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” on top of consistently recording albums since 1957. While the original Junior’s in Brooklyn is best, this midtown location offers a nearly identical menu of deli sandwiches, diner entrees, and of course soul food fixin’s, on top of some of the best cheesecake in NYC, which is saying a lot! For drinks check out The View. Not the TV show, but the bar high atop the Marriot Marquis. Plus it revolves. If you’re looking for something to do, go to Madame Tussauds wax museum. Yes, it’s a cheesy tourist attraction, but where else are you going to get a picture with Nicholas Cage or Samuel L. Jackson?
Saturday October 4
One of the most interesting and highly melodic bands I’ve heard lately, the Fleet Foxes take great harmonies and pop and fuse them together with some old school jamming making their self-titled album diverse and playable over and over again. Before the show, hit Planet Thailand 212 for dinner. Williamsburg’s favorite Thai and sushi restaurant has extended into Manhattan and looks just as impressive as it’s sister. After the show, The Star Lounge, located under the forever-hip Chelsea Hotel has three rooms including a main room that’s red, white, and dimly lit providing a sexy atmosphere. Right next door to the B&N, there’s a Burlington Coat Factory and though it’s not glamorous, unlike the department stores across the street, the clothing is not as picked over.
Saturday October 4
Mixing real instruments with electronics and a touch of hip-hop, Hot Chip are one of the most inventive and fun bands around and live, they sound as good as they do on record. Arguably one of the top bread makers on the east coast, and good to get gourmet pizza’s and sandwiches, Sullivan Street Bakery makes exquisite food using ingredients you’d see on the Food Network! More bar than grill, Rudy’s is like going back to college, minus the books. The beer is cheap and by “grill,” they mean free popcorn and hot dogs. If you have trouble finding the bar, just look for the 6 foot tall fiberglass pig standing outside! To get out of the cold and see what an upper-class mall is like, stop by The Shops at Columbus Circle. Expensive restaurants like MASA and shops like Williams Sonoma are fun to browse through to see how the other half lives.
Sunday October 5
Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Film: Views From the Avant-Garde
Show time: See venue site for details
Venue: Walter Reade Theater
Miscellaneous: American Museum of Natural History
Views From the Avant-Garde is a festival of avant-garde films now in its 12th year that showcases new films by masters of the genre along with new filmmakers works. In the mood for pan-Asian food? Rain is a great bet, with it’s rather large Japanese themed wood paneled space, it has devised dishes like the Jungle Curry Wild Boar with kaffir lime, Thai eggplant, and Shanghai bok choy ($24). Prohibition harkens back to that 20s era full of illegal activity. Fortunately, the bar has an excellent drink menu including 12 different martinis. With pool tables in the back and exposed brick walls covered with paintings of people imbibing drinks, the theme may be prohibition but everyone is having too good a time to notice. If you have a little time to spare, go to the American Museum of Natural History and check out the exhibits “Sea Monsters,” “Cosmic Collisions,” and “Beyond UFOs.”