The Weekend Shortlist January 2 to 4

Spend the weekend with Coney Island’s freaks! Photo By Laure Leber

Friday January 2

Location: Chelsea, NYC
Event: Coney Island Circus Sideshow Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Food: Il Bastardo
Drink: Brite Bar
Miscellaneous: Café Grumpy

Now that most of Coney Island has “For Rent” signs where businesses like the Sideshow used to be and where these performers called home, now you can see them at the Highline Ballroom. Now a traveling sideshow, you can see a ten in one (10 performers for 1 price) including Donny Vomit, Serpentina, Insectivora, Heather Holliday, and more. With an interesting menu of cosmos and cocktails like the Fother Mucker, made with Zygo, a locally distilled energy vodka, Brite Bar is a gorgeously designed bar that looks like a lounge but is way more fun. One of my favorite coffee houses due to the fact that they are doing a great job of reinventing the wheel when it comes to making coffee, is Café Grumpy. Here, every cup is freshly pressed and the latte’s are thick and rich tasting.

Friday January 2

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Band: Grand Masters of Gypsy Music
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
Food: San Loco
Drink: Max Fish
Miscellaneous: Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Looks like there’s a new bar on the block called Menahata Bulgarian Bar (113 Ludlow St.), which seems to center around Balkan music and Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz who spins records often there. But they also offer live Gypsy music as the Grand Masters of Gypsy Music perform. It’s world music with a punk aesthetic! Let’s face it, San Loco does not serve the greatest Mexican food ever. But it certainly isn’t bad. The prices are inexpensive, you can get a heaping amount of nachos for as little as $3.75, and telling by the heavy traffic, the place is doing just fine. What I like about Max Fish is that it’s a local bar for local artists. It’s walls play host monthly for art exhibitions, there’s a pool table in the back, and drinks aren’t pricey, like many new bars springing up in this neighborhood. For one of the best cupcakes in the city, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has 10 varieties, on top of cakes. Try the Sexy Red Velvet or the Bob, a yellow cupcake with chocolate almond buttercream.

Saturday January 3

Location: West Village, NYC
Band: Afrika Bambaataa
Show time: 11 PM
Venue: (le) poisson rouge
Food: Koo Sushi
Drink: Blind Tiger Ale House
Miscellaneous: Peanut Butter & Co.

One of the founders of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa has influenced several decades worth of music and musicians with his electro-funk style. So catch this legend live. Plus anyone who helped introduce Kraftwerk to the U.S.A. is alright by me! A little known sushi joint, Koo Sushi offers affordable and fantastic fish with an impressive number of specialty rolls. For a bar that looks like any other, Blind Tiger Ale House offers an impressive number of beers including draught, bottled, cask and one called Louise’s Bloody Beer. Try it if you dare! If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Peanut Butter & Co., offers some PB heavy hitters like the Elvis, a PB, banana, and bacon sandwich that tastes better than it sounds.

Saturday January 3

Location: Meatpacking District, NYC
Comedy: Todd Barry
Show time: 8 & 10:30 PM
Venue: Comix
Food: Spice Market
Drink: Plunge
Miscellaneous: Little Pie Company (located at 407 W14th St.)

Todd Barry has been doing standup for a while now and tends to stick to what he knows best, the awkward stuff and Manhattan. With his laid back style and fearless approach he’s been on countless TV shows and even his own Comedy Central special plus has a role in the recently released film The Wrestler. For dinner, if you can get a table, check out Spice Market. Chef and owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten converted this HUGE space into one of the sexiest Asian restaurants in NYC. Serving up exquisite dishes like the onion and chili crusted short ribs with egg noodles and pea shoots ($22), Spice Market impresses. If you choose not to stay at APT for drinks, close by is Plunge. Located at the top of the Hotel Gansevoort, this rooftop lounge offers stunning views of the city. If dessert is your thing, stop over at Little Pie Company, where pies are baked on premises. Whether you’re in the mood for sour cream apple, southern pecan, or Mississippi mud pie, you can’t go wrong here.

Sunday January 4

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Bands: Under the Sign of Fincher
Show time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Walter Reade Theater
Food: Rain
Drink: Prohibition
Miscellaneous: American Museum of Natural History

Filmmaker David Fincher sits down with Kent Jones to discuss his film career (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac) as well as the technical aspects behind his current film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which will also be playing earlier at 3 at the Walter Reade Theater. 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. Afterwards, check out the American Museum of Natural History’s state of the art ice skating rink, open till March 1, 2009.

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