The Weekend Shortlist January 9 to 11
Friday January 9
Busy as an actor of late in films like Be Kind Rewind with Jack Black and playing Chuck Berry in Cadillac Records, Mos Def is a jack of many trades, but being an MC is where it all began for him. With a soon-to-be-released album dropping this year, he’s been performing songs off it, which I hear will be called The Ecstatic. The name says it all in it’s mission to serve a burger as Better Burger uses organic, antibiotic, hormone & nitrate free meat and poultry in its quest to offer up a healthier alternative to the classic patty. A great little wine bar in Chelsea, Turks & Frogs has a menu of wine and beer from all over the world, including Turkey, while having the ambiance of being in someone’s home. A must if you’re in Chelsea, City Bakery offers one of the best chocolate chip cookies and thickest and richest hot chocolates in the city. The food is a gourmand’s delight.
Friday January 9
Stephen Sprouse was a fashion designer and artist responsible for blending punk rock, wild style graffiti, and street influenced fashion making downtown New Yorkers of the early 80s some of the most fashionable people in the world. In Rock on Mars, a retrospective of the artists work, Sprouse’s iconic pop-influenced paintings, like one of Iggy Pop on a crucifix, will be shown. In conjunction, fashion designer Marc Jacobs will debut a collection for Louis Vuitton inspired by Sprouse. For dinner, show some respect and go to the Ear Inn. This restaurant and bar is housed in a 200 year old building that strangely enough was built for James Brown, not the godfather of soul, but the aide to George Washington. The food here is better than your standard bar food but the atmosphere makes the place. Named after William S. Burroughs novel, Naked Lunch is a cool and comfortable bar where local artists usually gather. No shooting up though! If you like chocolate, stop in at Jacques Torres for some of the sweetest morsels of chocolate in NYC or anywhere else.
Saturday January 10
One third of the sketch comedy troupe Human Giant that was on MTV, Aziz Ansari recently completed roles in the upcoming films Observe and Report with Seth Rogen and I Love You, Man with Paul Rudd. This guy is funny. 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.
Saturday January 10
Experimental audio/video indie rockers Mixel Pixel headline this all ages show with a host of upcoming bands like Hot Lava, a band who’s keeping pop music fun along with Hologram, Math the Band, and Hey Willpower. What used to be the club Red & Black not too long ago, is now the French restaurant Juliette. This 2 floor (the second being an open air terrace) outdoor restaurant is quite impressive. The food, though not cheap is excellent. The Moules Frites ($16) are some of the best steamed mussels in white wine, shallots, and thyme I’ve had. An Irish Bar right in the heart of Williamsburg, Spike Hill has a pretty tight selection of single malt Scotch and beers on tap. You can call it the Kim’s Video of Williamsburg, but Reel Life is the best video store in the hood with a great selection of everything from new releases to cult classics.
Sunday January 11
Location: Chelsea, NYC
Art: Outsider Art Fair
Show time: 11 AM to 6 PM
Venue: The Mart (7 West 34th Street off 5th Avenue, NYC)
Drink: Red Rock West Saloon
Miscellaneous: Ninth Street Espresso
Though many of the artists exhibiting may not have degrees in art history, they are by no means bad, in fact this show is the place you might find the next great natural artist as galleries from all over the world will have some great up and comers in the art world show and sell their work. If French cuisine is what you’re after, Pastis a French bistro run by Keith McNally offers some of the best classic French food and bistro fare in the city. Usually crowded, it’s not known for its intimacy. Also not known for being quiet, Red Rock West Saloon is a biker and blue collar bar where you can throw back a beer and listen to some Southern rock. What’s a night in NYC without a great cup of coffee in a low-key café? Ninth Street Espresso offers that kind of setting on top of a well-chosen and executed selection of coffees.