The Weekend Shortlist August 21 to 23
Friday August 21
Monkey Town seems to have this great end of the summer tradition called Double Dirty Dancing where they show the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey classic Dirty Dancing on one of their four giant walls. Playing on one of the other ones is the Bollywood version of the film from 2006 called Holiday which will also play simultaneously. Nobody puts baby in a corner! Sorry, had to say that. Before that, a great restaurant on the same block is SEA. Asian inspired from the décor to the food, this huge and gorgeous space serves up a mostly Thai menu from massaman curries to house specialties like Red SEA Duck (Half duck in red vinaigrette-tomato gravy sauce served with stir-fried mixed veggies), SEA is inexpensive and visually impressive for Brooklyn. With an increasing amount of new bars on the block, Zablozki’s is a standout that’s cozy, mostly mahogany, and has great drinks specials. A great stop off if you’re early is Academy Records. One of the biggest vinyl shops in NYC, if you are a vinyl fan, you will be blown away.
Friday August 21
In Sexy and the City, a group of photographers take a look at the sexuality of people in NYC in photographs spanning from 1940 to the present in landmark locations all puckered up. Hormone and antibiotic free, Better Burger focuses on serving a fresh and healthier alternative to the grease burger you can get anywhere. With a tiled floor that lights up, other than that, Passerby is a non-descript bar, which is why it’s a place artists flock to for a cocktail without being disturbed. While not the best named coffee shop, ‘sNice is a nice and quiet coffee house offering vegetarian sandwiches and baked goods, while being a large enough space to spread your legs out and not worry about stealing another seat from someone.
Saturday August 22
The Venn Diagrams are a duo made up of Jeffrey Marsh and Rick Sorkin who write music in the style of the great American songbook but the twist is that they blur the lines of gender while dipping their torso’s into German cabaret, blurring more than one line, making for inventive live performances that need to be seen as much as heard. Joining them is Clay McLeod Chapman, who presents some of his short stories in the style of the New South. Think somewhere between Truman Capote, David Sedaris, and Carson McCullers, yet just as imaginative and uncomfortable. With sushi that’s 50 percent off all the time, you might think, “Something’s wrong with that?” but the fish is good and the rolls are inventive, making Oyama one of the best low-priced sushi joints in the city. Though St. Marks all of a sudden lost its charm, Grassroots Tavern hasn’t. This large dive bar has cheap drinks, darts in the back, and old men behind the bar, things a good dive bar should have. Excellent coffee served in a big mug and a healthy menu of food coupled with a year round enclosed outdoor backyard patio make Mudd Cafe place a great little coffee shop in the area.
Saturday August 22
So this is it. After 21 years of making industrial music that we sang along to throughout college and high school Trent Reznor is calling it quits performing as Nine Inch Nails live and this is one of his last few shows. If you’re lucky enough to get in, enjoy it for the last time? Joining him are openers The Horrors who are pretty badass themselves. Paladar, whose celebrity chef, Aarón Sanchez is from the Food Network show “Melting Pot,” delivers a Pan-Latino concept taking traditional Spanish fare and adding deliciously executed gourmet twists. Feeling retro? Then Welcome to the Johnsons is the place for you. It’s like being in your uncles wreck room from the 70s. With all wood paneled walls, plastic covered couches, and a Pac Man machine, this bar is out for a good time. Stop by Economy Candy and get a small taste of what it might be like to walk through Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, minus the hijinks, as there’s all sorts of candy everywhere. A real NY landmark, it’s been around since 1937.
Sunday August 23
Girl Talk isn’t a band it’s actually one guy named Greg Michael Gillis who is a master of the mashup. His new self-titled album is being sold as pay what you like and it’s a trip. Joining him are Max Tundra and Wiz Khalifa. Though Relish looks like a 50s diner, this restaurant offers up some gourmet treats for dinner. With influences from all over the globe, Relish features diner classics like burgers and onion rings, and step it up with the likes of Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna ($21). Williamsburg’s first beer garden, Radegast Hall & Biergarten, has a beautiful all-wood interior, an enclosed outdoor backyard, and 12 German/Austrian beers on tap and more than 30 bottles. Another great bar in the area, Zebulon offers free live jazz and afrobeat. The drinks here are inexpensive, and I’ve never seen a bad show here.