The Weekend Shortlist December 25 to 27
Friday December 25
Spend your Christmas the way so many of us jews do with Chinese & a Movie: Mel Brooks Double Feature. The films are two of Brooks funniest classics in Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs. Nearby, Pakistan Tea House is a buffet style Indian restaurant where you can choose between chicken, meat, fish and vegetables. It’s affordable and very good. For drinks, check out Mocca Lounge. With a funky interior and a menu of Italian inspired fare, it’s also a bar with a large list of coffees with or without alcohol, beers, and frozen shots. Smack dab in the heart of Chinatown, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory makes gourmet ice cream flavors like Black Sesame, Ginger, Durian, and more exotic flavors like Taro and Wasabi. Don’t worry, they have the go-to’s like Vanilla, fruits, and chocolate flavors too.
Friday December 25
If you’re in the mood to do something after opening your Christmas gifts, check out Ice Skating at Bryant Park. It’s FREE and a great way to spend time with your family, including your bah-humbug uncle! For dinner, check out Vinyl, a rock and roll themed restaurant, where the menus are made of old album covers and the food is a mix of American and Thai. Don’t forget to check out the bathroom, each one has a music icon theme. With vaulted ceilings and a mostly red and cream interior, the Cellar Bar, located in the Bryant Park Hotel, is one gorgeous place, creating a sexy atmosphere. The drinks are pricey, but worth the stopover. For kicks, take a little walk through the The Bryant Park Hotel. This chic boutique hotel, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, not only has the Cellar Bar but the Koi Restaurant, a fantastic Japanese spot.
Saturday December 26
Monkeytown celebrates their 6th Annual Holiday Porn Week with art inspired porn. Featuring a 50-minute 2 channel installation on four screens, films playing include works from the Vienna Actionists; 70s & 80s “serious” porn, San Francisco psychedelia, as well as more recent works by C-trl. Though Relish looks like a 50s diner or an even larger version of an L train car, 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 before.
Saturday December 26
Relive the best and worst of coming of age in high school at The Awesome 80s Prom. This interactive show is part musical and full-on party as the audience gets to drink, dance and vote for the Prom King and Queen. For eats, check out Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar, a sandwich shop offering Thai sandwiches with 7 Steamed Fried Vegetables and a choice of chicken, veggie, tofu or beef on a baguette with 3 types of sauces for $7. One of the city’s oldest bars, at McSorley’s Old Ale House you can feel the history when you enter as memorabilia, since its beginnings in 1854, are all over the walls. Aside from it being a frat hangout nowadays, it’s worth the trip. You’ve seen that orange Mudd coffee truck parked on Astor Place and on various other streets, but check out their Mudd Cafe on East 9th for coffee and a healthy, vegan, and vegetarian menu.
Sunday Decmber 27
Musician and record producer Martin Bisi has produced albums for the likes of Sonic youth, Dresden Dolls, White Zombie, and John Zorn to name only a few. This year, he released his own album Sirens of the Apocalypse and a digital only EP Son of a Gun. Joining him are H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E., Larkin Grim, and Extra Life. If your feeling German BBQ, you can head over to Fette Sau (fat pig in German), where the owners of nearby bar Spuyten Duyvil have opened up this meat only restaurant serving up some of the best pork and beef in NYC. For drinks, Spuyten Duyvil is a beer lovers dream, with a selection from all over the world, friendly and knowledgeable bartenders and a neighborhood feel, it’s no wonder this place has been so successful. If you’re still ready for more, you must hit Union Pool, where there’s always a band playing, great DJs, and plenty of action.