The Weekend Shortlist May 14 to 16

Friday May 14

Location: SoHo, NYC
Bands: The Hold Steady
Show time: 10 PM
Venue: Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
Food: Nha Trang
Drink: Naked Lunch
Miscellaneous: La Esquina

Performing for “Soundcheck,” WNYCs National Public Radio program, The Hold Steady perform for a one-hour set. Joining them are Das Racist. One of the best affordable Vietnamese restaurants in the city, Nha Trang is right near the downtown courthouse, making it a high volume place. Despite that, the food is great and the Pho (rice noodle soup) dishes are $5 and under. Named after William S. Burroughs novel, Naked Lunch is a cool and comfortable bar where local artists usually gather. No shooting up though! One of the best taqueria’s in the city, the Mexican food at La Esquina is authentic and to die for. While tacos will set you back $3, plates are in the $6 to $7.25 range.

Friday May 14

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Bands: Passion Pit
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: American Museum of Natural History
Food: Hummus Place
Drink: Jake’s Dilemmal
Miscellaneous: Alice’s Tea Cup

With their high pitched singing, catchy songs and eclectic musicianship, Passion Pit had me from their hit song “Sleepyhead” which takes everything good about pop music and moves it into the future. But tonight, they will man the turntables, playing DJ at the museum’s One Step Beyond party. Cheap yet not too heavy, Hummus Place serves up surprisingly great hummus in the uptown version of their original downtown location. More a game room for adults than a sports bar, Jake’s Dilemmal offers more than 50 beers to choose from while you can play pool, video games, or foosball. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s Tea Cup is as much for adults as it is for kids. Get one of a vast assortment of teas flown in from around the world here or a gorgeously designed slice of cake.

Saturday May 15

Location: Tribeca, NYC
Bands: DMC East Coast DJ Battle Get Tickets Here
Show time: 4 PM
Venue: Santos Party House
Food: Pakistan Tea House
Drink: Mocca Lounge
Miscellaneous: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Some of the best DJs around battle it out for supremacy in the U.S. at the DMC East Coast DJ Battle and see who will go on to the DMC World DJ Championships in London! 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.

Saturday May 15

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bands: Crystal Stilts
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Glasslands Gallery
Food: Wild Ginger Pan-Asian Vegan Café
Drink: Teddy’s Bar & Grill
Miscellaneous: Verb Café

Reminiscent of early Velvet Underground, the Crystal Stilts take garage and punk and turn it into an ethereal sound that spans several genres. Joining them are Veronica Falls, Pink Noise, and Minks. For vegetarians and those not in the mood for meat, Wild Ginger Pan-Asian Vegan Café offers Pan-Asian cuisine in a relaxed earth-toned environment with a menu featuring veggies, tofu, seitan, and soy. The best thing about Teddy’s Bar & Grill is that it’s just got this great neighborhood vibe that’s warm and friendly, while also having a great menu of drinks and American bar food favorites like burgers, salads, sandwiches, and steak. A great place to get good coffee, take a seat, and watch the passing hipsters stroll by, Verb Café even has excellent sandwiches and baked goods to snack on before the show.

Sunday May 16

Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Event: NYC Punk and Underground Record Fair
Show time: 10 AM – 6 PM
Venue: Southpaw
Food: Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen
Drink: The Gate
Miscellaneous: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

At the NYC Punk and Underground Record Fair Sunday May 16, get some rare punk & hardcore vinyl from amazing dealers. Ever have Oaxacan food? Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen 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 a 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.

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