The Weekend Shortlist May 21 to 23
Friday May 21
A musical filled with dance and Afrobeat music telling the story of Fela’s controversial life. Arguably one of the top bread makers on the east coast, and good to get gourmet pizza’s and sandwiches, Sullivan Street Bakery makes exquisite food using ingredients you’d see on the Food Network! More bar than grill, Rudy’s Bar & Grill is like going back to college, minus the books. The beer is cheap and by “grill,” they mean free popcorn and hot dogs. If you have trouble finding the bar, just look for the 6 foot tall fiberglass pig standing outside! To get out of the cold and see what an upper-class mall is like, stop by The Shops at Columbus Circle. Expensive restaurants like MASA and shops like Williams Sonoma are fun to browse through to see how the other half lives.
Friday May 21
Blending electro with indie rock, Peephole make music that also offer traces of soul and an 80s vibe. Joining them are Sons of Sons and the Jean Geraldines. Just as much fun as any show, SEA is one BIG Thai restaurant. Big enough to have a pool surrounded by tables as a giant Buddha stands above it. Luckily, the food is really great. Offering traditional Pad Thai ($7) to more involved dishes like the Mummy Fish ($14). On N6th, a street full of bars and restaurants, Zablozki’s is the local bar of the bunch, with a pool table and a friendly atmosphere and 12 beers on tap. A modern Japanese brasserie, Zenkichi boasts a gorgeous wood interior and a menu that features affordable and traditional Japanese fare like the Grilled Saikyo Black Cod ($16.50) that is out of this world.
Saturday May 22
Still fierce and fearless at 60, the New York Dolls put on a good show. Seeing them live is like reliving what real rock and roll was all over again. There’s a lot of restaurants popping up in Greenpoint nowadays. The Japanese restaurant Wasabi has been there before many of them and serves up some of the best sushi in that hood. A good local bar, Bar Matchless is that low-key place where you can chill, get a drink and not have to scream at the top of your lungs to make conversation. Another good place for drinks if you feel like bar-hopping, Royal Oak offers a dark and sexy vibe, where excellent DJs play old-school R&B and 80s metal all mixed up like Britney Spears!
Saturday May 22
This is the US Premiere of 22 year old Pepe Diokno’s masterful, taut, thrilling, feature film debut. ENGKWENTRO (“Clash”) which follows two brothers as they head in opposite directions in life but end up facing one another in a gang war. What I like about Three of Cups the most is that the food is classic Italian fare like Pizza made in a wood-fired oven, risotto, pasta, while also offering more exciting dishes like lamb stew in a barolo wine reduction, served with potato gnocchi. The atmosphere is relaxing, bordering on romantic. With a name like Whiskey Ward, it’s expected that they deliver the goods, which lucky for this bar, they do. Whether it’s Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey, or Single Malts, they got em’ along with a pool table and a damn good jukebox. Who doesn’t like cupcakes? Sugar Sweet Sunshine has one of the best in the city. With 10 different kinds, it’s hard to beat.
Sunday May 23
The NY Eye & Ear Fest III celebrates art and film for your eyes and music for your ears with NYC based visual artists, a record fair and 20 bands performing including DIABLO, GDFX, Hallux, Memorial Gore, Effing , and Source of Yellow. If you’re 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.