The Weekend Shortlist August 6 to 8
Friday August 6
Electronic music meets multimedia art when Yacht takes the stage. Blending electro beats with lo-fi, they have catchy and dance heavy songs. While most people buy hot dogs and grab a beer at expensive restaurants in the Seaport mall, you’ll be smart and head over to Burritoville for inexpensive and delicious California inspired burritos, all under $10. For drinks, Jeremy’s Ale House has a lively crowd and a beer list that will get you a pint for $5 and under. If you get down to the financial district early, check out Century 21. They won’t try to sell you some property, but they have some great designer clothing on the cheap, plus the place is huge to roam.
Friday August 6
You have to love it when big longtime acts like the downtempo DJ duo Thievery Corporation play a smaller venue like Joe’s Pub, and with all the supporting artists that have worked with them, you never know who will show up. 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 a great little coffee shop in the area.
Saturday August 7
High energy Middle East meets West band Balkan Beat Box is led by saxophone player Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat and are incredible live. Joining them is Mucca Pazza. Low priced anything near Columbia University is getting harder to find, but at Symposium, you’ll get Greek food that won’t force you to take a mortgage out. The Pastitsio (baked macaroni with ground meat $9.95) is out of this world. Not the kind of dive bar you’re thinking, though Broadway Dive has a single malt scotch and bourbon menu big enough that you won’t even know where you are after a few. A coffee bar that also serves liquor, tapas, and baked goods all in one place? Sip sounds good to me.
Saturday August 7
Catch some of New York City’s brightest up and coming musicians at The Antifolk Festival where for years some of the best music you never heard of yet got it’s start. If you’ve never been to Minca for dinner, go right now! This small noodle bar makes some amazing ramen noodles from scratch. Try the Minca Ramen, a mild broth with pork, chicken & dried seafood ($8.50). One of the newer bars in the East Village, Common Ground has a dark wood interior, a relaxed atmosphere, and excellent cocktails like the Blueberry Pie. If you like pastries filled with cream, check out Beard Papa Sweets Café. They offer cream fillings like earl grey, green tea, coffee, and the standard vanilla, chocolate, strawberry among others.
Sunday August 8
Check out one of the hottest indie rock acts around as The XX hit Central Park Summerstage. The cost: FREE. At Zip Burger they offer farm-raised, organic, and grass-fed meat and poultry, letting you build your own burger with plenty of gourmet toppings. The first time I went to Subway Inn I thought it was completely strange that there was a dive bar off Lexington Avenue, especially in this neck of the woods, but somehow it works. Born in the 30s, this bar has somehow remained, and thank god, as it’s easily the cheapest place in the area for a drink. For fans of Japanese pop-culture, Kinokuniya Bookstore has a large selection of Japanese themed books, videos, CDs, magazines, comics, and stationary.