The Weekend Shortlist September 10 to 12

Friday September 10

Location: Lower East Side, NYC
Band: The Soft Pack Get Tickets Here
Show time: 9:30 PM
Venue: Bowery Ballroom
Food: The Stanton Social
Drink: The Magician
Miscellaneous: The Pink Pony

Their self-titled debut as The Soft Pack (they were formerly known as The Muslims) is filled with some of their most mature songwriting in a while which is one reason to see them live. Joining them are Beach Fossils and Sundelles. For dinner, The Stanton Social has earned a reputation for being a beautifully designed restaurant/lounge while serving up some delicious multi-ethnic cuisine. For drinks, a favorite of mine is The Magician, this bar’s chill atmosphere just may be the cure for a well-earned night of rocking. A great way to end the night? Stop by The Pink Pony. This boho café has been serving French food and coffee since the 80s and has a relaxing vibe. It’s as punk as that neighborhood gets nowadays.

Friday September 10

Location: Chelsea, NYC
Art: Brooklyn Botanical
Show time: 5 to 7 PM; Through October 9
Venue: Fischbach Gallery
Food: Cookshop
Drink: The Half King
Miscellaneous: Café Grumpy

In the exhibition Brooklyn Botanical, artist Ryan Cobourn features his recent floral themed paintings. Cookshop offers American fare blending fresh and healthy ingredients. Try the Five Grain Risotto with Oregon black trumpet mushrooms, crème fraiche, and fried sage ($20). All wood and brick, The Half King is a great bar in Chelsea, minus the attitude its neighboring bars have. Grab a draft beer for $7 or a burger among other great menu items. If you’re fanatical about your coffee, Café Grumpy is your place to get some of the city’s best. The coffees are brewed to order and the espresso drinks are out of this world. I highly recommend this place.

Saturday September 11

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

My Gold Mask seem to effortlessly blend goth and garage in their music as well as in their fashion. Their songs are kickass, just listen to “Violet Eyes” and you’ll see what I mean. 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.

Saturday September 11

Location: Soho, NYC
Theater: Border Towns
Show time: 9 PM
Venue: HERE Arts Center
Food: Souen
Drink: Antarctica
Miscellaneous: Alidoro

Created and directed by Nick Brooke, Border Towns is a fusion of sound and theater, which plays as a choreographed mash-up exploring Americana and the psychological landscape of the U.S. through music sampling. A diverse musical collage (featuring everything from pop songs to found sounds), is the foundation for the live performance, which features a cast of seven singing in lockstep with the soundscape at the core of the piece. For macrobiotic food, Souen is where you can get plenty of soy, seitan, tofu, and even fish that is insanely healthy and beautifully prepared, not to mention inexpensive. Though Antarctica is freakin’ cold, the bar is not. In fact, the interior will make you feel warm inside as it’s 276 years old, and with an all-wood interior and brick wall, this establishment serves up cheap beer with no attitude. Possibly one of the best sandwich shops in the city, Alidoro has 40 kinds of amazing Italian sandwiches, all named.

Sunday September 12

Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Bands: Phylis Chen
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Barbes
Food: El Viejo Yayo
Drink: Buttermilk Bar
Miscellaneous: The Chocolate Room

She’s a composer, pianist and master of the toy piano and culled that talent into scoring the off-broadway play Coraline. So check out Phylis Chen for her adventurous music. Keeping the night going with Latin flavor, try El Viejo Yayo for dinner. This gorgeous and warm restaurant has an elegant dining room and an affordable menu offering Dominican/Latin cuisine. The outside of Buttermilk Bar may look non-descript, but looks are deceiving . . . just not in this case, as this low-key watering hole is where you can grab a cheap drink in a friendly atmosphere, while playing a board game or two. With a near insane menu of chocolates from coffee and tea to delectable dessert, and even beer, The Chocolate Room is a great way to end the night on a high note.

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