The Weekend Shortlist February 18 to 20
Friday February 18
When Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow get together to form the nucleus of Elysian Fields with a number of other great musicians, the musical landscape shakes from her sexy and silky voice and Oren’s atmospheric playing. Joining them is Lucinda Black Bear. For an eclectic menu that mixes upscale and down-home food, Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, a wine bar and restaurant, offers lighter fare including foie gras, cheese plates, caviar, and steak tartare. The Village Tavern is a really comfortable neighborhood bar that’s great for catching sports games or just chilling for a drink, which is what I prefer to do when I’m in the vicinity. Also in the area is Bleeker Bob’s . It’s one of the oldest independent record stores in NYC and the selection is deep. The place looks a mess, but the staff is surprisingly friendly and extremely knowledgeable about what they have.
Friday February 18
One of the best psych rock bands around today, Dr. Dog have a catalog of music that goes off the deep end with 60s harmonies. Joining them are two great bands in Phantogram and The Head & the Heart. Nearby and delicious, Eatery offers a new American menu that’s asian influenced. Try the Red Curry Chicken Breast over roti pancake, with baby carrots and red curry coconut sauce ($16.95). Valhalla’s minimalist space is chill, letting the 24 brands of beer from all over the world on tap be the main attraction at this bar. While its warm out, waste a little time walking through Central Park, relax, and get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. Just watch your step. The working horses tend to leave surprises behind them!
Saturday February 19
Pop with touches of folk, Jesse Malin & The St Mark’s Social brings some of his best work to City Winery. 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 February 19
Former Creaky Boards guitarist Darwin Deez takes front and center stage leading his own band and making sweet indie-pop music that seems to be getting play. 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.
Sunday February 20
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Museum: Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings
Show time: See website for schedule; Through July 17
Venue: American Museum of Natural History
Food: Hummus Place
Drink: Jake’s Dilemmal
Miscellaneous: Alice’s Tea Cup
In the exhibition Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings, 64 Tibetan medical paintings (also known as tangkas) from the American Museum of Natural History’s collection will be on display. 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.