The Weekend Shortlist April 8 to 10

Friday April 8

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Bands: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Rose Theater
Food: Symposium
Drink: Broadway Dive
Miscellaneous: Sip

Only the blues can bring two musical icons together when Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues and explore the New Orleans, Delta, and Chicago blues styles and more on one stage. 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.

Friday April 8

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Band: Little Anthony & the Imperials Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 & 10:30 PM
Venue: Feinstein’s at the Regency
Food: Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar
Drink: Café des Artistes
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery

Doo-wop music never really gets old. It’s got this kitsch factor that reminds you of times like when you and your parents were on long road trips singing along to artists like Little Anthony & the Imperials who are not just performing for the first time in 35 years, but are 2009 Rock and Roll inductees. While Swizz has an extensive wine menu and a downstairs cave, it’s the cheese that people come here for. Fondue lovers, Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar is the place to go and the menu is just as extensive as its wine. It’s romantic and cheesy. Get it! Café des Artistes is one of those old historic bars that’s as New York as it gets. This bar/restaurant was the meeting place of artists going all the way back to 1917. Today, it serves up new American dishes and cocktails to those in the know. To soothe your sweet tooth, check the uptown location of Magnolia Bakery and sink your teeth into one of the city’s best cupcakes.

Saturday April 9

Location: Midtown East, NYC
Art: Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art
Show time: See website for schedule
Venue: Japan Society
Food: Peking Duck House
Drink: Blackstones Pub & Restaurant
Miscellaneous: New York Milkshake Company

The exhibition Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art features 16 emerging and mid-career artists whose paintings, objects, photographs, videos, and installations meld traditional styles with challenging visions of Japan’s troubled present and uncertain future. At one of my favorite places to get duck, The Peking Duck House, the meat is succulent and the skin crunches like a potato chip. Sometimes you just want to grab a pint without paying a cover charge or playing host to a group of people after work, which is why I like Blackstones Pub & Restaurant. It looks like an old-time saloon and has two pool tables in the back and plenty of other games, while also being big enough to grab traditional American food from the menu. If you’re still hungry, check out the New York Milkshake Company for one of the best $6 shakes of your life.

Saturday April 9

Location: Midtown West, NYC
Theater: The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Schoenfeld Theater
Food: Yoshinoya Beef Bowl
Drink: Rudy’s Bar and Grill
Miscellaneous: Peking Duck House

The Motherf**ker With the Hat is a new high-octane, verbal cage match about love, fidelity and misplaced haberdashery from playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis starring Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock, Annabella Sciorra, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and Yul Vazquez. Making fast food healthy, Yoshinoya serves bowls of rice, vegetables, and your choice of beef, teriyaki chicken, veggie, or a combo of meats. Super cheap, it’s a favorite spot of mine in midtown. A great dive, Rudy’s Bar and Grill serves up cheap beer by the pint or by the pitcher, and as for the grilling, that includes free hot dogs and popcorn! Though slightly on the expensive side, if you’re in the mood for duck and are a couple or in a group of four or more, Peking Duck House makes some of the best duck you will ever likely have.

Sunday April 10

Location: Chelsea, NYC
Art: José Parlá
Show time: See website for schedule; Through April 16
Venue: Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Food: Pop Burger
Drink: Gaslight Lounge
Miscellaneous: Amy’s Bread

In the exhibition Walls, Diaries, and Paintings, Brooklyn-based artist José Parlá features fifteen new paintings that chronicle the diverse places he has explored including Istanbul, Turkey, Tokyo and New York. Burger joint in the front, upscale lounge in the back, the menu at Pop Burger includes basics like 2 pop burgers for $5 for a quick fix or if your lounging, the likes of tuna tartar with soy truffle jus ($15). The Gaslight Lounge, a great hotspot bar in the meatpacking district, is dark and cozy while affordable for the area. If you don’t know Amy’s Bread, when you order a sandwich at a café or restaurant in the city, ask where they got the bread. There’s a good chance it’s from Amy’s because she’s one of the best bread makers in the city.

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