The Weekend Shortlist August 12 to 14
Friday August 12
Auditorium, is a new music series for lovers of ambient, experimental, downtempo and slow electroacoustic sounds. Expect an evening of inspired music, immersive eight-channel sound, enchanting lighting, surreal decor and mountains of pillows. Our audiologists for the evening are Dimensions, Noveller (Sarah Lipstate), Zemi17 and more. One of the best affordable Vietnamese restaurants in the city, Nha Trang is right near the downtown courthouse, making it a high volume place. Despite that, the food is great and the Pho (rice noodle soup) dishes are $5 and under. Named after William S. Burroughs novel, Naked Lunch is a cool and comfortable bar where local artists usually gather. No shooting up though! One of the best taqueria’s in the city, the Mexican food at La Esquina is authentic and to die for. While tacos will set you back $3, plates are in the $6 to $7.25 range.
Friday August 12
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Bands: Radio Happy Hour: The Final Episode
Show time: 7:30 PM
Venue: (le) poisson rouge
Food: Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar
Drink: Village Tavern
Miscellaneous: Bleeker Bob’s
Radio Happy Hour is a live variety show featuring an old-time radio comedy/drama and guest stars from the worlds of film, music, and letters. Hosted by Sam Osterhout, the show engages its guests in a wildly right-angled conversation that careens between interviews, stand-up comedy, musical performances, and trivia. Tonights featured guests include Twin Sister , Mike Doughty , Matt Pond PA , Franz Nicolay , Jenny Slate , Max Silvestri , Gabe Liedman , Arden Myrin , Arthur Phillips , John & Molly Knefel , Murray Hill , William Ocean , Jared Logan , Jessi Klein , Dave Hill and buttloads of special and/or surprise guests. 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.
Saturday August 13
James Chance was a key figure during the No Wave era of New York and still plays sax in a way that is startling, in your face, and incomparable. Catch the legend if you dare and if you can! Joining him is Jail Bait. 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. One of the oldest and best hipster hangout coffee shops, The Verb Cafe offers up excellent coffee and baked goods, a boho vibe, and big windows to watch the days pass while collecting unemployment!
Saturday August 13
Location: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Art: Lorna Simpson: Gathered
Show time: See website for schedule; Through August 21
Venue: Brooklyn Museum
Food: Tom’s Restaurant
Drink: Soda Bar
Miscellaneous: Old Brooklyn Parlor
The exhibition Lorna Simpson: Gathered features works that explore this Brooklyn-born artist’s interest in the interplay between fact and fiction, identity and history. Through works that incorporate hundreds of original and found vintage photographs of African Americans that she collects from eBay and flea markets, Lorna Simpson undermines the assumption that archival materials are objective documents of history. It’s the place where Susanne Vega wrote “Tom’s Restaurant,” but Tom’s Restaurant is just as famous for its food. With a near insane breakfast menu, expect items like pancakes with apples and pecans to be brought to you by the sweetest waitresses in Brooklyn. Soda Bar is a great place for drinks. The alcohol is cheap, there’s surprisingly excellent food, and there’s even another room where DJs spin. If it’s too much, you can hang outside in the backyard patio under the stars. The Old Brooklyn Parlor specializes in old school drinks like the Brooklyn Egg Cream and the Lime Cherry Rickey, making it an excellent anchor to this neighborhood.
Sunday August 14
Location: Long Island City, Queens
Art: Nancy Grossman: Heads
Show time: See website for schedule; Through August 15
Venue: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Drink: Saints and Sinners
MoMA PS1 presents Nancy Grossman: Heads, a solo exhibition that focuses on the artist’s evocative head sculptures. Nancy Grossman has been making art for more than 50 years and is best known for her leather-wrapped sculptures of heads, which the artist made from the late 1960s through to the 1980s. The exhibition features 14 sculptures featuring a variety of her styles throughout her career. Being that you’re in Queens anyways, you HAVE to take the 7 train to Sripraphai, one of New York’s top Thai restaurants. What makes it better than most is the fact that the ingredients are fresh, and instead of choosing your entree with a choice of meat, they offer a novel sized menu with pics of every dish, most under $10. Once a heavily Irish neighborhood, Saints and Sinners is one of the best looking Irish bars left. Grab a Guinness at the bar or traditional Irish food. If you can, head over to Baruirs in Sunnyside for one of the best cups of coffee in Queens.