The Weekend Shortlist August 5 to 7
Friday August 5
Expect more wit and charm from Fountains of Wayne on their recently released album Sky Full of Holes and probably some hits live. Joining them is bluesy songstress Nicole Atkins who is worth the price of admission alone. 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.
Friday August 5
Catch indie rockers Ra Ra Riot when they play this FREE show and see what all the fuss is about. Joining them are two really great up-and-coming bands: Delicate Steve and Buke and Gass. The theme at Press 195 is pressed comfort food. A sandwich shop with quite the menu, they offer 30 types of delicious sandwiches like the turkey and fontina cheese sandwich with a cranberry and roasted pear chutney on ciabatta ($7.75). While Union Hall looks like a cabin at a ski resort with a fireplace, stone walls, comfy couches, and inexpensive drinks, you may want to stick around rather than barhop. A low-key bar in this hood, O’Connor’s is a hole in the wall where you can grab a cheap drink and watch the game on their TV, just like your grandpa sitting next to you!
Saturday August 6
Experimental synth-pop act Cold Cave make highly danceable songs. Just check their new album Cherish the Light and then catch this show for proof. Also joining in for this show is a new singer called Austra and she’s really good. 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.
Saturday August 6
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 7
Location: Long Island City, NYC
Art: Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely
Show time: Thurs to Mon: Noon to 6 PM; Through September 14, 2009
Venue: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Drink: Saints and Sinners
The exhibition Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely features Nakadate’s works in video, photography, and feature-length film made over the last ten years including her early video works, in which she was invited into the homes of anonymous men to dance, pose, or even play dead in their kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms. 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.