The Weekend Shortlist December 30 to January 1
Friday December 30
Seems like the members of America’s favorite jam band Phish break up and get back together every few years, but the one thing that never changes is how good they are live, so catch them while you can. The owner of GoGo Curry is obsessed with the Yankees Hideki Matsui and his Jersey (55). The menu’s theme is baseball and katsu, a fried meat, chicken, or shrimp cutlet served in a curry sauce is the specialty here. Portion sizes are Walk (small), Single (Med.), Double (L), and Triple (XL) and are inexpensive. The mascot, a gorilla for some reason, is plastered everywhere, making this place even quirkier. In the heart of the garment district, Stitch, a cozy after-work bar/lounge, stocks a cocktail menu with a design theme. If you still have energy and are in the mood to bowl, check out Leisure Time Bowl. Located in the Port Authority, this place is stylish and fun.
Friday December 30
Celebrate the end of the year with some of the best avant-garde music around at the John Zorn Annual End Of Year Improv Benefit, which will feature not just John Zorn but plenty of special guests. A favorite restaurant of mine, Supper has a dimly lit, all-wood interior giving it a rustic vibe. They even have what looks like a bar overlooking the chefs cooking for you to watch. The Italian menu offers some fantastic food too. Though it might sound like it has to do with Buddhism, Barramundi is actually an Australian owned bar that has infused vodkas, sangria, and a laundry list of mixed drinks like the Champagne Cocktail made with sugar and bitters with Courvoisier, topped with bubbly. If coffee and a snack is your thing, Kudos is an inexpensive place to get baked goods, a cup of coffee and chill before the show.
Saturday December 31
If you prefer to spend your New Year’s Eve outside of the mayhem of Manhattan, Brooklyn has plenty going on, and tonight Lee Fields & The Expressions offer up some of the finest soul around these days. Keeping the night going, 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 The Chocolate Room is a great way to end the night on a high note.
Saturday December 31
You can either spend your New Year’s Eve in the middle of Times Square freezing your ass off with millions of people or ditch the cold and be warm nearby at Terminal 5 spending it with Gypsy punk rock band Gogol Bodello. 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!
Sunday January 1
Location: Union Square, NYC
Art: Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics
Show time: See website for schedule; Through June 11, 2012
Venue: Rubin Museum of Art
Drink: The Village Pourhouse
Miscellaneous: Sundaes and Cones
Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics features the most complete collection of comics related to Tibet ever assembled, with examples ranging from the 1940s to the present. More than fifty comic books from Belgium, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States reflect on the depiction of Tibet, tracing the historical roots of prevailing perceptions and stereotypes and their visual and narrative evolution over time. If you like ramen noodles and pork, then Momofuku is your spot for food. The Berkshire pork is the best I’ve had and it’s the only place I’ll eat pork period, which should tell you just how good Momofuku really is! The Village Pourhouse looks like a neighborhood bar to watch sports but is actually has three more rooms, where you can order food or find a quiet place to smooch! For dessert a little left of the dial, Sundaes and Cones offers eclectic flavors like wasabi and corn and many more flavors that are familiar.