The Weekend Shortlist July 6 to 8
Friday July 6
As part of the CBGB Festival, Reggie Watts headlines bringing his uniques brand of comedy which is a combination of music, sounds and jokes. Joining him are Radio4 and The Jigglers. 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.
Friday July 6
One of the best improvisors around today, Matthew Shipp Trio features it’s leader Matthew Shipp (piano) along with two greats in their own right, Michael Bisio (bass) and Whit Dickey (drums) who make beautiful experimental music together. 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 July 7
Whether you call them glam, rock, nu-disco, or pop, Scissor Sisters put out fun and exciting music that make the masses dance and their new album Magic Hour continuers that tradition. 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 July 7
Location: Midtown West, NYC
Theater: Jesus Christ Superstar
Show time: See website for schedule
Venue: Neil Simon Theatre
Food: Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar
Drink: Café des Artistes
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery
Two-time Tony Award®-winning director Des McAnuff brings a bold, new vision to Jesus Christ Superstar by Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award-winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. 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.
Sunday July 8
Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Art: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926–1933
Show time: See website for schedule; Through February 15
Venue: Whitney Museum of American Art
Food: Brother Jimmy’s Bait Shack
Miscellaneous: Dylan’s Candy Bar
When Alexander “Sandy” Calder (1898–1976) arrived in Paris in 1926, he aspired to be a painter; when he left in 1933, he had evolved into the artist we know today: an international figure and defining force in twentieth-century sculpture. In these seven years Calder’s fluid, animating drawn line transformed from two dimensions to three, from ink and paint to wire, and his radical innovations included open form wire caricature portraits, a bestiary of wire animals, his beloved and critically important miniature Circus (1926–31), abstract and figurative sculptures, and his paradigm-shifting “mobiles.” The exhibition Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926–1933 takes a look at the artist’s work during this period. If you’ve got a craving for barbeque, check out Brother Jimmy’s Bait Shack as the ribs, chicken, beef, and pork are all smothered in some amazing BBQ sauce. BB&R, which stands for Blonde, Brunette, and a Redhead is the brainchild of three best friends. What they’ve created is something between a neighborhood bar and a lounge with leather seats in the front and a pool table, photo booth, and video games in the back. Looking more like it came out of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dylan’s Candy Bar is a colorful place to get lollipops, licorice, and all things sugary. Don’t go crazy though, or your sweet tooth might melt here!