The Weekend Shortlist January 18 to 20
Friday January 18
One of the founders of the Velvet Underground and someone who has worked in the avant-garde for years since, John Cale stops by BAM to perform his 1973 pop-art album Paris 1919, along with selections from his career plus new material from his latest album, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood. Creating a seasonal menu filled with fresh and locally grown ingredients along with wines from small interesting local wineries, ICI creates innovative dishes like Wild Striped Bass with shitake mushrooms, fennel butter, and fennel slaw ($25). An eclectic bar in Ft. Greene that has absolutely nothing to do with The Simpsons, Moe’s offers a decent beer selection, a neighborhood vibe, and big windows to people watch. For incredible soul food and late night drinks, head over to the Five Spot. This Brooklyn gem makes some of the best fried chicken, po boys, and macaroni and cheese in the five boroughs. The drinks are big and the cocktail menu has all of your faves.
Friday January 18
One of post-punk’s best bands from the early 80s, Mission of Burma put out some stellar albums during it’s short 4 year (1979-1983) lifespan. Thankfully, they are back together and showing the kids what real angst is all about. At San Loco, the Mexican food is inexpensive, you can get a heaping amount of nachos for as little as $3.75, and telling by the heavy traffic, the place is doing just fine. What I like about Max Fish is that it’s a local bar for local artists. It’s walls play host monthly for art exhibitions, there’s a pool table in the back, and drinks aren’t pricey, like many new bars springing up in this neighborhood. For one of the best cupcakes in the city, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has 10 varieties, on top of cakes. Try the Sexy Red Velvet or the Bob, a yellow cupcake with chocolate almond buttercream.
Saturday January 19
Led by the incredibly sultry voice of Jennifer Charles (vocals) and Oren Bloedow (guitar), Elysian Fields mesh jazz, folk, no wave and more to build dark and dreamy pop. Also on board is the amazing Marissa Nadler and Ramona Lisa. A little known sushi joint, Koo Sushi offers affordable and fantastic fish with an impressive number of specialty rolls. For a bar that looks like any other, Blind Tiger Ale House offers an impressive number of beers including draught, bottled, cask and one called Louise’s Bloody Beer. Try it if you dare! If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Peanut Butter & Co., offers some PB heavy hitters like the Elvis, a PB, banana, and bacon sandwich that tastes better than it sounds.
Saturday January 19
Relive the best and worst of coming of age in high school at The Awesome 80s Prom. This interactive show is part musical and full-on party as the audience gets to drink, dance and vote for the Prom King and Queen. For eats, check out Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar, a sandwich shop offering Thai sandwiches with 7 Steamed Fried Vegetables and a choice of chicken, veggie, tofu or beef on a baguette with 3 types of sauces for $7. One of the city’s oldest bars, at McSorley’s Old Ale House you can feel the history when you enter as memorabilia, since its beginnings in 1854, are all over the walls. Aside from it being a frat hangout nowadays, it’s worth the trip. You’ve seen that orange Mudd coffee truck parked on Astor Place and on various other streets, but check out their Mudd Cafe on East 9th for coffee and a healthy, vegan, and vegetarian menu.
Sunday January 20
Chaplin features a book by three-time Tony Award® winner Thomas Meehan (Hairspray, The Producers, Annie) and Christopher Curtis, music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle (Follies, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway) and introducing Rob McClure as the legendary silent film star, this big musical about the little tramp! 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!