The Weekend Shortlist December 27 to 29
Friday December 27
Expect nothing short of insanity when Gwar, who blend science fiction/horror film inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic stage performances take the stage. Also opening are Battlecross and Iron Reagan. For fans of the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle or if you want to try something new, Souen is one of the best places to go for macrobiotic food. With a menu offering mostly tofu and seitan, the closest you will get to any meat is fish if you can’t handle a meatless meal. Speaking of revivals, Revival is a two story bar nearby with a lounge up top and a cozy garden in the back open till midnight on weekends. If you’re feeling dangerous, step into Trader Joes. Once you get over the insane shoppers and lines, the very moderately priced gourmet goods will make you understand why the lines here are never-ending.
Friday December 27
Folk singer Dar Williams has put out several great albums and will be playing many of them and more at Brooklyn’s Bell House. Also on board is opener Lucy Wainwright Roche. 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 28
Video, art, and music group Psychic TV not only play the Brooklyn Night Bazaar but also play for FREE. So you can grab some locally made holiday gifts and see one of the best experimental rock bands around, all in one place. 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 December 28
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 December 29
Location: Midtown East, NYC
Art: “Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori”
Show time: See website for schedule
Venue: Japan Society
Food: Peking Duck House
Drink: Blackstones Pub & Restaurant
Miscellaneous: New York Milkshake Company
An icon of 1990s Japanese pop art, the visionary artist Mariko Mori has always transformed herself effortlessly and faster than anyone else into the future. Japan Society Gallery presents her latest countenance in this major solo exhibition, “Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori”, as a significant artistic statement by Mori. The entire gallery space is transformed into Mori’s world through 35 sculptures, drawings, photographs, sound and video works, strung together into a narrative of birth, death and rebirth—a continuous circle of life force that the artist observes on a cosmic scale. Journey through space, time and consciousness in this immersive installation. At one of my favorite places to get duck, The Peking Duck House, the meat is succulent and the skin crunches like a potato chip. Sometimes you just want to grab a pint without paying a cover charge or playing host to a group of people after work, which is why I like Blackstones Pub & Restaurant. It looks like an old-time saloon and has two pool tables in the back and plenty of other games, while also being big enough to grab traditional American food from the menu. If you’re still hungry, check out the New York Milkshake Company for one of the best $6 shakes of your life.