The Weekend Shortlist June 5 to 7

Friday June 5

Hiroshi Watanabe, Santa Monica Pier, 2000

Location: Midtown West, NYC
Bands: Hearst Magazines’ 8×10 Photography Biennial
Show time: 9 PM; Through Sept. 30
Venue: Hearst Tower
Food: Empanada Mama
Drink: Circus
Miscellaneous: Vintage

Celebrating the best new photographers, Hearst Magazines’ 8×10 Photography Biennial is an international competition judged by the greats of the photo industry and featuring the works of eight winners in genres all across the medium. Though small, Empanada Mama packs a hefty punch with more than 40 kinds of empanadas. Choose from a wheat or corn flour shell to start as ingredients include basic rice and beans to what they have dubbed “Viagra,” a wheat flour empanada stuffed with shrimp, scallop, and crab ($3). Appropriately, at Circus, you’ll get free hot dogs, peanuts, and popcorn without the animals, screaming babies, and clowns at this Rudy’s Bar spin-off that has beer just as cheap and a neighborhood feel. If cheap beer ain’t your thing, Vintage has a wine list with over 200 wines by the glass or bottle from most of the boutique wineries in Long Island and Upstate New York.

Friday June 5

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Bands: TV on the Radio + The Dirty Projectors Get Tickets Here
Show time: 5:30 PM
Venue: Central Park, SummerStage (Rumsey Playfield & 72nd Street)
Food: Josie’s
Drink: Candle Bar
Miscellaneous: Emack & Bolio’s

Everybody loves TV on the Radio, and how could you not as their albums have done such a great job at exploring various music genres like Alt rock, soul, free jazz, electro and Afrobeat. Openers The Dirty Projectors are led by mastermind Dave Longstreth who has a knack for writing very gorgeous experimental pop songs. Dairy free, organic, and free-range are things that come up often on the menu at Josie’s, offering dishes like the Warm Macadamia-Crusted Natural Chicken Breast Dinner Salad ($17.75), several tofu and seitan specialty dishes and the Freshly Ground Char-Grilled Brandt Natural Beef Cheeseburger ($15.75), so everyone here will walk away happy. Comfortable and dimly lit, the Candle Bar has a pool table in the back and drink specials daily. For some of the best and most interesting ice cream in the city, Emack & Bolio’s offers some eclectic flavors like Deep Purple Cow (Black Raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chips and blueberries). This place thakes their ice cream serious.

Saturday June 6

Location: West Village, NYC
Band: Dean & Britta
Show time: 7:30 PM
Venue: (le) poisson rouge
Food: Ear Inn
Drink: Village Lantern
Miscellaneous: Jacques Torres

Dean & Britta have been together since their prior band Luna and since then have put out some spectacular atmospheric pop music, scored the film The Squid and the Whale, Dean wrote the book Black Postcards and have scored the music for the DVD 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. Expect music from their previous albums and maybe even a surprise or two. One of my favorite places for food, Ear Inn is a 200-year-old bar with a small menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, and a chalkboard with specials including Jerk Chicken that’s under $10. With $3 pints Monday thru Friday 12pm to 7pm along with comedy and music performances, the Village Lantern is a great bar to chill at after work, especially now that it’s finally getting warm outside. Watch some of the best chocolate in the world made right in front of your eyes or browse through the store and sample for yourself the fruits of this master chocolatier’s labor.

Saturday June 6

Location: Chelsea, NYC
Bands: Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors Convention
Show time: All day event; Through June 7
Venue: Jacob Javits Center
Food: Better Burger
Drink: The Half King
Miscellaneous: Chocolate Bar

For fans of horror, Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors Convention boasts an impressive list of the genre’s masters who will be there including directors Guillermo Del Toro, Dario Argento, and Tobe Hooper to name a few and a ton of actors, writers and more who have been making horror films for decades. Don’t forget events like taking seminars with legends and the Vampire Ball and you have one spooky good time. Louis Lanza, owner of Josie’s has created a burger joint with organic meat and ingredients that are healthier than any fast food restaurant you can think of without losing the taste. Better Burger offers hot dogs and burgers made of 100% meat. And yes, fries do come with that shake! Named after a Seneca Chief from the 18th century, The Half King is a great Irish bar offering pub food and beautiful wood décor. Grab a pint and hang at a table or sit in the backyard. I hope you like chocolate, because the Chocolate Bar, which looks like a chic café is a great NYC chocolatier run by Alison Nelson and creates retro wrapped chocolate that are as delicious looking as they taste.

Sunday June 7

Location: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Bands: Balkan Beat Box Get Tickets Here
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: The Bell House
Food: Chiles & Chocolate Oaxacan Kitchen
Drink: The Gate
Miscellaneous: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

For fans of this Middle East meets West dance party band, Balkan Beat Box brings a circus like atmosphere and amazing music meant to be experienced live. This show will veer from the norm as they scale back their stage and offer up new music from their untitled upcoming album as well as cuts off their most recent album Nu Made. Ever have Oaxacan food? Chiles & Chocolate serves up some fantastic, not exactly Mexican food. Try the smoky flavored Mole Negro, one of the best mole sauces I’ve had in NYC. Before leaving, you must try one of the hot chocolates like the Chiles Y Chocolate. A hint of chipotle without too much heat is a nice kick start for the night. The Gate is a great Park Slope bar with excellent beers on tap and a outdoor courtyard to chill. If time permits, you must, and I mean MUST go to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., a non-profit organization that helps kids with their writing, that’s fronted by a store selling super powers.

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