The Weekend Shortlist December 7 to 9

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Friday December 7

Location: Gowanus, Brooklyn
Music: Sandy Relief Benefit
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Bell House
Food: El Viejo Yayo
Drink: Buttermilk Bar
Miscellaneous: The Chocolate Room

As many were affected and still are affected by Hurricane Sandy in NYC areas close to the water, Tom Scharpling and Ted Leo present a very special Sandy Relief Benefit featuring Tom Scharpling, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Chris Elliott, John Hodgman, Jon Benjamin, Julie Klausner, Andrew W.K., and surprise guests! It’s a night of comedy, music, special guest appearances and prize raffles with 100% of the proceeds going to Occupy Sandy and Staten Island’s Stephen Siller Foundation. 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 December 7

Location: Upper West Side, NYC
Reading: Rants and Other Suggestions
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Symphony Space
Food: Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar
Drink: Café des Artistes
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery

826NYC presents Rants and Other Suggestions, a benefit for 826NYC, with readings and performances by Jonathan Franzen, Gail Collins, Jonathan Ames, Wyatt Cenac, John Oliver, Eugene Mirman, and Sarah Vowell, with music by Stephin Merritt. While Swizz Restaurant & Wine Bar has an extensive wine menu and a downstairs cave, it’s the cheese that people come here for. Fondue lovers, Swizz 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.

Saturday December 8

Location: Greenwich Village, NYC
Music: Os Mutantes
Show time: 8:00 PM
Venue: (Le) Poisson Rouge
Food: Koo Sushi
Drink: Blind Tiger Ale House
Miscellaneous: Peanut Butter & Co.

Legendary Brazilian psychedelic rock act Os Mutantes take the stage and show that the Tropicalia movement is still going strong and amazing live. 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 December 8

Location: Union Square, NYC
Event: The Awesome 80s Prom
Show time: 8 PM
Venue: Webster Hall
Food: Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar
Drink: McSorley’s Old Ale House
Miscellaneous: Mudd Cafe

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 9

The Quay brothers in the studio. Photo courtesy of the Quay Brothers

Location: Midtown East, NYC
Art: Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
Show time: See website for schedule; Through January 7, 2013
Venue: MOMA
Food: Eatery
Drink: Valhalla
Miscellaneous: Central Park

The exhibition Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets is the first presentation of the Quay Brothers’ work in all their fields of creative activity. Internationally renowned moving image artists and designers, the Quay Brothers were born outside Philadelphia and have worked from their London studio, Atelier Koninck, since the late 1970s. For over 30 years, they have been in the avant-garde of stop-motion puppet animation and live-action movie-making in the Eastern European tradition of filmmakers like Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Svankmajer and the Russian Yuri Norstein, and have championed a design aesthetic influenced by the graphic surrealism of Polish poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s. 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!

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