As one of the few Jews in my elementary school I was often called upon to explain the strange holidays that peppered the Jewish calendar. Generally I was not envied, except when it was time for Purim. Purim is sort of like Mardi Gras but with a plot line. Observing the holiday involves telling the story, making a lot of noise, eating a lot, drinking, dressing up in costume, wearing masks, dancing and merry making long into the night, etc. Where better to learn about these important traditions than in the Big Apple? Here is a selection of exciting Purim events designed for the Jew and the goy alike.
If you want to connect with Israeli pop culture go to le Poisson Rouge, where Hadag Nahash will be pouring forth their provocative political hip-hop. Check out this video for a taste:
For a more, ahem, participatory celebration, make your way out to 3rd Ward for Heeb Magazine’s Pour ‘em Party!
Pour ‘em for Purim! Dust off your costumes, shine your dancing shoes and get ready to guzzle. Ever been caught in traffic while the Chassids of South W’burg crowd the streets in costume in February? They are celebrating Purim. When the Jews of ancient Persia avoided extinction, God commanded them to celebrate by getting so drunk they couldn’t tell their friends from their enemies. Sounds good to us! Jewish or not, put on a costume and join us!
JDub Records is also throwing a Purim party, this one of the dancing variety, with excellent DJs throughout the night and $2 beers from Brooklyn Brewery to keep you moving.
As long as you have an appropriate costume in your closet, The Purim Party is free (I used to use a crocheted tablecloth as a veil when I dressed up as Queen Esther). They created this adorable poster so I trust that this party will be one of the more creative events.
The Purim Party
I’m sure you’re aware that many NY comedians are Jewish, with that understanding I’m sure you realize that there simply has to be a Purim comedy show. There is! And it’s at 92Y Tribeca and features spoofs of Jersey Shore, online dating, Glenn Beck, Jay and Conan (including a very special surprise message from a Tonight Show w/Conan star), Glee, and more. Here’s the promo video:
And finally, if you’re still on your feet by Sunday evening check out the CRAZYKINKYPURIM Variety Show; it’ll be packed with crazy comedy, sexy song and dance, and steamy burlesque acts (not for the weak of heart!). Any event thrown by KinkyJews is sure to be, umm… kinky.
First of all please pardon me for a second while I sing my own praises… Gemini & Scorpio, the lovely event entrepreneurs who I have been working for these last few months (to the detriment of this blog I am afraid), have been featured in an article in the New York Times. My name is actually included! My grandmother is less excited about this than you might expect but I for one am pretty thrilled.
Setup for G&S Party, image from the NYTimes
Ok, moving on… I have a friend coming to town this weekend who went to film school at NYU and is taking some sort of test to try to get into a film apprenticeship program in the city. As per usual when I have a visitor I have drafted a list of all sorts of wonderful events taking place and I thought I would share them with you!
Friday night the Mad Breaks Tea Party is sure to be a riotous good time, of the G&S/underground/alt-events variety. There will be aerialists, a tea garden (of course), sculptural installations, fire spinners, a hookah lounge and all sorts of other madness.
On Saturday at Galapagos Art Space, Floating Kabarette takes burlesque to the air in a gravity defying weekly show only to be found in the Big Apple.
Also on Saturday, for a much more G-rated (and more film centered) evening, you can head to 92Y Tribeca for a sing-along with Fieval and friends! An American Tail is one of those Spielberg movies that you associate much more with childhood than with Spielberg. If you remember the songs get ready to belt them with other fans! Here’s a clip to refresh your memory:
On Sunday, another film related event, my favorite comedians are making fun of one of the most ridiculous things to hit the cinema in recent years- Twilight! Head to the Knitting Factory to see the Raspberry Brothers make a comedy out of this mess.
Since this is a film-centric weekend I also advised my visiting friend to check out the offerings at
It’s great to be back in the city and I’m super excited about all the events coming up! PopRally tonight is sold out but if you can figure out a way to get in it’s sure to be worth the effort! This is the premiere of “SCRYING, a non-narrative performance ballet conceived and directed by New York-based artist Jen DeNike and choreographed by Melissa Barak.” There will also be a live performance of “tribal/electronic/ambient anthems” by Soft Circle.
Also tonight you can learn the gritty details of the work of undercover cops in the tenements of the LES at the start of the twentieth century. This lecture, at the Tenement Museum, will be full of stories of prostitutes, immigrants, anarchists and other questionable characters.
LES Tenements around 1900
If you’ve never heard of Alaina Hammond, now is the time to discover the work of this talented writer; the series “Here We Go Again: More Plays by Alaina Hammond” is playing at Manhattan Theater Source several nights this week. It’s not terribly questionable theater but the tickets are cheap enough ($15) that even if you find it questionable it’s not an unreasonable expense.
It’s been some time since I’ve gotten a shot of burlesque and I may get my fix on Wednesday at Skits ‘n’ Tits:
Outrageous monthly variety show presents NYC’s best burlesque beauties, comedians, sketch, variety acts, and music. Produced by and starring Diane O’Debra (formerly of the O’Debra Twins), Steph Sabelli (absurd characters, improvisational comedian), and Jessica Delfino (award winning dirty folk rocker publicly denounced by the US Catholic League). Starring celebrity guests, amazing giveaways, drink specials and more, including a super secret surprise celeb comedian. A wild, dirty little show.
On Saturday you can sing-along with the Muppets when they Take Manhattan at 92Y Tribeca. Check out the trailer and be prepared to join in with your favorite fuzzy friends.
There are lots of other awesome things coming up so stay tuned for more updates!
I apologize for the gap between posts; I’m becoming increasingly immersed in Gemini & Scorpio work (I am the newest addition to their excellent enterprise) and I haven’t figured out how to balance everything quite yet.
This week my darling little sister (not that little anymore) is coming to town and I’ve come up with all sorts of excellent events to make her time in The Big Apple amazing. I’m going to share my itinerary with you as I’m confident I’ve made the best possible choices.
On Christmas Day we will be partaking of a grand Jewish tradition- movies and Chinese food. However, rather than hole up in my apartment we will be joining other members of the tribe at 92Y Tribeca, where there will be an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and a Mel Brooks double feature- Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs! This trailer, for Spaceballs, will make you wish you didn’t celebrate Christmas (or make you happy you don’t!):
I’m also planning to pick up tickets to The Kitchen’s telephone-game version of Romeo and Juliet:
Nature Theater’s founders, Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, derived the play from phone conversations with nine friends, all of whom answered the question, “Can you tell me the story of Romeo and Juliet?” Some of their colleagues remember the play quite well, others freeze up and protest that they recall West Side Story far more clearly. Nearly everyone has some confusion over who takes the sleeping draught, who sips poison, who commits suicide with a sword. A few versions prove particularly inventive: Juliet has a brother? Romeo sings? In place of iambic pentameter, the script supplies low-diction renditions of the play’s events. On finding the corpse of Juliet, the Capulets remark, “Oh, holy shit. So sad. Our daughter’s dead.” Occasionally a line from Shakespeare sneaks in, but only in travestied from: “What light through yonder window speaks?” or “Run fast, you fiery-footed steeds.”
We’re excited to see our favorite Pixar short films on the big screen again at the Museum of the Moving Image; they’re screening the series six times daily from Dec. 26th to Jan. 3rd. Remember ‘For the Birds’? Watch it here on your small screen then come out and watch it again on the big screen!
I’m a very good sister so I may let her drag me through the Frog Exhibit at the Natural History Museumagain; she is a major fan of frogs. If you have any interest in them at all it is truly an amazing exhibit, featuring live (captive-bred) frogs from all over the world.
Chinese Gliding Frog
On Saturday I’ll be taking her to see my favorite comedy act- The Raspberry Brothers! This time they’ll be mocking one of the silliest holiday movies ever made- Home Alone. Watch the trailer and tell me you don’t want to see it mocked by the pros!
And of course, on New Year’s Eve, we will be attending the most spectacular party The Big Apple has to offer- Gemini & Scorpio’s Bootleggers’ Ball. I know I’m biased, but take a look at the flyer, read the Flavorpill and Time Out NY blurbs, and then email me if you find a more spectacular party.
Tonight Rockefeller Center will be full of the sweet sounds of sponsored spectacle as NBC lights up the tree (etc.). If you’d rather hear the sounds of chefs swearing you can catch David Chang and Mario Batali at the Strand this evening; it’s sure to be hot hot hot!
Thursday the Japan Society is hosting an exciting new dance performance choreographed by Jeremy Wade:
Japan Society presents the world premiere of its commission to Bessie Award- winning American choreographer Jeremy Wade. In a bold and violent juxtaposition of movement, text, animation and video of manga (Japanese comics) drawing, Wade takes a playful and cynical look at consumerism and Japanese kawaii (cute) culture- from the infantile fluff of Hello Kitty to teenage doe-eyed love portrayed in anime- exploring its ubiquitous influence on the world today.
Also on Thursday you can celebrate Jack McFadden’s birthday at his very own venue… The Bell House; he’s booked his favorite bands like The Pulsars and Wye Oak so it’s sure to be a very happy birthday for us all!
Friday night DeVries are releasing their new album, Death to God, at the Cameo Gallery. B classifies them as “very shoegaze;” check them out live and find out if that’s also a literal descriptor.
Also on Friday you can see one of Terry Gilliam’s (director of The Neverending Story, Time Bandits, etc.) lesser-known works of surrealist film- The Adventures of Baron Munchausen at 92Y Tribeca. This preview has just enough fantastic madness to get you excited for more:
I’m going to stop there for the moment but I’m very excited about various events happening this weekend so stay tuned! Also be sure to follow me on twitter for the latest!
P.S. I’m giving away an invite for you and 3 of your dearest friends to attend the annual New York Public Library Holiday Open House! There will be dancing and tours of the stacks plus other goodies; the first to message me can join the party!
Also on Friday there is a super nostalgic double feature showing at 92Y Tribeca- Clueless AND Mallrats! Did you know that there are 53 different kinds of tartan/plaid used in Clueless, seven of which are worn by Cher? Just watching this trailer makes me want to say WHATever to someone.
This weekend you have two chances to pair excellent food and excellent music at Monkeytown; the Neel Murgai Ensemble will be accompanied by a 5-course Indian dinner. Nothing goes together like raga and Chai spiced poha pudding!
That’s all for the moment but stay tuned for all sorts of additions over the weekend! Follow me on twitter for the latest and Happy Turkey Day!
This weekend I am truly overwhelmed by the number of events deserving consideration. First off, let me remind you to read my last post for some great suggestions for this evening! You might also be interested to know that I’ve been compiling a list of all the venues I’ve mentioned in The Big Red Apple; check it out HERE.
Dances of Vice is throwing a truly decadent bash Friday night; they’re calling it “The Importance of Being Wilde” in honor of Oscar Wilde. If Wilde was the original glamour queen then party host and glam rocker Michael T is his direct descendant; he’ll be performing along with exotic serpent-dancer NIKKI le VILLAIN and other exciting guests.
If you want to go further back you can head to Glasslands for a French Revolution themed “performance dance party.” I believe the flier says it all:
ALSO on Friday, if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key, you can hang out at Madame X’s, where beautiful naked women will be reading aloud.
The concept is simple: Girls. Reading. Naked. On Friday, October 16 Pinchbottom Burlesque presents the New York City debut of Chicago’s hit nude literary salon, NAKED GIRLS READING. Created by Michelle L’Amour (America’s Got Talent, Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Miss Exotic World 2005), the evening is a celebration of beautiful women sharing the books they love … in the altogether. The East Coast Premiere is hosted by Pinchbottom’s own Nasty Canasta and will feature local burlesque celebrities Gal Friday, GiGi La Femme, Jo Boobs, Legs Malone, and Sapphire Jones — as well as a very special guest appearance by Michelle L’Amour herself — reading selections from their favorite banned books.
On Saturday head out to my part of Brooklyn (Kensington/Ditmas Park) for an Oktoberfest Pig Roast at one of my favorite bars- Sycamore, a bar and flower shop! There will be live music and just $25 gets you meat, sides and 2 beers!
Saturday evening celebrate the Clearwater Sloop’s triumphant return to Brooklyn! The 106-foot tall “Tall Ship” will be sailing to Redhook and you can still sign up to be on board! If you’d rather stay indoors you can join the celebration at the dock (southern end of Van Brunt St. in Red Hook, Brooklyn, behind Fairway) and then head round the corner to Sunny’s for mulled cider and bluegrass. The boat should be docking at 6pm; be on site to go on board for a tour of this wonderful classroom on the water!
That’s all for the moment; stay tuned for further announcements and follow me on Twitter for the latest updates from The Big Red Apple.
I hope everyone had an excellent Columbus Day weekend! G and I went apple picking in NH and the leaves were simply glorious; the apple pie I made was even more so! I almost stole the leftovers and brought them home with me but I figured I’m going home to the best city on earth, I should at least let him have pie. There are lots of awesome things happening in The Big Apple this week!
On a wet day like today the best thing is hot soup with good company but perhaps an even better way to warm up is hot soup dumplings with other dumpling aficionados! Tonight is the October Dumpling Crawl:
This after-work exploration lets you have your dumplings and eat them, too! Join us for an autumnal stroll through Chinatown to learn more about the history of the dumpling as we visit 5 or 6 shops in a ten-block radius. You’ll meet fellow dumpling aficionados while you sup on xiao long bao (soup dumplings), crescent-shaped jiaozi, pan-fried potstickers, and other specialties for $2 or less.
If you have some connections you might be able to weasel your way into the New York Premier of Where the Wild Things Are tonight; if not check out some of the other events that are part of Wild Things Week.
If that’s not wild enough for you there’s some truly absurd questionable theater to consider; My Life in a Nutshell- Hanne Tierney involves “Barely clothed life-size marionettes made of burlap manipulated through a counterweight system of approximately 80 strings in a witty narrative of ménages a trois.” Enough said.
On Thursday Comedy Below Canal at 92Y Tribeca is being hosted by Wyatt Cenac; the show will bring together excellent comedians and musicians (John Oliver, Che Grand) for fabulous fusion entertainment.
Happy Monday everyone! I actually woke up at 5:45 and went to my 7am yoga class today so I’m already feeling hugely accomplished, plus since I’m funemployed I got to nap all morning afterwards! Hurray! I hope you are off to an equally good start this week! I wrote about a couple of events for tonight in an earlier post, so be sure to check that out.
David Tully, Rebecca Challis and Kiran Malhotra in Hiding Behind Comets
Tomorrow night celebrate Good Beer Month at the Local Grill-Off to benefit Slow Food! The event will be taking place at Water Taxi Beach, so you can check out the skyline while enjoying excellent food and beer! Get your tickets here.
In celebration of Good Beer Month, watch contestants show off their grilling skills using locally sourced ingredients in the Local Grill-Off to benefit Slow Food ($35). After sampling the entries, try locally sourced feasts from some the city’s top ‘cue joints (including Fette Sau, Rub BBQ and the soon-to-open Fatty Cue) and beers from Six Point Brewery.
This exciting walking tour covers everything from the Golden Age of the American gangster at the turn of the century to prohibition-era gang wars to the bohemian arts and drug culture of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Some of the most influential and colorful criminals and characters in American history have called the East Village home — organized mobsters, social-political organizations, radical activists, religious cults, and everything in-between.
Trace the steps of everyone from Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Al Capone, and Lucky Luciano to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, The Hells Angels, GG Allin, and many many more. Riots, squatter evictions, cannibals, street gangs, kidnappings, shoot outs, assassinations, grave-robbers, hangings, bombings; we cover it all…
On Thursday celebrate the great Jazz music written for piano at the 92Y Tribeca. Performers include pianists Mulgrew Miller, Eric Scott Reed, Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap.
If it’s dancing you want head out to Hugs for another addition of Excess Energy’s much lauded Love Machine party! DJs Brian Blackout and Fucci will be spinning the tunes while you connect with that hot stranger in the crowd through interactive messaging! The UK Magazine Grazia Daily will be there checking out the action; go show them what Wburg is all about!
If you want to add some art to your week head over to the Soho20 Gallery in Chelsea for the opening of their new exhibit Boxing Gloves and Bustiers! The exhibit explores different concepts of female identity through video art. Here’s a still from one of the pieces:
Under My Skin by Valerie Garlick
Have an excellent week and stay tuned for additions!
Black holes may be heard but not seen. Black hole motions play out a song on space itself, causing space to ring like a drum. Since our ears are unable to catch their songs, the gravitational waves pass through us unnoticed. Monumental experiments on Earth and planned for space aim to record the sounds of space for the first time, turning on the soundtrack to the Universe.
Tomorrow at the 1889 Gallery you can contribute to the art community in Northern Brooklyn and see some interesting new works:
North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (NbPac) proudly presents RE/PAINT RE/BUILD, a benefit for the India Street Mural Project. This project is the kickoff project for the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (NbPac). The NbPac is a new initiative whose goal is to work with local artists, community members, arts organizations and businesses in order to increase the presence of public art in North Brooklyn. By doing so, NbPac hopes to beautify, revitalize, and energize the Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick neighborhoods through public art. The event will occur in the atmosphere created by Gallery 1889’s ongoing RE/BUILD exhibition, which features design objects made from reclaimed materials. The benefit will feature local food and drink, music, live screenprinting, haircuts, and a silent auction. All proceeds will go to benefit the India Street Mural Project and NbPac. The event is co-produced by Susie Watkins.
Also on Wednesday, you can get a free chicken dinner and see Jack/Skippy McFadden (aka DJ French Toast) spin some hot dance tunes at The Bell House. Jack/Skippy McFadden is the booker for both Union Hall and The Bell House and the co-owner of the latter; as you know from the vast number of events at The Bell House that I’ve posted in the past, he has great taste! I’m sure he’ll get you over hump day smoothly.
Thursday is the big party night this week, with a plethora of amazing events to chose from.
If it’s not raining (one can only hope), you should join Gemini & Scorpio on a private rooftop (RSVP to find out where), where they’ll be screening two episodes of Firefly- the prematurely cancelled sci-fi TV series w/a cult following. Here are the opening credits:
ALSO at the whim of the weather gods, New York City Opera will perform The Magic Flute at Rockefeller Park River Terrace and Warren Street. The one-hour production will be sung in English, featuring outstanding soloists from the NYC Opera. This is one of three operas showing outside this week; I’ll be telling you about Friday and Saturday’s performances in my weekend post.
Don’t miss this satirical look at the cult-like culture surrounding the website that provides “local classifieds and forums for communities worldwide”. Philip Galinsky (The Manhattan Monologue Slam), Adrianne Frost (The Daily Show, Best Week Ever) and Ben Hersey (Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien) have adapted some of the most outrageous Craigslist ads into comedic monologues. The results are classifiably hilarious. Who knows, maybe your “missed connection” will be at the show!
Last but certainly not least, I will be watching Top Gun get the Raspberry Brothers’ treatment at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas. It should be a great show, what with Top Gun being one of the most ridiculous films of the 80s! Come out and get your giggle on!