Sometimes you just have to hit the open road. If you have never taken off with no certain direction in mind and the perfect companion beside you, you are missing possibly the best thing about America. K and I hit the open road Monday morning, we are now in Savannah with quite a lot of random kitsch, Americana and awesome food (Google The Road Food Book and go from there- it is the bible of road trips) behind us. We’ll be back Friday night rejuvinated and full of new tales to tell. I’m sorry I haven’t posted event listings for this week; there just wasn’t time between NYE and Monday morning. I hope my stories from this trip will make up for the omission. Cheers and happy travels!
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 Museum again; 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.
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.
All around the country people are rushing to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and family; they are running through the aisles of Walmarts and department stores and shopping online at Amazon. Here in The Big Apple we have a better way to buy gifts. The way we shop? Craft fairs my darlings, craft fairs. Our fine city is a treasure trove of artists and artisans who can provide you with everything from scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards to one-of-a-kind jewelry, not to mention all the best munchies imaginable!
If you missed Craftacular last week I apologize; I should have given you a heads up. Luckily most of the vendors also sell in select stores and on Etsy so you still have a chance to pick up my favorites: beautiful purses by Shara Porter, heavenly bath products by Lee-lai and stunning dresses by Les Enfants Sauvages.
The Brooklyn Flea’s Gifted is still running so you can experience the madness of all those wonderful vendors in one place. My picks are scratch ‘n sniff holiday cards from Mélangerie Inc., fancy cards from Moontree Letterpress and snarky t-shirts from Paste.
This weekend you can give to charity while shopping for great gifts at Brooklyn Indie Market; indie designers donate 10-15% of sales to benefit Brooklyn Community Housing. With a hat from Rocks and Salt you’ll be ready for your next night out in hipsterville.
3rd Ward’s Handmade Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the season. Even if you don’t find gifts you’ll get to enjoy live music from Raya Brass Band. On top of all the vendors and the music there will be free demos and workshops including:
Handmade Skincare, Wire Wrapping: Making Old Jewelery New, DIY Printing Methods, Heat Printing on Fabrics, How to Make your own Textiles with Textile Arts Center and more!
The holiday season is also the time for pop-up shops! New York Magazine has compiled an excellent list of the temporary shops that you’ll want to check out before they disappear! I am particularly excited about anything that has anything to do with Papabubble; their candy is truly “too pretty to eat” (Carnival- I know I’m a dork).
If you need to get your unique hand-made gifts on the run there are tent cities set up at a few major crossroads. The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park contain all manner of goodies, though they tend towards the pricier end of things. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is a madhouse but holds some hidden gems. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers the added bonus of an information booth with a helpful concierge to guide your shopping, plus since it’s located right on Central Park you can stroll through our very own Winter Wonderland post-shopping. Finally the Union Sq. Holiday Market offers a range of goodies, from Belgian liege waffles to bath products shaped like cupcakes!
If you’re truly at a loss for what to give, this weekend at 303 Grand you can have a psychic chose a wrapped mystery gift for you. I kid you not, this is New York kids.
Happy shopping! Stay tuned for news of upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the very latest!
Now that we are truly in the grip of the holiday season it’s time to celebrate what our fine city has to offer; this year it’s gifting us all sorts of marvelous ART!
Peter Fischli and David Weiss have a new exhibit showing at the Matthew Marks Gallery until Jan. 16th:
Sun, Moon and Stars is an encyclopedic accumulation of 800 magazine advertisements culled from hundreds of international periodicals. Begun as a project commissioned by a Swiss corporation for its annual report, the finished project is displayed in thirty-eight wood and glass tables, totaling 330 feet in length. A dizzying redaction of late capitalism in various chromatic and themed groupings, the ads are shown in a specific order that exploits the formal, narrative and color similarities between advertisements. Among the hundreds of paired ads, the viewer will discover the curious association between the color schemes in an ad for private airplanes and another for cat food. These juxtapositions guide the viewer toward many interpretations, following a specific narrative.
The Brooklyn Museum’s excellent photography exhibit ‘Who Shot Rock and Roll‘ is up until Jan. 31st. Here’s a taste of the iconic images in store for visitors:
NPR also did a nice story on the exhibit if you want a bit more background going in…
For anyone who didn’t experience NYC in the ’90s, you have a chance to see a fragment of the past with two exhibits exploring the work of Stuart Sherman, the performance artist who died of AIDS in 2001. The New York Times describes both exhibits in detail in this article; after you have the back story see the art for yourself at the 80WSE Gallery and Participant Inc.
Though it’s never become a separate category of art (like photography), lithography has been hugely influential over the years. Now until Dec. 12th you can see how a broad range of artists used the medium at FIAF. Their exhibit, The Great Masters of Lithography: Vintage Posters of Calder, Chagall, Dufy, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, and Others, explores the way “unique and visually striking lithographs, which were beautifully used as posters to promote the artists’ work.” Here’s one stunning example:
For a look at NYC through someone else’s eyes head over to Fuse Gallery to see Joshua Wildman’s beautiful photographs of the city that never sleeps. His strangely personal images of NY nightlife make the city seem at once wilder and also more vulnerable. Here’s one lovely shot:
For a more intimate set of images you can see Margaret de Lange’s Daughters at the Foley Gallery:
The images depict the two girls enjoying their summers out of doors, barefoot and often bare-bodied, in a dark and grainy, high-contrast style. In the photographs, the children seem to be a part of the nature around them, with dirt and grass clinging to knees and feet, with hoods of animal skin; they become like the creatures of Scandinavian folklore that, as de Lange explains, “were said to appear at twilight, and were always beautiful, but often evil as well.” And so we view the daughters, captured as they linger in a hazy half-darkness, in that time between day and night and an age between child and adult, exploring, discovering, and experiencing all of those little adventures which amount to growing up. These “creatures” exhibit their initiated ways through various little clues: dead birds hanging from string, bold stares from beneath fury capes. All together, the effect is unabashedly dark and earthy, yet calm and elegantly matter-of-fact.
Finally, it is perhaps unnecessary for me to mention the biggest retrospective of the season: Tim Burton at the MOMA. I doubt I need to say more so I’ll simply include this fun image:
On that note I will sign off but stay tuned for news of upcoming events, etc. Also remember to follow me on twitter for the latest!
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!
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!