Tag Archives: Le Poisson Rouge

Purim NY-style!

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

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.

Have a very happy Purim! Follow me and Miss Scorpio on twitter for the latest and be sure to sign up for the Gemini & Scorpio weekly events list if you haven’t done so already.

A Few Good Concerts

I’ve been meaning to give you proper reviews of several concerts I attended in the last month. I was at Phoenix‘s sold out concert at Terminal 5 June 19th; it was spectacular. At one point the singer, Thomas Mars, jumped into the crowd; people surged forward contracting to the point that half the room, which had seemed packed, was almost empty. The security guards hauled him out unharmed but I can’t say it was a particularly successful move. This video is pretty poor quality but it does give you a concept of the high energy level in the room, plus it shows off some of the crazier lighting effects:

They’ll be back at the end of August- perhaps a good way to end the summer?

On a very different note, I very much enjoyed the New York City Opera’s recital-style performance of La Navarraise in the World Financial Center Winter Garden. It was interesting to see this somewhat awkward space full of people silently listening to opera. The acoustics weren’t great and the palm trees tended to block your view but I liked the informality of it and the illusion that everyone had sort of stumbled into the performance.

A bit more recently G and I saw Black Taxi at Pianos. We were already pretty crazy about them beforehand but seeing them live definitely cemented our regard. Pianos is a tiny venue so we were also able to meet them afterwards, which was very exciting. Here are a few of Deneka Peniston’s stunning photos of the show:

J. Holms on Drums

J. Holms on Drums

Vocals by Ezra

Vocals by Ezra

Ezra amongst the crowd

Ezra amongst the crowd

You have another chance to see them tonight, at Le Poisson Rouge! Check my last post for info on the spread of events this weekend and stay tuned for additions!

July 17-20 Fun in (and out of) the Sun!

There are so many amazing events happening this weekend that my google calendar looks like a piece of psychedelic art! Sadly you can never do everything but here are my suggestions!

First off, don’t forget to check my previous post for great events taking place tonight!

Tomorrow night you’re going to have to make some tough choices; there are eight events I feel compelled to post.

First, Gemini and Scorpio are hosting a Nouvelle Époque Cabaret-Salon at The Players Club:

The legendary Players, boasting such luminary members as Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill and Ernest Hemingway, is a members-only social club founded by the famed 19th century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. The Players’ landmarked home is a magnificent Victorian mansion with a wrought-iron balcony overlooking Gramercy Park.

JC Hopkins’ Biggish Band plays rollicking hard bop swing all night featuring guest vocalists tap-dancing sensation DeWitt Fleming Jr, velvet-voiced Jolie Holland, and Tony-nominated downtown icon Justin Bond, in addition to JC’s resident front-woman Queen Esther. The always-surprising Julie Atlas Muz (Miss Exotic World 2006), the jaw-droppingly stylish MsTickle, and hilariously naughty Trixie Little & Evil Hate Monkey perform feats of burlesque to live accompaniment by the band all night. In band breaks, 1920s tap sensation The Minsky Sisters amuse and titillate you.

The dress code calls for top hats and opera gloves… All this and I get to play dress-up? Sign me (and Cinderella) up!

For a slightly more actively artistic salon experience pick up a ticket to the exclusive Draw-a-Thon event happening in Michael Alan’s private studio. The drawing will actually be taking place on the roof of the studio in Williamsburg; the models will be posing as animals against the backdrop of the sun setting over Manhattan- sounds inspiring!

There are five great concerts Friday night, ranging from highbrow to hipster. The first, the Philharmonic Concert in Central Park, I’ve already mentioned. The Metropolitan Opera is performing their final outdoor recital in Crotona Park in the Bronx. This one should be much less crowded than the Summerstage shows so if you’re up for the trek I’m sure it will be worthwhile.

For a more contemporary outdoor concert experience check out Robert Cray and The Sweet Divines at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Check out these ladies:

If you want to stay indoors you can head over to Mercury Lounge to rock out with The Spinto Band. I wrote about them some time ago; I’ve had some of their songs in my subway playlists since then and I’ve definitely become quite fond of them.

spinto band

You also have another chance to see Black Taxi! I saw them perform at Pianos a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post a full review of their amazing performance- I promise I’ll get that to you soon but for now let me just say I am certain their show at Le Poisson Rouge will be a blast!

Last but not least, I am very excited to announce that there will be a GIANT GAME OF CAPTURE THE FLAG taking place Friday night. Newmindspace has organized this carefully structured game in Williamsburg- play nice!

capture the flag

On Saturday pull yourself together (I know, Friday is going to be intense but you can do it!) and get out to Coney Island for the annual Siren Music Festival! This year performers include Monotonix, Micachu & The Shapes and Spank Rock (to name but a few). After the shows there’s a hot afterparty at The Music Hall of Williamsburg (where there will be even more shows!). Check out the awesome drawing that adorns the press releases:

siren music festival

If you missed out on François Truffaut’s New Wave masterpiece The 400 Blows last week you have another chance to see it on Saturday, this time as part of the ongoing French New Wave Essentials series at the Museum of Arts and Design.

On Sunday Dare Dukes is playing at the Rockwood Music Hall. Listening to him croon lovely urban folk songs should be an excellent way to wind down the weekend.

There are two exciting outdoor film screenings to consider attending Monday evening. Harold and Maude is showing in Bryant Park:

Teenager Bud Cort and sexagenarian Ruth Gordon both like to go to funerals of people they don’t know, and meet to embark on one of cinema’s great relationships. Audacious and heartbreaking, Hal Ashby’s superb black comedy also features a perfect soundtrack by Cat Stevens.

And downtown, on The Elevated Acre, you can see West Side Story.

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Enjoy and stay tuned for additions!

July 10-13 Pretty and French

It is so lovely outside today that I almost don’t want to be indoors writing to you, however, I would be a terrible blogger if I failed to inform you of some of the wonderful events the Big Apple has to offer this weekend.

First, an addition to tonight’s lineup; a new exhibit is opening at Mixed Greens– X 10th Anniversary Exhibition:

With X, we present a large selection of the many amazing artists with whom we’ve been privileged to work. Their techniques and subject matter vary widely, but all of these artists captured our attention either by their extraordinary use of materials or through their deep examination and investigation of their subjects. There is no theme uniting the 84 participating artists—the only common denominator is Mixed Greens. Some might call it narcissistic. Others nostalgic. We consider it to be a celebration of some of the best artists working today.

I’ve heard tell that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck will also be there!

If you’ve never been to a Contra Dance event you should experience the madness Friday night at the LGBT Community Center; this event will have the added twist of being “gender neutral.” There are a lot of twists in contra already, that one makes this a true ‘only-in-New-York’ event.

Contra Dancers

Contra Dancers

If you’re looking for a nice way to enjoy the evening outdoors you can enjoy a childhood favorite on the shore of the Hudson River; The Wizard of Oz will be screening on Pier 46!

Inside, and a bit further north, The Raspberry Brothers will be tearing apart the 80s classic Pretty in Pink! This is a must see if you’re going to attend the Pretty in Pink Prom Saturday night (keep reading for details). I guarantee their antics will give you excellent cocktail conversation.


So, The Prom, well, Pretty in Pink Prom Night is happening Saturday night at The Bell House (where else?). It’s going to be an epic nostalgia trip complete with a “totally radical giant 80s prom backdrop,” in front of which you can have your prom pictures professionally shot, a “50 foot balloon drop” AND “bathrooms stocked with Aqua Net for heavy primping.” Not to mention one of the best 80s cover bands available- The Engagements! Get out there and have the prom you always dreamed of!

Also on Saturday it’s Bronx Gridlock vs. Brooklyn Bombshells at the Hunter College Sportsplex! If you haven’t made it out to a Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout this year, this is a great time to go!

roller derby

ALSO on Saturday Rooftop Films is screening a movie at The Old American Can Factory- 45365 won Best Documentary at SXSW 2009:

45365 captures the plain pathos of a single place like few other films ever do. It is amusing and informative, exciting and realistic, tragic and eternal. But as I said, this synopsis is inadequate. To get at these emotions and ideas, you could live all your life in Sidney, Ohio, or you could see this film.

The Oberlin band Like Bells will perform before the screening; my little sister is currently an Oberlin student so all things Oberlin have a special place in my heart.

Of course I’m also a tremendous francophile so I may have to celebrate Bastille Day on Saturday. There are a number of celebrations in the city; my pick is the Petanque Tournament at Cornichon. Petanque is sort of like frenchified bocce ball; there will also be lots of wine and good cheer!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!

On Sunday you can continue to embrace your inner francophile at Le Poisson Rouge, where they will be screening one of the most influential French films of the French New Wave- The 400 Blows. François Truffaut‘s masterpiece gives you an intimate look into the Paris of the 1950s.

Also on Sunday you can swing under the stars with George Gee’s Big Band at Moondance on Pier 54!

Monday is the start of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Series; Paulo Szot, Lisette Oropesa, Alek Shrader, and Vlad Iftinca will be performing on Central Park’s Summerstage. If you can’t get any of the free tickets for this event check out the performances in the outer boroughs throughout the week.

Also on Monday, Wilco will be performing in Keyspan Park; Yo La Tengo will open. Check out this video:

Have a marvelous weekend and stay tuned for additions!

June 2-8 Additions

In addition to the extensive list of events I’ve already given you for the next 7 days, there are a number of events that have recently come to my attention.

Tonight, and several other nights this week, Art Brut is playing at Mercury Lounge. Gothamist calls them “wildly entertaining,” which is probably why every show is currently listed as sold out. If you’re in the mood for a high energy concert exert your cunning and find a way through the door!

If you need to save up your cunning for other shenanigans you can still buy tickets for an awesome show at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday- Emilie Simon will satisfy your francophile needs and get you dancing into the bargain!

Emilie Simon

Emilie Simon

On Wednesday Clubbed Thumb will be celebrating the start of Summerworks 2009 with a grand (free!) party entitled O*H*I*O! featuring Susan Bernfield, David Herskovits, Melanie Joseph, Robert Lyons, Kristin Marting.

Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned 4 OBIES and presented plays in every form of development, including over 70 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is an incubator for artists and their work, staging plays to critical acclaim while supporting an ever-growing creative community.

If you can’t make the shindig on Wednesday be sure to check out the first Summerworks play- punkplay by Gregory Moss, running from June 7-13 at the Ohio Theatre.

On Friday there’s an even more questionable production opening at P.S.122; the Amoralists Theater Company is presenting The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side. The plot summary is as follows:

An extraordinary gathering of young idealists live as a modern day urban tribe above a vegan restaurant in NYC. Billy, Dawn, Dear and Wyatt are an extended sexual family battling their fears and addictions in order to live their utopian dream.

I believe that is the most hipster thing I have heard all week! It sounds absurd and marvelous- enjoy!


For more cutting edge hipster fun this weekend take a stroll through Bushwick; the Bushwick Open Studios event gives you access to hundreds of artists’ garrets as well as a chance to experience all sorts of performance art! Some of the hot spots are venues I’ve mentioned in the past, such as 3rd Ward and Goodbye Blue Monday. There will be art for sale and munchies up for grabs, (both details conveniently marked on the maps), so you can add some pizazz to your apartment and be a freegan for the day!

On Friday Black Taxi is playing at the Bowery Ballroom. G and I have recently become huge fans of theirs (I’ve mentioned them before) and if you just see one concert this week this would be my pick.

Black Taxi

Black Taxi

On Monday, while I am recovering from the trauma of the LSAT, you can enjoy Mike Daisey’s newest bit of madness- Mysteries of the Unexplained- BACON! at Joe’s Pub:

Mike Daisey returns to Joe’s Pub with a one-night orgy of all things bacon: from sizzling fat to swine flu, from baco-bits to Hasids to Charlotte’s. In one delicious hour we’ll explore bacon in all its filthy, gorgeous deliciousness.

Have a great week/weekend and I will be back and better than ever as of next Tuesday!