Tag Archives: New York Botanical Garden

Drinking, Art and Ticker Tape!

Those of you following me on Twitter have heard about the 1st Thursdays DUMBO Gallery Walk happening this evening; let me just add that there are a number of opening receptions at participating galleries this month, including openings at  A.I.R. Gallery and the Farmani Gallery.

Fred Stein & Erika Stone on Exhibit starting Nov. 5 at the Farmani Gallery

Fred Stein & Erika Stone on exhibit starting Nov. 5 at the Farmani Gallery

Tomorrow the city is throwing the Yankees a proper ticker tape parade in celebration of their big win (ok, I know nothing about baseball but I do like parades). The MTA has advice on how to beat the crowds on the subway and Metromix can help you get a great view and find a place to drink afterwards!

On Saturday you can prove just how well you know our fine city by participating in a massive Scavenger Hunt! Start at the Cube in Astor Pl. and then the Hunt Is On!

Also on Saturday, those of you who have never quite left your beer pong days behind can achieve glory at Second Chance Saloon:

This Saturday, Second Chance Saloon will challenge domestic-whisky-experts and beer-can-free-throwers alike to prove their drinking might in its first annual Bar-athlon. Teams of up to four drinkers will compete in 10 different bar-themed events, from a wafting contest (contestants must identify drinks by smell) to a bar counter beer slide. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place, and cheap drinks and hot dogs will be available for all.

This weekend is your last chance to see the Japanese Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; this is not just the end of this season but the final year so get on Metro North and smell some flowers!

I’ll be back with more fun events soon; don’t forget to check out my last post and follow me on twitter for the full spread of excitement!

June 12-14 One Giant Party

This weekend New York City is going to be one GIANT PARTY, or to be more accurate, you will have a variety of massive events to choose from. I’ll start big and then return to the smaller gems.

Saturday and Sunday Madison Sq. Park (5th Ave. and 23rd St.) will be the center of the BBQ universe:

The Seventh Annual Snapple Big Apple Barbecue Block Party returns to Madison Square Park June 13-14, 2009, from 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM. The weekend-long event takes place every June and brings together the country’s top pitmasters who cook up their award-winning food for over a hundred thousand barbecue enthusiasts.

Big Apple Barbecue 2008

Big Apple Barbecue 2008

It is going to be intense. I’m considering not eating until then.

If you haven’t gorged yourself on BBQ there’s another marvelous food-centric event starting this weekend and running through next week- the NYC Food Film Festival! The concept is both simple and brilliant- you watch films about food and you eat the food while watching them. Last summer I ate some of the best samosas I’ve ever had, while watching a film about making samosas (they’re hard to make) and sitting on Water Taxi Beach overlooking all of Manhattan.

Food Film Festival 2008 at Water Taxi Beach

Food Film Festival 2008 at Water Taxi Beach

This summer the films cover delicacies ranging from peeps to mushrooms. Check out the trailer here.

A somewhat more movement oriented event is taking over Governors Island this weekend:

FIGMENT is an explosion of creative energy on Governors Island. It’s a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible. For one weekend each summer, it transforms Governors Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork… and then it’s gone.

“Participatory” means it’s nothing like your average gallery show, this is the sort of art that is to be experienced. This video, about last summer’s event, should give you a taste of what the island will have to offer you this weekend:

Yesterday was the first night of a fairly unique theater festival- Planet Connections, an eco-friendly theater festival intended to foster social awareness:

Each of the more than 30 productions will be set up to benefit a particular nonprofit organization by donating a percentage of proceeds, soliciting volunteers or otherwise supporting the organization. The ideas behind the comedies, dramas and musicals range from the overtly political, like “The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water,” based on interviews with the hurricane’s survivors, to lighter fare, like “Suckers,” about a group of vampires. (The latter benefits the Red Cross Blood Bank of course.)

If you missed all those out of town music festivals this weekend you can have the awesome line-ups close to home! L Magazine is throwing a massive music event in Brooklyn- the Northside Festival.

northside

Brooklyn Based and Gothamist are getting in on the action with ‘Our Very Own SXSW‘.

Now, let me start again at Friday…

If you’re looking for a romantic way to spend a Friday evening I can personally guarantee that drinking wine in the rose garden of the New York Botanical Garden tops the charts:

Stroll through the Rose Garden during the height of its beauty, stay late and enjoy a musical performance, talk with Botanical Garden experts about rose care, and purchase a glass of wine to complement the colors and aroma of the roses.

If you’ve always chosen sci-fi over romance you should be at 92Y Friday night for an evening of Battlestar Galactica:

Cast members from Battlestar Galactica join leading roboticists to explore scientifically, philosophically and ethically the approaching frontier where intelligent machines are commonplace and cybernetic technology enhances human capabilities. Featuring sneak previews from the forthcoming Battlestar spinoff The Plan as well as live appearances by some of the shows favorite cylons.

Also on Friday, there’s a fabulous event at the Guggenheim:

In honor of its 50th Anniversary, the Guggenheim has produced a documentary film on the history of its building, collections, exhibitions, and the development of its international network. The 27-minute film combines archival materials—including talks given by Solomon Guggenheim and Frank Lloyd Wright—with contemporary footage featuring artists, art historians, architects, architectural historians, and curators.

ALSO on Friday, for those of you who enjoy public pillow fights, I give you… a Bubble War in Times Square. At 6:15 on the corner of W 47th St. & Broadway the bubbles will fly! Once you’re covered in sticky bubble suds head to the afterparty at Club Exit in Greenpoint.

pop

On Saturday the Queens of Pain will be playing against Manhattan Mayhem at the Hunter College Sports Complex- it’s always a good weekend for Gotham Girls Roller Derby!

You may recall how much I enjoyed the Young New Yorkers Chorus‘ last performance; they’re playing again Saturday night at St. Peter’s Church- check them out!

YNYC

On Sunday rediscover Brooklyn’s suburban past by going on the Victorian Flatbush Houses Tour:

Developed more than 100 years ago to be a piece of suburban living just minutes from Manhattan, Victorian Flatbush maintains that special atmosphere today — right in the heart of Brooklyn. Stroll the streets of this spectacular neighborhood, home to five NYC Historic Districts, and tour interiors of 10 stunning homes, each lovingly preserved and restored.

Also on Sunday, I simply can’t resist adding an awesome event at the Bell House:

THE MODE MERR FASHION SHOW SPECTACULAR- Enjoy an afternoon of live music, burlesque, hot rods, DJ’s & the unveiling of the newest Mode Merr collection! SHOP THE DAY AWAY WITH A FULL BOUTIQUE OFFERING THE LATEST MODE MERR LOOKS AND OTHER FUN ITEMS! w/ performances from Angie Pontani & The World Famous Pontani Sisters, Dirty Martini, Helen Pontani, The World Famous *BoB*, Peekaboo Pointe, Miss Delirium Tremens, Little Brooklyn, GiGi LaFemme, The Lady Iye, The Fisherman Xylophonic Orchestra & many more to be announced!

I need not remind you that 1) I adore burlesque and 2) GiGi LaFemme and Peekaboo Pointe are two of my favorite performers, in fact, this interview with GiGi LaFemme made me a true fan.

GiGi LaFemme

GiGi LaFemme

On that note I shall end this post but please stay tuned for additions and have a marvelous weekend!

Poetry, Delicious Eats, Orchids, Films, Burlesque and Chekhov

The last five days have been so full that I can hardly believe it has only been five days. I will chronicle my adventures and leave it to you to decide which you would like to try for yourselves.

On Wednesday I attended the InDigest Reading Series at Le Poisson Rouge, which I wrote about in an earlier post. I like the space for the most part and while the bartender was a bit clueless there was free absinthe, which was an excellent way to start the evening. Paul Dickinson read first; I found his list-style poem about the various kinds of poets (the poets who write in their cabins, the poets who write about flowers, etc.) amusing but it was the second reader, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, who the four of us found truly compelling. F and G were especially interested in him and on an impulse I bought them both copies of his book, ’19 Names For Our Band.’ The cover of the book is fantastic and probably was at least partially responsible for the impulse.

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

19 Names For Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Our minds full of poetry G and I went over to Rhong Tiam to fill our stomachs with Thai chicken soup, which was fantastic.

On Thursday evening I treated myself to even more poetry at the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas, which I also mentioned in an earlier post. Tom Raworth read first. His poetry wasn’t really to my taste, though to be fair I think it was probably more about the reading style. Peter Richards had a more dynamic style; he engaged me more and I was less likely to drift into my own thoughts. There was one line of Peter Richards’ I particularly liked:

There is no extra charge for this extra charge.

I apologize that I have no idea which poem it is from; if anyone does know please tell me and I will credit it properly. Post-poetry we had a drink at my favorite secret bar, Angel’s Share, before walking over to Polonia for authentic Polish food. There were pierogi and potato pancakes and Polish beer and finally slow painful walking to the train.

Friday, my sleep-deficit already at a dangerous level, I opted out of most more elaborate plans and limited myself to the aforementioned free whiskey tasting followed by dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The whiskey tasting was held at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit .

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit

We were tasting bourbon, vodka and whiskey made by the only New York State distiller- Tuthilltown Spirits. All of the products we tasted were single-ingredient products, which means that there’s no recipe per say; it’s all in the quality of the ingredients and the methods by which they’re processed. I enjoyed the whiskey, though generally it’s not my beverage of choice, (I’m a gin girl), and Kate1 liked the bourbon. However, I adored the tiny squat glass bottles.

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Tuthilltown Whiskey

Warmed by liquor we walked deep into the W. Village to one of the best Italian restaurants in the city- Malatesta. I first discovered this restaurant through an ex and while it was at first an emotional feat to go back there following the break-up (he met my parents there among other things), it was well worth it and I have now thoroughly reclaimed it for myself and my friends. Their cheese ravioli and gnocchi are most definitely the best I’ve ever tasted and where it lacks comfort (cramped, shaky wooden tables, etc.) it makes up for it in superb quality. Go. Eat. Be glad I never let men get between me and amazing restaurants.

Saturday was quite the day. It began with brunch at Jane, which I know I’ve told you in the past is one of my favorite brunch spots. It was delicious as always. I then meandered around Union Sq. for a bit and witnessed this classic Union Sq. tableau:

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

Classic Union Sq. Tableau

In the foreground we see a man with an alarming number of tattoos and a vintage-looking bike. In the background on the left is a man who is informing the general public about god, and the devil, and the likelihood that we will all go to hell (apparently quite high) and what hell will be like (apparently not pleasant). In the background on the right are a group of teenagers advertising free hugs. I post this only to lead up to the following statement- I LOVE NEW YORK.

On that note… I went up to Grand Central and G and I took the Metro North train to the New York Botanical Garden for the annual Orchid Show. The Orchid Show will be ongoing until April 12th and I would highly recommend that you head up there sometime before then; the conservatory is simply stunning.

Orchids

Conservatory

After strolling through the grounds and watching the sunset behind the conservatory, we took the train back into the city and dared to walk through Times Sq. in search of a secret bar I had recently heard tell of… It is called Bar Centrale and I suggest that you seek it out as well. The entrance is satisfyingly hidden and the bartender is snooty (he reminded me faintly of Truman Capote for some reason) and the jazz is soothing and the carafes of extra martini are exciting.

Once I was properly giggly we hurried downtown to a screening of short films being considered for the Downtown Short Film Festival; I wrote about the audience choice screenings in an earlier post. I found out about this series through one of my bosses, SW, and we were supposed to go together but she was called away. In this case I can’t say she missed anything too exciting, however, I look forward to seeing the actual series in April as I suspect only the better films will make it in. This screening consisted of the following films:

  • Tunnelrat: Soldiers from opposite sides trapped in a tunnel. They get out and then one ironically gets killed by his own side. Predictable and unpleasant to watch.
  • Der Pfandlaie: This involves a pawn shop and a dominatrix; there was a lot of wasted potential.
  • Reach: A tiny robot is given life but is confined by the length of his power cord; he dies seeking to reach a mysterious bird. Sad and beautiful. Maybe WallE has conditioned me to find robots adorable.
  • The Last Leaf: Illness, melodrama, survival, hope, sacrifice. Too much to contain in a not particularly well put together piece.
  • An Angel Stops By: The Angel of Death tells a porn director he must make his film into a biblical tale to avoid death. There is death. With a small twist.

All that rating made us hungry and we were lucky enough to find space at Persimmon, a marvelous Korean restaurant in the E. Village.

Persimmon

Persimmon

To finish up the day (yes- this is still Saturday, astounding as that may seem) I attended the aforementioned Jackson-themed burlesque show at Joe’s Pub- ‘Beat It Burlesque.’ I had a burlesque-virgin with me and I am pleased to say this was a perfect first show; Tigger did slightly disturbing things on stage, Anita Cookie was as bubbly as can be and GiGi La Femme was the hottest pussycat out there.

Today my grandmother and I saw the final performance of Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company. If you missed it I highly recommend that you look into their upcoming productions. The theater is tiny and intimate and if this show is any indication this is a company worth watching. Maggie Gyllenhaal was just as superb as I expected her to be and I got an extra special thrill because Meryl Streep happened to be seeing the show as well (she bumped into my grandmother in the lobby but was very nice about it).

I am exhausted but I promise to post this week’s events as soon as possible!