Tag Archives: Raya Brass Band

Shenanigans to Save Haiti!

Who said New Yorkers were heartless?! On the contrary the creative community of NYC has come out in full force to present amazing events to benefit the people of Haiti. As I’ve browsed events, and worked on G&S listings this week I have been struck by the number of performances, parties and restaurants who are giving their profits to organizations like The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Here are a selection of such events…

Tonight I Am Ayiti (Haiti) at the Caribbean Cultural Center will feature DJ Laylo on the 1s and 2s, Kalunga Neg Mawon, Tiga Jean-Baptiste & T’Chaka and Jhon Clarke (formerly of Black Parents). The CCCADI is a drop off location for supplies; you can donate first aid supplies and hygiene items.

Saturday night at Lab 24/7 there will a very hot concert to benefit Doctors Without Borders. The event, called Kombit, meaning ‘to come together for the good of the community’ in Haitian creole, will feature Mr. REO, the consummate Haitian via Brooklyn rapper; Ayanna Witter-Johnson, a unique young composer, song-writer, vocalist, cellist and pianist; and Akua Taylor, a singer with soulful African influences.

Also on Saturday, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, you can enjoy a night of comedy to benefit Haiti relief efforts. Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel (of Spoon), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), St. Vincent, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac (of the Daily Show) and others will be making you laugh, all the name of charity.

My pick of the bunch is the concert titled Horns for Haiti, happening at The Living Theater on Sunday; the Hungry March Band, Raya Brass Band, and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra are performing for a night of badass brass, haitian drumming, and ample dancing. I have seen all three of these bands perform and each one individually is enough to make your night truly fantastic. Check out this picture of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra at Coney Island:

Rude Mechanical Orchestra

Also on Sunday, you are morally obligated to eat out! To be specific, you are morally obligated to eat out at one of the 40+ restaurants in NYC who are donating 10% of their profits on Sunday to Haitian relief efforts. Check out the list of participating restaurants and make your reservations today; it’s luxury for a good cause!

On Wednesday Music vs. Hunger is doing a special show to benefit Haiti (their shows usually benefit the food banks of NYC). Go to Bruar Falls for performances by Breakfast in Fur, No Eye Contact, El Medio and  Drew Citron.

Stay tuned for updates, follow me on twitter for the latest, and if you can’t make any of these events please consider making a donation to The Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders (or some other organization of your choice).

The Way We Shop

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.

Purse by Shara Porter

Purse by Shara Porter

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.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

Scratch n' Sniff Holiday Cards from Melangerie Inc.

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).

Candy by Papabubble

Candy by Papabubble

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.

Finally, mark your calendars- next weekend is the Brooklyn Lyceum Craft Market. If you go be sure to check out the jewelry by Kimlast, whoever you buy it for will appreciate its extra special flare.

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Golden Reef Handcarved Pendant by Kimlast

Happy shopping! Stay tuned for news of upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the very latest!