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Sept. 23 – Oct. 4 Sake tasting, The Big Lebowski and more!

The Big Apple is full of fun this week and next and I hope you’ll join me in making the most of it! Tonight there’s questionable theater for a cause; Nevsky Prospect brings you Gogol in an effort to renovate the Mazer Theater. Even more questionable are the acts that will proceed it:

The first half consists of community members performing their own work. Think a couple of 80 year old ladies tap dancing, and let your imagination go from there. It’s a tough act to follow, but Nevsky is the second half of the benefit. We can’t wait to see you there, and if you’re coming tonight we’ll party party party all night long at Bar 169 right after the show.

Sofiya Akilova in Nevsky Prospect

Sofiya Akilova in Nevsky Prospect

If you’re willing to spend some dough on awesome chocolate ($40)  you should check out the Aztec-Themed Chocolate Tasting that Vosges Chocolate and Urban Girl Squad are throwing tonight.

Tomorrow you can experience The Joy of Sake!

The Joy of Sake is the largest sake-tasting outside Japan, and
has been held annually since 2001. It features premium sakes
submitted as entries to the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, a rigorous blind tasting held every year with ten judges from Japan and the U.S.

The Joy of Sake is the largest sake-tasting outside Japan, and has been held annually since 2001. It features premium sakes submitted as entries to the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, a rigorous blind tasting held every year with ten judges from Japan and the U.S. Over 270 sakes will be available for tasting, along with appetizers presented by 15 of New York’s finest restaurants.

Also tonight, at Southpaw you can check out their monthly indie showcase- The Rumble! This week they’re featuring Ravens and Chimes, Your Nature, Jump into the Gospel, and Pow Wow.

As I mentioned before, the M.E.A.N.Y. Fest is hitting the city this weekend. Stay tuned for my review of Black Taxi’s new album, Things of that Nature, which they’ll be releasing this Saturday (their concert is part of the Fest).

I also covered the Big Lebowski Festival in my last post; it’s happening NOW so get out there and celebrate The Dude.

On Friday AND Saturday 92Y is hosting the Labyrinth Sing-Along!  Both days are sold out but if you can’t weasel your way in you can always throw your own! I would start with this one if I were you…

On Saturday get all the HOT jazz you can handle from the Brian Newman Trio at Antik. This party, hosted by Wit’s End, will also feature a FREE Charleston Lesson with Neal Groothuis and Jeri Lynn Astra and haute chocolates from Chocolats Meurens. You may recall I‘ve mentioned Brian Newman’s musical stylings before; this is sure to be a great show!

Stay tuned for more news about next week, including Eat Local Week, The Burlesque Festival and a screening of Firefly on a rooftop! Also be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest additions and updates (the Twitter feed is also in the left-hand margin so you can read it even if you’re not a tweeter).

Sept. 17-20 Additions and RECAP

First, I’d like to recap the last couple of posts (scroll down or click HERE and HERE to read them in full). There’s some questionable theater ongoing in The Big Apple: Juliette Binoche is trying her hand at dancing; one man is playing 3 Irish Widows (plus 20-some other characters); Daniel Craig thinks he’s a real actor now; Philip Seymour Hoffman IS a real actor; Medea has a whole new look; and you can now take a poetic bus tour of the Bronx. Plus next week is the start of Fall For Dance and there are still a few tickets left! Also upcoming: Williamsburg Fashion Weekend is THIS weekend (Sept. 18 + 19); Le Fooding D’Amour will bring real French cuisine to the city NEXT weekend (Sept. 25 + 26); and The DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival will be dressing up DUMBO NEXT weekend (Sept. 25-27). Plus there’s still time to “see” a concert while in a MAZE AND discover wtf psychogeography means. There’s also still time to drink awesome beer AND rock out with gypsies! ALSO be sure to check out one of the comedy shows that are part of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival happening THIS weekend (Sept. 17-20). Feeling overwhelmed yet? Good, now it’s time for ADDITIONS!

Tonight (Sept. 17) is the 2nd Annual Park Slope Restaurant Tour! Last year’s tour was my first date with G so this marks our 1 year anniversary. Head out to 7th Ave. with someone who might be special and see if stellar samples can be good luck for you too!

Starting tonight and running through Oct. 3 M.E.A.N.Y. Fest (Musicians & Emerging Artists New York) will be showcasing up and coming bands at various venues throughout the city. G and I will be seeing Black Taxi play next Saturday (Sept. 26) and we’d love to see you there!

Tonight is the opening reception for the Recession Art Sale. The exhibition itself will open Monday and run through next Sunday (Sept. 21-27). Here’s a piece by Thaddeus Radell, an artist whose work will be on sale:

Thaddeus Radell

Thaddeus Radell

Tomorrow night (Sept. 18) you can sample an array of Indian street food all in one place, the Indian Culinary Center:

Your hands and feet won’t be the only things pretty enough to eat at the Indian Culinary Center‘s (131 West 23rd Street) evening of Henna and Street Foods of India this Friday from 6-10 p.m. In addition to body art applied by an onsite specialist, the evening will feature such savory bites as Bhel Puri (spicy snack mix), Aloo Tikki (potato croquettes), and Kati Rolls (Indian wraps).

On Saturday (Sept. 19) find someone willing to give up their spot on a team and you could be part of a Craft Beer Scavenger Hunt run by the lovely folks of Metro Metro!

As part of NY Craft Beer Week, we are having a daylong, multi-borough discovery of beer, bars, and neighborhoods. Teams of four will pore over the city in the pursuit of delicious knowledge while embracing the healthy spirit of competition. To cap the day off, hunters will enjoy a private afterparty hosted at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg.

If you missed out on the last pig roast I mentioned you have another chance to see a whole pig being roasted this Sunday (Sept. 20) at Il Buco!

The sixth annual Sagra del Maiale, an outdoor pig and apple festival commemorating the Autumnal Equinox, will take place outside il Buco between 1-8 p.m. The guest of honor will be a 200-pound heritage breed Crossabaw Pig, slow roasted in an “infiernillo” (“little hell”) by Chef Ignacio Mattos.

Il Buco Pig Roast 2007

Il Buco Pig Roast 2007

If you can’t make it out to taste what Park Slope has to offer then you may want to sample the West Village Sunday (Sept. 20); Taste the West Village lets you try a number of top shelf restaurants for a small fee (from $10 depending on the number of tastes).

Finally, get your tickets now to The Big Lebowski Festival, happening next week (Sept. 22-24) in The Big Apple!


That’s all for now! Be sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest updates and once again, shan’a tova for those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah this weekend!

Sept. 14-27 Fashion, Art, Music, etc.

If you haven’t looked at my last post yet you should be sure to scroll down or click here to get more information on Juliette Binoche at BAM, Conflux (an annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography) and the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, all of which are ongoing or coming up THIS weekend!

To that already exciting array I would like to make some additions!

This weekend and next you can experience Euripides as you’ve never experienced him before! The production of Medea playing at Petit Versailles is anything but the play you read aloud in your High School English class:

Medea at Le Petit Versailles is a cross-culturally cast production of a modern, poetic new translation of the classic Greek play. The production is a site-specific collaboration by local artists from a variety of fields, including dance, visual arts, film, theatre, and experimental music.


If you’d like your theater “to go” you should consider experiencing The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; this innovative theater piece allows you to experience travel in a new way as you explore the neighborhood by bus. In an NPR story Robert Smith described the piece as “part tour, part narrative.” It’s certainly not plot-driven but if you’re looking to explore an area you’re unfamiliar with this is likely to be a much more poetic version of your standard tour.

Several times a year fashion designers gather in Midtown to bow down before the altar of Anna Wintour. Across the East River a very different set of designers exhibit their anti-establishment experimental work at Secret Project Robot:

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, the original innovator of unorthodox fashion shows in Brooklyn, opens its sixth season on September 18th and 19th, at Secret Project Robot. The group of designers we assembled this year, with their finger on the pulse of our fashionable neighborhood, will display the diverse elements that make up what Williamsburg fashion aesthetic is about, right now!


Next week Fall For Dance is taking over New York City Center. You may recall that I spent all morning yesterday (and a good part of the afternoon) waiting on line to purchase tickets; if you were not on line with me you can still purchase some gallery seats and partial view seats at the box office. I’m most excited about performances by New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

As far as I know Le Fooding is totally sold out but if you’re more cunning than I am try to get tickets to this foodie extravaganza at P.S. 1 next weekend. Le Fooding D’Amour is a showcase for up and coming French chefs as well as a place to see more established chefs in action.

FRANCE is actually home to countless up-to-date chefs. They just don’t get mentioned enough. The media are too dazzled by the glittering stars. The fact is that bourgeois cuisine is no longer France’s daily bread. Techo-cuisine never will be. In Paris, the gourmands are devouring the gourmets. Our favorite chefs are not celebrity chefs. Their photos aren’t printed on packs of vacuum-sealed ham. So where do you find these oh-so-Parisian luxuries? In their restaurants, their bistros? Such hodgepodge words! No, in their kitchens. They’re frequently French, most certainly Parisian, and always authors, of course.

If Le Fooding proves inaccessible you can still check out some very exciting new art for free! The DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival “presents touchable, accessible, and interactive art, on a scale that makes it the nation’s largest urban forum for experimental art.” Here’s an interesting piece from last year’s festival:


That’s all for now! For those of you who, like me, are celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the next couple of weeks- shan’a tova! Stay tuned for additions and as always for the latest follow me on Twitter!

Labor Day etc.

Tomorrow is Labor Day in The Big Apple and since you won’t be laboring you should check out some of the awesome events that will be taking place in this fine town!

On Eastern Parkway The West Indian Day Parade will be one great big party! The parade will be followed by dance and musical performances at The Brooklyn Museum!

West Indian Day Parade 2008 (in front of the Brooklyn Museum)

West Indian Day Parade 2008 (in front of the Brooklyn Museum)

If you feel up to some cooking whip up something local and bring it to The Bell House for their ‘Lunchin’ Local on Labor Day Potluck.’ Your dish gives you free access to the festivities, which include “4-square, hopscotch, hula hoops and more!”

As the day draws to a close head uptown to Lincoln Center Plaza for the last free opera of the season! The Metropolitan Opera’s outstanding performance of Madama Butterfly will be broadcast in HD; get there early to snag a seat and enjoy the show!

Also, in case you missed my last post, let me reiterate…

On Monday skip the amateur BBQs and get BBQ done right at Marfa in the E. Village:

From 5pm onwards, East Village rib joint Marfa is hosting the West Texas All You Can Eat Labor Day Barbecue on their roof deck. For $15, fill your plate with BBQ ribs, pork, beef, salmon and all the fixins. And for an extra $2, you can add some wild boar or shrimp to that plate. Drinks include $5 Margaritas, $3 PBR and shots of the house-infused tequila.

If you’re a fan of Manolos and Cosmo’s get your tickets now to the “lecture” of the season: Sex and the City and Best Friends Forever: Candace Bushnell and Jennifer Weiner, at Kaufmann Concert Hall this Tuesday!

On Wednesday join me at Comix to pay tribute to John Hughes in the best possible way- by watching the Raspberry Brothers make fun of The Breakfast Club! Tickets are only $5 if you buy them online in advance using the promo code RASP. It’s going to be hilarious and rumors say that a sing-a-long will also be part of the evening… Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite:

Enjoy the start of a new season and stay tuned for additions! Also don’t forget- for the latest updates follow The Big Red Apple on twitter!

August 12-17 Get it while it’s HOT!

Can you believe it’s already the middle of August? If you haven’t been to your fair share of awesome summer events it’s time to get out of your apartment and get ’em while it’s HOT!

Tomorrow I will be on a plane on my way to Banff, but you will have to make the difficult choice between 2 great film screenings, an absurd musical event and a free opera performance!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will be playing on the ball fields of McCarren Park. This is a very hipster film so this screening in the heart of Hipsterville is a prime opportunity to view it in its… hmm… natural habitat?

The other movie screening worth considering is The Sex and the City Movie showing on Pier 54. If you’re just as in love with your new Prada sandals as you are with your new summer fling this is the event for you! Here’s the trailer (in case you’ve finally gotten the theme out of your head and need a refresher):

If you want some live melodrama (instead of onscreen) head up to Central Park where the New York Grand Opera will be performing a semi-staged production of Madama Butterfly in the Naumburg Bandshell (@ 72nd St.).

If you want to see a story whose ending is yet to be determined witness history in the making at the first Music Video Film Festival and Band Battle at Public Assembly!

Music video film festival and band battle

On Thursday head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for another fabulous film screening, in this case Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Don’t forget to bring a picnic and get there early for a good spot!

Also on Thursday there will be a truly epic concert out at Coney IslandBlondie, Pat Benatar and The Donnas are playing the Seaside Summer Concert Series. Why see the imitators when you can see the originals, right?

This weekend some very (ahem) unique performers will be back in town- Puppetry of the Penis is live at the Bleecker Theater! This video doesn’t show you much but if it doesn’t terrify you this may just be the best show you’ll see all summer!

If that’s not your style, never fear, the monster of theater festivals is opening on Friday- the New York International Fringe Festival! Running through August 30th…

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues – that’s a total of more than 1300 performances! FringeNYC generates an atmosphere of extreme excitement, and our energy is contagious!

There will be something for EVERYONE.

Friday night the free lecture at the Columbia Astronomy Center is ‘Teaching Old Stars New Tricks;’ as always the star gazing at the observatory post-lecture is also free and open to the public!

This weekend at Galapagos Suspended Cirque is presenting their newest creation- Urbanopolis! This talented troupe of aerial performers will tell a fanciful tale of a young man’s urban journey; their performance will stretch over the walls and ceilings and bring the audience into the world they’ve created.


On Saturday if you haven’t made it out to P.S.1 for the Warm Up this summer then this week is the week to go! DJ Pierre, Phuture 303, House of Stank, and Growing will be heating up the courtyard; if you need to cool down check out Leandro Erlich’s Swimming Pool (j/k).

Leandro Erlich: Swimming Pool

Leandro Erlich: Swimming Pool

Last summer the Public Theater gave us bacchanalia in the form of naked hippies, this summer they’re taking it back to its roots with The Bacchae! Don’t wait until the end of the run to try to get tickets at the Delacorte; I tried to get tickets for the Twelfth Night at the end of the run and was too late at 6:30am!

Monday is your last chance to see a movie in Bryant Park this summer; Spielberg’s masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind will screen at dusk. Here’s the trailer:

Next Tuesday for the singles among you there’s a free rooftop party at Tonic East in the village. The group running the event- Single and the City, aim to bring together the best of the best to help you find who you’re looking for- check it out, you never know, right?

I hope you all have a great week, follow me on Twitter to get the latest updates!