I had a marvelous weekend, full of adventures! It was great to have the LSAT behind me (for the moment).
Friday night G and F and I checked out New York Classical Theatre’s production of King Lear. The show begins at 103rd St. and Central Park West and the cast members beckon the audience to follow them from one area of the park to another whenever the scene changes (sometimes with fabulous Shakespearean epithets like “come you mongrels!”). The constant moving around keeps you much more engaged, though towards the end I would have preferred to settle down. The best scene was definitely the battle near the end of the play; rushing after the cast and hearing the clash of swords through the trees as you approached them was super exciting. I would definitely recommend this production as a much simpler way to enjoy Shakespeare in Central Park- no waiting in line for free tickets, etc., just show up and settle on the grass. Here are some pictures of the show (all by Miranda Arden):
Kent (John-Patrick Driscoll), King Lear (Donald Grody) and the Fool (Andrew Sellon)
The Fool (Andrew Sellon)
On Saturday I saw some very forgettable ballets at the New York City Ballet; I will not discuss them further as they were far from spectacular (the ballets, not the dancers).
Post-ballet we had intended to hit the Big Apple BBQ but sadly it was raining so G and I took shelter in Brasserie Cognac and munched on croissants until it was time to head to our next entertainment- a performance by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus at St. Peter’s Church. The chorus performed the first two pieces in the round and the surround-sound effect was fantastic. The concert showcased original pieces, one of which was declared the winner of the Competition for Young Composers. It was fascinating to hear the innovations of these talented young composers, performed by talented young NYers.
Young New Yorkers' Chorus at St. Peter's Church
On Sunday G and I had yummy Israeli brunch at Miriam’s in Park Slope and then headed to Governors Island to check out Figment. It was truly a unique “participatory art” experience. There was a giant polygon to climb on and a huge putt putt golf course and rubber chickens hanging from trees and umbrellas planted like flowers and giant chalkboards… Here are a couple of pictures; some of the pieces will remain through the summer so you still have time to play!
Part of the City of Dreams Mini Golf Course, open through the summer
Shield/Coraza by Hector Canonge
Sunday night G and I had dinner at Prime Meats, an excellent restaurant featuring local and seasonal produce and meat in Carrol Gardens. After ordering dry-aged beef by the ounce our steak was brought out to us (raw) for our inspection, this sort of emphasis on process is inherent in the service and the quality of the food; we enjoyed ourselves a great deal and will certainly be back.
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 Partyreturns 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On that note I shall end this post but please stay tuned for additions and have a marvelous weekend!
I’m feeling a tiny bit under the weather at the moment so you will have to forgive the brevity of this post. I’ve had several adventures worth relating this week.
On Monday I went to the Purim comedy act at the 92Y Tribeca, which I told you about in a previous post. I particularly liked the sketch modeled on ‘High School Musical.’ At the end the boy goes off with the girl against the wishes of his friends…
Girl: Oh no, you are going to leave those lousy friends of yours and go and do your school work. AND you are going to Medical School!
Boy: I have to go guys, I’ve been searching for a woman to replace my mother for my whole life!
You can watch clips of Shushan Channel’s sketches on their website.
On Wednesday I finally got around to seeing a film that was part of the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Series, which I mentioned some time ago. I saw ‘The Joy of Singing’ at the IFC and it was truly French in every sense you can imagine. My friend L was not a big fan but she’s not nearly as much of a francophile as I am. If you missed the series check your Netflix- some of them will probably come out on DVD sometime soon-ish.
I also saw B spin at Hugs that night (I told you about this in advance as well); he was fantastic as always and while we couldn’t get much dancing going I have high hopes for next time since it’ll be warmer and more people will be willing to move from their warm apartments.
Friday night my friend M was having a ‘Blue Velvet‘ party so I wasn’t able to attend any other events. Afterall, I wouldn’t want to miss blue velvet cupcakes and crazy sadistic sex scenes (oh David Lynch!)!
Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini in 'Blue Velvet'
HAPPINESS unfolds the stories of a dozen or so New Yorkers stuck in the morning rush of a stalled subway car and required by the spectral trainman to recall and re-enact the happiest moment in their lives before they can continue their travels… and travails.
HAPPINESS celebrates those fleeting moments in everyday lives — typically unanticipated, largely overlooked, always ephemeral — that upon reflection become people’s fondest memories
Saturday night I saw the Young New Yorkers Chorus perform (mentioned this to you earlier). They were fantastic and I found the melodies, which are apparently based on ‘ancient chants’ to be very similar to some of the chants Jewish prayers are set to. I would be interested to look into the correlation further.
I’m off for the moment but I promise to get back to you with this week’s events shortly.
There are two concerts worth considering tonight. First, get your fill of British electro-house at Webster Hall where Calvin Harris‘ tunes may not invoke deep thought, but will definitely get you dancing. The second is for all the hipsters out there- Blk Jks will be performing their ‘South African art rock’ at Union Hall.
Here’s how it works: The poets play “whores,” visitors play “johns” (and are also encouraged to attend incognito!) but instead of physical intimacy, the poets offer the intimacy of their poetry by giving private, one-on-one readings in curtained-off areas. All of the resident “whores” are available for private readings at any time during the event (for a small fee). Of course, every good brothel needs a furtive “front” or cover business; ours is part saloon and part salon, offering a full bar (serving Le Tourment Vert absinthe all night!), blackjack table (played for prizes), tarot card readings, raffle tickets, live painting, one-on-one poetry consultations (bring your poems!), and live music, with performances from our poets, performers, and artists throughout the night. Each night “The Madame” will also introduce “the new girl,” a featured reader who will delight the whole cast and cast of customers with a very special public performance.
Tomorrow go over to the Japan Society for their new exhibit- “Krazy! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games.” Check out examples of these evolving art forms, such as this image:
Takashi Okazaki. Afro Samurai
Saturday night you have the challenge of deciding between several events, each of which embrace completely different sub-cultures.
I’ll admit I’m a novice when it comes to Rachmaninoff but I’m confident that this will be a truly beautiful performance (I have a good reason for thinking so- I have a friend in the chorus whose voice I simply adore).
For a whole different sort of musical experience, check out Black Taxi at DROM; it will be a late-night, down-and-dirty, rock-and-roll-fueled benefit for Studio 42!
For a whole different sort of experience you can spectate or participate at the 2009 New York City Beard and Moustache Championships, held this year at Public Assembly. There will be prizes for full beards, patchy beards, goatees, moustaches and sideburns (and many more categories of facial hair). I attended the 2007 Championships and I can vouch for the absurdity and hilarity of this event.
Beard and Moustache Championship Participant
If that’s all just far too intimidating wander over to Union Pool for what just may be the best dance party you’ve been to all year- Budos Band will be throwing a ‘Voodoo Funk Party.’
Budos Band Event Poster
If you’re not too hung over for bagpipes on Sunday, check out the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade; there will be the requisite music and all the shenanigans you’re expecting.
Also on Sunday revamp your wardrobe and support Housing Works by participating in a fantastic clothing swap at Sixth Ward:
Trade in a bag of your unwanted clothes for a chance to rummage through others’. Fashion students are on hand to help with fittings for your new outfits. Extras, bar tabs, and five-buck donations at the door go to Housing Works.
Enjoy your weekend and stay tuned for any additions I may come across!