Categories
Living NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Take ‘Em All

For the first time since 2008, the New York Red Bulls have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals of the MLS playoffs. Riding a late-season wave of wins that included victories over last year’s champions Sporting Kansas City and the MLS’s over-exposed poster team, the Seattle Sounders, the Red Bulls topped Sporting in the one-game playoffs qualifier, and most recently dispatched with their biggest rivals, DC United, over a two-leg home & away series. Today, the Red Bulls start another two-leg series against the New England Revolution, which includes U.S. Men’s National Team player Jermaine Jones (he of the Messi-esque goal against Portugual in the World Cup). However, New York has Bradley Wright-Phillips, the league’s top goal-scorer, and Thierry Henry, who at age 37 is likely in his final season as a Red Bull — but remains probably the most skillful footballer the league’s ever seen. New York swept the season series against the Revs, winning 2-0 at Foxboro and 2-1 at Red Bull Arena, but MLS playoffs have historically provided the setting for upsets. If they win this two-game series, they advance to to the MLS Cup final on December 7 and will face either the LA Galaxy or the Seattle Sounders.

Sun., Nov. 23, 2014

Categories
Living NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

World Mug: Here are New York’s Best Soccer Bars

The Red Bull New York locker room is an impressively diverse place, with players hailing from a dozen different nations occupying every corner of the map. (The only continent not represented on the MLS team’s roster is Antarctica.) Among friends and teammates, international relations are typically amicable — at least until the World Cup kicks off on June 12 in Brazil. Then diplomacy goes by the wayside.

“We always trash talk each other,” says midfielder Michael Bustamante, one of two Colombian players on the squad. “Especially if we’re playing teams from the opposite country.”

Colombia faces Japan on June 24 in the opening round, and Red Bulls defender Kosuke Kimura plans to use the freeze-out strategy on Bustamante and teammate Jámison Olave until bragging rights are assured. “I’m not talking to the Colombians,” Kimura says. “And when Japan wins against them, I’m going to go crazy.”

Much like New York City itself, the Red Bulls’ locker room during the World Cup is a hodgepodge of cultures crammed into close proximity and engaged in a friendly but intense rivalry. As Kimura and Bustamante both attest, aside from making a pilgrimage to Brazil, there is no better place to be during the World Cup than New York, where even casual fans schedule their lives around matches, transforming sleepy ethnic bars and restaurants into madhouses packed full of screaming, face-painted fanatics.

Several soccer-centric bars have opened in Manhattan and Brooklyn in recent years, but the key to an unforgettable World Cup viewing experience is finding where expats from each nation assemble to support their respective teams. The Voice consulted a variety of experts, pounded the pavement, and guzzled several frosty bottles of lager in far-flung neighborhoods (all in the name of research) to create these tips for mapping an authentic World Cup tour of New York.

1. Know Your Neighborhoods

For Colombia’s opening match, expect to find Bustamante in Jackson Heights. More than 75,000 Colombian immigrants call Queens home, and walking down 37th Avenue is like being transported to Bogotá for an afternoon stroll. Señoras peddle ice cream from sidewalk carts, and reggaeton thumps from shops selling jerseys of national team star Radamel Falcao.

Bustamante prefers Las Margaritas, a restaurant that is ostensibly Mexican, but other neighborhood highlights include El Basurero — a full-on sports bar decked out with jerseys and soccer décor — and a small restaurant next door called La Fonda Antioqueña, which offers heaping platters of meat and seafood and potent margaritas.

Jackson Heights is also a destination for fans of Uruguay, Ecuador, and Argentina, who gather at La Gran Uruguaya, a restaurant and bar attached to a bakery and bodega on 37th Avenue. The owners are from Uruguay, the bartender is Colombian, and the customers come from across Latin America to sip Pilsen, Quilmes, and other beers from home. A replica of the World Cup trophy stands behind the bar. The steak sandwich — a medium-rare slab of juicy skirt steak topped with tomato and red onion and slathered with garlicky chimichurri sauce — is worth the trip alone.

Other neighborhoods known for their immigrant populations — Russians in Brighton Beach, French-speaking West Africans in Harlem’s Le Petit Senegal — are obvious targets. Manhattan’s Avenue C boasts everything from a sprawling German beer hall (Zum Schneider) that is absolutely jammed for soccer matches, to a tiny sake bar (Sake Bar Satsko) with a solitary TV screen that leaves the owner, as one server put it during a recent visit, “simultaneously cheering and cursing” when Japan plays.

2. Do Your Homework

When Braden Ruddy, a United Nations speechwriter and soccer fanatic from Queens, was compiling a list of World Cup-centric New York establishments for the travel site Roads and Kingdoms, he couldn’t find a place dedicated to showing Cameroon matches. Phoning the country’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations for a recommendation, he discovered that the diplomats plan to open their doors to the public on match days.

“Try to look beyond the prototypical Irish and English bars and pubs,” Ruddy recommends. “Look at off-the-beaten-path establishments — cafés, grocery stores, social clubs, juice bars. People love to connect through soccer and through food. This is a once-in-a-four-year opportunity to meet different kinds of people you live right next to.”

The New York–based soccer site First Touch offers a free “soccer bar finder” app for iOS and Android that provides live broadcast schedules and points you to the nearest pub. The app is geared toward traditional pubs and soccer mega-bars such as Nevada Smiths and Legends, which will likely have extremely diverse crowds. For purely partisan viewing, First Touch publisher David Witchard suggests visiting Little Brazil on West 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

“Police section off the whole block for every Brazil match,” Witchard says. “It just becomes a street party. It’s great — everybody is out dancing and playing drums in the streets.”

3. Adopt a Team

With USA stuck in a Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana, it may prove wise to have a backup team to support in the later stages of the tournament. Defending champions Spain are again favored to reach the finals, and the best place to watch La Furia Roja defend their title is La Nacional, a Spanish restaurant in Chelsea with a tranquil basement cantina frequented by silver-haired men who sip red wine and argue about fútbol. The tapas are delectable and affordable — try a buttery wedge of tortilla Española, big enough to serve two — and the drink selection includes the devious Basque concoction kalimotxo, a mix of wine and Coca-Cola.

If you prefer to pledge your allegiance to an underdog, consider Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the smallest countries in this year’s tournament, Bosnia’s national team features an electric striker in Manchester City star Edin Dzeko and has served as a unifying force in the ethnically divided Balkan nation. Bosnian fans gather en masse at Old Bridge, a hole-in-the-wall in Astoria that specializes in cevapi, thumb-sized lamb and beef sausages served with a pita-like bread. When their squad qualified for the Cup last year, Bosnian fans flooded the street outside the restaurant waving flags, honking car horns, and setting off fireworks.

Bosnia faces Argentina in the opening round, a foe with a superior soccer pedigree and an equally rabid New York following. Ruddy recommends arriving early if you want to score a seat at Boca Juniors Restaurant in Elmhurst, a steakhouse named after Argentina’s most popular professional club. Another Queens option for would-be Argentina fans is La Esquina Criolla, a restaurant and social club in Corona. Richard Turkieltaub, president of NYC Argentina, a club team competing in New York’s Cosmos Copa soccer tournament, says newcomers are always welcome, as long as they’re pulling for Messi and Co.

“All you have to do is put on a jersey and join,” Turkieltaub says. “No one is going to make you feel uncomfortable. Everyone is there for a specific reason, and that’s to scream and yell and cheer for the country they love and the team they love.”

Categories
FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Pop-Up Fly: Malt n Mash Soars to Nowhere

No longer the subject of lengthy trend pieces, pop-up restaurants have become all but commonplace. If anything, their presence is on the wane in New York, replaced by über pop-up event spaces such as Sarah Simmons’s City Grit, Res from Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, and even David Santos’s Nossa Mesa at Louro, making for an endless rotation of fly-by-night kitchens.

On the surface, Malt n Mash in the meatpacking district appears to be a pop-up. It’s not.

Welcome to the age of the practice restaurant. The Line Group, a hospitality entity owned by real estate whale Michael Shah, operates a number of properties, including downtown hotspot Sons of Essex and a collection of establishments on the same stretch of Gansevoort Street: The Raven (a nightclub), an events space dubbed 55 Gans, and Malt n Mash. Shah — who, incidentally, is being sued by former partner Matt Levine for $20 million — recently purchased 69 Gansevoort down the street. The historic building will serve as home base for 44 Acres, the permanent restaurant from Malt n Mash’s chef, Nahid Ahmed.

For now, though, we have Malt n Mash, although it’s not entirely clear what that means. Ahmed cooked for Gray Kunz and spent time in some heavyweight kitchens like El Bulli, The Fat Duck, and Lespinasse. So why are we eating a roulade of foie gras with smears of chipotle peanut butter and curry-apricot jam to the deafening beat of Taio Cruz’s “Hangover” with a refrigerated display case of Red Bull in the background? Geography is surely the answer, but the tone seems off for the style of food, and the blaring music resonates with profundity in a nearly empty room during prime time on a Friday night. The restaurant may be temporary, but it’s surprising to see a basket of paper towels hanging from a screw plugged into the wall, the anchors and outline of the hand dryer that used to be there still visible.

The food, too, seems incomplete. That foie gras is all velvet and cream, but the dish’s accents hardly register, resulting in something altogether one-note. There’s simply not enough smoky peanut butter or curried fruit to stand up to the organ meat. It’s a struggle to find the corn flavor in popcorn grits, which lay the foundation for inert sweetbreads, expertly crisp but lacking salt. Whatever gripes there are to be had about the food, Ahmed does construct it with an artist’s eye. Although their starchiness doesn’t meld well with the milky sweetbreads, sturdy shavings of raw cauliflower look like coral with jewels of golden beet scattered around.

Consistency is an issue. There wasn’t one dish we sampled that didn’t have a few good elements marred by a glaring error. Cutting into thick cylinders of octopus reveals that the cephalopod statues are actually four tentacles fused together with the meat glue known as transglutaminase. All that wizardry comes at a cost: The magic enzyme can’t save this chewy octopus with rather bland flesh. A plank of crispy duck skin and a smooth cocoa bean purée are the only respites, gamey fat and earthy bean acting as a flavor bridge.

Larger plates find no surer footing because of similar failures in execution. Duck prosciutto is luscious on its own, but the dish is supposed to be a sandwich, and the cured fowl registers as a major letdown when served inside bread so incinerated it looks like an arsonist’s plaything. An accompanying tangle of mixed greens falls equally flat in a pallid citrus vinaigrette. Salmon comes in a dainty portion, the edges cooked through and enlivened by tart blueberry sauce and charred leek, but the interior of the fish is raw. Still, that blueberry sauce could be bottled.

The list of cocktails, beer, and wines is brief, but several selections prove pleasant, including a 2010 S.A. Prüm Kabinett Riesling and Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian-style pale ale. The bar also features the Heineken Extra Cold Draught system, which serves the Dutch mainstay at temperatures between 29 and 32 degrees, but Bud Light seems an odd choice for pairing with ingredients like scallion ash and negro mole.

For dessert, we encountered a slightly chalky young coconut panna cotta with chunks of liquid-nitrogen-frozen mango mousse in a pool of dulce de leche. The coconut flavor was pronounced and refreshing, but despite the slivers of fresh mango, the dessert approached cloying.

Launched in August, Malt n Mash will be a memory come 2014. Even for a restaurant in flux, it feels unfinished, a trussed-up, progressive turkey with all the MePa trimmings: loud sounds and fist-bumping, signifying nothing. Perhaps with a permanent residence, the staff will be able to settle in and do a bit more damage control to give Ahmed’s food a less slippery dance floor.

Categories
ART ARCHIVES CULTURE ARCHIVES

Holiday Guide: Arts Listings

 

MUSIC

Edited by Seth Colter Walls

 

Dinosaur Jr.

 

December 1

You might call any album other than You’re Living All Over Me the best work by Dinosaur Jr., but you’d be wrong. For its 25th anniversary, the band will play the work front to back. But because it’s just 36 minutes long, they’ll need to do more than just regurgitate the album. Good thing they’ve released a trio of improbably great records in recent years, including this year’s I Bet on Sky. Kurt Vile and a bevy of “special guest stars” are also promised. Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street, terminal5nyc.com

 

Olga Neuwirth

 

December 6

During the holidays, most of New York’s classical institutions turn to chestnuts of the repertoire, making for something of a dry run of concerts. That cannot be said of Columbia University’s Miller Theater, however, which is devoting an entire night to an exploration of the Austrian composer’s midcareer works. Count on the spectral, atonal heritage of late-20th-century masters like Murail and Nono (both of whom Neuwirth studied under), and also bet on strong performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble (whose executive director, Claire Chase, just won a MacArthur award). Miller Theater, 116 Broadway, millertheatre.com

 

Robert Glasper Experiment

 

December 13 through 14

The pianist turned in one of this year’s best overall jazz records with Black Radio, a work that played around with hip-hop/r&b fusion without falling victim to any clichéd pitfalls. But now it’s on to the next project, a reworking of songs from Stevie Wonder’s catalog (and some new Wonder-inspired tunes by the leader). Questlove, who turned in a Black Radio remix, pops up to assist Glasper’s core electronic group. Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Avenue, harlemstage.org

 

John Cale

 

January 16, 18 through 19

He co-founded the Velvet Underground. What else does he have to do before you buy a ticket? New music is promised on the two nights that the Wordless Orchestra is set to help Cale perform his solo classic 1919; if uncut nostalgia is your thing, go for the separate evening billed as “a tribute to Nico.” Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org

 

David Virelles

 

January 31

In the young pianist’s latest songs, avant influences like Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill get mixed up with Cuban rhythms, computer music, and poetry recitations. Judge the results on the group’s debut album from Pi Recordings, titled Continuum. You might suspect a muddle from so much complexity in the blender—instead it contains hints of both grace and mystery, along with a strong dose of improvisational power. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street, 92y.org/Tribeca/index

 

THEATER

Edited by Alexis Soloski

 

‘Volpone’

 

Begins November 27

Sure, it launches in the midst of flu season, but Ben Jonson’s 1606 play, revived by Red Bull, promises to cure whatever ails you. Volpone concerns a deliciously immoral magnifico who decides to dupe three noblemen of their wealth by feigning a deadly illness. Happily, Red Bull director Jesse Berger has attracted a healthy cast, including Rocco Sisto, Stephen Spinella, Alvin Epstein, and Tovah Feldshuh. Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher Street, redbulltheater.com

 

‘The Other Place’

 

Begins December 11

The commanding Laurie Metcalf stars as Juliana Smithton, a brilliant, thorny research scientist who fears a diagnosis of brain cancer. But just as we’ve settled in for a familiar illness drama, Sharr White adroitly flips the script, forcing audiences to question everything we’ve come to believe about character and plot. Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, manhattantheatreclub.com

 

‘Picnic’

 

Begins December 14

If the world of American theater were a just one, William Inge would nudge his way into the pantheon typically reserved for Williams, O’Neill, and Miller, with his gentle and devastating surveys of small-town life. The admired director Sam Gold makes the latest case for Inge’s inclusion, staging a revival of Picnic, about a locale discombobulated by a smoldering drifter, for the Roundabout. And he’s attracted a remarkable cast to lay out the fixings: Reed Birney, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Ellen Bursty, et al. American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, roundabouttheatre.org

COIL

Begins January 3

P.S. 122’s COIL Festival begins the year with performative bangs and Chekhovian whimpers. The five theatrical works include Kristin Kosmas’s There There, which features a character from Three Sisters, and Half Straddle’s Seagull (Thinking of you). Non-Russophile shows feature Radiohole’s “blood chilling and completely strange” Inflatable Frankenstein; Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver’s Ruff, in which Shaw returns to the stage after a stroke; and Tea Tupajic and Petra Zanki’s The Curators’ Piece (A trial against art), which places P.S. 122’s artistic director in the dock. Various locations, ps122.org

‘Bethany’

Begins January 11

Apparently, real women have Off-Broadway contracts. Taking a brief sabbatical from film and television, America Ferrara arrives on the Women’s Project stage as Crystal, the hard-pressed heroine of this new play. Another victim of the financial crisis, Crystal watches as her home is foreclosed on, her child taken away from her, and her job threatened. Laura Marks, a recent Juilliard graduate, makes her professional debut with this script. Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who has made an acerbic splash with two dark Simon Stephens plays, repossesses it. New York City Center Stage II, 131 West 55th Street

ART

Edited by Alexis Soloski

 

‘Matisse: In Search of True Painting’

Opens December 7

“It has bothered me all my life,” said Henri Matisse, “that I do not paint like everyone else.” This Metropolitan Museum exhibition focuses on the themes and compositions he returned to throughout his career. Should Matisse’s dazzling use of color and line not put you into the holiday spirit, you can top off your visit with a walk by the Met’s Christmas tree and Neapolitan baroque crèche. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, metmuseum.org

‘Inventing Abstraction: 1910–1925’

Opens December 23

Marcel Duchamp once proposed, “An abstract painting need in 50 years by no means look ‘abstract’ any longer.” A hundred years on, the Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition detailing nonrepresentational art’s early years, including works by Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Vasily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Kazimir Malevich alongside contemporary examples of allied arts. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, moma.org

‘Ignacio Uriarte’

Opens January 17

Who among us has not doodled idly with a Bic pen, made a chain of paperclips, or gone a little crazy with a stack of Post-it tabs? But few of us see our idle scribbles displayed at the Drawing Center, which will be exhibiting Ignacio Uriarte’s stunningly precise works, all constructed from generic office supplies. Also opening at the Drawing Center in January are works by Alexandre Singh, who resituates interviews with scientists and artists as photocopied collages, and Ishmael Randall Weeks, who represents his native Peru via hand-distressed slides. The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, drawingcenter.org

‘Roman Vishniac Rediscovered and We Went Back: Photographs From Europe 1933–1956 by Chim’

Opens January 18

The International Center for Photography shakes off the syrupy aftertaste of holiday kitsch with exhibitions devoted to two extraordinary mid-century Jewish photographers. Roman Vishniac recorded Jewish life between the two world wars, while Dawid Szymin, known as Chim, helped to pioneer photojournalism and co-founded the Magnum Photos cooperative before being killed while on assignment during the Suez War. The show includes 120 of Szymin’s prints. The International Center for Photography, 1133 Sixth Avenue, icp.org

‘Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches at the Frick Collection’

Opens January 23

With the triumph of the smartphone, who wears a watch anymore? And when was the last time you had occasion to buy a clock? Perhaps the extraordinary timepieces in the Frick Collection’s latest exhibition will tempt you. Thirty-eight pieces represent the art of horology from 1500 to 1830. (And if you’d like to psych yourself up a month or so in advance, you can stop in to MOMA for Christian Marclay’s extraordinary 24-hour film montage, The Clock.) The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, frick.org

BOOKS

Edited by James Hannaham

 

‘Empress of Fashion’ by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

December 4

A cottage industry has emerged around Diana Vreeland, the late editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and all-around fashion guru. The frenzy already includes the memoir-gone-mad D.V., as well as the 2011 documentary The Eye Has to Travel, but this is her first full-length biography. This perhaps has as much to do with how much more seriously we take fashion nowadays as with how quaintly delicious we now find Vreeland’s gushy, borderline Dadaist sensibility: “I loathe red with any orange in it—although, curiously enough, I also loathe orange without red in it.” There’s also the allure of Vreeland’s mid-20th-century jet-set world, when fashion and mass media had only begun their ever-burgeoning romance, and the shamelessness with which she adored it. Harper, 432 pp., $35

‘The Testament of Mary’ by Colm Tóibín

November 13

Award-winning author Tóibín (Brooklyn, The Master) brings us a provocative novella in which he inhabits the voice of an aging Virgin Mary. Throughout, Mary remains very much perturbed and mystified that the events of her personal life have begun to take on a mythic and religious significance that we know will last thousands of years. It might prove difficult for readers to identify with a married woman who gives birth to the Lord’s child, Jesus, though remaining a virgin, only to watch him die on the cross, presumably for the sins of people who at that moment would not be in evidence to her, but Tóibín brings us into Mary’s late middle age in prose that’s full of grace. Scribner, 96 pp., $23

‘Later Poems Selected and New 1971–2012’ by Adrienne Rich

November 5

‘Poems 1962–2012’ by Louise Glück

November 13

Lesbian feminist Rich, who passed away last March, was known for her fearlessly political subject matter, beginning with 1972’s National Book Award winner Diving Into the Wreck. Critics frequently pigeonhole Glück as a bard whose plainspoken style strips down language and disposes of artifice, while at the same time avoiding anything too obviously confessional. This anthology is poised to demonstrate the breadth of her exploration—perhaps the haunting photo of Saturn on the cover means to symbolize that journey. W.W. Norton, 544 pp., $39.95; FSG, 656 pp., $40

‘Spectacle’ by Susan Steinberg

January 8

Don’t trust my judgment about this book—Steinberg is a close friend of mine. Instead, believe Publishers Weekly‘s starred review (obviously, not written by me) of her upcoming linked-story extravaganza, Spectacle: “Steinberg is a maestro of stylistic innovation, conducting orbits of narrative and motif, coaxing meaning and music from each line.” After reading this devastating cluster of uncompromising, funny, and eye-opening stories about women trapped in a male-centered world, I told Susan: “Your sentences are like whips. With all the possible connotations thereof.” Meaning pain, pleasure, Sadism, discipline, surprise, injustice, lion taming—you name it. But even I’d be afraid to say to her what Publishers Weekly did, for fear of sounding gushy: “With its literary inventions and sharp storytelling, this is a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction.” Graywolf, 152 pp., $14

‘There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories’ by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, translated by Anna Summers

January 29

The title itself is a miniature short story, full of the bleakness and pathos one might expect from one of Russia’s best living writers. She’s certainly a master of the minimally counterintuitive, a/k/a the story just outrageous enough to be true, like “The Fountain House,” from an earlier collection called There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby. That tale, which appeared in The New Yorker, concerns a father so vexed by his daughter’s death that he rescues her from the morgue and pleads with the doctors to put her in intensive care, where they eventually do bring her back from the grave. Penguin, 192 pp., $15

‘See Now Then’ by Jamaica Kincaid

February 5

Some writers mean to rehabilitate the careers of earlier ones through their new work, partially as fans and partially as evangelists. I suspect that Jonathan Lethem is partially responsible for the Philip K. Dick renaissance. For her part, Jamaica Kincaid has taken Gertrude Stein as her career’s guiding light, having written several biographies and “autobiographies” of her own loved ones. Ten years after the enigmatic Mr. Potter, Kincaid’s narrator rambles through the saga of the Sweets, a family living in New England, as their relationships disintegrate. In quintessentially Steinian fashion, says Mrs. Sweet, “The present will be a now then, and the past is now then, and the future will be a now then.” FSG, 192 pp., $23

DANCE

Edited by Elizabeth Zimmer

‘The Nutcracker’ (various)

November 23 through January 6

Ah, Christmas. Stay out of stores and off the Internet, and instead take your money and your loved ones to a culture palace and wallow in Tchaikovsky. We face a barrage of Nutcrackers: The pick of the crop is Alexei Ratmansky’s mildly scary, beautifully designed one, exquisitely performed by American Ballet Theatre, at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (December 7 through January 6). A miniature, Art Nouveau version for the younger set, choreographed by Keith Michael for New York Theatre Ballet runs December 7 through 22 at Florence Gould Hall. The granddaddy of them all, New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker by George Balanchine, runs at Lincoln Center November 23 through December 30. A novelty version, Dances Patrelle’s Yorkville Nutcracker, sets its celebration in Olde New York, mixing NYCB principals with local students (December 6 through 9). Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, nytb.org New York City Ballet, 20 Lincoln Center, nycballet.com Dances Patrelle, the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, dancespatrelle.org

Tere O’Connor

November 27 through December 1

The philosopher king of downtown dance and mentor to emerging artists brings two new works to New York Live Arts. On his blog, O’Connor discusses his process: “I develop material from multiple unrelated sources down divergent pathways as a way of entering the realm of consciousness where nothing aspires to order. I then bring these ideas/materials together by placing them in close temporal proximity.” Sounds perfect for the week after Thanksgiving. New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, newyorklivearts.org

Streb

November 29 through December 23

If you missed them at the summer Olympics, never fear: Williamsburg’s own Streb opens the doors of its Streb Laboratory for Action Mechanics (S.L.A.M.) for Forces! The Movical. A theater of “flight and impact, physics and courage,” it glorifies the kind of roughhousing that frightened your mother. With music by David Van Tieghem, a book by Fela‘s Jim Lewis, Elizabeth Streb’s customary daredevil moves, and a lot of heavy equipment. Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 North 1st Street, Brooklyn, streb.org

Doug Elkins

December 5 through 8

What happens when a mad fusion B-boy, raised on street dancing and finished at the Purchase conservatory, grows up? Simply a flowering of his classically trained, pop-addled sensibility, already defined by the legendary Fräulein Maria, a notorious take on The Sound of Music. For this four-nights-only program, Elkins re-imagines his 1990 mash-up of Shakespeare’s Othello and the music of Motown in Mo(or)town/Redux, a quartet for dancers who can evoke both Limón technique and the fleetest break dancing. Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th Street, bacnyc.org

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

December 18 through January 6

You think a performance featuring hairy-chested men in tutus and size-13 pointe shoes is inappropriate holiday fare? Think again. This two-week, two-program run at the Joyce both parodies and worships the tropes and clichés of classical technique, making festive fun of such warhorses as The Dying Swan, Paquita, Swan Lake, and, in Go for Barocco, master choreographer George Balanchine. The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, joyce.org

FILM

Edited by Aaron Hillis

 

‘Home for the Holidays’

December 15 through 20

Bored by Ralphie shooting his eye out and Clarence getting his wings? BAM spikes the eggnog with a hodgepodge of less-than-jolly Christmas gems, kicked off by Joe Dante’s sly horror-comedy Gremlins. Also stuffed in the stocking are 1974’s proto-slasher Silent Night Bloody Night (co-starring John Carradine and a bevy of Warhol superstars), John Waters’ Female Trouble, Kubrick’s orgy-licious Eyes Wide Shut, John Huston’s The Dead, and Minelli’s musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, bam.org

‘A Very Culty Christmas’

December 21 through 23

Formerly just a DVD-rental shop, Williamsburg’s newly revamped Videology now boasts a full bar and a 45-seat microcinema. Toss back a stiff drink with its free lineup of gonzo Yuletide clas-sicks, including two killer-Santa nightmares (1980’s Christmas Evil, 1984’s Don’t Open ‘Til Christmas) and three VHS oddities: 1972’s low-rent kiddie matinee Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, 1964’s so-bad-it’s-amazing The Magic Christmas Tree, and 1989’s reindeer-shit insane Elves—which pits Dan Haggerty against Nazi demons. Videology, 308 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

‘See It in 70mm!’

December 21 through January 1

Although 70mm prints were once a standard, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master was the first film since the mid ’90s to be shot it. Soon-to-be-returning Voice critic Scott Foundas curates 15 classics and rarities in their stunning original format, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Jacques Tati’s Playtime. In an age when screens are ubiquitously becoming more portable, experience The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Ryan’s Daughter, Tron, John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn, and more in a wonderfully counterintuitive way. The Film Society of Lincoln Center, West 65th and Broadway, filmlinc.com

‘Ninotchka’

December 28 through January 3

Billy Wilder co-wrote the script for witty wunderkind Ernst Lubitsch’s cynically sharp 1939 satire, about three comrades on a mission in Paris to sell confiscated jewels for the Russian government, only to be delayed by the seductive allure of capitalism. The headliner, however, is Greta Garbo, making her successful first foray into comedy as a stern Soviet envoy who, too, lets the champagne go to her head. Film Forum presents a new 35mm print and free glasses of bubbly to all ticketholders on New Year’s Eve at the 7:30 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. shows. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, filmforum.org

‘New Yawk New Wave’

January 11 through 31

The Film Forum relives a long-bygone era when not just NYC was dangerous and more exciting, but so was its fiercely independent filmmaking. Largely conceived as two-for-one double features, the films in this series include anarchic ’60s comedies by Robert Downey Senior (Chafed Elbows, Putney Swope), Brian De Palma’s early, funny ones (Greetings and Hi, Mom!), subversive whatsits (Norman Mailer’s Maidstone, William Greaves’s Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 1), gritty time capsules (Lionel Rogosin’s On the Bowery, Shirley Clarke’s The Connection), and other countercultural must-sees from Paul Morrissey, Jonas Mekas, and Kenneth Anger. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, filmforum.org

Categories
VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Fired Up

The Red Bulls are a high-caliber team with a winning record—currently second in their Eastern Conference. Their state-of-the-art stadium is a treat for fans. And they’re the only New York sports franchise with an international impact: Over the summer, the Bulls signed one of Australia’s star players, midfielder Tim Cahill, and loaned rookie Victor Palsson to a Dutch club to get more playing experience. Makes MLB and the NFL look kind of provincial! Today’s match between the Red Bulls and hot division rival Sporting Kansas City is being called a dogfight. 
The teams played to a 1-1 draw in their last meeting, and Red Bulls coach Hans Backe predicted to reporters that this game “will be ugly.” Tickets start at $20 with excellent seats only around $40. But move fast, as the Red Bulls are known to sell out by game time.

Wed., Sept. 19, 7 p.m., 2012

Categories
Living NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

GOOOOAAALLL!

One of the original MLS teams—first known as the MetroStars when the league was founded in 1996—the Red Bulls are the only team not to have won a major competition, but the rebuilding program undertaken by head coach Hans Backe (who fulfilled many a frustrated fan’s dream by cutting five players, including the goalkeeper) in the past two seasons yielded them an invitation to be the first MLS team to play in the prestigious 2011 Emirates Cup in London, which they brought home. This year, they’re on a winning streak and are second in the Eastern Conference, despite a few key injuries. And the fans are with them—more than 17,000 at a recent Saturday-night game! The 20-minute PATH ride is worth it just to see Red Bull Arena, a state-of-the-art stadium built by an energy-drink company instead of taxpayer money.

Sat., April 28, 3:30 p.m., 2012

Categories
VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

SHOOT OUT

The Red Bulls are leading MLS’s Eastern Conference (4-1-2 as of May 3) and have not lost at home this year (3-0-1), and while Chivas USA, based in the L.A. suburb of Carson, are only ranked No. 7 in the Western Conference, they rebounded in April after a poor start, earning a spot in soccer blogger Ives Galacerp’s Turnaround Club. On the Chivas side, popular coach Robin Fraser juggled positions during the off-season with great success; watch for rookie Zarek Valentin at fullback. The hottest player for the Red Bulls so far is forward Luke Rodgers, who was recruited from England’s fourth division. The website goal.com recently cited Rodgers’s “gutsy demeanor and strong work rate” after he averaged almost a goal per game for the season. It’s worth a trip just to see the state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena, designed to put the fans as close to the action as possible. (Fans are also drawn in by the unique sweeping roof, part of it translucent, which covers them but not the field.)

Sun., May 15, 7 p.m., 2011

Categories
Bars Living NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

The Hottest Guy in NYC Is Semi-Available!

Cute guy alert! Geronimo Frias mans some of the games at Amanda Lepore’s Big Top—the Wednesday-night party at Bowlmor’s Carnival floor where you try to reel in plush prizes, a good time, and maybe even a life partner.

His half-naked barking adds to the surreal feeling that this delightfully lunatic bash is pieced together from the final sequence of a lost Orson Welles film as edited by Gus Van Sant.

In the old days of columnists like Earl Wilson, that would have been enough to get someone interviewed (usually a lady, admittedly), but I happen to demand a personality, too, and Geronimo delivers, putting the go back in go-go.

The New York–born son of Dominican parents, he got into half-clad dancing in 2008 when he went to the East Village pit the Cock to hawk a charity calendar he’d done and they shrewdly advised him to sell it on the bar in his underwear. “The music started to take me,” Geronimo remembered in an interview last week, “and I thought I’d take this and see what happens.”

It took him a lot of places, actually. Nowadays, he dances at the Monster, G Lounge, Club 57, Hiro, Hudson Terrace, Splash, and Hangar Bar, in between working the Big Top bash, lifeguarding in Harlem, doing real estate appraisals, and hawking a Geronimo doll. “Hence not much sleep,” he explained to me, “and I’m getting these horrible migraines. When you see me hyper at the club, I don’t know where I get it from!”

Not from drugs? “No. I’m so straight-edged,” he insisted. “I don’t even like Red Bull or coffee. The only time I consider drugs is when I have a migraine and anything that can get rid of that, I welcome. Though I don’t do it!”

Me: Well, other clubbies tend to be three dirty sheets to the wind, as I’ve noticed. What’s the rudest thing one of them ever did to you?

Geronimo: On Halloween, some guy dressed like a pirate tried to stab me in the butt with his sword.

Me: As it were.

Geronimo: I understand that some-times people are just drunk and they don’t know what they’re doing. I did push him off, though.

Me: But in general, do customers show you all sorts of respect?

Geronimo: Some do, some don’t. A lot of them get angry that I’m straight. They get disappointed—or they look at me like, “Yeah, you’re straight now” or “You’re gay for pay.”

Me: [Pause.] Wait—you’re not only straight-edged, you’re actually straight? Isn’t it highly unusual to have a hetero working in a gay bar? Or actually dozens of gay bars?

Geronimo: I thought so, but I found out there’s a lot of straight guys dancing. They say straight, but other people say they’re confused or they might turn over. I’m not gonna turn over.

Me: Neither am I. But are you sure?

Geronimo: I don’t see it happening, but you can never say no. I’ve heard of people going their whole lives and then changing—like the guy from New Jersey [Jim McGreevey]—but I don’t see it happening.

Me: So, do you have a girlfriend?

Geronimo: No. Just a Chihuahua.

Me: So you must go to straight bars all the time to meet people, right?

Geronimo: I try to, but I’m too booked.

Me: So how in tarnation are you going to get a girlfriend?

Geronimo: That’s a good question. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a while.

Me: In the meantime, ahem, are you gay for pay?

Geronimo: No! Dance for pay, yes!

As we reached the poignant end of our chat, which led me to a psychosexual brick wall, I realized that when word gets out that this guy isn’t available for hookups, even for money, he’s going to be hotter than ever on the gay scene.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

But wait! I’m hearing another personality alert, and this time it’s gay. In between carnival games, I’ve discovered Jordan Fox, a Montreal-born creation who hosts at the Box on Tuesdays and Vandam on Sundays, while wearing a pert mix of fetish gear, designer one-offs, and secondhand gems, all complementing a pirate sword that’s apparently quite large.

How does he identify? “Gay male,” Fox told me last week. “Bottom,” he added. “Power bottom. Bossy bottom.” Charmed, I’m sure. Is Fox—who by day is a host/server at Boutique Eat Shop—one of those people who becomes a totally separate creature come nightfall? “No,” he said. “I’m the same, day and night. I don’t have a drag name or persona. I’m the same in tennis shorts as I am in a sequined bodysuit and an ostrich egg in my mouth.

“People are very intrigued by my choice of wardrobe and makeup,” he continued, not shyly. “I’m not a very standard drag queen or club kid. I’m very innovative and progressive.

“I became very famous in Montreal and came to New York for my birthday four years ago. My opportunities have been magical. I’ve hosted every single major party.” Like he said—bossy bottom. The guy can even take the stress of wearing painfully high heels, if it’s for events that are worth it. “You just drink more,” he advised.

I’m hearing that another high-heeled scene personality from Canada, Ladyfag, just got approved for her paperwork to stay in the States—and she didn’t shy away from telling them she goes by the name Ladyfag! Immigration is getting very innovative and progressive these days.

In other Lady talk, I recently observed a very young brother and sister carrying on in front of their mother at a discount store, so I plugged up my mouth with an ostrich egg and stopped to take notes. When the boy spotted a rack of fashion sunglasses, he shriekingly grabbed a glitzy pair of them and tried them on. “Lady Gaga wears dark glasses,” he gushed. “Look, I’m Lady Gaga!” “She’s a girl,” snarled the sister, looking ready to choke his neck. See what kind of sickness has swept the country, thanks to this heathen woman and her outfits? It’s fabulous!

In the theater, trends come in twos these days, which must explain why I just encountered a pair of Off-Broadway musicals with Biblical characters, both trying to juggle sardonic humor with a serious story about the quest for human connection. Alas, smartass jokes don’t mix with sentiment any easier when you throw in the good book. At the York, Falling for Eve has dull patches that suggest Eve is right when she says this is far from paradise, though it comes at you with confidence, and a couple of nice songs put some shine on the apple. But over at the Vineyard, the soul-selling tuner I’ll Be Damned looked like it couldn’t hold a novena candle to Damn Yankees. I tempted fate by leaving at intermission.

Here’s some dish for devout Broadway worshippers: Though Patti LuPone did a reading of the musical version of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown earlier this year, she supposedly turned the actual show down, but now I’m hearing she’s having second thoughts about that. Is Patti on the verge of doing an original musical?

As has been reported, Catherine Zeta-Jones dropped out of another role in that very show when she was asked to audition. “It was weird,” director Bartlett Sher just told Playbill‘s Harry Haun. “All we wanted to do was hear her sing—make sure that everything suited her voice—and she canceled at the last moment.” Bossy bottom alert!

musto@villagevoice.com

Categories
VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

JUST FOR KICKS

It’s not often that a new sports stadium opens around here and everyday fans can afford to attend, which makes the opening of the state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, notable. The soccer-specific stadium has been delayed by everything from financing to environmental concerns, but now the new home of the New York Red Bulls (formerly the MetroStars), which opened March 20, features a full schedule of Major League Soccer and other events. The European-style translucent roof allows for natural light and covers the seats—but not the field. The first row of seating is only 21 feet from the touchlines, and there is room for 25,000 fans, including 1,116 premium seats. Tonight, in their first regular season game, the Red Bulls host the Chicago Fire. Only 10 miles from NYC, the Arena is easily accessible by PATH, bus, train, or car.

Sat., March 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010

Categories
Bars CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES Neighborhoods NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Listings

OK, so we know about the Splashes, the G’s, the Barracudas, the Meow Mixes, the Cocks, and the Holes that litter the New York bar scene, but where can queers of color go when they’re in need of a little, uh, seasoning in their nighttime soup? We understand those yearnings for a vibe a little outside the Wonder Bread variety. Here are a couple of ideas.

In my ‘hood, ROCKWELLS (31 Rockwell Place, Brooklyn, 718-488-8338) on Saturday nights is the best place any black gay man in Brooklyn can be. Most of the boys—twenty- and thirtysomething muscular thugs with girlfriends probably waiting at home—are in a lively mood in the dank, narrow, cinderblock-walled storefront. This is probably why random buppies like myself often stop in to hang. There are the odd culture clashes, like when a fashion queen in Helmut Lang jeans and twists tries to order a Red Bull vodka, later explaining to the dumbfounded barkeep that you can’t make a Red Bull; you mix it. “I’ll just get a vodka tonic,” he says, sighing in defeat. Taking a lesson, I order a wretchedly alcoholic cranberry vodka ($6) and melt into the crowd to dance as guys grind each other in time with the Ashanti single that comes on. —JOSÉ GÉRMOSÉN


“You light it on fire,” the bartender guffawed as he sent my Chueca shot (Malibu, Bailey’s, and Kahlúa, $7) ablaze. I’m no pyromaniac, but what’s a few eyelashes? I love Latin bars; they serve the most innovative libations. The Colombian lesbos of CHUECA’S (69-04 Woodside Avenue, Queens, 718-424-1171) half-mirrored, dimly lit pad really know how to take el licor. On any given Friday or Saturday night they’re perched at tables or at the cushiony black-lined bar snapping drinks back like it was a little agua. Feeling compelled to keep up, I tried a CB Red Cherry Bomb (Midori, amaretto, and Bacardi O, $6), a Robitussin-y concoction. Still, as the crowd got naughty and the bartenders took to dancing on the bar, I sampled a shot of (my favorite tipple there!) Colombian-made Aguardiente Cristal ($5), which is kind of like Sambuca with less kick. The only fire here is in the pit of my stomach! —KEISHA FRANKLIN


THE HANGAR (115 Christopher Street, 627-2044) is an old West Village standby that’s always impressed me with its ability to attract a completely split audience of every race, from weekend leathermasters to dressed-down black and Latino men. Tuesday is 2-4-1, when Diego, a big, quiet black man in a dusty ball cap, plays the day’s tapings of MTV2. He has good taste and you can sit for hours watching the highlights of the fiercest women in r&b. I sip on a Stoli Rasberi and OJ ($5.50; two for one on Tuesdays)—nice and strong, but not totally bitter—peeping the fly looks and vocal range of Sharissa, Amerie, and the new Beyoncé cut. I get into a deep conversation about Aaliyah, as her video for “More Than a Lover” finishes playing on the set above us. More intense moments can be had here, to be sure. —J.G.


I used to think I could sing, but somewhere between my 16-year-old chorus recitals and my blunt-toking college twenties, my surety went astray. This may be why I took to guzzling cosmos ($7.50) at CRAZY NANNY’S (21 Seventh Avenue South, at Leroy Street, 366-6312) very ethnic, very soulful Sunday karaoke night. While honey-colored, somewhat ghetto-fabulous hipsters played pool, other professional laid-back women served as audience to surprisingly gifted vocalists. It was here, amid the scant decor (bare wooden chairs, raised television screen) of this bi-level, dive-like bar, that my lifelong dream plummeted. Luckily, a Long Island iced tea ($7) and sex on the beach ($6.50) later, the only thing that mattered were hilarious hostess Lisa Love and the few women slinging their bare breasts onto the bar for a free-drink tradition called “titties on the table.” God bless ’em. -K.F.