December NYC Events + NYC Weekend Corona Culture (12/6)

Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.” We made it as easy as 1-2-3.

Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being. Stay Safe.

For December we are going to try a different format – “Top 10 Corona Culture” – updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times OR NYC related visual info (Instagram and YouTube) OR all the NYC news you need to start your day.

We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.

Today it’s NYC Weekend Corona Culture (Sun). NEW STUFF!

9 Actually Fun Things to Do in NYC This WeekendThrillist

Thrillist, a site with tons of food, drink, travel & entertainment info, introduces folks to the coolest things to do in NYC (and other places when you are traveling). I like to check them out regularly. You should, too.

“While the police are shutting down 400-person “bottle clubs” in Midtown, the rest of us know better than to party in a maskless crowd during a pandemic! Soon enough, we’ll be dancing until 4 am with a bunch of drunken strangers again, but until then, we’ve rounded up some better ways to spend a (safe and socially-distant!) weekend in NYC.

Wrap up gifts for everyone on your list at a curated shop celebrating Black-owned businesses, sip hot chocolate at a new spot all the way from Paris, or eat Korean street food in a 1980s-themed “tented wagon”—we’ve rounded up eight actually cool things to eat, drink, see, and do in NYC this weekend. And as COVID-19 cases in the city continue to rise, as always, please wear a mask and social distance responsibly.

Salute Brooklyn at a brand new restaurant

Friday, December 4 – Saturday, December 5
Named for the heroine of the literary classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Francie’s European menu from chef Christopher Cipollone (Piora, Cotogna) and co-owner John Winterman (Bâtard, Daniel) fits right into the neighborhood. Stop by for snacks—including butternut squash bombolini and soufflé cakes with yuzu and caviar—and a cocktail (the “Sour Francie” has bourbon, citrus, egg white, and a red wine float), or explore their full menu of handmade pastas. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, order the côte de boeuf and a sundae—both are portioned perfectly for two. 
Cost: Pastas start at $19

Sip soju at a Korean pop-up

Korean gastropub Osamil has opened up a pop-up—Osamil Pojangmacha, which loosely translates to “tented wagon,” and is the term used for streetside eating in Korea. In this new outdoor dining and socially distant setup in front of the restaurant, they’ll be serving soju, street-style Korean barbecue, and more in the 1980s-themed “wagon,” which is a windowed wooden structure painted bright red and plastered with vintage Korean newspapers, movie posters, and books. 
Cost: Happy hour sets start at $35

Get a taste of hot chocolate from Paris

Bryant Park
Parisian café Angelina, best-known for its creamy hot chocolate, has opened a Manhattan outpost to bring a little joie de vivre to winter in NYC. Sip a big cup of hot chocolate, nibble on a croissant, and live your best Emily in Paris fantasy. If you want to spend a whole dreamy morning à la Emily Cooper, the prix fixe brunch includes tea, coffee, or hot chocolate; pastries; your choice of entree; and a chestnut crepe with chantilly cream.
Cost: Hot chocolate is $8.90, prix fixe brunch is $38

Try a new flavor of Shanghainese food

East Village
Cheli, a new Shanghai-style restaurant from the same team behind Szechuan Mountain House, combines traditional Hu Cai cuisine with local ingredients to help New Yorkers think outside the xiao long bao. Order up wine-soaked Atlantic blue crab (made with a traditional Hu wine braise), spicy frog legs with hot and sweet special sauce, and peach resin stew with crab for a taste of Shanghai in NYC. The beverage menu features Huangjiu, a yellow semi-dry rice wine with a hint of osmanthus flower, which is well worth a sip or two. 
Cost: Dishes start at $6

Support Black-owned brands as you do your holiday shopping

NoHo and Virtual
Showfields has curated an in-store and online shopping experience of over 40 Black-owned brands so you can support Black businesses while you check off everybody on your Nice list. With gifts including plant-based, cruelty-free skincare from Ayele & Co., gender-neutral jewelry from Third Crown, hand-blown glass from Estelle Colored Glass, sustainably-produced paper goods and stationery from Aya Paper Co., and more, you can find something for absolutely everyone—even that one friend who’s impossible to shop for. 
Cost: Free to browse; gift prices vary

Hear the stories of far-away strangers

City Point
A new art installation at Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point features over 500 handwritten and anonymous stories from total strangers. Artist Brandon Doman has traveled the country to collect over 60,000 stories, a selection of which you can read where they’re strung from holiday lights. If you want to add your own story, head to McNally Jackson, where you’ll get 10% off your purchase if you submit your tale. Head to the installation at the City Point Prince Street and Flatbush entrances, read some writing in actual handwriting, and fuel up with some much-needed inspiration we’re all in need of. 
Cost: Free

Shop Madison Avenue for a good cause

Saturday, December 5
Madison Ave, 57th St. – 86th St. 
Miracle on Madison, a one-day shopping event to benefit The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s pediatric initiatives with MSK Kids, will help you get the holiday warm-and-fuzzies. As you shop up and down Madison Avenue, 20% percent of the day’s sales from participating stores (up to $15K per store!) will be donated to the cause. If you’re not shopping IRL this year, call the store and ask for your Miracle Personal Shopper, who will ship gifts straight to you and make sure your purchase is counted. 
Cost: Free to browse; prices vary

Look ahead to the first signs of spring

Saturday, December 5, 10 am-2 pm
Highland Park
While this long winter is just getting started, you can help plant a little hope for the spring of 2021. Get your hands dirty by planting tulip bulbs at Brooklyn’s Highland Park, where they’ll sprout in the springtime as a beautiful piece of public art. If you’re getting tired of switching between staring at your little screen, your medium screen, and your big screen all day, a morning spent in the fresh air might be just what you need to put a little spring in your step. 
Cost: Free

Catch an outdoor movie at a woodland pop-up

Sunday, December 6, 7pm
Meatpacking District
The Standard, High Line hotel is transforming their outdoor plaza into The Forest, a magical pop-up that turns the space into a wintry woodland. The Forest will be showing outdoor holiday movies through its Pix on the Plaza program, and this Sunday, you can catch a screening of A Bad Moms Christmas. Bring a date, order some comfort food from The Standard Grill—they’re serving cheese fondue for two, boozy hot chocolate, and hot mulled cider, among other seasonal fare—and warm up together under a blanket by the space heaters. 
Cost: No cover charge

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Here’s where you can see the best NYC holiday windows this yearamNY

“2020 may have brought many changes this year, but the traditional unveiling of NYC holiday windows will still be here”


The best art shows and exhibits in NYC

“Check out our suggestions for the best art exhibitions you don’t want to miss, including recently opened shows and more

With New York’s art scene being so prominent yet ever-changing, you’ll want to be sure to catch significant exhibitions. Time Out New York rounds up the best art shows and exhibits in NYC, from offerings at the best photography and art galleries in NYC to shows at renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim.” (TONY)


“An exploration of Josephine Baker, an avant-garde trumpeter and the composer John Adams are among the highlights.

With many opera houses and concert halls still closed by the pandemic for months to come, the musical action has moved online. That’s been the case since March, of course — but as winter arrives and outdoor presentations grow more difficult, artists and institutions are creating digital presentations with more care and intention.

There is a flood of offerings out there. Here are 10 highlights from what’s coming in December.”


WFUV-FM 90.7 is my fave local radio station. Noncommercial, member-supported with a format of adult album alternative music, WFUV is doing it’s best to keep us connected to our music with a comprehensive, updated list of live music online.

WFUV Live Online (December 3 – December 9)

12/3-5 The Hold Steady, Massive Nights 2020 livestream from Brooklyn Bowl
12/3 Mountain Man, Live from the Garden concert series from North Carolina
12/4 Dawes plays 2009 debut North Hills in its entirety
12/5 Patty Griffin benefit from Austin’s Continental Club
12/5 Lindsey Buckingham concert and Q&A
12/5 Sunflower Bean from Le Poisson Rouge
12/5 Darlene Love, “Love for the Holidays” from Sony Hall

Online concert calendar and links at


New York magazine is biweekly these days and every issue has a wonderful section, “The Culture Pages,” which includes a “To Do” list – 25 things to see, hear, watch, and read. Here are my favorites from the current issue (Nov.25-Dec.9).

Classical Music
Con Alma
With soul.
New York composer Paola Prestini and Mexico-based singer-songwriter Magos Herrera (plus a crew of musicians) used the lockdown to collaborate at a distance, and the result is a melancholy but uplifting quasi-cantata full of bird calls, phone calls, and calls across frozen borders. —J.D.
National Sawdust Tracks, December 4;, December 13.

Tom Sachs: Handmade Paintings
A mad man.
Sparks crackle at the sight of Tom Sachs’s perennially engaging squirrelly trickster art. Here, bumpy paintings of logos, slogans, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, McDonald’s Golden Arches, the American flag. It’s steampunk hand-painted Pop Art made by some uniquely American Rube Goldberg–Unabomber sensibility. —Jerry Saltz
Acquavella Galleries, 18 East 79th Street, through December 18.

Classical Music
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Exploring the theme “American promise.”
Tested, masked, and distanced, the BSO returns to its native stage at Symphony Hall, minus a live audience. The lone advantage of canceled seasons and rare performances is that orchestras have become nimble enough to respond to the world around them. This program, the second in the series “Music in Changing Times,” brings together music by three Black composers, Jessie Montgomery, William Grant Still, and Duke Ellington (plus two works by Osvaldo Golijov), led by the Black conductor Thomas Wilkins. —Justin Davidson, November 26 to December 26.

This Is Who I Am
Gather ’round.
A wide coalition of theaters (including New York’s PlayCo) has joined virtual hands to present Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Zoom drama about a father and son, one in Ramallah, the other in New York. The two men talk from their respective kitchens, trying to bridge their political and physical gulf by making a traditional dish together. —Helen Shaw, November 29 to December 27.

Classical Music
New York Festival of Song
Highbrow fables.
At a time when every news day seems to bring another epic struggle, vertiginous downfall, and act of hubris, soprano Julia Bullock and pianist Steven Blier are here to remind us that we’ve seen it all before. They’ve organized songs by Kurt Weill, Billy Strayhorn, Hall Johnson, and other composers into an evergreen program called “Myths to Live By.” —J.D., available through December 31.

Kim Jones: Rats Live on No Evil Star
The artist served in the Vietnam War.
Here, the scratchy, challenging battlefield pencil drawings of veteran Kim Jones. Some of these images covered whole walls with erased ships and columns of troops moving forward, retreating, being blown up, setting bulwarks, and regrouping. This retrospective show of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and videos will establish this artist’s bona fides as a connoisseur of visionary windmills of the mind. —J.S.
Bridget Donahue, 99 Bowery, through January 9.

The Future
Earlier this year, card-handler and illusionist Helder Guimarães made one of the few true blockbuster quarantine theatrical performances, The Present. We got to do magic in our own homes. And only felt lightly manipulated. Now he returns with The Future, which will include interactive illusions, a mysterious kit mailed to you before the show, his rather wistful style of storytelling, and a choose-your-own-adventure flourish. —H.S., December 4 to January 31.

Salman Toor: How Will I Know
Salman Toor’s first solo exhibition of his queer rococo paintings, which live, as he does, between worlds (Lahore, Pakistan, where he was born and has a studio, and New York, where he lives) was supposed to open at the Whitney in April; it went into pandemic hibernation, but you can finally see it in person. —Carl Swanson
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, through April 2, 2021.

*This article appears in the November 23, 2020, issue of New York Magazine.


Go Ahead, Binge Old Movies and Jam Out to ’90s HitsNYT

Decades old movies, songs and video games have ssurged in popularity over the pandemic. Psychologists say conjuring nostalgia during stressful times is a healthy coping mechanism.


Stay home for a bit longer. Mask up and stay safe.

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