December NYC events + Only the Best NYC weekend corona culture (12/27)

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!

7 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.

“Christmas Day this year falls on a Friday, gifting us with a long holiday weekend that’s much deserved after a never-ending 2020 filled only with lumps of coal. While yuletide festivities in NYC will certainly be different this season, there are still so many ways to find the holiday spirit (it’s a miracle!) on the streets of NYC.

Help save Chinese restaurants simply by ordering your favorite meal (or two); eat some comfort food from a new burger spot by the pizza geniuses behind Roberta’s; and have a classic, rom-com-style, twinkly-light-filled, booze-soaked NYC Christmas despite everything we’ve just been through. We’ve rounded up eight actually cool things to eat, drink, see, and do this Christmas weekend in NYC. And as always, be a pal and help Santa out by continuing to give the hottest present of the season: wearing a mask and social distancing responsibly.”

Support Chinese eateries and order up your fave meal (or two)

Chinese restaurants have been some of the hardest hit since the very beginning of the pandemic, but you can help save them! Order from your favorite local Chinese restaurant or from Manhattan’s Chinatown (Resy has the menu of four eateries with Christmas specials), then upload images of your food with the #SaveChineseRestaurants hashtag and tag @beardfoundation, who will repost their faves. The James Beard Foundation, in partnership with James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Grace Young, is using the Save Chinese Restaurants campaign to bring awareness and much-needed business to some of the city’s most deserving restaurants. 
Cost: Varies

Have some comfort food at a new burger spot

Roberta’s, the Bushwick restaurant beloved for its wood-oven pizza, has quietly opened an offshoot celebrating the surprise winner of their menu: the cheeseburger. The menu at Burgie’s keeps it super simple with fries, fountain sodas, and a juicy burger covered with American cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and onions and pickles on a potato roll. After a long day—and frankly, a very long year—a new spot for nostalgic comfort food is exactly what we need.
Cost: Burgers start at $10

Take one last sip of Christmas cheer

Alphabet City
Miracle on 9th Street, a Christmas pop-up at The Cabinet, is open for outdoor dining and takeout through the holiday weekend. If you can’t bring yourself to mix up your own eggnog, pre-order some festive cocktails and pick them up for a holiday party for one in your very own home. The Jingle Bell Nog, with cognac, cream sherry, spices, and cream, is perfect for sipping while watching Home Alone, while the Naughty Shot—made of just bourbon and cinnamon—is ideal for texting your ex to say you “hope they’re doing well.” 
Cost: Shots are $8; cocktails are $16

Warm up your weekend with a hot drink

Crown Alley, a brand-new bar named after a street in the owners’ hometown of Dublin, is serving hot cocktails in their heated sidewalk space to make al fresco dining feel a whole lot cozier. Warm up from the cold with a hot toddy, hot buttered rum, or the Spiked PSL with rye, apple brandy, pumpkin spice syrup, coffee, and cream. Order some black truffle popcorn and a Murray’s cheese and charcuterie board to make it a perfect wintry date. 
Cost: Hot cocktails start at $13

Shop a new local market in Little Italy

Little Italy
This new vegan delicatessen is joining the ranks of Little Italy’s famous markets. They’ll be highlighting local brands, including fresh-baked bread from Grandaisy Bakery, seasonal produce from Alimentari Flaneur, cookies from Cafe Belle, and more. Everything is plant-based, bringing a new sensibility to one of NYC’s most famous food streets, but you’ll hardly notice the lack of capicola. Order a coffee from Nuevo York Coffee and a pastry from L’imprimerie, shop the shelves of local goods, and feel like you’ve just walked back in time. 
Cost: Free to browse

Have a classic NYC Christmas

Rockefeller Center
Indoor dining, shopping, and parties might be temporarily on hold—but some of the best parts of Christmas in NYC have always been outdoors. Head to Rockefeller Center, where you can gawk at the giant tree (with way fewer tourists than usual!), window shop at the spectacular-as-usual window displays at Saks 5th Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, and finish up your afternoon with a glass of wine at City Winery’s rinkside bar, where you can watch people fall (or propose…or both!) on the ice. 
Cost: Free to wander

See your local park lit up for the holidays

While a 14-foot tree probably won’t fit in your tiny apartment (and they’re all sold out, anyways!), you can get your fir fix at your closest NYC park. The city has compiled a list of all of their holiday lighting displays by borough, so you can stay close to home or venture to Central Park for a more cinematic Christmas experience. With a nip in the air and snow still on the ground, it’s a nice reminder that, no matter what, it just doesn’t get any better than NYC at Christmastime. 
Cost: Free

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Things To Do in New York in

What is there to do in December in New York?

NYC in December is amazing as preparations for the Holiday season begins. With countless things to do, concerts to attend, and events happening throughout the city, one thing is for sure – your trip won’t be boring!


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.”

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WFUV-FM 90.7is 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 31 – January 06)

12/23 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show
12/23 Chilly Gonzales, “a very chilly christmas” with Jarvis Cocker and Feist
12/23 Tennis, “Solo: In the Void”
12/26 Georgia Come Alive, benefit feat. Dave Matthews, Tank and the Bangas, Foo Fighters
12/28 Loudon Wainwright III home session
12/29 Christmas at the Windmill with Kae Tempest, Squid, Black Midi
12/30 Patti Smith, annual birthday concert

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 (Dec.23 – Jan.06).


“Salman Toor: How Will I Know”
Queer Rococo.
The first museum solo of Salman Toor gives us an artist who beautifully records, in iridescent color, sensitive scenes of secret and intimate lives of gay men at home. With an assured, almost conservative approach, Toor skillfully renders young queer brown men from his own lived experience. These sharings branch out so that all the freighted weight of history or violence fades, as paintings become vehicles of visual pleasure, intellectual wit, and radical vulnerability. —Jerry Saltz
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort, through April 4.

“In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at the Met”
The ultimate balm to the soul in all of Western painting may be the Dutch works that include Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals. Thanks to the very deep pockets of the collectors and robber barons of New York, the Met has them and is now displaying 67 of these masterpieces. Get lost in some of the finest brushwork and deepest color in all of painting; glimpse infinity. —J.S.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue.


Under the Radar Festival
Let’s get weird.
Every year, the Radar Festival welcomes adventurous international art, avant-garde local heroes, and Highly Odd Work from across the U.S. to scramble our willing brains like eggs. This year, 600 Highwaymen’s gentle, inspiring A Thousand Ways (Part One), in which audience members speak to each other by phone, starts December 21; you’ll need to wait till January 6 for the festival proper, which will include digital performances by U.K. poet Inua Ellams, a cooking show–whodunit by Piehole, and Javaad Alipoor’s comedy Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran. —Helen Shaw, January 6 to 17.


New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Jeté into the new year.
George Balanchine’s legendary 1954 staging of The Nutcracker is the ne plus ultra of balletomaniac excess: a massive cast (including 63 dancing children), the lush designs of another age (Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s exquisite cutout sets), and neoclassical perfection. In 2019, the New York City Ballet filmed the production at Lincoln Center, and so this year the Land of Sweets is available via Marquee TV on your favorite streaming device, a magical portal that even the Rat King (a.k.a. 2020) cannot close. —Helen Shaw, through January 3.

Classical Music

Narrated by Beethoven superfan Stephen Fry.
Stephen Fry joins the Philharmonia Orchestra in a new video concert performance of the Prometheus story complete with adorable animated drawings. “The outraged ruler of the gods hurled thunderbolts,” Fry declaims. Cut to Esa-Pekka Salonen on the podium, who raises his arm and hurls the thunderbolt chords that open Beethoven’s ballet The Creatures of Prometheus. —Justin Davidson


Verdi’s last opera.
The Bavarian State Opera, an online leader, keeps a select repertoire up for a month at a time. Director Mateja Koležnik made her company debut with a production, set in a casino and inspired by the films of Paolo Sorrentino, that played to an empty house and a worldwide audience. —Justin Davidson, through January 5.

Fragments Part I: Traviata
Scenes from the Verdi masterpiece.
The pandemic has given new life to the classical-music video. The fanatically demanding conducting dynamo Teodor Currentzis and the St. Petersburg-based orchestra he founded, musicAeterna, have used their enforced sabbatical to hole up in a recording studio and record chunks of opera scenes, starting with the melancholy opening of the last act of Verdi’s La Traviata, enriched by NOIR Films’ moody black-and-white film. —J.D.

*This article appears in the December 21, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!


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, stay smart and stay safe.


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