January NYC events + NYC weekend corona culture (01/03)

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 January 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.

“Well, that was… a year, wasn’t it? So, congrats to all of us for making it to January! While, certainly, the first months of 2021 will probably look much like the garbage fire that was 2020, think about all we have to look forward to: The days are getting longer, our turn for the vaccine will eventually come, and our stimulus checks are one step closer to arriving!

So, for this weekend, the very first of the year: forget your plans for Dry January. Indulge instead in Bloody Mary Day on January 1, nurse hangovers with a celebratory New Year’s Day Filipino brunch, and get your culture fix—either virtually or in-person—with some of this month’s best performances and art shows. Read on for nine actually cool things to eat, drink, and do this weekend in NYC. And as always, start off the new year on the right foot by wearing a mask and social distancing responsibly.”

Order a dope dinner and custom swag from Thrillist Ghost Kitchen

Friday, January 1
East Village, FiDi, LES, SoHo, Tribeca, Union Square, and West Village
Thrillist Ghost Kitchen’s lineup of iconic NYC restaurants offering takeout (from 30 Vandam Street) and delivery of their famed dishes continues with Chinese Tuxedo. Their exclusive menu includes spicy cucumbers, shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings with fragrant chili oil, vegetarian XO fried rice, stir-fried black pepper beef & star anise, and a kaya jam doughnut. To assist with the financial hardships restaurants have already endured due to COVID-19, Thrillist is covering all costs including food, labor, packaging, and delivery for each eatery. So placing an order doesn’t just get you awesome food and cool swag, but shows your support in helping each small business.
Cost: $50 for dinner for 1; $100 for dinner for 2

Nurse your New Year’s Eve hangover with Filipino brunch

Friday, January 1
Long Island City
Still reeling from the NYE rager you had alone in your apartment? Well, you’re probably gonna need some eggs. For the ultimate New Year’s Day brunch, head to Little Chef Little Café, where Filipino American chef Diana Manalang is slinging the ultimate in hangover fare: silog, a mixture of garlic-fried rice and eggs, topped with tapasilog (thinly cured beef) or longsilog with longonissa (homemade pork sausage patty). To revel in starting off 2021 right, wash it all down with a Beet the Hangover smoothie: a revitalizing blend of beets, carrots, mangoes, berries, ginger tea, and more.
Cost: Entrees start at $8

Celebrate Bloody Mary Day in the Rockaways

Friday, January 1
Rockaway Beach
Sure, high season in The Rockaways is not early January, but leave it up to new boutique property The Rockaway Hotel to find a way to lure us to the beach even now. Their Winter Pool House ensures that COVID-safe, but toasty dining can continue throughout the chilly months. Celebrate Bloody Mary Day there on January 1 with their classic version, and for the ultimate indulgence, pair it with one of the raw bar platters. We recommend The Cousteau, which comes with everything from snow crabs to oysters.
Cost: $14 for a Bloody Mary

Admire Manhattan from a 1920s-style yacht

Friday, January 1 to Saturday, January 2
Chelsea Piers
The holiday season may be over, but Classic Harbor Line’s gorgeous yachts are still decked out in their winter finest through the end of this weekend. Bundle up for their Sunset & Holiday Cocoa Cruise, an hour-and-a-half ride that glides by major Lower Manhattan landmarks like One World Trade Center, The Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge just as the sun sets. COVID-safety precautions include 50% maximum capacity, plus assigned private tables inside and deck viewing zones outside. Pro tip: they’ll spike your cocoa if you ask nicely.
Cost: From $62 a ticket

Grab plant-based Mexican fare for breakfast or lunch at a brand new restaurant

The team behind Michelin-starred Oxomoco in Greenpoint launched a new nearby spot this week at 905 Lorimer Street. Offering plant-based Mexican fare with a menu that’s 75% vegan and 25% vegetarian, Xilonen’s name is inspired by the Aztec goddess of Young Corn and is currently open for lunch and breakfast Tues-Sun. Order up some green chorizo quesadilla with hoja santa, black bean salsa, and avocado; masa pancake with deep mountain maple syrup and salted butter; and of course churros for dessert.
Cost: Items range from $6-$17

Support NYC restaurants by joining a supper club

Delivery in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is in peril because of the pandemic. Support some of the city’s most beloved establishments by signing up for Summerlong Supper Club, a 16-week-long program that will feature exclusive meals from standouts like M. Wells, Café Mogador, and Atoboy. The restaurants in the program will receive 100% of the proceeds all in January, which ideally will help them survive through the long winter ahead. The goal is to raise $2 million; enough to give each restaurant $120,000.
Cost: $800 for 16 weeks

Admire the stunning portraits of Jordan Casteel

Lower East Side
The immensely talented Jordan Casteel had the misfortune of having her first NYC solo museum exhibition open just before the world came crashing down. But luckily, her luminous show at The New Museum is open through the end of the weekend, so you still have a chance to go check it out. Her large-scale, oil portraits depict everyone from former classmates at Yale to street vendors near her home in Harlem. Don’t miss her “subway paintings,” which are especially alluring: they feature cropped images of unassuming commuters rendered in bright colors.
Cost: $18 a ticket

Find the baby in the Roscón de Reyes 

Sunday, January 2
Hudson Yards
Three Kings’ Day, a holiday celebrated across Spain and Latin America, marks the official end of the holiday season. And what better way to celebrate than with cake? The traditional dessert for the holiday (which falls on January 6 this year) is the Roscón de Reyes, a sweet, yeasted bread said to resemble the crowns worn by kings. It’s baked with a tiny baby figurine and a bean inside: grab the slice with the baby and you’ll be rewarded with good luck. But bite the bean? You’re on the hook to buy the cake for next year. Pick up an excellent version at Mercado Little Spain (call to reserve).
Cost: $40 without cream, $45 with cream

Listen to a Tony winner in your living room

While we’re still mourning the closed theaters of Broadway, treat yourself to an intimate, digital performance from megastar Audra McDonald. The record-breaking, six-time Tony winner filmed an incredible performance at New York City Center, which is available to view online only through January 3. The hour-plus-long show, hosted by Michael Urie, features the Broadway crooner performing hits from the Great American Songbook like, naturally, “I Happen to Like New York.” Proceeds support New York City Center, one of NYC’s most beautiful theaters located in Midtown.
Cost: $35 for digital access

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“Nicolas Cage hosts the history of swearing. Lorde writes a book and Julie Mehretu takes over the Whitney. This new year has to be better, right?”


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)

12/31 Lucinda Williams, “Lu’s Jukebox”
12/31 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, virtual New Year’s Eve show
12/31 Broken Social Scene benefit show for hospitality workers
12/31 Bob Weir and Wolf Bros from San Rafael
12/31 The Nude Party, from Brooklyn’s Sultan Room
1/2 Bad Religion, “Decades” livestream
1/5 IVoted Festival Georgia with Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Algiers, B-52’s Kate Pierson


“Long Overdue”: Visitors Marvel At New Moynihan Train Hall In First WalkthroughGothamist


“A Verdi opera from the Met and composers on the border of classical and pop are among the highlights.” NYT


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
publictheater.org, 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
marquee.tv, 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
staatsoper.de, 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!


Stay home a bit longer. Mask up, stay smart and stay safe


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