January NYC events + Top NYC weekend corona culture (01/17)

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. 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, we’re halfway through the first month of 2021 and it’s still kind of … garbage fire-y? But, there is good news: NYC has started vaccinating people eligible for phase 1b, which includes first responders, and maybe your parents, grandparents, or your favorite bodega owner. Plus, this weekend marks the first three-day break of the year, which, honestly, couldn’t come soon enough. When did January become 107 days long?
This weekend, remember the man for whom this holiday is named: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Whether that means volunteering in a Bronx park or purchasing gifts from Black-owned businesses, we’ve got you covered. Read on for nine actually fun things to eat, see, and do in NYC this weekend. And as always, remember your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing wherever you go.”

Check out Gramercy Tavern alums’ new Ridgewood spot

There may be no better time to enjoy wood-fired cooking than in the depths of winter. And since debuting this week, there is no restaurant churning out open-fire dishes as tantalizing as Rolo’s, a new Ridgewood cafe, grocery shop, and restaurant from four Gramercy Tavern vets. Standout items include grilled porchetta sandwiches with spicy broccoli rabe on fresh ciabatta bread, grilled meatballs with a spicy tomato sauce, and a decadent apple crumble for two, made with sour cream custard and spiced oat crisp.
Cost: Sandwiches from $6

Try the Korean street food that puts the corn dog to shame

Lower East Side
Some of Korea’s most popular street snacks have finally landed in NYC. Recently opened Oh K-Dog NYC is the first city outpost of the popular chain, which specializes in Korean rice hot dogs and Korean-style egg toasts. The former is similar to an American corn dog, but made with a rice batter for a shatteringly crisp crunch. Also of note: you can substitute mozzarella or cheddar for the hot dog, giving you one hell of a cheese stick. Grab one of the toasts for a hearty breakfast on the go: it’s made with fluffy brioche and pillowy scrambled eggs.
Cost: Varies

Treat yourself to vegan comfort food at a new downtown bistro

Opening Friday, January 15
Are you on a clean-eating kick for January? Luckily, starting a plant-based eating regimen doesn’t have to be a bummer. New bistro Willow is serving up decadent dishes like “scallop” cacio e pepe, made with oyster mushroom “scallops” and a creamy, vegan parmesan sauce; or cherrywood-smoked pastrami sandwiches made with maple, coriander, and garlic seitan. The owners certainly know their craft: Willow is helmed by the executive chef of beloved vegan spot Beyond Sushi, Guy Vaknin, along with his wife, Tali.
Cost: Entrees start at $20

Sample classic Eastern European fare at a limited-time pop-up

Friday, January 15, 4 pm–7 pm
Vinegar Hill
While we wait for the brick-and-mortar version of Agi’s to debut this summer, we can still get a taste of chef Jeremy Salamon’s (The Eddy, Wallflower) Jewish and Eastern European food at his pop-up at Vinegar Hill House. Running for three consecutive Thursday and Fridays, each week will feature a different menu with classic dishes like chicken paprikash, borscht, or “potato salad with so much dill.” Note: there is limited availability every week, so place your pick-up or delivery order early.
Cost: Entrees from $18

Honor MLK Jr. with a day of service

Saturday, January 16, 9 am–12 pm
West Farms
It’s easy to overlook actual nature in this concrete jungle of ours, but street trees are a vital (and attractive) part of NYC. Learn how to identify them, care for them, and cultivate them this Saturday, when the NYC Parks Stewardship hosts a day of service in honor of MLK Jr. Volunteers will spruce up (get it?) local trees as well as hear about the important role they play in our city’s ecosystem. Be prepared to get dirty and don’t forget your mask.
Cost: Free

Buy yourself some goodies from Black-owned businesses

SHOWFIELDS, the self-dubbed most interesting store in the world, teamed up with American Express this winter to offer an expertly curated selection of 40-plus Black-owned brands. Even better: participating businesses will receive 100% of the profits. Some standout items include Harlem Candle Company’s lush scents, Alexandra Winbush’s fruity teas, and Aya Paper Co.’s sustainable stationery.
Cost: Varies

Snag the brownies taking Instagram by storm

Sunday, January 17, 12 pm–5 pm
Upper West Side
If you follow even one food influencer on social media, chances are you have seen the insanely beautiful creations from Auzerais Bellamy, owner of Blondery. The classically trained pastry chef (her pedigree includes stints at Per Se, The French Laundry, and Daniel) now makes some of the city’s most decadent and delicious blondies and other sweets. They’re so in demand that fans sign up for a waitlist on her website. But! This weekend, she’s hosting a pop-up bake sale at West Elm in Columbus Circle, where you can snag her famed treats like birthday cake blondies or a gluten-free Brooklyn blackout variety, plus 11-layer cake in jars. We recommend getting there early.
Cost: From $11

Play tourist for the long weekend at one of the city’s most glamorous hotels

Midtown West
January in NYC is traditionally a pretty slow month for tourism; and in 2021, it’s undoubtedly even more quiet than normal. Take advantage of this lull and treat yourself to a staycation during the long weekend. With The Langham hotel’s new package, The Langham Loves the Empire State, you can book a one-night stay that also includes VIP passes to the nearby Empire State Building, plus a sumptuous breakfast for two served in your room.
Cost: $620 a night

Contemplate 2020’s impact on art

The past year has certainly given artists much fodder for material. In The Drawing Center’s current exhibit, “100 Drawings From Now,” the gallery has compiled pieces from an impressive, international group of artists, ranging from Maurizio Cattelan to Mika Rottenberg. The works display many of the emotions which all of us have felt since the onset of the pandemic: frustration, fear, and on occasion, even joy. Don’t miss this powerful show before it closes this weekend.
Cost: Free

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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?”


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

“For some visitors, the stop was merely intended to gaze at the enormous hall complete with an enormous skylight roof and Art Deco clock. Many were spotted craning their necks to take in the open skylight, pivoting their hips taking scenic, panoramic photos. Others searched for fresco portraits created by Kehinde Wiley, which are prominently displayed at the 33rd Street entrance, or the spacious and modern Amtrak lounge on the upper floor.”


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 (January 14 – January 20)

1/14 GlobalFEST, last day, hosted by Angélique Kidjo

1/14 Frankie Rose, live from Le Poisson Rouge

1/14 Shame album playback

1/14 Winterpills, home session

1/15 Rufus Wainwright, Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-

1/15 Rare Essence, MLK show

1/15 Marching On: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Summerstage Anywhere

1/16 Jill Sobule, Social Justice Power Hour

1/17 Sweet Honey in the Rock, MLK show from New York’s The Town Hall

1/17 Steve Wynn with Linda Pitman, The Impossible Tour

Online concert calendar and links at wfuv.org/livestreams


NYC Restaurant Innovations From 2020 That Should Continue in 2021

Permanent outdoor dining, cocktails to go, and more

“Welcome to Year in Eater 2020, Eater’s annual ritual of eulogizing the past 12 months. In 2020’s final days, Eater NY will be posting questions about New York City’s restaurant scene in the past year, with answers from food writers, photographers, chefs, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and even a few local legislators who helped to support the industry through this enormously difficult year. Now, we ask: What new pivots or innovative ideas have you seen emerge from the events of 2020 that you hope continue into 2021?(ny.eater.com)


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


The best art shows and exhibits in NYC TONY

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.


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 (Jan.06-20).


JR: The Chronicles of New York City
The self-described “photograffeur.”
For a blast of fresh air and abstract love, enter the atrium at the Brooklyn Museum. There, you will be engulfed by and surrounded in about the largest wraparound mural you likely have ever seen. From the legendary anonymous French photographer, this wildly collaged panorama presents 1,128 individual New Yorkers. Each subject posed for JR inside a 53-foot trailer-truck the artist parked in numerous local spots. He offered to take pictures of anyone who came by. All of these were then put together into this masterpiece of ambition, love, life, celebration, and audacity. —Jerry Saltz
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, through February 14.

Countryside, The Future
An urgent look.
Organized by Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal — director of the think tank at Koolhaas’s firm, OMA — this extravaganza of art, design, models, photographs, installations, charts, and diagrams wraps its way up the famous Guggenheim ramps. The visual multiplex lets us consider the countryside that makes up 98 percent of the Earth’s land surface. Possibilities abound, proposals runneth over, and solutions are thrown into the air. Come away amazed and inspired. —J.S.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, through February 15.

Public-art watch.
Even with gentrification, Old New York echoes in South Street Seaport. To smell the metaphysical sea air of the mind, catch this showcase of amazing images by 21 photographers who picture their worlds in ways that will set you a-tingle with optical excitement. It’s best viewed at night in the windows of the gallery, where, once again, the ghosts of New York will join you. —J.S.
19 Fulton Street, through January 31.


The Exponential Festival
Raise your weird to a higher power.
January is New York’s festival season, and at least Under the Radar and the Exponential Festival soldier on. Exponential is the wilder and woolier of the two, so you will be in for a rollicking time if you tune in to its YouTube channel for Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin’s Theater in Quarantine (1/7), Comrade Barbie, Let’s Go Party! (1/16), or Darian Dauchan’s sci-fi romantic comedy Lift Off (1/22), among others this month. —Helen Shaw
theexponentialfestival.org, January 7 to 31.

Classical Music

Myths and Hymns
The first in a four-chapter series.
Adam Guettel’s song cycle, part Off Broadway show, part polytheistic oratorio, gets a digital revival led by Ted Sperling. Renée Fleming, Julia Bullock, and Joshua Henry join in for a series of song-length films and a journey from Icarus to Jesus, with detours to Saturn. —Justin Davidson
mastervoices.org, January 13.

Les Arts Florissants
Haydn’s Paris Symphony No. 87.
When Franz Joseph Haydn, who spent much of his career confined to Vienna and his employer’s Hungarian estate, started to travel, he discovered new countries within. The Paris-based ensemble led by William Christie performs the last of his six “Paris” Symphonies — a musical simulacrum of travel for a largely stationary audience. —J.D.
lincolncenter.org, January 11.

Another Night on Earth
An international guitar ensemble.
You might say that the pandemic has converted the ensemble into scattered musicians who collaborate from distant points. One newly formed example is this eclectic electric-guitar octet, which includes conductor David Robertson and recently made its debut online with a 48-string arrangement of the 15th-century composer Josquin des Prez’s Nymphes des Bois. —J.D.


Prototype Festival
Now in your aria.
The ninth season of Beth Morrison Projects and HERE’s experimental-opera festival might require you to upgrade your headphones — once you’re geared up, check out the schedule: Will you pick the choose-your-own-adventure, 13-composer multi-pathway work Modulation? Or Pamela Z and Geoff Sobelle’s Times3, an immersive portrait of Times Square? Or will you be one of the few audience members at an in-person performance of Ocean Body, by Helga Davis, Shara Nova, and filmmaker Mark DeChiazza? —H.S.
prototypefestival.org, January 8 to 16.

*This article appears in the January 4, 2021, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!



“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.


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

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