Best of Manhattan 09: Arts & Entertainment

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Posts.


Best Reason to Keep Going Out in Williamsburg: Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th St., Brooklyn, 718-963-3369
One of the biggest problems with Williamsburg is the schlep. "Sure, it’s only one stop from Manhattan," a pal of ours always says, "but then it’s a 20 minute walk to anywhere you want to be." Not anymore! With the June opening of Brooklyn Bowl, the oversized pleasure center from former Wetlands honcho Pete Shapiro, there’s no more hauling between bars, nightclubs, restaurants and whatever other spots you might frequent; the space hosts a 16-lane bowling alley, two bars, a restaurant serving a menu of Blue Ribbon fare (what’s up, fried chicken and Nutella-bourbon milkshakes?) and a stage that has played host to everyone from The Drums to The Roots and Dan Deacon. And, best of all, since it only takes about five minutes to walk from the Bedford L (or Nassau G), the only hike you’ll have to worry about is the one home, and considering the crowds we’ve seen gathered here, you might not be taking that one alone.


Best Reading Series: In The Flesh Reading Series

Third Thursday of every month at Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome St. betw. Eldridge & Forsythe Sts., 212-334-9676
Even though Happy Ending Lounge is most closely associated with its namesake series (which has picked up and moved to Joe’s Pub), there’s something a bit naughtier brewing at the Broome Street den of debauchery. Now in its fourth year, In the Flesh, hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel, features established and up-and-coming writers sharing their franky, funny, frisky tales of love and lust and manages to do so—for the most part—without veering into creepshow territory. Tension is cut by asking the audience to anonymously submit sexy secrets, and it doesn’t hurt that Bussel provides hundreds of cupcakes and not-to-be-missed miniature peanut butter cups to lull everyone into a sugar-induced sense of security. Normally we would avoid an erotic reading series like the plague, but after venturing down here to catch a friend reading her dirty dissertation, we were charmed by the humor of the readers and crowd and not at all displeased by the fact that everything we heard was actually—surprisingly—sexy.

Best Theater News: Angels in America Coming Back to the New York Stage
In September, the Signature Theater Company announced that it would be reviving Tony Kushner’s modern classic Angels in America in New York for it’s 2010-11 season—the first time the show has been remounted since its 1994 close. As lucrative as it is to have shows like Bye Bye Birdie brought back to life—and to have movie stars deign to take the stage—we’re sure it will be a lot more fulfilling to put on a show that actually has something to say.


Best Places to Rock Uptown: TIE: The Whitney & The Guggenheim

The Whitney, 945 Madison Ave. at E. 75th St., 212-570-3600
The Guggenheim, 1071 5th Ave. at E. 89th St., 212-423-3500
We usually don’t think “Museum Mile” when on the hunt for indie rock, but these two stalwarts have given us fresh reasons to head north. This past summer, the Guggenheim introduced the “It Came from Brooklyn” music and literature series, coinciding with the museum’s 50th anniversary. The idea is to showcase up-and-coming talent (e.g. experimental music duo High Places) alongside established stars (writer Colson Whitehead). The series “reinforces the museum’s identity as a versatile, dynamic site for a variety of mutually invigorating art practices.” Yeah, well, we just like seeing multimedia entertainment in a beautiful space.

Over a the Whitney, a nifty series called “Whitney Live” has brought in acts like New Jersey hipster rockers Titus Andronicus and the ever-charming Vivian Girls. We like the no-nonsense first-come, first-served seating policy, and the fact that these shows are free with museum admission—which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays from 6 to 9.

Best Reason to Not Put Your Phone on Vibrate: Brooklyn Museum Cell Phone Tours
200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Ave., Brooklyn, 718-638-5000
When you wear a low-cut top to a museum—how else to pick up the sensitive, artistic types?—nothing spoils the sexy like an audio-tour wand that dangles, limp and heavy, over your stomach. To stay fetching and informed, check out the Brooklyn Museum’s cell phone guided tours every Thursdays. With your smart phone, you can even select your favorite artworks and get recommendations, Pandora-style. Just steer clear of dudes ogling the nudes—trust us.

Best Unexpected Rock Venue: Housing Works Bookstore Café
126 Crosby St. betw. E. Houston & Jersey Sts., 212-334-3324
We’ve seen shows in basements, shows on rooftops and, yes, shows in bookstores. What makes the concerts that go on at Housing Works Bookstore Café in Soho special are the top-notch talent (Bjork, Dirty Projectors, John Mellencamp) they bring into the otherwise crunchy and low-key setting. Lots of bands play charity shows—the ones here raise money for folks living with AIDS—but it takes a little something more to put together an all-star fundraiser that has the intimacy of a ho-hum open mic night. Also, anyone who puts Bjork into a confined space is very brave and therefore commendable.

Best Nightclub to Meet Someone: Webster Hall
125 E. 11th St. betw. 3rd & 4th Aves., 212-353-1600
We’re nuts about Webster Hall’s new “Studio” space, where smaller bands have had the chance to play the historic club and patrons have been able to enjoy pool tables and comfy seats during their sets. We’re also thrilled with match2blue, an iPhone app that allows you to connect with other folks in the club, share information about yourself and maybe arrange to meet up at one of the bars inside. Sometimes you’ll see someone across the room at a concert and know that they’re the one for you, but when that’s not the case (or some tall asshole and his drunken girlfriend are in your goddamn way), Webster Hall is still trying to make sure that you still have a chance.


Best Live Music Venue at a Bar: Union Pool

484 Union Ave. at Meeker Ave., Brooklyn, 718-609-0484
While Union Pool rose to fame as Williamsburg’s premiere spot for picking up hipster meat, there is a lesser-known facet to the bar: excellent concerts. When we first heard about the shows here—which take place in a cute, black-box-style theater off of the back yard—we were convinced that someone meant Union Hall and was trying to get us to trek to Park Slope, but not so! Equipped with its very own bar, which stays much less crowded than the one indoors, and surprisingly decent sound, Union Pool has been the scene of some of the best shows we’ve seen this year. And when the music has come and gone, there is always someone skulking in the yard and willing to give us a second chance to disappoint.

Best Outdoor Concert Venue Despite the Rain: South Street Seaport
When the July Obits show was rained out, organizers had the good sense to move the show to Brooklyn Bowl, but even when the weather cooperated, which was rare this summer, shows at the South Street Seaport were easily the best around. Lacking the neon-sunglassed pretention of shows in Williamsburg and the uptown hassle of shows in Central Park. the Seaport series booked great local acts like Blank Dogs, Superchunk and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and had the added bonus of confusing and sometimes horrifying tourists dining at the adjacent Pizzeria Uno. Besides reminding us why hanging out by the piers can actually be fun, the shows also boasted charming nautical scenery and a much appreciated proximity to the new Water Taxi Beach outpost, where post-show beers and grub were a welcome respite from the same old haunts.

Best Indie Movie Theater: BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Pl., Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
One of the few remaining places to catch top-notch repertory programming (such as the recent sprawling Cary Grant retro) and festival hits (thanks to the newly launched BAMcinemaFEST), it’s also conveniently located right next to the G train, which, let’s face it, most things aren’t. That makes BAM the ideal spot for non-Manhattan-dwelling audiences, many of whom crave cinema that lies firmly outside mainstream tastes. It’s also a gorgeous building, which is more than you can say for the average multiplex, and boats a location flanked by plenty of low-key bars perfect for post-masterpiece cocktails.


Best Local Band: The Walkmen

We’ve been fans of the guys in this band since back when we were scrawling Jonathan Fire*Eater (featuring a younger Paul Maroon, Matt Barrick and Walter Martin) on the sides of our Chuck Taylors. These days we have slightly nicer shoes, but with their pals Hamilton Leithauser and Peter Bauer , the boys are still fucking tops. Between the July release of You and Me, the band’s fifth album, and the great shows the guys have been playing—they blew us away opening for Dinosaur, Jr. at SummerStage in August—we’ve got no doubt that The Walkmen are going to end up one of those bands that we knew back when. After all, if second-rate shit like Coldplay can make people rich and famous, then what The Walkmen are doing can’t continue flying under the popular radar.

Best Place to Crash a Party: Cooper Square Hotel Penthouse
25 Cooper Sq. betw. E. 5th & E. 6th Sts., 212-475-5700
The great thing about a hotel with no front desk is that there’s no first line of defense for party crashers. And in Manhattan, where most hotels are really just tall excuses for nightclubs, this means you can do some serious damage. After you walk into the spaceship-like hotel and hang a left toward the elevators, just act like you know where you’re going and head all the way to the top. The view is absolutely breathtaking and the events, well, they’re not so bad either. Do your best to fly under the radar (and don’t steal the towels, they’re not worth it) and you just might luck into the kind of party that even people paying up to $700 a night aren’t invited to.

Best Big Movie Theater: United Artists Court Street
108 Court St. at State St., Brooklyn, 718-246-8170
Midnight crowds don’t get rowdier than at this rambunctious multiplex, where the best bad movies get the wildest responses. Not interested in the latest Saw sequel? Wait until you experience it with a rancorous crowd willing to call bullshit when the plot wanders astray. It’s like group film criticism—but a lot more fun than the typical pan. Partiers beware: Ticket takers check bags now. Usually. (Bonus points for going around sundown; the views from the upper floors are magnificent and can turn any cheap date into a night to remember.)


Best Place to See Comedy That’s Not UCB: Sweet

The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard St. at Stanton St., 212-253-7346
Instead of heading into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater yet again, check out VH1 talking head Seth Herzog and his Tuesday night show Sweet. The show’s been running for five years in The Slipper Room, a small theater and lounge space that primarily hosts burlesque. Unlike UCB, Sweet is about standup comedy and Herzog, a funny comic himself, books some major names like Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis and Janeane Garofalo. The show also includes a funny sidekick/DJ and Herzog’s mother, who talks with her son about whatever is on her mind. Lots of the comedians at Sweet are testing out material before bigger shows, so some jokes might not be in the best shape, but either way, the show is unique, entertaining and a welcome change of pace.


Best Theater To Be In If You Have To See a Bad Play: The Wild Project

195 E. 3rd St. betw. Aves. A & B, 212-228-1195
Any theater past First Avenue is likely to be a hole-in-the-wall or a barely re-purposed basement outfitted with metal folding chairs. Not so with the 89-seat Wild Project, which combines comfortable seating and arctic air-conditioning with an eco-friendly design to make even the most boring of plays seem worth a trip to Avenue B. This year’s highlights were The Secret Agenda of Trees and Artifacts of Consequence, and is currently running Three by Tennessee [Williams] through December.


Best Celebrity Spawn Actress: Lily Rabe

With her performance earlier this year in Richard Greenberg’s An American Plan, Lily Rabe (daughter of actress Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe) confirmed the opinion of critics who have been hailing her as an actress to watch. Brittle, charming and off-putting, she exhibited both genuine stage presence and that modicum of real oddness that stars are comprised of. Holding one’s own against Broadway icon Mercedes Ruehl is no easy task; that Rabe did so with effortless poise and confidence cements her status as one of the best stage actors of her generation. Chew on that, Gummers.


Best NYC-Based Film Festival: BAMcinemaFEST

Demystifying the highlights from Sundance and bringing promising new indie voices to receptive audiences, this new gathering is like Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival as though seen through rebellious art school goggles. Also, it takes place at a kickass venue. An updated version of BAM’s traditional "highlights from Sundance" revue, BAMcinemaFEST brings an essential showcase of American independent filmmaking to a community that often needs a mirror to understand its direction. An opening night party with Grimaldi’s pizza, gratis beer and drunken trivia also beats the pants off of your traditional black-tie affair.


Best Reason to Deal With Tribecans: 92YTribeca

200 Hudson St. at Canal St., 212-601-1000
Things in the Triangle Below Canal can get a bit hairy. If you’re not tangling with some pissed-off artist who’s mad at the assholes and Whole Foods that have moved in, you’re dealing with the assholes shopping at the Whole Foods that just moved in. But not at 92Ytribeca. The spot, which was birthed from the venerable 92nd Street Y last November, has made its mark on the city already with impressive film and music programming, OMG-it’s-actually-funny comedy nights and a slew of events that can leave us feeling like we practically live on Hudson Street. Except we don’t, and we shoplift from Whole Foods.


Best Rising Star Cinema: Light Industry

220 36th St. betw. 2nd & 3rd Aves., Brooklyn, www.lightindustry.org
This free-for-all microcinema shows the wildest non-commercial choices both as a philosophy and a persona aesthetic. Whether it’s old school porn one week or indie animation the next, it’s always a welcome surprise. Co-founded by Ed Halter, one of the pioneers of the New York Underground Film Festival, Light Industry melds a grassroots mentality to art-house sensibilities, and knows no boundaries—except perhaps the conventional ones.

Best Clubhouse for the Freaks and Geeks: Envoy Gallery
131 Chrystie St. betw. Broome & Delancey Sts., 212-226-4555
The once-thriving 1980s East Village art scene had a plethora of spots where local weirdos in funny costumes could parade around or starving artists could mount their work. These days, most gallery owners and performances spaces take fewer chances—but not Envoy. A space where nobody pays or gets paid, this gallery is host to a vast array of young artists who need a venue but can’t always front the money in hopes of a sell-out show. Whether it’s Lars Stevens showing photograph self-portraits, Gerald Collings showing haunting oil paintings or tranny club kids and naked performance artists showcasing at the monthly Inner Beauty Parlor, Envoy keeps the freak flag flying on the LES. Even the not so down-and-out have taken notice; Jack White set up a pop-up shop for his record label here in mid-July, and Sonic Youth hosted a listening party for its new album in the gallery.


Best Use of Venerable Music Space for Dirty Gay Parties: The Gorilla Club

We nearly jumped out of our booties when prolific party promoter Josh Wood started using the former Knitting Factory space in Tribeca to run a slew of sexy, sleazy gay parties last April. In a city so tight on space, we were thrilled to see this three-level venue become a temple to debauchery and shameless male nudity—like at Jonny McGovern’s short-lived party, “The Big Banana.” Despite thuggish security guards and snooty neighbors who probably didn’t like the Gorilla crowd any more than they did the Knitting Factory’s, the disorder in such a great space only makes us more excited for new unsavory and drama-filled nights. The club’s doors shut when a swift punch from a drunken patron left a staffer minus one tooth, and none of the security were around to deal with it. But while it was open there was no better place in town for monkey business.

Best Place to Relax at a NYC Museum: James Turrell at P.S. 1
22-25 Jackson Ave. at 36th Ave., Queens, 718-784-2084
Between high ticket prices, throngs of tourists and listening to your friend with the art history major explain Mondrian’s symbolism, visiting a museum is an exhausting task. Thankfully, James Turrell’s “Meeting” at MoMA’s P.S. 1 gives you the opportunity to take a breather from the museum while still looking engaged with the artwork. At first glance, “Meeting” is simply a non-descript square room with wood benches, but a considerable portion of the ceiling is removed. The opening lets in the dulcet sounds of wind, birds and, well, sometimes planes and sirens. Regardless of what you hear, the space gives you the chance to slow down and still appear classy. The room opens an hour before sunset, and the museum closes at 6, so waiting until colder months gives you more time, but pack a sweater.

Best Place to Meet a Horny Homo Metalhead: The Hose
225 Ave. B at E.13th St., 212-979-8506
Most of the time when a gay bar opens, it seems to be just another spot for suit-wearing ‘mos to grab a vodka-soda before they move on to the gym or adoption agency. Not so with the Hose, which some have proclaimed a revival of the East Village gay scene of yesteryear. Even the walls get sweaty when the hip and bearded downtown gays pack the darkest corners of this space like a can of handsy sardines. They’ve been host to numerous themed parties; local art-zine Spank’s monthly publishing fete, the queer rock rager Manthrax! and surreal drag performance, Judy. And we’re not saying we saw this, but what do you get when you mix vodka cranberry, two slutty go-go boys and 18-inch glowstick? Memories!

Best Off-Off-Broadway Show: MilkMilkLemonade
Tucked away in the basement theater of Under St. Mark’s, MilkMilkLemonade opened to rave reviews (including ours) in September. An angry, bitter and very funny play about growing up gay in middle America, playwright Joshua Conkel and director Isaac Butler have taken the limitations of the space and their budget and transformed them into theatrical gold. This is the kind of political show from up-and-comers you want but rarely get when you think Downtown theater.

Best New Galleries: TIE: Parkett and Hauser and Wirth
Parkett at Caroline Nitsch Project Room, 534 W. 22nd St. betw. 10th & 11th Aves., 212-645-2030
Hauser and Wirth, 32 E. 69th St. betw. Madison & Park Aves., 212-794-4970
Are dealers still opening galleries now that the boom’s over? In short yes, though this year temporary exhibition space, and expanding pre-existing enterprise dominate over newbie experimentation. Parkett, for example, a publication known for its collaborative features with artists, opened a temporary exhibition space at Caroline Nitsch Project room in Chelsea to display a 25-year, best-of magazine ephemera retrospective. Meanwhile, blue chip European giant Hauser and Wirth inaugurated its posh new space uptown exhibiting Allan Kaprow’s Yard with reinventions by William Pope L, Josiah McElheny and Sharon Hayes. Pope L. went so far as to hire an Obama impersonator to orate a collage of clippings by the artist and Kaprow over a darkened pile of tires. It’s incredibly moving.

Best Transformation of a Performance Space: Dixon Place
161A Chrystie St. betw. Delancey & Rivington Sts., 212-219-0736
We’re not saying that we’re thrilled to never again have to sit in one of those uncomfortable second-hand chairs that served as audience seating at the old Dixon Place. We’re simply putting it out there that we couldn’t be happier with Dixon Place’s elegant new home. Open since late last year, it provides a jewel-like setting for the down and dirty theater, art, music and dance that has kept it a mainstay of the theater scene for years. But being in comfortable chairs while watching uncomfortable theater isn’t a crime, you know.

Best Public Art: Bruce High Quality Foundation University
225 West Broadway betw. White & Frankin Sts., www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com
“Build Your Own University” reads one class title in a list offered by artist collective Bruce High Quality Foundation’s free art school. In this great new program, the public is invited to suggest new study groups as a means of supplementing the pre-existing syllabus. Of those currently listed are Art History with Benefits, a sold out afternoon class examining the relationship between cultural funding and sex, and the mysterious course-description-lacking seminar Occult Shenanigans in 20th/21st Century Art.


Best Off-Broadway Show That Should Have Been on Broadway: Toxic Avenge
r
New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St. betw. 8th & 9th Aves., 212-239-6200
So many screen-to-stage adaptations try to be hilarious camp gold and just end up being crappy on more than one level (if the Spiderman musical ever gets made, this might be its fate). The Toxic Avenger, however, flips that formula and makes a hilarious and powerful rock-opera out of a camp film classic. This show embraces its silly roots and, in doing so, surpasses them to make a truly unique experience. When people say that theater is supposed to be fun, this is what they’re talking about.

Best Brooklyn Jukebox: Franklin Palace
346 Franklin Ave. betw. Greene & Lexington Aves., Brooklyn, 718-240-3393
Low-profile Bed Stuy bar and dance hall Franklin Palace has a lost city of gold in its jukebox, a healthy discourse on everything that has ever been deemed soul music, from Sam Cooke’s titanic "Live at the Harlem Square Club" album to Hot 97 mixtapes and personal mixes with hand-scrawled tracklists. Best of all, it boasts what is likely the richest collection of R. Kelly in any jukebox anywhere; enough jewels to keep stepping all night long.

Best Contemporary Art Show of 2009: Lisa Kirk’s “House of Cards” at Invisible-Exports Gallery
Want to buy a run down, time-share shack with a tin bucket for a “shower and bath” and a barrel of coal for a stove? If you visited this show, you had the chance. Kirk exhibited a shanty made from 52 pieces of found material and then used the gallery as a real-estate office to sell off one-week blocks of time during which the buyers could live in the creation. We were closing to plunking down the dough for our own staycation, but then we heard about
the family that bought the time-share to host a Halloween party for their kids and couldn’t think of anything cooler to do with it.

Best Up and Coming Hip-Hop Mob: Nine 11 Thesaurus
Bushwick’s massive Nine 11 Thesaurus are a group of 13 20-year-olds committed to illmatic, barnburning hip-hop of the most legitimate and NY-centric variety. Like the nascent Wu-Tang clan they specialize in energetically violent, crazed shout-alongs, with the group’s large host of MCs all barking in manic unision to songs like "Set My People Free." As performers they keep the hype level at a constant boil as only the truly young and alive can, and in an era of tidal mainstream vapidity, intelligent, militant teenagers are definitely something to be celebrated.

Best Performance Venue: The Kitchen
512 W. 19th St. betw. 10th & 11th Aves., 212-255-5793
Responsible for launching the careers of seemingly countless innovative art makers—Vito Acconci, Gary Hill and Kiki Smith amongst them—The Kitchen continues to host the best performing art in the city. Stand outs in their dense programming this year included musical and theatrical performances by Sanford Biggers, and Ann Liv Young, as well an evening of readings and performances curated by the nerdy publishing collective Triple Canopy.

This season we’re most looking forward to Kitchen curator and Executive Director Debra Singer’s “Besides, With, Against, And Yet: Abstraction and The Ready-Made Gesture” opening Nov. 13. The group exhibition includes a number of hot contemporary artists such as Nate Lowman, Kelley Walker as well as newcomers such as Jessica Dickenson. We’re not sure how the formal gestural qualities in the works displayed will “work in relation to conceptual, minimalist, process and pop art traditions,” but we’re looking forward to finding out!

Best Non-Profit Arts Venue: X-Initiative
548 W. 22nd St. betw. 10th & 11th Aves., 917-697-4886
If perfect art programming were actually attainable, this year the X-Initiative might be the most likely to achieve it. Founded by dealer Elizabeth Dee, the not-for-profit launched with immediate art world attention. Event highlights include a screening of star-director Derek Jarman’s early films, Seth Price’s video “Redistribution” shown in collaboration with EAI, and No Soul For Sale, a four-day festival showcasing the best independent artists working today. Sadly, The X-Initiative promises only one year of exhibition and events before it closes to the public. Oh, but what a year!


Best Triple Threat on Broadway: The Three Billies of Billy Elliot

David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik: all three have singing, acting and—most importantly—dancing chops. Little wonder that they consistently upstage veteran Broadway actors whenever they show up on the scene. Consider the Tony Awards celebration at Radio City Music Hall last June, when the three Tony-nominated youngsters walked away with their statuettes. It was the first time that three actors have shared a Tony Award for the same role. And the lessons to be learned? Boys can do ballet and win, star quality gave these guys an edge and when it comes to pure talent, a triple threat is a triple threat is a triple threat.

Best Up-and-Coming Theater Center in Manhattan: 59E59 Theaters
59 E. 59th St. betw. Madison & Park Aves., 212-753-5959
With three stages offering productions from all over the world, plus a chic bar on the mezzanine, the 59E59 Theaters complex is the ideal place to see new theater. Executive Director Elysabeth Kleinhans launched its first production back in February 2004, and she continues to be its driving force. Whether it’s the annual “Brits Off Broadway” or “East of Edinburgh” festivals, the world premiere of a new play or a home-grown writer with new work, the center continues to be at the cutting-edge of contemporary theater. Sure, Broadway is glitzier, and Lincoln Center has been around longer. Notwithstanding, this new state-of-the-art complex carries real weight in the theater community.


Best Art Show Worth the Schlep: Keith Haring’s “10 Commandments” at Deitch Studios

For the most part LIC is “bogus,” as one friend recently texted while roaming around the artsy hood with the great Manhattan views. While we weren’t sure about heading out to Daddy Deitch’s gallery outpost along the East River, we were glad we did once we saw Keith Haring’s “10 Commandments”—towering yellow murals that filled the archways as light streamed in. It’s a spectacular venue, and a singular place to examine Haring’s sexual imagery of mouths sucking, dicks fucking and sinful excess.


Best Reason to Schlep to Terminal 5: The New Roof Deck

610 W. 56th St. betw. 11the & 12th Aves., 212-665-3832
It takes a really great show to convince us to hoof it all the way over to Terminal 5, but as of this summer the folks behind the West Side megavenue have sweetened the pot, adding a roof deck with a full bar and a barbecue area serving burgers (veggie and meat). The best news of all? It looks like the roof deck will be staying opening all winter long, allowing us to avoid the smoking pen out front and to skip bands we don’t like in a space that’s more alluring than the far reaches of 56th Street. We can only hope that this roof deck formula quickly moves to other Bowery Presents venues we want to be barbecuing on the roof of the Music Hall by next summer!

Best New York Art Fair: The New York Art Book Fair
The Armory Show may impress by size and reputation, but every year we most look forward to New York’s Art Book Fair. Maybe if the Armory or any of its satellite shows sold more zines and hosted more DJed parties we’d be interested, but for now it’s more enjoyable to visit a fair where we can actually purchase the wears. That means books by such publishers as Aperture, Dexter Sinister and Golden Age, special projects, a conference and a hot party featuring cool bands and awesome DJs.

..