Critical 5 things to do in NYC: get kitschy, November 16-18
Prime yourself for gift season this weekend with fun philanthropy events, book fairs, and art sales and enjoy some seasonal festivities while you’re at it.
This Friday, party in the name of philanthropy at Public Assembly in Williamsburg. For just a $5 minimum you can enjoy live music, all-night DJ sets including spins from Cousin Cole and Cool Records’ Flufftronix, and open well vodka from 9-9:30. Best of all, you get the satisfaction of helping raise money toward the Hurricane Sandy relief fund—all of the box office revenue, excepting some minor travel assistance for performers, will go to Red Cross, City Harvest, and Occupy Sandy, plus 10% of the overall bar sales will be added to the general donation. Get drunk, dance, and give a little.
Get in the wintry spirit with New York’s inaugural “IceFest” presented by the Time Warner Center, Ottawa Tourism, and Ontario Tourism. From 10am to 9pm Sunday you can watch ice sculptors straight from Ottwawa’s annual “Winterlude” festival chisel away at frozen hunks to create five, eight-foot tall sculptures and enjoy other free outdoor entertainment. Season- and Canadian-inspired food and drink will keep winter revelers warm, plus special deals from The Shops at Columbus Circle add more incentive to attend. If you drop by Saturday afternoon, you can also catch Lincoln Center-sponsored jazz act Jon-Erik Kellso leading a New Orleans-style second line through Columbus Circle.
What’s better than thousands of brand new discounted books for the perusing and purchasing? Thousands of books plus blue ribbon cuisine, games, and booze. Swing by the 26th annual New York Book Fair to enter a raffle, stick your nose in a book, and fill your face with treats from Amy’s Bread, Ann Dedman Neal Catering, Brother Jimmy’s, and more. From 6-9pm you’ll have a chance to enter to win a $1,000 gift card to Barnes and Noble, a Nook tablet, restaurant certificates, or other party packages as you sample the Judge’s choice for best hors d’oeuvres from Dufour Pastry Kitchens and sample fine wines and martinis. Best of all, you can feel good about yourself as you indulge—all proceeds go to Goddard Riverside Community Center.
This weekend kicks off the NYBG’s months-long celebration of New York and the holidays with their miniature, aptly seasonal, to-scale replicas of New York’s built environment made entirely out of bark, twigs, and leaves. With over 140 scaled iconic buildings and structures on display including the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and Radio City Music Hall, the train show lets you see the city the botanical way. Follow the late-1800s inspired American steam engines as they chug along the quarter-mile of familiar yet tiny track, stroll the grounds, eat and decorate your own gingersnaps, and even sneak a peek into the construction of the models in the artist’s studio for an overall enchanting evening.
Making its NYC debut at Prince George, the Parallax Art Fair or P(AF) offers a uniquely democratic direct art-to-consumer experience with its open admission policy. Creator-cum-curator Dr. Chris Barlow intends to offer an intellectual framework that challenges the buyer to actually like what he or she buys instead of being told what is in good taste simply by virtue of what is offered for sale. Now in its fifth edition, this art fair attracts around 200 artists from all over the globe, presenting in total 2-3,000 pieces. Whether or not you intend to walk away with anything, the pastiche curatorial approach makes for an interesting art experience that features art across the spectrum in genre, content, and abilities all in one place.