Arts & Entertainment

  • Best proof that the Gowanus Arts District may not be entirely a real estate fiction

    Proteus Gowanus

    In Greek mythology, Proteus was a sea god who could change shape at will. If you attempted to trap him, he'd become a snake, a lion, or even water, and slide away. But we're hoping that Proteus Gowanus—an interdisciplinary gallery, reading room, and community space built along the odoriferous shores of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal—doesn't alter too much. We'd miss the… More >>
  • Best World War II–era rescue boat converted into a community arts space

    Empty Vessel Project

    In 2005, the EV, a hulking, decrepit Navy rescue boat from World War II, was slated for demolition in the Bronx. Then it was brought to the attention of some enterprising local artists, who purchased the boat for the princely sum of $1 with grand plans to convert it into a community space. And so they did: After thousands of… More >>
  • Best consistently interesting outer-borough gallery

    Outrageous Look - CLOSED

    Over the bridges and through the tunnels we've gone, and there was some tasty work in Brooklyn and Queens venues last season: Pierogi, Jack the Pelican Presents, and Flux Factory come to mind. But Outrageous Look, with smart sculptures in its shop windows luring intrepid South Williamsburg strollers into two nicely scaled spaces, maintains one of the highest batting averages.… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn art bayou

    Issue Project Room

    The Issue Project Room is a converted oil tank on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. A round space about 35 feet in diameter, it hosts experimental music and other performances. The vibe on the site is magical. Pass through the wrought-iron gate and find yourself in a thicket of black-eyed Susans, weeds, and ailanthus trees that could be in… More >>
  • Best new gallery/store for big kids who still like to play with toys

    Giant Robot

    California-based Giant Robot magazine has long been the place to go for the latest word on Asian pop culture and underground art. This new Manhattan outpost of the Giant Robot empire should serve as a headquarters for anime-loving kids and adults not too old to collect Uglydolls and mimobots. Owned by Eric Nakamura, who co-founded GR back in 1994, when… More >>
  • Best reincarnated nonprofit photography gallery

    Aperture Foundation

    The 55-year-old Aperture Foundation is famous for its magazine and book publishing operations, but the opening last fall of a 3,000-square-foot exhibition space in Chelsea has raised its gallery's profile considerably. Remarkable exhibitions have included French conceptualist Bruno Rosier's self-portraits in exotic tourist locations, modeled on the travel photographs of an anonymous stranger, circa 1960; Gary Schneider's incendiary, life-size nudes,… More >>
  • Best new photography gallery

    Hasted Hunt

    Tarah Hasted and W.M. Hunt (longtime co- directors at Ricco Maresca) went out on a limb when they opened their brand-new gallery Hasted Hunt last year, with a survey of pho-tojournalism by VII, the five-year-old agency whose members include James Nacht­wey and Ron Haviv. Since then, they've mounted a series of challenging exhibitions, including Paolo Ventura's uncanny pictures of small-scale… More >>
  • Best art studio collective

    Emergency Arts

    With hundreds of glittering galleries, Chelsea might be a great place to sell art, but it's not such a great place to make art— escalating rents make finding a reasonably priced studio space nearly impossible. This is where Emergency Arts comes in: Smack in the middle of Chelsea, the warehouse, which is being converted into a massive collective studio space,… More >>
  • Best art dealer in need of a MacArthur award

    Mitchell Algus

    Mitchell Algus is the Broadway Danny Rose of art dealers. This is not to say he's not great at what he does. Yet in the midst of one the biggest art booms ever, Algus mounts small, scrappy, extremely focused, provocative exhibitions of artists that time, and certainly the market, forgot. Think of all those painters and sculptors that you've vaguely… More >>
  • Best use of astronomically expensive Soho real estate

    Broken Kilometer

    If time is money, then the nearly 30-year run of these enormous installation pieces by Walter De Maria amounts to a thumb in the eye of capitalism. Meditative and mathematical, the Broken Kilometer keeps its profound silence in an otherwise clamorous stretch of corporate boutiques. De Maria spaced and elevated the 500 brass rods, each two meters long, in five… More >>
  • Best place to donate your old bubble gum collection (or best-dressed window museum)

    City Reliquary

    The City Reliquary began as a modest window display of subway tokens in Dave Herman's old street-level apartment, but it quickly grew into a neighborhood nexus where people came to share personal reflections and collections inspired by the five boroughs. Soon, people were leaving offerings in the plants and on the doorstep, so Herman decided to rent a public space… More >>
  • Best averted disaster by an arts organization

    Drawing Center

    One of the best things that happened in the art world last season was something that didn't happen. Depending on who tells the story, the good news is that the Drawing Center either backed out of or got booted from an idiotic scheme to relocate from its longtime headquarters in Soho to the so-called arts complex slated to be built… More >>
  • Best maverick research lab

    Graffiti Research Lab

    TheGraffiti Research Lab, headquartered at tech-arts center Eyebeam in Chelsea, is New York's only facility devoted to studying and developing cool tools for graffiti artists. Masterminded by Evan Roth—who wrote his prizewinning master's thesis at Parsons on analyzing graffiti using motion-tracking and computer code—and former robotics researcher James Powderly, the group dreams up innovative techniques for urban communication. They drum… More >>
  • Best museum to experience Weimar glamour in

    Neue Galerie

    Tales of Weimar decadence have always incited nostalgic pangs of envy in me—German artists and performers drinking and drugging till the wee hours, and recuperating the next day with divine coffee at some nearby café while discussing the meaning of life. New Yorkers now have access to a little slice of Weimar glamour (minus the illegal substances), thanks to the… More >>
  • Best museum you've never heard of

    Hispanic Society of America

    Tucked away behind a courtyard off 155th and Broadway, the Hispanic Society of America houses the biggest collection of Spanish art outside Spain. It's free—funded in perpetuity by the eccentric railroad heir Archer Milton Huntington, who packed the 1908 beaux arts building with the spoils of a 50-year shopping spree, items spanning the Bronze Age to the 20th century. El… More >>
  • Best place to see decaying masterpieces and forgeries

    Metropolitan Museum's study collection

    Of the four Albert Pinkham Ryders on display in the Metropolitan Museum's study collection (tucked into the mezzanine under the American Wing and open to the public), only one was actually painted by the New York visionary of crepuscular landscapes and darkling ships under jaundiced moons—and it is falling apart. Ryder (1847–1917) influenced many artists—from regional scene painters to Jackson… More >>
  • Best women artists not being casual about the penis

    Ellen Altfest

    Super well rendered down to the last hair, vein, wrinkle, pleat, pucker, rimple, and ridge of her model's flaccid penis, Ellen Altfest's small-scale painting (and according to a few onlookers, the subject itself) had viewers squirming, gawking, laughing, and saying "eww" or "ooh la la" all last summer. The painting, appropriately titled Penis, was included in the show Altfest curated… More >>
  • Best place to be an art star or just dress like one

    Show and Tell

    During this year's O'Debbie Awards, comedic fashionista Carmen Mofongo showed up wearing a glittery water-bong chapeau while the Voice-crowned "Best Potty-Mouthed Guitar-Slinging Comedian" Jessica Delfino sported a floor-length white skirt, slit to the crotch to reveal her bright red underwear. (Other honorees wore elf ears or a neck brace—as necessity dictated.) As the culmination of another year of the O'Debra… More >>
  • Best laugh-out-loud video shorts

    Variety Shac

    Four women having a potluck. Office workers trying to meet a deadline. A bake sale, a book club, a visit to the local bodega, and a road trip. These may not sound like anything that would make you spit out your drink from laughter, but that's the genius behind Variety Shac, a monthly comedy show performed by Shonali Bhowmik, Heather… More >>
  • Best place to see your favorite comic bomb

    Upright Citizens Brigade's Crash Test

    Sure it's great to watch David Cross or Patton Oswalt when they're on fire. There's nothing better than a comic effortlessly tearing through a polished set—except maybe seeing the effort that goes into making those sets seem so effortless. At Upright Citizens Brigade's Crash Test, hosted by up-and-comer Aziz Ansari Monday nights at 11 at the UCB Theatre, you get… More >>
  • Best Open-Mic Night—Without the Mic

    Caffé Taci

    First, what Caffé Taci is not: It's not the perfect place for a romantic Italian dinner date. It's too loud, for one thing, and although plenty of love songs get sung, they're interspersed with the occasional mad scene or murder/suicide in Italian. The waiters don't sing, but almost everyone joins in for the toreador chorus from Carmen. It's not staid… More >>
  • Best performance art space for dinner and a movie

    Monkeytown

    Bypass the chic main dining room, with its slightly incongruous chandelier made of found cardboard and submerge yourself in cool climes of Monkeytown's performance chamber. Four long white futon-couches line the walls, where a quartet of huge movies screens add to the futuristic blankness of the space. Every night of the week, Monkeytown offers movies, live music, video art, or… More >>
  • Best all-acoustic show-music concert

    Broadway Unplugged

    Those overworked amps in Broadway shows giving your ears a pain? Even if you're not part of the over-60 set that grumbles about the old days when actors could project, you'll find surcease, along with a lot of listening pleasure, at entrepreneur-columnist Scott Siegel's Broadway Unplugged concert, which annually summons a parade of A-list musical-theater dazzlers eager to prove that… More >>
  • Best surprise venue for cabaret concerts

    Metropolitan Museum Concerts

    Who says Mary Cassatt had nothing in common with Cole Porter? Proof to the contrary: Show music, lovingly rendered in high cabaret style by Steve Ross, has become a regular feature of the Metropolitan Museum Concerts. This season, the first of Ross's two forays, on January 12, 2007, will be keyed to the Met's exhibition, "Americans in Paris, 1860–1900," so… More >>
  • Best music festival that runs by the sun's rays

    Solar One

    Its one thing to have a nice bright day to enjoy a good outdoor show; for Solar One, its a must. For their summer shows, the bands don't have to plug into any outlets to play. At their Stuyvesant Cove Park outpost on the East River, their offices aren't just for administrative work and education workshops: The roof of the… More >>
  • Best local music groupie

    Shirley Braha

    If you haven't been watching New York Noise, turn your TV to Channel 25 every Tuesday night to see the latest bands like you've never seen them before. Produced by native-Brooklynite music maven Shirley Braha, who put out her first CD (the Hanukkah-themed indie-pop compilation I Made It Out of Clay) on her own Little Shirley Beans label when she… More >>
  • Best teachers for an indie-rock fan to admire

    Vivien Goldman

    Most of us have sat through boring, dry lectures from teachers who lost their verve decades ago. But there are at least two New York City teachers don't have any difficulty talking about pop culture to their classes, because both of them have spent years wired into it. Vivien Goldman is author of the Bob Marley bio The Book of… More >>
  • Best update on the old country

    Balkanalian Brunch

    During last year's King Gypsy Rocker Massive, event producer Sxip Shirey saw a 16-year-old punk rock kid folk-dancing with someone's grandmother. Feeling nostalgic for the potlucks and community square dances of his youth and inspired by the inclusive nature of Eastern European cultural events, Shirey decided to start throwing family barbecues. The first Balkanalian Brunch featured Zagnut Orkestar—the six-piece Balkan… More >>
  • Best place to send a future rock star girl

    Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

    It's all good and well to send kids off to learn swimming, archery, and arts and crafts each summer, but why not give them a skill that they'll really cherish? Since many public schools' music department funds have been slashed, a worthwhile alternative might be a session at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, which is now in its second… More >>
  • Best new record label

    Wolf + Lamb

    In a mere two years, the Brooklyn DJ duo Wolf + Lamb have spun a formidable underground techno empire that encompasses not only their DJ appearances but also a raft of wildly popular parties, a line of T-shirts and gear, and an innovative MP3 label. In addition to giving out all of their independent label's music for free… More >>
  • Best local zine

    Wax Poetics

    Wax Poetics barely qualifies as a zine in the classic stapled-together-rant-scrawled-in-crayon-on-wide-ruled-notebook-paper sense of the word. The Brooklyn-based hip-hop mag's combination of slick design, rare photography, and book-quality binding makes it look prettier and classier than the trashy mainstream hip-hop rags its insightful, inspired commentary consistently embarrasses. Started in late 2002, Wax Poetics is now 18 issues old, with artist tributes… More >>
  • Best place to stay dry

    McCarren Park Pool

    In 1936, the Works Progress Administration unveiled 11 pools in New York. All still serve New York swimmers and splashers, except for Williamsburg's McCarren Park Pool, of which Mayor La Guardia once remarked, "no pool anywhere has been as appreciated as this one." For the last two decades, however, McCarren has been appreciated as little more than a home… More >>
  • Best dorky indie-rock marketing gimmick

    Bishop Allen's plan to self-release an EP a month

    In the increasingly cutthroat world of precocious pop, you ain't gonna last without some sort of overarching thematic challenge to keep the kids fascinated—take Sufjan Stevens and his gargantuan "record for each of the 50 states" imbroglio. Brooklyn trio Bishop Allen's plan to self-release an EP a month in 2006 is, thankfully, a slightly less time-consuming (and much less pretentious)… More >>
  • Best ukulele-playing fag hags

    The Hazzards

    Picture two cute chicks with ukuleles and a keyboard, standing onstage giggling and singing about "Girl Beer," temping, and gay boyfriends. Then imagine them dolled up in adorable matching outfits as they plink away and you've got the Hazzards, otherwise known as Anne Harris and Sydney Maresca (who sews and designs their dazzling outfits). Sometimes they're backed by a full… More >>
  • Best Appalachian hardcore band

    O'Death

    So you missed Jim & Jenny and the Pinetops' last whirlwind tour through town, and no matter how you work it, you simply cannot justify flying down to Louisville (that's pronounced LOU-AH-vul, dear) to see crotchety old Tom Waits. So what's a lover of insurgent bluegrass and/or wonky sorta-pop to do? Why, take yourself to see the sexiest Appalachian hardcore… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn noise-rock record that won't offend your parents

    Oneida's Happy New Year

    The crazed, challenging, avant-garde sounds emanating from Brooklyn these days—check out a few of promoter Todd P's shows for a quick audiovisual primer, and bring earplugs and goggles—make for inspiring, exhilarating stuff, but it's not exactly suitable for headphones, the beach, or the boudoir. Or your folks. For an outstanding but warmly accessible window into this oft hostile, screeching-feedback world,… More >>
  • Best guy who sings like a girl

    Death Vessel

    Nothing melts a jaded man's heart like the sound of a beautiful female voice singing songs of love, loss, and longing—even when they're being sung by a guy. Joel Thibodeau, a slight young man with a freakishly high-pitched (but gorgeous) voice who goes by the name of Death Vessel (which could also fall under the "Best Band Name" category), is… More >>
  • Best lead singer who doubles as an air raid siren

    Shilpa Ray

    You wanna get there right as a Beat-the-Devil set begins, because half the fun in seeing this volatile NYC jazz-folk-blues-punk outfit lies in watching the unfamiliar react the first time lead singer Shilpa Ray opens her mouth. Typical reaction: shock and awe. She looks tiny and jovial (especially surrounded by her menacing, dudely bandmates), but goddamn can she ever shriek,… More >>
  • Best psych-Rock band

    Psychic Ills

    Describing a band with an adjective like trippy is often just a lazy critic's way of trying to impart a hard-to-describe, perception-altering sound, one that often has very little to do with actual drug use. (See: classical Indian music, Afropop, Indonesian gamelan.) To make matters more confusing, the actual genre of "psychedelic" bands stretches to include such disparate acts as… More >>
  • Best hurdy-gurdy busker

    Melissa the Loud

    "Am I also being nominated for Worst Hurdy-Gurdy Busker?" Melissa the Loud wanted to know when she heard about her Voice nomination. A hurdy-gurdy, for those who skipped class the day medieval musical instruments were taught, is a wooden box with a crank and numerous keys (Melissa's has 23) that, when pressed, hit strings inside the box to make music.… More >>
  • Best uncrowded movie theater

    Regal Cinemas Battery Park Theater

    It is a perfect Sunday morning. Rise and shine and check the movie times over a cup of coffee. Pick the earliest show, preferably before noon, of the blockbuster that's just opened at the Regal Cinemas Battery Park Theater. Once you get there, grab a black-and-white cookie ($1.95) from the Pick a Bagel to the left of the theater. Flaunt… More >>
  • The most knowledgeable New York City movie audience

    BAM

    Some of the city's premier revival showcases (I'm not naming names) can resemble mental-hospital day rooms, and not just because the audience members talk back to the screen or laugh at whatever they see. At BAM, however, the movie crowd skews fabulously, enthusiastically healthy—they're young, mixed, and knowledgeable. Directors like Tsai Ming-liang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul are demigods to these people,… More >>
  • Best Old-Style Brooklyn Movie House

    Cobble Hill Theater

    So many movie theater trends have come and gone. Vanished is the regal, lushly carpeted movie palace, replaced by the gummy-layered floor of goo and seats too small to accommodate America's growing backsides. And do we really need 60 screens, or ones the size of baseball cards? If you're like me and miss the days when your biggest worry was… More >>
  • Best movie house that lives up to its name

    Two Boots Pioneer Theater

    Like the name implies, Two Boots Pioneer Theater is a true trailblazer, going out on a limb every night to present the most eclectic selection of everything available on film (and video). On any given day, you can see a minor masterpiece and six pieces of shit, but this is the beauty here—they ask you to take the same risk… More >>
  • Best movie theater for culture-starved infants (and their parents)

    Rattle and Reel

    So you just had a baby and you're having some second thoughts—or at the very least mourning your old freewheeling, moviegoing life. Some local theaters might look the other way as you sneak your tot into a daytime screening, but is it worth the shame you face from fellow viewers when your baby inevitably starts howling during the hushed denouement?… More >>
  • Best movie theater grub

    Loews Kips Bay

    Going to the movies and not eating popcorn is like going to a BBQ and not chomping on the ribs. As we all know, the problem with this is that most theater food is disgusting— who really wants rubbery frankfurters, kernels covered in yellow sludge, or nachos with fluorescent, glow-in-the-dark cheese? Loews Kips Bay still has all these things (well,… More >>
  • The greatest New York City movie not even nearly shot in New York

    Pickup on South Street

    Maybe half of Sam Fuller's 1953 insanely slangy, deliriously hard-boiled, anti-commie noir Pickup on South Street takes place either on the BMT or in a shack at the end of an East River pier, off the Fulton Fish Market and beneath the Brooklyn Bridge; the rest is mainly set in Bowery flophouses, all-night Chinatown noodle joints, and the Pickpocket Squad… More >>
  • Best reasons to cancel that Netflix subscription

    Anthology Film Archives

    Serious film culture takes hit after hit, thanks to a persistent dumbing down on the part of distributors and the media, but the crowded calendars of New York's repertory theaters tell a different story. This has been a banner year for the city's retro houses: Film Forum packed a lifetime's worth of "B noirs" into six intensive weeks of cheap,… More >>
  • Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Manhattan

    David Holzman's

    Everyone will have candidates to stump for, but omigod, which '70s New Wave grit immersion do you crown winner? Woody or Marty? Dog Day Afternoon or Klute? Because it's still an underdog, I'll pitch for Jim McBride's indie satire David Holzman's Diary (1967), in which the eponymous filmmaker (played by L.M. Kit Carson) decides to make a "vérité" documentary about… More >>
  • Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about the Bronx

    The Wanderers

    The Wanderers, Philip Kaufman's retroactively acclaimed 1979 adaptation of the Richard Price novel, filmed almost entirely in the upper borough, larkily chronicles the life of Italian street gangs circa 1963. Hardly Scorsesian, the film bobbles from violence to goofy shtick, and the various gangs confronted along the way are, although based on real experience as well as mythified rumor, only… More >>
  • Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Brooklyn

    Do the Right Thing

    The most movie-romanticized of the boroughs, Brooklyn might have been most eloquently served in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989), which broke a stallion's sweat trying to evoke the Bed-Stuy 'hood of the '80s, pressure-cooked by summer swelter, poisoned by racial spite, and raw with the memories of Eleanor Bumpurs and Howard Beach. Shot right there, Lee's movie is… More >>
  • Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Staten Island

    Joe the King

    Frank Whaley's directorial debut, Joe the King, (1999) is one of the very few films to take Staten Island seriously as a subject and locale, and it does so with a vengeance. Whaley was apparently working through some serious baggage, and it shows—the movie is scuffed-knuckle raw, bearing witness to a "semi-autobiographical" childhood endured by a 14-year-old in the mid… More >>
  • Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Queens

    Sunday

    No one likes to sing the song of Queens, but Jonathan Nossiter's first film, Sunday (1997), documents the lowlands as if for National Geographic. The story, from poet James Lasdun, impressionistically follows the mysterious course of an introverted middle-aged man (David Suchet) living in a Queens homeless shelter, as he is confronted on the street by a beautiful, aging English… More >>
  • Best bootleg-video store

    Kim's

    It's still Kim's on St. Marks, which has long reigned as the metro area's prime holding pen for movies—on DVD or, still, VHS—you're not supposed to find anywhere else. "Hard-to-find" is the preferred euphemism, but however they were acquired, the jungle of them is thick. We'll just scratch the surface: Robert Frank's outrageous, slightly fictionalized Stones doc Cocksucker Blues (1972),… More >>
  • Best local movie blog

    Davekehr.com

    New York–based film bloggers enjoy a monopoly on our bookmarks. The smart, lively IFC Blog (blog.ifctv.com) is our go-to link aggregator, especially useful when we lack the time or energy for the dauntingly comprehensive GreenCine Daily (daily.greencine.com). But our favorite movie blogs are generally the most idiosyncratic and opinionated, the ones attempting to figure out a blog-friendly model for old-school… More >>
  • Best play-reading series

    Revelation Reading Series

    For its mix and match of new plays and old, star performers and unknowns, highbrow academics and downtown kids out for gory fun in blank verse, the roster of plays assembled by Jesse Berger's Red Bull Theater for its annual Revelation Reading Series has its competition in the staged-reading department beaten all hollow. Acting eminences like Kathleen Chalfant, Dana… More >>
  • Best display of patriotism

    National Theater of the United States of America

    There's nothing terribly jingoistic about the National Theater of the United States of America. Indeed, in communistic fashion, members of this theater company work as a collective, collaborating on the writing, directing, acting, and designing of their own intensely original work. How very un-American! Or is it? As their modest and unassuming mission statement proclaims, "We, the people of the… More >>
  • Best reason for theater haters to buy season tickets

    Brick Theater

    Once an auto shop, the Brick Theater pursues its thespian dream with blue-collar chutzpah. The facade is a matte-black garage door; the lobby is a street corner; the owners are not afraid to get their hands dirty. They program festivals, peddle tickets, hand out pieces of foam when the seats are sold out, and serve up cans of beer from… More >>
  • Best bargain ballet viewing

    Fourth Ring Society

    During the New York City Ballet's two annual seasons at New York State Theater, you can see masterworks by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, plus more recent pieces by ballet master Peter Martins, Christopher Wheeldon, and others. If you're low on funds and too old for student rush tickets, join the Fourth Ring Society this fall for $20. You can… More >>
  • Best source for dance lore

    Jerome Robbins Dance Division

    If you've ever wanted to know more about a dance that thrilled or puzzled you, the choreographer who made it, or the dancer you fell in love with, head for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. With a regular library card, you can check out books and videos on the first… More >>
  • Best new literary journal

    A Public Space

    The ridiculously good debut issue of Brigid Hughes's literary quarterly, A Public Space, featured fiction from Kelly Link and Charles D'Ambrosio, short pieces by Anna Deveare Smith and Rick Moody, an eye-opening Japan portfolio, and as they say, much, much more. If you didn't pick it up, you'll have to check eBay, since it's completely sold out. Hughes was the… More >>
  • Best book club

    Lynne Harlow and Alex Herzan

    Out in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn last month were nearly a dozen members of a Manhattan book club fixated on the city. All they read is books about New York and, when they meet to talk about a book, they like to find a way to directly connect with the story line. So when they finished The Strike That… More >>
  • Best local literary blog

    Light Reading

    The name Light Reading is wonderfully evocative but ultimately a misnomer. Though Jenny Davidson's blog often riffs with sprightly authority on page-turners ("Lee Child's Jack Reacher books are the other closest things I've found to the satisfactions of Dick Francis in his prime"), she's equally entertaining and informative on literary fiction, theater, biology, academic life (she teaches 18th-century British literature… More >>
  • Best New New York Noir

    Dope

    In her short, sharp 2003 novel Come Closer, New York/New Orleans novelist Sara Gran erased the metropolitan specifics. Her uncanny story unfolded in a city that scanned as Gotham but could have been any bleak urban zone, drained of color by the unstable narrator's descent into demonic possession—or insanity. Switching genres, this year's terrific noir Dope leaves no doubt as… More >>
  • Best word game geekfest

    Boggle Meetup

    Thirty people huddle over cubes filled with 16 or 25 letters, trying to form words within the allotted three minutes. Pens scribble; people sigh, twist their heads, and try their hardest to discern the patterns that will score them the most points. If you're a word nerd like me, you'll probably enjoy Boggle Meetup. The vibe is friendly and welcoming,… More >>
  • Best new television-created tourist attraction

    Mood Fabrics

    Certain Manhattan spots were made famous by their association with a TV character: After the lead character on the series Felicity got a job at Dean & DeLuca, tourists swarmed this overpriced foodie boutique; the West Village's Magnolia Bakery has been overrun ever since Sex and the City's Carrie put it on the map. My candidate for the next TV-driven… More >>
  • Best place to publicly relive your failures

    Rejection Show

    Part and parcel of being an artist is having your work turned down. It's hard not to take it personally, and while your first impulse may be to take the piece and shove it into a drawer, think again. The Rejection Show offers a home for cartoonists, comedians, writers, and other performers to showcase work that might never otherwise see… More >>
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