A Nightlife (And Ice-Skating) Enthusiast’s Guide To Thanksgiving Eve


NYC is a town of transplants, a fact that’s never more obvious than during the holiday season. While thousands of New Yorkers take off work early and spend hours upon hours in traffic, at the airport, and stuck in train stations, we think those of you who are left in town should make the most of it. So, here you are: Your guide to the best (and most questionable) events the city has to offer this Thanksgiving Eve.

First thing’s first: Thanksgiving means Christmas is just around the corner, and while some of you may be in denial, the rest of us can’t get enough of the city’s transformation into a commercialized winter wonderland. The skating rinks have been open since the first week of November, but who wanted to skate in 65-degree weather? Now that conditions are sufficiently blustery (and you have the day off work), we’ll recommend the Pond at Bryant Park (6th Avenue and 42nd Street) over the more crowded and pricey Rockefeller Center these next few days. Not only does Bryant Park offer free admission (though it’s $12 for skate rentals), but you’ll also get to browse their epic holiday market with tons of holiday-themed vendors. If you’ve got family in town or find yourself babysitting young ones, stop by the tree lightings, window displays, and, if you can stomach it, the Thanksgiving Day parade. Until then, make the most of your Wednesday without curfew and treat yourself to a night out and a much-deserved subsequent hangover.

It just so happens that tomorrow is an unusually awesome night for live rock here in NYC. Sonic Youth play their second show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Jemina Pearl: It’s sold out, but Craigslist has plenty of tickets for $20-$35 a pop. The Pixies take over Hammerstein Ballroom for the last New York stops of their Doolittle tour (try Craigslist there, too). The seemingly less sought-after Meat Puppets headline at Bowery Ballroom along with Kirkside Dellinger and Dynasty Electric, Julian Plenti (you know him as “Paul Banks from Interpol”) gets emotional at Brooklyn Bowl, and NJ punks Screaming Females rock out at the Bell House with Bad Blood Revival.

Oh wait, there’s more! Highline Ballroom hosts reggae star Serani, and Gordon Voidwell croons his electro-funk jams at Public Assembly (Voice favorites Das Racist and smooth selector Ballantino are also on the bill). DJ Rekha throws her annual holiday edition of “Basement Bhangra” at SOBs, which features performances by Eddie Stats and Red Baraat. Elsewhere, Trey Songz hosts his birthday party at M2 Ultra Lounge with DJ Camilo and DJ Clue, and someone somewhere decided that Jagged Edge is still relevant and worth your $50. (They’re playing an “’80s Babies” tour, whatever that means.) Oh, and in case you’ve been looking for Rich Medina after that whole Santos debacle, may we remind you that he still holds down “Little Ricky’s Rib Shack” every Wednesday at APT, currently free of charge.

If hiding amid heavy bass, flashing lights, and pounds of hair gel is more your thing, hit up electro-house producer Deadmau5 at Terminal 5, and bring your patience. Otherwise, the more intimate Cielo hosts Louie Vega‘s all-vinyl Roots night (featuring a live performance by Joyce Sims, the “Come Into My Life” diva), Lajja Recordings co-founder Carlos Fauvrelle brings his dark house vibes to Love, and Stacatto’s DJ Gina Turner invites the rave to the East Village’s Ella. There’s also this completely overwhelming party boat (which swears it’s not a party boat…. despite its three-tiered dance floor) that will make its very expensive debut on the Hudson. We recommend you hold onto your money and pay the comparably paltry $10 for the “No Way Back” loft shindig instead: It features what’s bound to be an instant dance party with a lineup that includes the very awesome Cubic Zirconia, Superfamily, and Snack N Cmish.

Happy Thanksgiving!