Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!
As yearly traditions go, reading New York Magazine’s “Reasons to Love New York” is unsurprisingly one of my favorites. While I frequently joke here, there and everywhere about making my personality (and career) almost entirely about living here, I think there is something to be said, especially now, about celebrating our fair city’s gritty glory.
Maybe it’s a spiteful streak stemming from a recent spate of New York Post articles shouting about how “NEW YORK HAS GONE DOWN THE TUBES” or whatever, but I’m extra proud to live here. For all of its challenges (and by the way, there have always been challenges?! We live in an urban metropolis of over 8 million people???), New York is alive and very much not down the tubes.
Before I moved to New York, I picked up a copy of the 2007 Zagat Guide and the 2007 Not for Tourists Guide. Full of insider phrasing and places I’d never heard of, I read them cover to cover every night like a bedtime story, dreaming of the day I’d become a real New Yorker. 15 years later, the jury’s out on whether I’ve hit that goal — after all, I met a stranger recently who, unprompted(!!), told me, “You don’t seem like a New Yorker” lol. But whether you live here, or used to, or want to, or don’t want to — supporting and celebrating the city certainly counts toward something.
If you need me, I’ll be over here reading New York Magazine and my old Zagat.
What is your absolute favorite only-in-New York memory?
🎭 ghost(s) of christmas past
Jefferson Mays is no stranger to playing a dizzying number of roles, having portrayed multiple characters in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and over 40 roles in I Am My Own Wife. Now, the renowned actor takes on the “50 roles of a lifetime” in A Christmas Carol currently playing on Broadway in what we hear is a tour de force performance where he covers everyone from Scrooge to a potato. Yes, a potato.
🎪 run away to the circus
Riveting acrobatics, juggling, flames and 70s funk frame Circus Abyssinia: Tulu, a one-of-a-kind tribute to Deratu Tulu, the Ethiopian distance runner who became the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal. The circus comes to New Victory Theater now through January 1!
🎶 holiday magic
Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart takes to 54 Below for the Family Holiday Playlist tonight and tomorrow December 9, along with special guests Javier Muñoz (Hamilton), Nathan Lucrezio (Diana), and Saint Aubyn (December 8 only) for an evening of stories and seasonal song!
🎤 yada yada yada
Upper West Side mascot Jerry Seinfeld plays the Beacon Theatre December 16 and 17 in an all-new show where he may have to fight off people shouting “No soup for you!”
🎶 not while she’s around
Sondheim works as a show tune. Sondheim works as disco. Sondheim works as folk!!! Check out the latter when Folk Sondheim sensation Eleri Ward plays Sony Hall Monday December 19 with help from special musical guests Sam Pauly (Six), Bobby Conte (Company), Julia Murney (everything), and Laura Benanti (also everything).
⁉️ not my job
Trivia nerds and NPR nerds and comedy nerds and Carnegie Hall nerds should convene at Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me’s live taping at Carnegie Hall Friday December 9, which is bound to feature pop culture quiz questions and some fun famous surprise guests!
🛍 sip and shop
I am truly striking out with these online gift guides (no, not everyone needs another portable charger) — it’s time to head to the Holiday Sip and Shop from Artists and Fleas and sip a cocktail while supporting local brands at Chelsea Market tonight or in Williamsburg Sunday December 11.
🕺 ‘til you just can’t boogie no more
We love a good holiday pop-up bar. If you’re looking for an equally ephemeral non-holiday related joint, try the groovy disco Good Boogie Pop Up at the MADE Hotel ongoing now. It’s “the place to go for a good stiff drink amongst people of similar interests.”
🎨 sky high art
Prolific skyscraper artist and Hell’s Kitchen local Gwyneth Leech has two new shows around town — a series of works on Hudson Yards. premiering (appropriately) at The Yard in Lincoln Square Thursday December 15 and the ongoing In the New Neighborhood displayed at Port Authority, where I happily stumbled upon it this week!
🎶 it was a silly, silly dream, being unhappy
What can’t Kelli O’Hara do!?! She’s back at the Metropolitan Opera (along with Joyce DiDonato and oh, Renee Fleming) in an adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours now playing through Friday December 16. Here’s hoping the famed opera’s box office recovers from their very recent cyberattack 👀 soon…
👯♀️ there’s no doubt about the trees
Do not miss out on contemporary dance split bill Good Grief, Friday December 16 and Saturday December 17 at The Mark O’Donnell Theater, featuring work by Finleigh Zack Dance, Meagan Ahern and Georgia Taylor, Six Degrees Dance and Grant Jacoby and Dancers, who delicately explore mourning and melancholia in the moving premiere of even the trees know it.
🎭 see it first
I know I’m always droning on about seeing new shows before they blow up!!!! but again — you never know when you’ll catch the next big thing. Head over to the New Ohio Theatre’s staged reading series December 15 through 18 for brand-new works covering everything from a man who believes he might be a worm, to the ups and downs of a Lower East Side pho restaurant, to Stalin.
🎶 eight crazy songs
Jam out to Big Band Hanukkah! at the Leon M Goldstein Performing Arts Center Sunday December 11 where the Eyal Vilner Big Band “honors the beauty of traditional Hanukkah songs while blending the sounds of jazz and swing with Israeli, Jewish, and Middle Eastern music.”
🎭 a staten island christmas
A pageant-like review packed with glitz, glam, and a little Staten Island sass, the 19th annual St George Christmas Show plays this weekend with over 100 volunteer performers, the Richmondettes and even a few local celebrities.
🎄 hit the lights
Ok, I know I just waxed poetic about hOw mUcH i LoVe cItY LiFe but I do really miss seeing suburban Christmas lights. Luckily, we can all recreate the experience at the spectacular Amaze Light Festival showing now through January 8 at Citi Field. Get your holiday photo op done without trespassing on anyone’s lawn!!
🎶 jingle ball rock
Backstreet’s back, alright!! Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth and Demi Lovato at this Friday December 9th’s Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden.
⛸ on thick ice
Trying to romance your Hinge date? Head to the William Vale in Brooklyn where you can skate on their seasonal rooftop rink while admiring the city skyline *flutters eyelashes*
🔥 Hot tip
You can’t beat the nostalgia of strolling down 5th Avenue’s holiday window displays with a cup of hot chocolate. Enjoy the scene without worrying about cars this Sunday December 11 and Sunday December 18 for New York’s Holiday Open Streets from W48th Street to W57th Street along the avenue. Time to jam to the Saks light show!!
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
There’s a Veronica Beard sample sale this Tuesday December 13
54 Below celebrates The Muppet Christmas Carol this Monday December 12
Elf is playing at Museum of the City of New York Saturday December 17
Beaupierre Wine & Spirits is now offering delivery service!
SantaCon…is coming to town this Saturday
Jam to 90s music vids at Twas the 90s Before Christmas playing The Bell House this Friday December 9
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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