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!
There’s no real way for me to summon the sounds of the White Lotus theme song in print, but hopefully by now you have its haunting classical-meets-club-music theme bumping in your head. Whether you have no interest in the show or have been rampantly Googling “White Lotus ending discussion analysis discourse” into the far reaches of the interwebs when you should be sleeping 💁🏼♀️, one thing is clear: it’s fun to have some shared pop culture moment to pick apart!!!
The days of gathering around a network television to watch the Wonderful World of Disney Sunday movie (Brandy Cinderella fans STAND UP!) or a suspenseful episode of ER (I’m still scarred by, spoiler alert, the one where this guy’s arm got chopped off by the helicopter) or the (still running!!) sweeps week episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (somehow, they still have characters left alive) may be far behind us in the age of Many Kinds of Streaming Services, but there is a way to recreate the magic. See a play with friends and close down a bar arguing about it! Go to a concert with a date and play the song on your anniversary! Try a new exercise class and laugh with the other participants as you all struggle! Whatever it is, find something (maybe from the below!!) that gives you something to talk about.
See you out there — and happy almost Chanukah!
What is the New York specific pop-culture moment you LOVE talking about
⛸ skates and sufganiyot
Light the Menorah, enjoy latkes, live music, special guests and skate the night away at Chanukah on Ice at Wollman Rink Monday December 19. Don’t spin the skating dreidel, though, there’s a person inside!!
🎭 what’s underneath
Don’t miss out on The New Group’s dreamlike dramedy Evanston Salt Costs Climbing playing now through Sunday December 18 at Signature Theatre. This wandering and wonderful piece manages to explore the creeping dread of climate change and the human condition without at all being a dirge, likely buoyed by the performances of its top-notch company, Danya Taymor’s detailed direction and Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Arbery’s nimble writing.
🎭 save ain’t no mo
Broadway’s critically acclaimed Ain’t No Mo — Jordan Cooper’s searing, turbulent comedy exploring a fictional US government policy offering the descendants of enslaved people airfare back to Africa — has recently been given a premature closing notice, with plans to finish Sunday December 18 unless they can gain enough traction to stay open. Fly on over!
🎶 float on
It’s 1992 again as renowned indie rock band Modest Mouse plays two shows at Terminal 5 Saturday December 17 and Monday December 19!
🎶 miss america
I recently stood near Vanessa Williams at the Lena Horne Theatre renaming ceremony and was way too nervous to talk to her. Be cooler than me and go see the award-winning actress (also set to star in this year’s MCC Miscast Cabaret!!) sing at 54 Below tonight through December 18!!
🍿 you have to believe we are magic
I had the pleasure of interviewing multi-hyphenate artist-in-residence Machine Dazzle, who seems like the perfect choice to host Xanadu Movie Night at the Museum of Arts and Design Tuesday December 20 — and be sure to sport your 70s roller disco best for the evening’s costume contest!!
🕺 matzoh ball crew
Party like it’s (still) 5783 at this year’s most infamous Member of the Tribe holiday throwdown, the Matzoh Ball at Harbor NYC right here in Hell’s Kitchen Saturday December 24!
🕎 festival of lights
Commemorate the first night Largest Menorah Lighting at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park on Sunday December 18, where there’ll be a special holiday kick-off concert. Also lit every night of Chanukah through December 25!
🐅 at the zoo
One of my only fond memories of the miserable 2020 holiday season was a socially distanced meet up with friends outside at the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights, running now through January 8. Check out a zoo creature-themed display of beautiful floating lights, along with music, snacks and really damn good hot chocolate.
🎶 eight crazy concerts
A New York tradition, Yo La Tengo Hanukkah’s residency returns to Bowery Ballroom for the holiday. That said, the Tri-State indie rockers (and special surprise guest appearances) are a popular draw, but if you’re staying in town there are still tickets for Saturday December 24!
🟥 🟩 ⬛️ joyous kwanzaa
Celebrate Kwanzaa with the whole family at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum beginning Monday December 26 for a day of live music, spoken-word performances, dance, art and food!
🎭 weekly logline appreciation
Be sure to snag a ticket to Jacqueline Novak’s Get On Your Knees a New York Times Critic’s Pick perhaps for the log line alone: “Comedian Jacqueline Novak’s GET ON YOUR KNEES is the most high-brow show about blow jobs you’ll ever see. Novak spins her material on the femininity of the penis and the stoicism of the vulva into an unexpectedly philosophical show that’s part feminist outcry, part coming-of-age tale of triumph. Ira Glass calls it a “nearly Talmudic dissection of a subject.” There. You. Have it 👀
🎨 make a menorah
Get your holiday craft on at the Chanukah Art Mix at The Jewish Museum Sunday December 18, where you can build your own menorah, print holiday cards and participate in a multi-disciplinary interactive art session with curator Linda White.
🍿 well here’s another place you can go
Here’s your chance to see Bond, James Bond! There’s a Screening of the popular Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and conversation with Daniel Craig at the 92nd St Y Monday December 19.
🍸 oy what a night
Chanukah gets its own pop-up holiday hangout at the Maccabee Bar now through December 31 at Ollie in the West Village, where you can try cocktails like the Hebrew Hammer, Latke Sour, or spin the dreidel for bartender’s choice!
🍿 a harlem renaissance kwanzaa
Head over to the Kwanzaa Film Festival Unity Award Ceremony at the Apollo Theater December 26 for a full evening of film, music and dancing hosted by Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory. Harlem Renaissance attire recommended!!
👯♀️ work, sleigh
Don your finest pearlescent duds to the Snow Ball at House of YES Saturday December 17, where the vaunted venue requests guests to “Wear WHITE! Get gilded and glam with silvers, sparkles, iridescent and opalescent everything. Royal Reflective Radiance. Shiny Silhouettes. Diamonds and Pearls. Rhinestones and Crystals.” If you ask me, any party that has a Pinterest board for costume inspiration is sure to live up to the hype.
🔥 Hot tip
There was a point at the height of the pandemic where my brain, short-circuited on doom-scrolling, turned to impulse-buying craft supplies to save my soul. And while no, it did not make me forget entirely about the malaise of existing, it was really fun!!!!!! lol. If you want to craft under slightly less dire circumstances, book an evening at the Happy Medium Art Cafe, where you can choose from creating with charcoal, clay, collages and more in a homey environment with light snacks and drinks to keep your creative juices flowing.
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
Miracle on 9th Street is back
There’s a Winter Wonderland at the South Street Seaport
Try your hand at skating at Manhattan West
Ink48 is having a holiday book drive, now through January 3
Remember, you can always watch the World Cup final in Hell’s Kitchen
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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