arts 12.13.04

50 Ways to End the Year

You've got about two weeks left in the year. Here are 50 ways to get some extra mileage out of the remains of the days.

1) A restored 35mm print of Jacques Demy's charming fairy tale "Donkey Skin" (1970), which stars Catherine Deneuve, plays at the Film Forum from December 24th-January 4th.

2) Since 1874, the Oratorio Society has had an annual performance of Handel's "Messiah." This year it's on Tuesday, December 21st, 8pm, at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are at $17-$65.

3) The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W. 23rd [6th] 212.847.0770, offers quite a few classes between Christmas and New Year's. There's the 9th Annual Make-and-Take Holiday Hors d'Oeuvres class, a Great Cupcakes primer, and one on West Coast Wines.

4) Talented composer/lyricist Georgia Stitt performs with some equally talented Broadway singers at Birdland, 315 W. 44th [8th/9th] 212.581.3080, on Monday, December 27th at 7pm. $20 cover, $10 food/drink minimum.

5) We never tire of the spluttering, combustible delivery of Lewis Black. On December 15th at 8:30pm, he'll be headlining the new monthly comedy/variety show at the Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard [Bway/Church] 212.219.3132. Proceeds go to Seeds of Peace.

6) Lucia and her maidens turn up today and tomorrow in honor of Santa Lucia at Ulrika's, 115 E. 60th [Park/Lex] 212.355.7069. More info.

7) Join a Big Onion walking tour ($12 for adults): On Friday, December 24th, Ye Olde Christmas Stroll in Greenwich Village at 1pm. On Saturday, December 25th, 1pm, Historic and Contemporary Chinatown, and on Sunday, December 26th at 10:30am and at 1pm, their 14th Annual Jewish Lower East Side Tour.

8) The New York Festival of Song holds their gala on December 16th featuring Frederica von Stade and Kimberly Barber. It takes place at Rafael Viñoly Architects, 50 Vandam [Hudson/Varick]. At 6:30pm, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, at 7:30pm the singing. Tickets are $350.

9) The Coalition Against Hunger has a substantial list (including addresses and phone numbers) of volunteer opportunities at churches, synagogues, soup kitchens, and other organizations that help feed the city's hungry. Find it at

10) Until January 9th, Gingerbread Adventures at the New York Botanical Garden. Kids can decorate gingersnap cookies, make ornaments, and see a village of gingerbread houses, courtesy of the bakers at Balthazar and Soutine.

11) The Blessing of the Animals at Central Presbyterian Church, 593 Park [64th] 212.838.0808, takes place on Sunday, December 19th from 6pm-7pm. Dogs, cats, rabbits, goldfish, et al are welcome.

12) Kiki and Herb. Yes, they're back, at least to host a CD special preview party on Thursday, December 16th, 5pm, at the Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard [Bway/Church] 212.219.3132

13) Drawings and Russian-style painted eggs from beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, now through 1/29/05 at the Julie Saul Gallery, 535 W. 22nd [10th/11th] 212.627.2410.

14) Bryant Park is transformed again this year into a Euro-style market with F'tes de Noël, that boasts over 125 artisans, designers, and food merchants. M-F 11-7, Saturday and Sunday, 10-8. Runs through New Year's, closed Christmas Day.

15) The third annual Kwanzaa celebration workshop takes place on Saturday, December 18th at 2pm. Kids of all ages are welcome at the Museum of African Art, 36-01 43rd Ave. [36th] LIC 718.784.7700. Details here.

16) The NYC Gay Men's Chorus celebrates the season and their own 25th anniversary with a concert called "Silver Bells" on Thursday, December 16th, 8pm, at Carnegie Hall. Guest appearances by Deborah Voigt and the Westminster Concert Bell Choir. Tickets are $27-$84.

17) Singer-songwriter Jody Shelton performs at Arlene's Grocery, 95 Stanton [Orchard/Ludlow] 212.358.1633, tomorrow, December 14th, at 10pm.

18) The Postal Service does a few things right, and one of them is Operation Santa Claus. Stop in at the Post Office HQ in Manhattan, 8th and 33rd, and read through some of the letters to Santa. Take as many as you want and be a secret Santa.

19) Paul Winter's 25th anniversary Winter Solstice Concerts at St. John the Divine are on December 16th and 17th at 7:30pm and on December 18th at 2pm and 7:30pm. Reserved seats are $72, general admission tickets are $32 and $42.

20) Guaranteed laughs from Jackie Hoffman and Kristine Zbornik in their show "Together Again for the First Time" at Joe's Pub. As they put it, 'Think Carol and Julie in Carnegie Hall at Christmas, without Carol and Julie, Carnegie Hall or Christ.' At Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette [E. 4th/Astor] 212.239.6200, tonight at 7:30pm, the 20th, 26th, and 27th. $25. More.

21) MoMA.

22) The Station at Citigroup Center atrium, 53rd and Lex, is chugging through New Year's. The miniature railroad, a favorite with kids for years, was designed by Clarke Dunham.

23) Jazz vespers take place every Sunday, 5pm, at St. Peter's Church, 619 Lex [54th] 212.935.2200.

24) Hey Brini, what are you going to be doing for your show? "My holiday show is a warm and fuzzy, feel-good exploration of holiday seasons past with both familiar and unfamiliar music and seasonal ideas. I hope you can join us!" Catch cult fave Brini Maxwell at Fez Under Time Cafe, 380 Lafayette [Great Jones] 212.533.7000, on Monday, December 20th. Doors open at 7pm.

25) All Bach on New Year's Eve at Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing, Bklyn, 7:30pm, $125. 718.624.2083.

26) It was a non-elimination round! Don and Mary Jean are still in it! We're sadly, permanently addicted to The Amazing Race, so we'll be watching this Tuesday, CBS, 9pm.

27) Unsilent Night is 100 boomboxes, 500 or so people (last year), a caroling (non-singing) party through the Village, courtesy of Phil Kline. It takes place on Saturday, December 18th, starting at the arch in Washington Square, 6:45pm. Find out more here.

28) Top burlesque stars (we love being able to say that in 2004) perform in the Ixion Burlesque Show at the Balanza Bar, 426 Lorimer [Ten Eyck/Stagg] Wburg 718.599.2205, on Friday, December 17th, 10pm. $5.

29) The influential and perma-fresh creations of Josef and Anni Albers are on view at the Cooper-Hewitt, 2 E. 91st [5th] 212.849.8400, through 2/27/05 in a show called "Designs for Living."

30) We've been in love with Andrea Marcovicci since she starred, quite a ways back, in "Nefertiti," a musical that never made it to Broadway. Unaccountably, she hasn't aged, though her voice has gotten richer with time. She's performing Fred Astaire songs at the Algonquin's Oak Room through December 30th, including special theatre-length shows on December 24th and Christmas day, and December 27th. 212.419.9331.

31) Shop until midnight at the Southside Williamsburg Holiday Event on Friday, December 17th at many stores on Metropolitan, Havemeyer, Grand, and Bedford (participating establishments will have maps for the event). Many will be having sales and will also be giving out tickets (generally with a purchase) for free drinks.

32) Holiday menus (Christmas eve and New Year's Eve) from the very civilized Tocqueville, 15 E. 15th [5th/Union Sq. W.] 212.647.1515: $95 for five courses. The Water's Edge, 44th Dr. and East River [Vernon] LIC 718.482.0033, has a terrific new chef in Ari Nieminen, so it may be a restaurant worth rediscovering. On Christmas, they'll be serving from 1pm-8pm, three courses $70. On New Year's Eve, five courses is $175 (plus tax and tip).

33) Broadway performers get to let it rip in "Kitchen Sink: Volume 2" when they sing their favorite stage and screen classics. Sunday, December 19th at 7pm at Makor, 35 W. 67th [CPW/Col] 212.601.1000. $15.

34) From Alan Hollinghurst, the Man-Booker-prize-winning The Line of Beauty (Bloomsbury, $24.95): the Thatcher years in Britain as viewed from a young, gay man. Exquisite prose, achingly funny and then just aching, and no one currently writing can match his ability to catch the subterranean currents of polite conversation.

35) Until the new year, the competition lights up in Brooklyn around 84th Street between 11th and 12th. Half a dozen or so over-the-top decorated houses (and other more modest efforts) draw locals and tourists from all over. Warm up with dinner at Tomasso's, 1464 86th [14th/15th] 718.236.9883.

36) The Boys Choir of Harlem sing and artist and author Faith Ringgold narrates at two performances on Wednesday, December 15th (6:30pm and 8:30pm) in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Met Museum. Tickets are $40.

37) Wake up in '05 feeling virtuous and hangover free: Join the New York Road Runners club and their annual Midnight Run on New Year's Eve. It's only four miles and you'll get rewarded with fireworks at midnight. The fee is $20 (if you sign up before 12/16).

38) Pick up some mince pies and Christmas puddings from Myer's of Keswick, 634 Hudson [Horatio/Jane] 212.691.4194.

39) Otto Preminger's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" has had a restoration job and the results get their premiere at MoMA on Sunday, December 26th at 5pm and Friday, December 31st at 5:30pm. The 1950 film has a screenplay by Ben Hecht and stars Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, and Karl Malden.

40) The Guardian said of the rock group Luna, "At their best (Cindy Tastes of Barbecue, The Owl & the Pussycat, Still at Home), it is hard to believe there is any other kind of music besides this simple, graceful, chiming chug." Spend New Year's Eve with them at Southpaw, 125 5th [Sterling/St. John's] Bklyn 718.230.0236, $30 cover, doors at 8pm, show at 10pm. Tickets here.

41) Welcome to the Genome is a discussion of the power and potential of DNA at the American Museum of Natural History, Thursday, December 16th, 7pm, $15. Tickets.

42) "Broadway, The Golden Age" just tied with "Super Size Me" for best documentary of 2004 (NY Film Critics Society). It's available on DVD, with bonus goodies, at
Amazon for $14.99.

43) Go for a refreshing spin on the Hudson, courtesy of New York Water Taxi.

44) The ARChive of Contemporary Music, 54 White [Bway/Church] 212.226.6967, is having their holiday record and CD sale, now through Sunday, December 19th, 11am-6pm, free admission. Over 20,000 (mostly) pop and rock CDs and LPs, books, posters, and videos for sale.

45) Quality House Wines, 2 Park [32nd/33rd] 212.532.2944, has it all worked out for you: Gift plans from A-Z ranging in price from $35 to $4800, with the specific choices already made — couldn't be easier.

46) The Winter Festival showcases past and new works created for the Ice Theatre of New York on the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, 212.336.6100. Show are 12/27 and 12/28 at 7pm, 12/29 at 3pm and 7pm, and 12/30 at 3pm. Tickets are $25.

47) Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Bloomsbury, $27.95) will be reading at the Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th [Wythe] 718.486.7422 on December 16th at 7pm, at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton [Front/South] 212.748.8735 ($5 suggested donation) on the 17th at 7pm, and at Books of Wonder, 18 W. 18th [5th/6th] 212.989.3270, on the 18th at noon.

48) A 105-year-old tradition takes place on Sunday, December 19th: the Christmas Bird Count. Meet at the Pumping Station on the south side of the Reservoir, 8am, $5. RSVP at 212.360.1324. More info here.

49) Head up to Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman, Beacon NY, 845.440.0100, to see Canadian abstract artist Agnes Martin's Early Paintings, 1957-67.

50) Stop in at the new Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, 350 Hudson [King] 718.875.9772, and be good to yourself.
A shout-out to our advertisers Jeanne Johngren and Greenwich Jewelers, 64 Trinity [Rector/Thames] 212.964.7592. Don't forget that they have a special offer for MUG readers: 20% off Jeanne Johngren design or in-stock item until December 24th. Go for it!

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