arts 12.16.10

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Mental Floss' Holiday Edition Trivia Show happens on Sunday, December 19th, 7:30pm, at Galapagos. Sample question, from their last NYC quiz, in the math category: "Number of tablespoons in a cup minus the number of kids the Octomom has." Free.

Could the mandolin become your new favorite instrument? It actually could, after hearing Avi Avital play it. Metropolis Ensemble, one of the most exciting things to happen to classical music in the city, with Mr. Avital as soloist, has snagged a Grammy nomination for their CD of Avner Dorman's Mandolin Concerto. Celebrate at Le Poisson Rouge, tonight, 8pm, free.

Inside NY Eateries, a new exhibition by Wijnanda Deroo at Robert Mann Gallery, 210 11th [24th/25th] 212.989.7600, in which the Dutch-born photographer explores the people-less interiors of current, classic, and no-longer-with-us city restaurants from the Nom Wah Tea Parlor to the Russian Tea Room.

Major Jo(h)nathon: John Hodgman talks with Jonathan Lethem about John Carpenter's They Live (Lethem's written about the sci-fi/horror cult classic, the first in a new series of film books from Soft Skull Press. ) There's a screening of the movie, and a book-signing to follow. Tuesday, December 21st, 8pm, at IFC.

The 100th anniversary reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas takes place at 4pm this Sunday at the Church of the Intercession, followed by the traditional lantern procession and wreath-laying on Clement Clarke Moore's grave in the nearby cemetery.

indie rock… Friday: MNDR's electro turns Santos into a Party House….oh wait. Saturday: Reading Rainbow do sun-drenched psych pop at Death by Audio. Just Announced… 1/18: Broken Social Scene. 3/2 & 3/3: The Get Up Kids. 3/8: Bright Eyes.

photography… Still looking for the perfect big gift? The Alan Klotz Gallery, 511 W. 25th [10th/11th] 212.741.4764, is having a sale on their exceptional archive of images—many of which are of an older New York. There's a cyanotype of Central Park's Belvedere Castle from 1910 or so for $125, a fabulous James Van DerZee work called Couple, Harlem ($2950), and Staten Island #54, a signed Harry Wilks from 2008 ($500).

readingWhat the Dickens? is a Christmas Carol Marathon: writers and performers including Scott Adsit, Mike Albo, Jonathan Ames, Mary Gaitskill, Kathryn Harrison, and Colum McCann read the classic at the Housing Works Bookstore, starting at 1pm this Sunday.

Playful grafting (cultural, geographical, temporal) makes for indelible images in the hands of H. Veng Smith. His exhibition of oil paintings, Identifiable Reality, is at Pandemic Gallery, 37 Bway [Wythe/Kent] Bklyn 917.727.3466, opening tomorrow.

Things like roasted Vermont lamb, braised pork shoulder, fish & chips, and a small but interesting selection of oysters are on the menu of the newly opened  Goat Town, 511 E. 5th [A/B] 212.687.3471, run by Nicholas Morgenstern (formerly of The General Greene) and Joel Hough, late of Cookshop. Promising, but they still need to work out the kinks.

Holidays a slog so far? Da doo ron ron to hear two shows at B.B. King: Ronnie Spector tomorrow night ($35 in advance) and Darlene Love ($45 in advance) on Sunday. If those two don't lift your spirits, nothing will.

NYC Xmas Tree Sellers - Genevieve

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