What We're Reading
Lena Dunham in your inbox, how pro sports could help sell Obamacare...
June 28, 2013
Sign up for We Think Alone and get a private email from everyone's favorite millennial.
In true Miranda July fashion, the artist and actress' latest project, We Think Alone, invites people to sign up to get personal emails from stars like Lena Dunham and Kirsten Dunst sent to their inbox. [BlackBook]
Will pro sports help sell federal healthcare? According to a story on Buzzfeed, spokesmen from the MLB and NFL have been contacted by government reps to discuss promoting insurance options under Obamacare. [Buzzfeed]
In other government news, as the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, effectively legalizing gay marriage in the U.S., The New Yorker's Amy Davidson explores the cultural and emotional triumph of this legal milestone. [The New Yorker]
You've heard of reality television. How about reality theater? In The New York Times, Eric Grode presents this summer's three Off Broadway plays that, in one way or another, borrow from the reality TV genre. [The New York Times]
Coffee? Check out Eater New York's newly updated "Coffee Heatmap" for a guide to New York's hottest coffee joints, judged not only according to java quality, but also vibe, staff, and personality. [Eater New York]
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABY BAKER/GETTYIMAGES.COM
Weekend Recommender: June 27-30
Motorino's Brooklyn redux, Ugly Betty star on stage, and a young trumpet star at Village Vanguard.
June 27, 2013
Motorino Williamsburg is the place to be this weekend.
Motorino Williamsburg Re-Opening Weekend
11:30 p.m.–1 a.m., Sunday to Thursday; 11:30 p.m.–12 a.m., Friday and Saturday
They're back! With an oven imported direct from Napoli, beloved Brooklyn pizzeria Motorino returns to its Williamsburg roots this weekend. Dine on classic pizza pies (think brussel sprouts, soppressata piquant, and classic margherita), as well as new offerings like a porchetta calzone and an olive oil fried prosciutto macaroni and provolone cheese cake. Wash it all down with a semi-sparkling red Gragano from the hills of Napoli. 139 Broadway, Brooklyn, 718-599-8899
Buyer & Cellar at Barrow Street Theater
June 27–28, 7:30 p.m.; June 29–30, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Whether or not you're an Ugly Betty fan, you won't want to miss this brand new one-man show starring Michael Urie, of Ugly Betty fame. Recently opened, critics have ben raving about Urie's performance in this bizarre comedy about odd jobs and the price of celebrity, in which an unemployed actor gets a job working in (wait for it) Barbra Streisand's basement. Tickets range from $75 to $95. 27 Barrow St., 212-243-6262
Roy Hargrove Quintet at Village Vanguard
June 27–30, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Open since 1935, this historic jazz club still brings amazing talent and music to Greenwich Village jazz aficionados. Up this weekend is the Roy Hargrove Quintet. Signed to Verve Music Group, this young trumpet star is accompanied by his equally venerable bandmates, including Sullivan Fortner on keys, Quincy Phillips on drums, Ameen Saleem on bass, and Justin Robinson on sax. $15 to $25, one drink minimum. 178 7th Avenue South, 212-255-4037
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Dispatch: Z Craziest Ride of Summer
Papa Brad talks Pax and Maddox on the World War Z red carpet.
June 27, 2013
Brad Pitt attends the World War Z premiere in New York
Don’t expect to catch any Zzzs at the movies this summer. Last week was apparently reserved for Z movies not for Z weak of heart.
Monday, June 17: World War Z is a wild ride with lots of pop up surprises that might make you scream. Accordingly, Paramount devised one of Z most enormous film premieres. They built a Z-shaped carpet up on a stage in Times Square. They used the signs on buildings nearby to screen film clips. And thousands of Brad Pitt fans filled the sidewalks and streets.
Pitt’s little girl in the film, Sterling Jerins, let us know that Pitt, playing her dad, made pancakes for real on camera. “A little too thin,” she critiqued. Meanwhile, another child actor in the film, Fabrizio Guido, spoke of playing with Maddox and Pax on set. “Maddox is very into girls,” Guido told the reporter next to Dispatches. “A real ladies man.”
“It’s the most intense thing you’ll see all summer,” offered Pitt, who produced and stars in the project. “We’re not messing around, we wanted you to have that feeling like suddenly everything has turned upside down, and that’s where we begin, and we don’t let up until the end.” And what of Fabrizio and Maddox chasing girls? “Those two are up to trouble,” Pitt told reporters.
Clinique celebrates 45 years of its Dramatically Different Moisturizer at Rockefeller Center
Tuesday, June 18: At the Rockefeller Center rooftop garden, Clinique gave a vastly different fête in honor of its iconic, recently reformulated Dramatically Different Moisturizer. Petra Nemcova wore a yellow getup that matched the merch. Hannah Bronfman was spinning. And Emily VanCamp wore a tight top bun and a dress by Preen. “I’m a big fan of Clinique," she told Dispatches. “It is one of those brands that you can rely on.”
Ten blocks north, Dolce & Gabbana hosted the EPIX World Premiere of Madonna: The MDNA Tour. Madonna wore a Tom Ford tux, ivory waistcoat, bow tie, and 17 carat white diamond mesh glove from Jacob & Company. The MDNA show itself had enough gun action and violence to make this writer seriously uncomfortable. “I create a character for each section," said Madonna of the show. "And the first section of the show is angry girl. And angry girl wants revenge . . . I’m sorry, it’s just pretend, but it’s fun.”
Madonna also indicated that her son Rocco, seen in the film, is growing up fast. “He doesn’t look like that anymore,” she said. “He’s six feet tall and his voice has deepened, and I’m a little bit scared of him.” Madonna's first-born, Lourdes, was also present, along with Kelly Osbourne, Guy Oseary, and Madonna’s dancers, who seriously broke it down at the DeLeón Tequila-soaked afterfête at Harlow.
Madonna attends Madonna: The MDNA Tour EPIX World Premiere; Killing Season director Mark Steven Johnson and John Travolta
Wednesday, June 19: Z onscreen violence didn’t stop on Wednesday at BAM’s Harvey Theater during opening night of BAMcinemaFest, where Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck, was screened. Affleck wore jeans. Meanwhile, Veep actress Anna Chlumsky, there to watch, was wearing a black-and-white print dress that featured her bump; she’s due in a month.
In Z hauntingly moody film, Affleck takes the fall for Rooney Mara’s character, who is pregnant. He later escapes from prison to reunite with his wife and daughter, infusing the project with a tragic trajectory. The afterparty took place at an old bank building with ceilings that make the ones at Cipriani 42nd Street look low.
Thursday, June 20: Z plot thickened when Jägermeister—which apparently means "master hunter" in German—sponsored the debut of Killing Season starring John Travolta and Robert DeNiro. How was DeNiro on set? “Easier to work with than I imagined he would be,” Travolta told Dispatches. “He does his homework." Much like MDNA, the physical violence in Killing Season is seriously difficult to watch. That said, DeNiro’s performance is one of Z best.
Same night, new documentary Blackfish, on the subject of the predatory instinct of killer whales at sea parks was fascinating, but no lighter. Nonetheless, there was some comfort in Italian chef Alfio Longo’s menu at Circo afterward—ravioli di mamma egi and Tuscan brick-pressed chicken with chard. Z best.
Exotic Summer Cocktails at Hakkasan
The restaurant's lush new cocktail menu features fresh fruits, honey, and edible flowers.
June 27, 2013
Hakkasan New York's Rum Daisy cocktail.
Edible flowers, seasonal ingredients, and Asian finesse are among the highlights of Hakkasan New York's (311 W. 43rd St., 212-776-1818) vast new summer cocktail program. Aromatic flavors take center stage with the likes of edible pansies, jasmine tea, chamomile tea, yuzu juice, and Chinese honey on the menu at both Ling Ling lounge and the restaurant's main dining room. Conceived by bar manager Camille Austin, these new cocktails are sure to transport you to a fantasy Asian summer.
While Hakkasan classics like the Smoky Negroni and Bird's Eye Margarita are still available, along with a couple of new Bellinis, new drinks include the Piscolito, which is concocted with Waqar Pisco, Suze Vermouth, chamomile tea, pineapple, and yuzu juice. Another delicious option is the Kalamansi Julep, mixing Buffalo Trace bourbon, Velvet Falernum Liqueur, mint, kalamansi, and Chinese honey. For punch fans, the Hak 'Ti Punch is made with Clement Premier Canne Rhum Agricole, Jasmine tea, ginger, and lime. Try shaking up this festive Rum Daisy at home.
Hakkasan New York's Rum Daisy
1 1/2 ounces Denizen rum
1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly and double strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a yellow edible pansy flower.
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Get 'Drenched' La MaMa’s Dance Festival
Irish choreographer Luke Murphy explores the illusions of love in a New York debut dance work.
June 26, 2013
Luke Murphy choreographed and will dance in the New York debut of Drenched.
Modern romance and the difference between representation and reality when it comes to love are among the themes of Drenched, a wonderfully theatrical dance piece being performed July 5 to 7 as part of the La MaMa Moves! festival. Choreographed by Luke Murphy, who also dances this intimate duet alongside Carlye Eckert, the work is complemented by a multi-channel video design and installation, both by David Fishel.
Not only is Drenched beautiful, it also has moments of humor and lightheartedness. Previous performances of this dance piece have received rave reviews. Hailing from Cork City, Ireland, Murphy is a fantastic young choreographer. Simple, emotional, and athletic, his work is relatable to anyone who has experienced a conflict between what media and society tells us love should look like, and the sometimes more unpredictable, less romantic reality. Drenched also appeals to anyone who appreciates beautiful movement and dance theater.
Enjoying its New York premiere, the show is part of iconic East Village experimental theater La Mama's annual dance event, La MaMa Moves. Now in its eighth year, the festival features 10 new dances from not only American artists, but talent from as far off as Scotland, Italy, and of course, Ireland. 74A E. 4th St., 212-475-7710
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Immaculate Infatuation Duo Talks Best Summer Hangouts
Guess what, Manhattanites? Most of them are in Brooklyn.
June 26, 2013
Immaculate Infatuation bloggers Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal
Music execs by day, food bloggers by night, Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, the two charming guys behind Immaculate Infatuation, have been dolling out bar and restaurant advice for some four and a half years now. Most recently, the duo launched their annual guide to summer eating and drinking, The Second Immaculate Infatuation Guide to Killing It This Summer, New York City 2013. With 78 pages, 175 high-resolution photos, interactive maps, beer and wine suggestions, and more, there's an iPad version, as well as a free abridged PDF. We spoke with the two for some tips on where to hang out this summer, and this upcoming Fourth of July weekend.
Tell us about your guide to summer e-book and how it came about?
CHRIS STANG: It's about how to make the best of the three months of nice weather we get here. We wanted to do some sort of summer guide that had the best outdoor eating and drinking around the city, and as we started thinking about putting it together, Apple had just released its author platform, which kind of just makes it easy to make an e-book.
ANDREW STEINTHAL: We're overall very excited about the mobile space, and what we can do with it. We have an iPhone app and we've done two of these iBooks. We're very much focused on that side of it, and trying to give users different experiences that can be both fun and useful.
Speaking of fun, how would you say summer and winter eating are different?
AS: You get to be outside! And that's not such an easy task in New York. Obviously we live in this crazy cement jungle, so when you find a place with bit of patio space it feels like a massive oasis. A lot of [those places], these days, are in Brooklyn.
What are some of your favorite outdoor spaces in Brooklyn?
CS: Vinegar Hill House is an all-time favorite in DUMBO. They have an amazing back garden.
AS: Maison Premiere in Williamsburg not only has the best oyster selection in NYC, but for Brooklyn, a really lush garden . . . and they have a bar in the back, which is cool.
CS: There's a new spot called Lavender Lake; it's just a cool hang, we like that place a lot.
AS: Also, The Pines in Gowanus has an awesome backyard.
Since July Fourth is coming up, any tips on a cool place to celebrate?
AS: Juliette's a cool spot for that.
CS: Yeah, Juliette's a cool place in Williamsburg, it's a rooftop French restaurant. I think anywhere in Brooklyn is [cool], just because you're not going to be caught in all the tourist traps. There's a little spot called Brucie on Court Street that's really good, in Cobble Hill. Another good option is Terroir at the Porch, which is the wine bar on The High Line.
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Culture Project Presents Women Center Stage Festival
Lynn Redgrave's one-woman show, Shakespeare For My Father, is among the highlights.
June 25, 2013
The late Lynn Redgrave in Shakespeare For My Father, being performed as part of Women Center Stage
A bevy of talented female theater artists—from Tony nominees to teenagers just starting out—take the spotlight at Women Center Stage 2013. Opening July 8 at the newly-named Lynn Redgrave theater, the festival presents four weeks of works written, directed, and produced entirely by women.
The late Redgrave herself, who passed away in 2010, is among the festival's stars. On July 28 at 8 p.m., her one-woman show entitled Shakespeare For My Father, which she wrote about her relationship with her dad, will be performed. The acclaimed play about forgiveness opened on Broadway in 1993, earning a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding one-woman show and a Tony nomination for best actress.
Other program highlights include The Future Has Spoken: A Celebration of Emerging Young Artists (July 20 at 4 and 8 p.m.); I am the Beggar of the World: Folk Poems by the Pashtun Women of Afghanistan (July 30 at 7 p.m.); and the Directors' Weekend: Media Narrative (July 13-14 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.), with ten directors creating 15-minute pieces about media's influence on society.
In addition to the performance element of the festival, a workshop series explores plays in progress, at various stages of development. There are also roundtable conversation events that bring audiences and artists together. 45 Bleecker St., 212-925-1806
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHOTOSHOT/GETTYIMAGES.COM
Dim Sum with a View; NYCWFF Tickets on Sale
Plus: New happy hours at Joe Allen and Fishtail and more food and drink news.
June 25, 2013
Head to the Mandarin Oriental, New York for afternoon dim sum with a view
Afternoon Dim Sum at Mandarin Oriental: One of the top luxury hotels in the world, the Mandarin Oriental, New York is celebrating its Hong Kong sister location's 50th anniversary with (what else?) dim sum. Chef Man Sing Lee of Man Wah in Hong Kong created a special afternoon dim sum menu—six items for $48, or eight items for $54—that will be served on the 35th floor lobby lounge from June 26 to July 7 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Did we mention the sweeping Central Park views? 80 Columbus Cir., 212-805-8800
Food Network NYCWFF Tickets on Sale Now: The sixth annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival is months away (October 17-20), but tickets are on sale as of yesterday. Act fast for passes to some of the festival's 100-plus events—all known to sell out quickly. Popular favorites include the best new chefs party, grand tasting, and burger bash. On our list, however, is the "I Love NY" dinner with Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. [Tickets]
Upgraded Oyster Happy Hour at Fishtail by David Burke: Looking for a grown-up happy hour with plenty of elbow room? Saddle up to the shiny wood bar at Fishtail for an oyster happy hour (3:30-7 p.m., M-F; 12-7 p.m., Sunday) with a newly added bar bites menu including lobster poutine, Burke's famous sliders, lobster spring rolls, and more. As always, there's also Blue Point oysters ($1.85 each), chilled clams ($1 each), and wine, beer, and sangria specials. 135 E. 62nd St., 212-754-1300
Pop-Up Dinner with Alex Stupak and Chris Cosentino: Empellón Cocina chef Alex Stupak continues his quarterly Push Project pop-up dinner ($150 per person) with San Francisco guest chef Chris Cosentino on Friday, June 28. The eight-course meal, according to this video sneak peek, might include clams, sweetbreads, duck chicharron, and foie gras. There will be two seatings from 6 to 7 p.m. and 8:30 to 10 p.m. Call Empellón Cocina for reservations. 105 1st Ave., 212-780-0999
Joe Allen Launches Theater Cocktail Hour: Always missing happy hour on account of working late? Restaurant Row icon Joe Allen just launched an after theater cocktail hour that runs from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., with $9 classic cocktails, $7 draft beers, and a few bar menu items. 326 W. 46th St., 212-581-6464
BY BAO ONG
James Franco as James Dean in 'Rebel Dabble Babble'
A new exhibit uses scenes from a new adaptation of Rebel Without a Cause starring Franco.
June 24, 2013
Rebel Without a Cause and the accompanying rumors about the off-screen relationships between director Nicholas Ray and the 1955 film's cast (James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo) inspired father-son artists Paul and Damon McCarthy's new show at Hauser & Wirth gallery. On view through July 26, "Rebel Dabble Dabble" is a large-scale installation and video projection work that marks the third consecutive McCarthy exhibit at Hauser & Wirth this season.
Using sound installation, video projection, set replicas, and a full-scale, two-story wooden house modeled after Ray's infamous Bungalow 2 at the Chateau Marmont (which reportedly became a "surrogate household" for Dean and Wood), this complex work touches on familial archetypes and Oedipal tensions in real life and Hollywood. The dimly lit atmosphere and auditory elements of the exhibit—described as a "hullabaloo of clanging and clamor, yelling, and coital grunting"—are juxtaposed with projected scenes from the original film and from a new interpretation starring James Franco. Sounds like a site to see. 511 West 18th St., 212-790-3900
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Fifteen cast members, one hour to film them. We sat down with the current crop of SNL talent, and got their thoughts on SNL, potential skits for James Franco, and whether Adnan is guilty.