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December 31st, 2008


by John Coakley

The forecast for tomorrow calls for clear skies and a brisk 25 degrees. Perfect conditions to kill that hangover by jumping into the Atlantic with the Polar Bear Club. Okay, maybe it won’t cure your hangover, but at least you’ll be focused on something else. The Polar Bears are working with Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening diseases and their families—if you make a donation to the camp then you’ll get free admission to the New York Aquarium. You’ll probably have a much better appreciation for aquatic lifeforms after spending a few minutes in the water yourself.

The big plunge happens at 1pm, but get there at noon to see Polar Bear Club member Strongman Steve Ekstance, who recently pulled a dumptruck by his teeth and dead lifted 1000 lbs. in support of Camp Sunshine; he’ll be appearing on the boardwalk, performing similar feats of strength. Should be a hoot. You should go.

New Years Day on the beach
The Boardwalk @ Stillwell Avenue
1/1/9 @ noon

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

December 30th, 2008


by John Coakley

See? This is what happens when you forget your glasses before a gig.

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time for big-time celebration and merriment, but let’s face it—not everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars to compete for space on a crowded dance floor and pretend to live like cologne/clothing/vodka salesman Sean Combs. Some of us prefer our music to be live, angry, and cathartic, and we’d rather not shell out half a month’s rent to hear it just because it’s the last night of the year, thank you.

So be grateful that the Mercury Lounge is hosting such an amazing show tomorrow night. Dirty on Purpose makes the kind of noisy but melodic rock that can either get you moving or provide that perfect after-work comedown noise. You’ll probably opt for the former when you see them live, especially since this is their last show ever and they’ll probably be more ferocious than usual. And headliners A Place to Bury Strangers are widely known as New York’s loudest band; those of you who missed My Bloody Valentine last fall may get to experience an equivalent sonic assault. Nothing soothes the anxiety of unemployment better than 130 decibel soundwaves. Bring earplugs, but go.

A Place to Bury Strangers w/ Dirty on Purpose, The Vandelles, + My Best Fiend
12/31/8 @ 8:30pm
$25; advance tickets at Mercury Lounge box office, noon-7pm
The Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston Street

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

December 27th, 2008


by John Coakley

Elysian Fields is one of those bands that got snapped up in the mid 90’s major label feeding frenzy, then quickly got dropped once their record failed to sell millions. They’ve been doing just fine on independent labels since then, their smoky, moody blend of alt-rock maturing at it’s own pace and discretion all the while. Fans of Lori Carson, Cowboy Junkies, and Jeff Buckley should take note, especially since it looks like this night at The Stone will be the only local show this NYC band will play all winter. It’s sensuous stuff, so bring your sweetie. Just don’t be too obvious when you’re drooling over singer Jennifer Charles. You should go.

Elysian Fields
12/28/8 @ 8pm
The Stone
Avenue C and 2nd Street
students 13 to 19 admitted half price
children 12 and under free

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

December 26th, 2008


by John Coakley

HUAC Friendly Witness Ronald Reagan.

Andy Christie hosts the Liar Show, a night of storytelling and interrogation at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Four writers and comics take the stage to tell personal stories that will make you laugh, cry, and (hopefully) think; but pay attention, because only three of them are telling the truth. One of them is a big ol’ lying liar who lies a lot.

Which one is it? Well, that’s up to the audience to decide. After all the stories are told, the host takes your questions and the truth slowly comes to light. At the end of the Q + A session each audience member casts their vote. The winners get free T shirts and the collective contempt of the losers in the audience. It’s kind of like the House Un-American Activities Committee, except no one gets blacklisted. You should go.

The Liar Show
12/27/8 @ 6pm
$12, includes one house drink.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St.
New York, NY 10014

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 24th, 2008

CHINESE + A MOVIE @ 92Y TRIBECA: 12/25/8 @ 2PM.

by John Coakley

Yeah, okay, tomorrow’s Christmas. Big Whoop. What if you think that, yes, Jesus had some very nice things to say to the world but was in fact mistaken about that whole Messiah business? What if you’re Jewish on this day of days? Or what if you’re a non-believer altogether but you prefer this Jewish tradition of Chinese food and a movie to the Christian tradition of church, ham, and watching It’s A Wonderful Life again?

Well, the good folks at 92Y Tribeca feel your pain. They’ll be offering a full Chinese food buffet while screening two Monty Python classics: Life of Brian (in which Graham Chapman is mistaken for the messiah and is given a tough Latin lesson by John Cleese) and The Holy Grail (in which Christianity is made fun of in all kinds of delightful ways). Maybe The Hebrew Hammer would have been more fitting, holiday-wise, but this will still be a hoot.You should go.

Chinese and a Movie
200 Hudson Street
12/25/8 @ 2pm
$25 advance/$30 day of
Get tickets here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 23rd, 2008


by John Coakley

Chanukah is in full swing and Christmas is a mere two days away. You still have to buy gifts for more people than you care to admit but the thought of braving Macy’s or its ilk sends you off to the corner, weeping into your heavily spiked eggnog. What to do?

Well, you could come down to Lafayette Street and visit one of the SoHo Journal’s neighbors. Clic Bookstore & Gallery is a cozy little shop filled with a comprehensive yet tasteful collection of photography books. Why get your sister an ill-fitting sweater when you can get her a collection of Gregory Crewdson‘s eerily evocative and meticulously composed shots of suburban life? Why give your friend a gift card when you can give him a collection of Nobuyoshi Araki‘s provocative nudes? If you need help you will be ably guided by Christiane Celle, the store’s owner and a friendly, passionate source of information. And you won’t have to deal with belligerent midtown crowds or Union Square craftmongers. You’re welcome.

Clic Bookstore & Gallery
189 Lafayette Street, between Broome + Grand
Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm
Sunday 12pm-7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 19th, 2008


by John Coakley

Little Honey
Lucinda Williams
Lost Highway

Decades ago, when Bessie Smith sang Nobody in Town Can Bake a Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine, it was pretty clear that she was not really touting her culinary virtues. She was talking about something else altogether that had all the menfolk lined up at her door. That tradition of barely veiled sexual joy is continued on Lucinda William’s new album Little Honey with the song Honeybee: “Oh, my little honey bee/I’m so glad you stung me/Now I’ve got your honey/All over my tummy.”

The music matches the playful exuberance; it’s a greasy, rowdy, roadhouse stomper that captures the joy of finding that special someone who knows how to get you happy in that special way. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Commentary

December 18th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, Garden of Earthly Delights, has become a principal teaching in any art history class. From its 16th century depiction of the moral stages of man arose a progressive philosophical query about heaven, happiness, and sin. Martha Clark has captured these themes in her acclaimed play based on Bosch’s Masterpiece. Now 25 years later she brings Garden of Earthly Delights back to New York for a special 12-week run.

In this epoch, where perspective is very much needed, this is the play to see. Praised by critics city-wide, the play is described as, “An inspired synthesis of visual and performing magic…this breathtaking flight of imaginative genius is sexy, evocative, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen on stage.”

This is the perfect holiday gift for a time when people need some holiday perspective. Now through a special Soho Journal offer it’s only $42.50 for tickets. Happy holidays!

Garden of Earthly Delights
Through January 18, 2009
Blackout Dates: 12/26/08-1/03/09
TO ORDER YOUR $42.50 TICKETS: (reg. $69.50)
ONLINE: Go to and use code GDOFFER
PHONE: Call 212-307-4100 and mention code GDOFFER

Minetta Lane Theater
18 Minetta Lane (South of West 3rd Street, right off 6th Ave.)
Schedule: Tues at 7pm, Wed – Fri at 8pm,
Sat at 3pm & 8pm, Sun at 3pm & 7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 18th, 2008


by Mr. Norman Maine

Addictionary: Brave New Words
By Jim Banister
Illustrated By Robert Hanson
Published By Harry N. Abrams Inc.
US $12.95
160 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-8109-7269-8

We all invent words and coin phrases; it’s how language evolves. Taken from the popular website by the same name, Addictionary: Brave New Words collects the best of these “new words” into this handy volume, organized into categories (including technology, politics, dating, sports, religion, and medicine) and cleverly illustrated throughout.

Everyone knows a “dumpegator,” a person who delegates huge tasks ten minutes before they are due; many have encountered people who suffer from “algoreaphobia,” an irrational fear of the former presidential candidate—no better time for a word like that huh? A select few have reached “beervana,” the blissful state of oblivion brought on through copious consumption of malted hops; while others might be unrealistically proportioned, or “dolluptuous.”

A great gift for any wordsmith, Addictionary is on the cutting edge of the English language, staking claims on new linguistic territory with an arch blend of the sharply intellectual and the sublimely silly. This is also perfect if you want to try and get away with a few extra points in Scrabble!

Greg Lynn Form
Edited by Greg Lynn and Mark Rappolt; Contributions by J.G. Ballard, Jeffrey Kipnis and Bruce Sterling
Format: Hardcover
US Price: $55.00
CAN Price: $71.00
ISBN: 978-0-8478-3102-9 (0-
Publisher: Rizzoli

Greg Lynn is one of the most thought provoking, exciting and provocative architects working today. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Commentary | New York

December 17th, 2008


by SoHo Journal Staff

We are committed to introducing new talents, as well as showcasing established artists and photographers in each issue. Please contact us if you or someone you know is breaking barriers, or creating a movement. Fame is not a prerequisite—talent is.


Sad Hitler, Acrylic on Canvas/Digital Media, 2007 Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 16th, 2008


by Mr. Norman Maine

Left to right: Nutty Cranberry Crush, Almond Cream, and Demitasse Cocktail.

Well, the holidays are upon us, that magical time of year when we all feel a little nicer, a little more warm and fuzzy. The time of year when we do things we normally wouldn’t do unless it is this time of year, specifically invite people into our homes for a holiday gathering. You know, the type where five minutes after everyone arrives, you’re in the bathroom hyperventilating and asking yourself what the hell did I do this for? I can’t entertain, I’m the host with the least.

Dear friends, we’ve all been there, the low groans of our guests as they try and make a screwdriver from your budget vodka and tang or another rum and diet shasta. This year will be different, because this year I am here to provide solutions to the crappy holiday punch or the cheap champagne.

Tucked away on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and West 10th Street in the village is BoBo, one of the city’s newest and best restaurants. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with a razor sharp edge of downtown chic. BoBo is a place to see and be seen. In the summer months BoBo features a great outdoor patio on the second floor, and this winter they will debut the same space tented in; it’s seriously one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time and as if this restaurant weren’t happening enough, this tented patio is going to require a doorman!

Having been there a few times for the amazing food, the really unique drink menu, the great vibe and the excellent service, I’ve gotten to know the bar staff pretty well. You’d have a hard time finding more knowledgeable bartenders anywhere in this entire city; honestly, these guys are like drink encyclopedias. I had this idea to offer a holiday cocktail guide in SoHo Journal so I approached Fred Giacinto, who’s been at BoBo since the begining, and asked if he would create a special drink menu specifically for our readers, one that would look impressive but still be simple enough for an average Joe to make at home. These delicious drinks are not on the BoBo menu, there’s not room there with the overflowing amount of exotic, fantastic cocktails they offer. I knew that the staff of a restaurant whose aim is to make their guests feel very at home (and continuously succeeds) would be able to concoct a few festive and potent holiday treats that even I could mix and make me look like the James Bond of holiday parties! Please try these at your next party and also, be sure to drop in at BoBo; you’ll thank me! Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 15th, 2008


by Mr. Norman Maine

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse.

So you think Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) and HBO have made vampires cool again? Wrong. They may have brought it to your attention but it’s the eight great books by author Charlaine Harris that’s really brought vampires back and
made us all want to be one…again. It’s the continuing saga of the adorable Sookie Stackhouse, with her ‘disability’ (she can read minds), her merry band of Southern-fried friends and family, of course, vampires.

These books are so much fun that you’ll want to go from one to the next right away and honestly, you should. Harris provides the consistency that was missing in the Ann Rice vampire books. Because the Rice vampires were basically about the vampires and their own kind, and the Harris books are more about humans and their relations with vampires, Harris has allowed herself a bigger playing field. Not only is there room to grow and expand on her original ideas but the addition of the synthetic blood in the first book gave her an opportunity to explore the vampire mind without having to have them chomp someone every night to stay alive—although there is certainly plenty of chomping. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

December 12th, 2008


by SoHo Journal Staff

Joby Gorillapod
$24.95 and up.

The Joby Gorillapod is one clever device. It’s a tripod designed for digital cameras, and as you can see the three legs are almost infinitely positionable. This comes in handy when you want to set up your camera on an uneven surface, or even on a tree branch; the sturdy, rubberized legs wrap can wrap snugly around it. Different sizes are available to accommodate SLR’s with heavy zoom lenses or video cameras up to 11 pounds. The smaller original size that we tested also worked perfectly for my digital audio recorder. It makes a fun office toy to boot. I swear, if you put a round computer video camera on a Gorillapod it looks just like something out of War of the Worlds. This is a stuffing stocker that people will actually use.

Pastaio mimobot(R) USB Flash Drive by tokidoki
Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

December 10th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

My mother always told me to spend wise on accessories and frugal on trends. Hats last forever, and a smart one stays stylish from season to season. This holiday, give your loved a gift that will bring out the dapper in them. We suggest La China Loca Headware. The hats rely on classic shapes with modern details that give a smart, whimsical feel to any outfit. Today La China will be showcasing at Henri Bendels with all hats 20-40% off. Style on a budget…yummy.

La China Loca Trunk Show
December 10th, 2008 10am-9pm
Henri Bendel
712 5th Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

December 9th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

Cup and Saucer by featured designer Bailey Doesn’t Bark.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a sentimentalist but I believe this is the time to support ‘mom & pop’ shops and independent designers. Opportunities are limited for emerging artists, so lend them your support this Wednesday by buying your holiday gifts at the ModernMart Holiday Gift Fair in Tribeca. It is among the most forward-thinking cultural and fashion events, one that features jewelry, housewares, and art by 12 young design groups. Most items are priced under $100, and there will be goodie bags for the first 100 guests. Can it get any better? Well…yes. Complimentary champagne and chocolates make everything better. Oh the holidays…

ModernMart IV: Holiday Gift Fair at DWR
Wednesday, December 10, 7-9pm
DWR Tribeca Studio
124 Hudson St
New York City, NY 10013
Click here to enter a raffle before you go!

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

December 8th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

We are such a healthy culture. When times get tough, what do we do? Do we face the problem head on? No. We escape. This holiday, give the gift of escapism. Better, give the gift of highbrow escapism with a gift card to the Angelika. The Angelika features the best reviewed and most anticipated independent and foreign films, the ones that not only provide relief but keep the mind sharp. Gift cards are redeemable at the box office, concession stand, or cafe to make the experience complete, and if you spend more than $75 on cards you will receive one free movie pass for anytime in January. That’s right, show your loved ones you care by allowing them to escape!

For more information please go to

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | New York

December 5th, 2008


by John Coakley

That’s right, folks, it was 75 years ago today that Prohibition was repealed and those pesky temperance do-gooders were told where to stick it. Prohibition’s main contribution was to inadvertently nurture the tender sapling of organized crime until it became a mighty gingko tree that still drops its stinky fruit on our sidewalks to this day. Thanks, guys.

On the other hand, the entrepreneurial spirit can’t be stopped—especially in this town—and speakeasies popped up all over the place in back rooms, apartments, and even former bars. The Ear Inn is a classic example of a New York City bar that just kept doing its thing when times got stupid. The building was erected in 1817 and in addition to a bar has been a private home, a brewery, a restaurant, a smuggler’s den, a brothel, and a home to at least one ghost. It looks that lived in when you walk through the door, but in the best possible way. The food’s pretty good, so settle in and make a night of it. Raise a backhanded toast to Carrie Nation while you’re there.

Ear Inn
326 Spring Street

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 5th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

‘I don’t want geek toys for Hanukah! I don’t want geek toys for Hanukah!’ Oh, it’s useless. No matter what my inner dialogue recites I still can’t stop the overwhelming urge to play with lasers and assemble miniature helicopters. For nerdy (yet unexpectedly attractive) folks like myself, there is no gift like a geek gift. At Think Geek items range from digital turntables to RFID ‘bugging’ equipment to a periodic table magnet (which I already own). And because the prices range as widely as the toys, you can find the perfect gift at any budget. Now if only I had the ThinkGeek USB Snowbot this holiday pick would be so much cooler! Hint. Hint.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 4th, 2008


by John Coakley

The St. Luke’s School is holding its annual Christmas Fair this Saturday, and it should be a real hoot. Where else can you shop for gently used or hand-crafted presents, bid on more luxe items in an auction, see a puppet show, be made up to look like an elf, sing some karaoke, meet Santa, and eat some mighty fine chili all under the same roof? Nowhere else, my friend. All proceeds will benefit the St. Luke’s scholarship fund; given the city’s economic prospects, scholarship funds for good schools are worthy causes indeed. You should go.

‘Dreaming of a Green Christmas!’
St. Luke’s School’s Annual Christmas Fair
Saturday, 12/6/8 from 10am-5pm
487 Hudson Street, 1 block south of Christopher
General Admission: $5
Seniors: $3

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

December 4th, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

What would be the perfect holiday gift? Especially considering the likelihood that more people will be hosting their own New Years galas rather than throwing down $200 at an overpriced lounge? Hmmm…well, they say alcohol is recession proof, and amen to that! We suggest Lucid Absinthe. It is the first genuine absinthe legally available in the US in over 95 years. Can anyone say “depression era” chic? At $65 a bottle it costs less than fancy champagnes. And at 124 proof (which by my calculations is a lot of alcohol) it is actually economical. Saying you’ll get “more bang for your buck” seems apropos. Bottoms up.

Go here for more information on where you can pick up Lucid.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 3rd, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

This may seem like a given, but now more than ever books are a perfect gift. Instead of that expensive bottle of wine why not give Voltaire instead? Or The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (a personal favorite)? It will save you green and last longer too. We suggest shopping at the McNally Jackson Bookstore on Prince Street. The staff is savvy and sweet and they offer 10% discounts on the their top picks. Why buy from Amazon when you can shop McNally online and you would be supporting your local retailer? A bonus: If you do make it into the store the shoppers tend to be very good looking.

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince St.
(b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)
Mon – Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 2nd, 2008


by Joelle Panisch

Did you bear little Picasso’s or Renoir’s? Give them the gift of art and harness their creative energies by enrolling them in after-school art classes. The Children’s Museum of the Arts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering children a creative outlet and build self-esteem. There is a variety of classes and all instructors are also working artists, ensuring only the best for your little ones.

Classes are $400/semester ($360 for CMA members) and include all art supplies. A new XBox costs close to $360. With art classes you can give your children a semester-long gift that will actually broaden their minds for a lifetime. And it won’t end up in the back of the closet.

For more information on classes, click here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

November 23rd, 2008


by John Coakley

When people started noticing that their friends and family members who smoked dropped dead a lot earlier than those who didn’t smoke, the tobacco companies met up with the good folk on Madison Avenue to create some of the most audacious advertisements this country has ever seen. And we’ve seen a lot here. This exhibit is a good reminder that no matter how reassuring their ads may be, you should never, ever trust a purveyor of addictive goods—or a drug dealer, as the kids say these days. Most definitely worth a look.

“Not a Cough in a Carload: Images Used by Tobacco Companies to Hide the Hazards of Smoking”
Through Dec. 26th
New York Public Library, Library of Science, Industry and Business
188 Madison Ave, at 34th St
Mondays 11am-6pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays 10am-8pm, Fridays-Saturdays 11am-6pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

November 20th, 2008


by John Coakley

After much struggle, scores of deaths and billions in damage, the radioactively mutated Dora the Explorer was finally contained. Photo by ishot71
Thanks to Mommy Poppins for the heads up.

You can still call yourself a New Yorker if you’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty or to the top of the Empire State Building, but every true citizen of our fair city has to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons inflated at least once before the title New Yorker is truly earned. The wondrous and surreal feat is accomplished outside of the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. It usually begins at 2pm or 3pm and work continues until 10pm. You should enter at 77th St. and Columbus to get a good view. Be there around 6 if you want to get in front of the cameras and jump around like an idiot.

And if you want to actually see the parade on Thanksgiving Day, staking out a spot on Central Park West in the 60s is the recommended way to go if you want to avoid the serious crowd-crush.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

November 11th, 2008

MY HAPPY GUN @ FONTANA’S: 11/13/8 @ 10PM.

by John Coakley

Highly unprofessional though it may be, I am going to promote My Happy Gun, my own band. There are three big reasons for doing this:

1. We rock.

2. The show is not in Brooklyn or Queens or Midtown but in the LES, on Eldridge Street—mere minutes from SoHo.

3. This will be my last show playing with them. They will no doubt find someone who can play rings around me and reach untold levels of fame and notoriety, so see us now while you can in Fontana’s before that happens.

Openers Obi Best and Juliette Commagere are worthy of your attention as well. Plus we’ll have a full moon that night, which means you’ll have an acceptable excuse for that extra drink or three. You should go.

105 Eldridge St.
Show @ 8pm, My Happy Gun @10pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York





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