Art: First Instalment of Guggenheim’s UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, ‘No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia’


February – May 2013GugGlobal

February 22, 2013, is the opening day of the Guggenheim’s new, five-year UBS MAP Global Art Initiative program. The program focuses on art created in three areas outside the USA. This first exhibit, organized by June Yap, is called No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia. It features painting, sculpture, photography, and video from the area, touching issues of identity, religion, culture, globalization, colonization, evolving media and  “quasi-archival responses to cultural appropriation.”

Gug2No Country attempts to explore what defines South and Southeast Asia, and how it’s understood internationally. Art from  Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India are included in the exhibit.

The second installment of the UBS MAP Global Art Initiative will focus on Latin America, followed by the Middle East and North Africa.

The Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
212 423 3500

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Posted in Art, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Exhibit, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, March 2013, May 2013, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Exhibit: Cinema in Spain via Fotogramas Covers 1940 – 1950


February – May 2013

FotoNYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center has a new exhibit: Fotogramas and film culture in 1940s and 1950s Spain. It features Fotogramas covers, the Spanish film magazine founded in 1946,  still published today. In addition to Fotogramas covers from 1946 to 1962, there are handbills from the era as well as displays addressing censorship. The exhibit runs from February 12 to May 3 2013. The exhibit’s  opening is February 12, 7:00 – 8:30 PM.FotogramasSm2

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South, Suite 201
Open to the public 9 AM to 9 PM, Monday – Friday
212 998 3650

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Posted in April 2013, Design, Exhibit, Film, March 2013, May 2013, Spain

Talk: Junot Díaz at the NYPL


127789.BK.0831.bkñstraig.5.CMCApril: 2013

For those who are not planilly-challenged and can plan ahead, buy tickets now because this event is going to sell out. The outstanding author Junot Díaz who wrote The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2007, and the more recent This is How You Lose Her, will talk about his work at the New York Public Library on April 30, 2013, at 7 pm. This is part of the LIVE from NYPL series, he’ll be joined by the library’s public programing director, Paul Holdengräber.

Díaz is Dominican born, Jersey bred. His distinctive writing is hilarious, heartbreaking, brash and soulful, often exploring themes of immigration, love, language, culture and alienation. He’s won a MacArthur, a Pulitzer, and Guggenheim among other prizes and fellowships; he teaches at MIT.

“Sophomore year Oscar found himself weighing in at a whopping 245 (260 when he was depressed, which was often) and it had become clear to everybody, especially his family, that he’d become the neighborhood parigüayo. Had none of the Higher Powers of your typical Dominican male, couldn’t have pulled a girl if his life depended on it. Couldn’t play sports for shit, or dominoes, was beyond uncoordinated, threw a ball like a girl. Had no knack for music or business or dance, no hustle, no rap, no G. And most damning of all: no looks. He wore his semi- kink hair in a Puerto Rican afro, rocked enormous Section 8 glasses—his “anti-pussy devices,” Al and Miggs, his only friends, called them—sported an unappealing trace of mustache on his upper lip and possessed a pair of close-set eyes that made him look somewhat retarded…”  –From The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

The New York Public Library  (the one with lions Patience and Fortitude)
5th Ave and 42nd Street
Tickets are $25 and $15 for seniors and students with valid ID 212 930 0855

Get tweets from LIVE from the NYPL series

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Posted in April 2013, Conversation, Dominican Republic, Literature

Music: Cape Town’s Freshlyground plays at the Apollo


March 2013Freshlysm

From Cape Town, South Africa comes Freshlyground, an Afro-pop septet. They’ll play two shows at the Apollo Theater on March 16, 2013: an 11:00 AM show for families, and an 8:00 PM night show as part of the Africa Now! weekend celebration, hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Freshlyground just produced this song “Take me to the Dance” and an older song from 2003, “Castles.” Other performers at the night show include the Brooklynite by way of Ghana Blitz the BlitzAmbassador, pictured left, with a sample of “Radio Africa,” the more folksy Lokua Kanza from the Congo, and Nneka from Nigeria, a sample of the soulful “Valley.”

Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
Day show at 11:00 AM, tickets are $10.
Night show at 8 PM, tickets are $30 – $55.

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Posted in Concert, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, March 2013, Music, Nigeria, South Africa

Talk: Marina Speaks


March 2013Maria

Does performance art enrage you? Perhaps a discussion between Marina Abramović, the self-described granny of performance art and Times culture reporter Patricia Cohen, will shed some light on this often provocative art form. This conversation is part of the TimesTalks series and takes place March 15, 2013, at 6:30 PM. Abramović will most likely talk about her upcoming experimental opera, The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, or maybe pull a mini “The Artist is Present,” and sit in silence the entire evening.

The TimesCenter
242 West 41st Street

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Posted in Art, Discussion, March 2013, Serbia

Film: First Colombian Film Festival in NYC


JuansmMarch 2013

Remember the exquisite 2004 movie Maria Full of Grace? More Colombian movies are on the way as New York City will have its very first Colombian Film Festival, March 20 – 24, 2013. The festival includes 12 features,  12 shorts, ranging from thrillers to dramas, and 8 documentaries.  Colombian directors, producers, and actors will be at the  festival, taking place at Tribeca Cinemas.

Pictured is Juan Fischer who directed the short film Rush, shot in New York City, which involves a human organ and a motorcycle messenger. Several other films include Choco, All Your Dead (Todos Tus Muertos), Maybe Tomorrow, Totó, Pablo’s Hippo, and Apt 101. For a full list and tickets, visit the Colombia Film Festival website,

Tribeca Cinemas
54 Varick Street
212 941 2001

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Posted in Colombia, Film, March 2013

Talk: Inventive Teenagers Around The Globe


March 2013

Teenagers are not just morose, slothful creatures who watch reality TV all day or consume at the local mall. There are  inspired  teens around the globe, working away in their bedrooms, garages and neighborhoods on innovative projects. Learn more about these inventive kids (discover the next Bill Gates?) on March 16, 2013 at TEDxTeen, an independently organized TED Talk, hosted by Chelsea Clinton.


One of the speakers, pictured here, is 17-year-old Kelvin Doe, aka DJ Focus, from Sierra Leone. He started scavenging dumps for scrap electronics at the age of 10,  and has since built a radio station, homemade batteries and a generator. He visited MIT in 2012, documented in this video; he is officially the youngest “visiting practitioner” at MIT’s International Development Initiative. He also gave a lecture down the road to undergraduate engineering students at Harvard. Other countries represented at TEDxTeen are South Africa, Kenya, and the USA.

If you want to attend TEDxTeen, taking place in SoHo, you must fill out this form and apply by midnight February 15th, 2013. TEDxTeen is organized by the WE Are Family Foundation, also responsible for the Three Dot Dash Summit.

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Posted in Discussion, Kenya, Lectures, March 2013, Sierra Leone, South Africa

Talk: Ah-hah… it’s Zaha.


HadsmMarch 2013

If you are yearning for a lively conversation about architecture, design and culture in the transitioning Middle East, mark March 14, 2013 on your calendar. The internationally recognized architect Zaha Hadid who is originally from Iraq and has been living in London (she’s now a Dame) will be discussing these matters with Sheila Canby, the Met’s curator of the Department of Islamic Art, formerly of the British Museum, and Joseph Giovannini, a New York City based architect and critic. Hadid will design the new headquarters for the Central Bank in Baghdad, the first time she’s designing a building in Iraq.

Hadid’s structures are standing all over the globe, and known to be curvy, bold and futuristic. Her firm,  Zaha Hadid Architects designed the Riverside Museum of Transport in Scotland, The Phaeno Science Center in Germany, The London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics and The National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome, among other structures. She won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004; the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. Hadbldgsm

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
212 535 7710
6 PM $35

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Posted in Architecture, Discussion, England, Iraq, March 2013

Dance: Movement for Finn-o-philes and Friends


SaarsmMarch 2013

As part of the Ice Hot: A Nordic Dance Festival, the Tero Saarinen Company from Finland will be leaping, spinning and writhing across The Joyce Theater’s stage March 6 – 9, 2013.

Saarinen is known globally for his contemporary choreography  and dramatic use of music,  lighting and projections. Included in the program is Saarinen’s solo HUNT, and the US premiere of Scheme of Things. Curious about his choreography? Here’s a video of Double Lives.

The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
212-242-0800 for $10 tickets
There are several chats and talks in addition to performances.

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Posted in Dance Performance, Finland, March 2013

Music: Erdal Erzincan on the Baglama


ErdalBWsmMarch 2013

Access the nether regions of your brain the natural way at the upcoming  Erdal Erzincan concert on March 12, 2013.

Erzincan is a Turkish baglama player and vocalist who will  perform the music of the Alevi, a mystical Sufi order  in Turkey with a tremendous following. It’s been reported that the sacred songs can bring the listener into a trance-like state. But for those who like to stay in the physical world, not to worry, as Erzincan will also play Turkish folk songs on one of his many baglamas. The baglama, pictured above in this fabulous old photo, is similar to the lute. It emits a beautiful sound that’s slightly more tinny than its cousin, the oud.

The Graduate Center Elebash Hall
7 PM
365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets
Tickets $25 and $20 for Graduate Center members and students, call  212-817-8215 for discount information.

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Posted in Concert, March 2013, Music, Turkey

Film & Talk: Yasmina Reza, Her ‘Chicas’ and ‘Heureux les Heureux’


Reza2smMarch 2013

If you fancy Yasmina Reza’s plays Art and God of Carnage, both of which won Tonys, here’s your chance to see how she writes and directs for film. On March 12, 2013, there will be a screening of her 2010 film Chicas, a story about a widowed, Spanish mother and three daughters living in France.  It stars Emmanuelle Seigner, Carmen Maura, Valérie Dréville, Christelle Tual and André Dussolier. Chicas is in French with English subtitles.

A conversation in English follows the screening,  between Reza and Judith Thurman,  an author and New Yorker staff writer. Rather than talk about Chicas, they’ll discuss Reza’s new novel Heureux les Heureux not yet translated into English. The title could be translated into Happy Are The Happy; the novel follows 18 different characters in the form of monologues. Reza will sign books.

Alliance Française (FIAF) Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
1 800 982 2787
$15 or $10
7 PM

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Posted in Film, France, March 2013, Discussion

Poetry: The POEMobile Hits Flushing for Lunar New Year


poemMarch 2013

The Popemobile may be in the garage, but the POEMobile is out and about, cruising the streets of Flushing, Queens. On March 3, 2013, the POEMobile will be celebrating Chinese New Year at Flushing Town Hall. Both Chinese classical poetry as well as contemporary Chinese-American poetry will be featured, led by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou. You’ll be able to understand all poems as they’ll be projected on a wall in the original Chinese texts, with English language translations. There will be performances!

Projections begin at 6:30 PM; performances at 7:00 PM.

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
Town Hall is a 5-minute walk from the Main St./Flushing stop on the 7 subway line.

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Posted in China, March 2013, Poetry

Music: Fernando Otero CD Release and Concert


Fernando OteroMarch 2013

Listen up if you’re a hard-boiled New Yorker with street cred issues. Are you experiencing a vague mental block about a CD called ROMANCE, never mind attending its CD release concert? If so, it’s been suggested you put all your preconceptions aside (especially if you have something against pianists who wear headbands) and check out the Fernando Otero concert on March 2, 2013. Otero is an Argentine, Grammy winning composer and musician, (piano and melodica) who now resides in New York City. His new CD is the aforementioned ROMANCE.

And yes, of course  there will be a bandoneón in the house! Masterfully manhandled by fellow Argentine Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion. Other Argentines to feast your eyes and ears on:  Iván Barenboim on the clarinet and Pablo Aslan on the bass. Exquisite violist about town  Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin will join Otero on stage, as will Nicolas Danielson on violin, Adam Fisher on cello, soprano Kristin Norderval and singer Maria Brodskaya.

92YTribeca (The one downtown.)
200 Hudson Street
9:00 PM
$12 in advance / $15 day of show

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Posted in Argentina, CD Release, Concert, March 2013, Music |

Film & Talk: ‘War Witch’ and Alec Wargo


warsmMarch 2013

Join members and non-members of the United Nations Association of New York in a screening of War Witch, on March 1, 2013 at Angelika Film Center. War Witch is a film about a 14-year-old girl’s survival in an unnamed, sub-Saharan country’s brutal civil war. War Witch was a 2013 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.  Canadian director Kim Nguyen used nonprofessional actors and footage from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Most likely you’ll have an abundance of questions regarding child soldiers after the screening. You’ll have a chance to ask them and discuss the plight of child soldiers with Alec Wargo, the Program Officer of the UN’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

If you are a member of UNANY, tickets are $15, and you can buy tickets online. If you are not a member, you should be! UNANY presents unique movies, discussions, lectures and readings to be absorbed and experienced with like-minded people. You can join for a mere $25.00 and attend most events at a reduced rate or free: If you have questions about this event or joining UNANY, call 212 907 1353 or e-mail

Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston Street, at Mercer off Broadway
The screening is at 7:00 PM, followed by the discussion

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Posted in Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Discussion, Film, March 2013

Talk: What Did Argo Get Right and Wrong?


March 2013KenSm

If the term “covert operations” makes you tingly all over, keep March 1, 2013 open on your calendar. Ben Afleck’s 2012 movie Argo is about the escape of six American hostages during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Their escape was made possible by the Canadian ambassador to Iran at the time, Kenneth D. Taylor and the CIA, Canadian passports were obtained for the Americans and a “life is stranger than fiction” plan was hatched.

The actor Victor Garber plays the Canadian ambassador in the movie Argo, but you can hear Ken Taylor who was the real Canadian ambassador to Iran in 1979, speak at the America Society/Counsel of Americas on March 1st. ken2smHe’ll discuss with  his wife  Dr. Patricia E. Taylor and Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin his participation in  helping the six Americans pose as Hollywood movie scouts in order to escape Iran.

America Society/Counsel of Americas
680 Park Avenue
212 628 3200
Registration: 6:00 to 6:30 PM
Discussion: 6:30 to 7:30 PM
$15 to $25

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Posted in Canada, Discussion, Foreign Affairs, Iran, March 2013 |

Music: An Evening of Kora and Cello


February 2013Ballaké Sissoko - Vincent Segal

The French cellist Vincent Segal and Malian Ballaké Sissoko who plays the kora, will perform together on February 28, 2013. The kora is a striking, 21-stringed harp-lute-like instrument with a slight bass,  typically played in West Africa. Koras are made from large gourds and stretched cowhide.

Both Segal and Sissoko have musically checkered pasts, partaking in jazz, pop, western classical and Malian music, including work with Toumani Diabaté. Dubious about the pairing of kora and cello? No need, they sound gorgeous together; listen to this video.

Alliance Française (FIAF) Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
8 PM
1 800 982 2787
FIAF members $25, advanced $30

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Posted in Concert, February 2013, France, Mali |

Talk: Discussion at NYU Journalism Institute, Stateless in the USA


mollyFebruary 2013

For those interested in immigration, refugees, and human rights, there will be an a lively panel discussion on February 25, 2013. taking place at NYU Journalism Institute. This lunchtime event will focus on non-residents inside the USA who are living without papers; without the recognition or protection of any country.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Open Society Justice Initiative recently produced a new report that studies the stateless within the USA. The five person panel will discuss their findings and possible solutions. Speakers include David Baluarte, the Practitioner-in-Residence in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University in DC, James Goldston the executive director of the Open Center Justice Initiative, Molly Groom, pictured, from the Department of Homeland Security’s Refugee and Asylum Law Division, Mark Manly from UNHCR,  and Mikhail Sebastian a stateless man who fled Azerbaijan.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the UNHCR. Space is limited so you must RSVP to Patrick Molitoris:

New York University Journalism Institute
20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

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Posted in Azerbaijan, Discussion, February 2013, Stateless

Music: Enno Poppe in Sound and Conversation at Miller Theatre


EnnoFebruary 2013

There will most likely be some jarring atonal riffs and frisky dissonance in the house when Enno Poppe’s compositions are performed at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre on February 23, 2013. Gracing the stage playing four of Poppe’s pieces will be JACK Quartet and piano-percussion ensemble Yarn/Wire (with a very new-musicy photo). Learn what inspired these pieces during the onstage discussion with Enno Poppe who leads the Berlin-based Ensemble Mosaik. Nervous about shelling out $25 to $30 for music that might not be “facile”? Have a listen to this youtube segment (telling visual).

Miller Theatre
2960 Broadway at 116th Street
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 8:00 PM
Tickets: $25-30 • Students with valid ID: $15-18

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Posted in Concert, February 2013, Germany, Music

Talk: Saucy Nigella


NigsmFebruary 2013

Nigella Lawson has a brand new cookbook, Nigellissima, and she’s coming to town to sell it. Catch her in conversation with chef Mario Batali at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, February 11, 2013 7:00 PM.

Nigellissima is a cookbook featuring easy Italian recipes; you can even have yours signed by Lawson just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Note: both Lawson and Batali have die-hard fans. Seating starts at 5:00 PM and priority seating is given to those “with book purchase.”

Barnes & Noble, Union Square
33 East 17th Street

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Posted in Book, Conversation, England, February 2013, Food

Film: Abbas Kiarostami Series at Walter Reade Theater


KiarostamiSmFebruary 2013

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will run “A Close-up of Abbas Kiarostami” from February 8 to February 17, 2013. The series includes his shorts, documentaries, feature film and digital videos. Abbas Kiarostami was born in Iran where he’s remained throughout his career; all his features have been shot there, with the exception of Certified Copy, starring Juliette Binoche. Kiarostami’s better known works The Wind Will Carry Us, Close-Up and Taste of Cherry will be screened, as well as lesser knowabbaskiarostamiFilmn works, such as ABC Africa and Five Dedicated to Ozu.

Check The Film Society of Lincoln Center for schedule:

Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street (off Broadway)

Human: 212 875 5601
Auto: 212 875 5600

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Posted in February 2013, Film, Iran |

Theater: Don’t Break Bread Alone

breadFebruary 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to watch a theatrical production to the smell of baking bread, now’s your chance. Not By Bread Alone, a production at NYU Skirball Center is running through February 3, 2013. Not By Bread Alone involves the kneading and baking of bread, story telling, acting and conversing with 11 actors from Israel’s Nalaga’at Theater. Although the actors are deaf and blind, they communicate through translators using subtitles and sign language. The show also offers an optional meal at the BlackOut Tasting which requires prior arrangement,, but all ticket holders are treated to Café Kapish before and after the show.

NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South

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Posted in February 2013, Food, Israel, Theater Performance

Music: Somethin’ Finnish

Paula  February 2013

Catch Paula Jaakkola‘s beautiful voice and piano playing this Friday, February 1, 2013 at Somethin’ Jazz Club. Ms. Jaakkola hales from Finland, so she’ll be singing in both English and Finnish; she promised to “pull out some older jewels.”  She’s been busy working on a record in Finland with some of Helsinki’s musical heavyweights. See her preform now, before she gets too big for her felt boots and won’t have time for the little gigs about town. This Friday she’ll be accompanied by Saku Nousiainen on bass and Stephen Purcell on drums. Curious? Listen to her music on:

Somethin’ Jazz Club, 9:00pm
212 East 52nd Street, 3rd Floor
Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
$20 ($10 cover and $10 drink or food minimum)

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Posted in Concert, February 2013, Finland, Music

Music: Beethoven and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

January & February 2013

Treat yourself to Beethoven’s  nine symphonies over the next few days at Columbia’s Miller Theatre, Carnegie Hall and  Le Poisson Rouge. Symphonies 1 through 9 will be  played by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.WestEastsmer

The orchestra is comprised of kids from the Middle East, including those who reside  in the Palestinian territories and Israel. “The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story. It has very flatteringly been described as a project for peace. It isn’t. It’s not going to bring peace, whether you play well or not so well. The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance…” said Mr. Barenboim about the orchestra, first started in collaboration with Edward Said in 1999.

January 29, 2013
Le Poisson Rouge, 7:00 PM

January 30 & 31 , February 2 & 3 2013
Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, 8:00 PM (the 3rd is a 2:00 PM show)

February 1, 2013
Miller Theatre, Columbia University, 7:00 PM

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Posted in Concert, Egypt, February 2013, Iran, Israel, January 2013, Jordan, Lebanon, Music, Palestinian territories, Spain, Syria, Tur »

Photography: Mongolian Nomads, the Wu Zhu Mu Xin

October 31, 2008 to March 2, 2009

Beautiful black & white photographs by the self-taught, Mongolian photographer A Yin, go on display October 31st at the Rubin Museum of Art (in the old Barney’s building). His subject, the Wu Zhu Mu Xin tribe, is the last remaining nomadic tribe in Mongolia. A Yin’s striking images documents the Wu Zhu Mu Xin’s daily life in the Mongolian highlands.

A video interview with A Yin is incorporated into the exhibition. He talks about his calling to document the traditional life of the Wu Zhu Mu Xin, as economic development is rapidly changing the way of life for all Mongolians.

Admission to RMA is $10.00 for adults, but many discounts apply. For more information:

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Posted in Mongolia, Photography, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Music: Bloc Party at Terminal 5, I Still Remember it’s Like Eating Glass at a Banquet

blocsm2March 24th, 2009

Bloc Party’s phenomenal CD Intimacy, was released here in the USA over the summer and to celebrate, Bloc Party will perform at New York City’s Terminal 5 March 24th. Don’t miss the chance to experience the London based Bloc Party live, with their unique indie-rock-dance-pop-now-slightly-electronica sound, especially frontman Kele Okereke’s emotionally tormented voice and anguished lyrics.


If you can’t get to the show or as a primer, have a listen to the fantastically gut-wrenching Signs and Biko, especially handy if experiencing a break-up.

7pm, $31.50
Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street (on the Hudson River)
For more information: and

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Posted in England, Music, Week of March 23 to March 28 |

Film: “Waltz with Bashir” at the Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza Theaters

waltzsm2December 26, 2008

Ari Folman’s phenomenal animated feature, Waltz with Bashir opens at the Sunshine and Lincoln Plaza Theaters on December 26th. Waltz with Bashir is an autobiographical documentary (if there can be such a genre) about Folman’s struggle to come to terms with his personal history while in combat during the early 1980’s when Israel and Lebanon were at war. It’s an unflinching look into Folman’s own past and raises universal questions about the moral responsibilities of young soldiers in combat.waltzsm

130 East Houston Street
212 330 8182

Lincoln Plaza
Broadway (between 63rd and 62nd Streets)
212 757 0357

For more information and tickets: and

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Posted in Film, Israel, Lebanon, Week of January 5 to January 11 |

Music: Mariza to sing at Town Hall

marizasmFebruary 28, 2009

Straight from Lisbon, Fado singer Mariza will be singing at Town Hall on February 28th. Mariza has crisscrossed the globe for over a decade belting out her modern, pop take on Fado, the traditional Portuguese music that can be devastatingly melancholic. Mariza’s stop at Town Hall is part of the tour to celebrate her album Terra.

Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
For tickets and information: 202 307 4100 and,

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Posted in Music, Portugal, Week of February 23 to March 1 |

Reading: Catalan Poetry at NYU

poetsm3February 19, 2009

Joan (Juan in Catalan) Navarro and Anna Montero will read their poems in Catalan at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center on February 19th. Navarro has written numerous books of poety and fiction and is the publisher of the online review, SèrieAlfa, art i literatura. Anna Montero is a poet and translator.

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South (between Thompson & Sullivan Streets)
Picture required at the door.
For more information: 212-998-3650 and
Note: in Catalan and Spanish

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Posted in Poetry, Spain, Week of February 16 to February 22 |

Dance: Flamenco Festival NYC

flamencosmFebruary 13 through February 22, 2009

Experience a “this is my space” moment and attend the 9th annual New York Flamenco Festival, there will even be free flamenco lessons. The dancers and musicians come from Flamenco’s birth place, Andalusia, Spain. In this years festival, you’ll be treated to the singer Arcángel, pianist Dorantes with dancer Rosario Toledo. Dancer Isabel Bayón will preform with vocalist Terremoto in the acclaimed show La Puerta Abierta. The Antonio Gades Company will preform Carmen and the ladies won’t want to miss the legendary flamenco Gypsy dynasty Los Farruco, a performance that the Daily Telegraph calls, “…raw flamenco, full of power, fire and unbridled masculinity.” (See below…)

flamencosm2February 13, 8pm
Noche de Sevilla
ARCANGEL (vocals) & DORANTES (piano) with dancer ROSARIO TOLEDO
NYU Skirball Center

February 14, 8pm and February 15, 7pm
La Puerta Abierta (The Open Door)
NYU Skirball Center

February 19, 7:30pm, Gala and February 20, 8pm
New York City Center

February 21, 8pm and February 22, 3pm

February 13 (Skirball) and February 19 through February 22 (City Center), 90 minutes before curtain
Free pre-concert dance classes with flamenco dancer Nelida Tirado for ticket holders.

Tickets: $35, $40, $45, $50, $65, $80

NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South)
212 352 3101

New York City Center
West 55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
212 581 1212

For more information and tickets: 212 545 7536 or

Note: For February 19th, special $200 gala tickets include reception. Call 212 545 7536 for details.

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Posted in Dance, February 16 to February 22, February 9 to February 15, Music, Spain | Edit | No Comments »

Reading: Iran Night at KGB in the East Village

iransm3February 17, 2009

Enjoy a healthy dose of t’aarof as Sohrab Mohebbi, Charlotte Noruzi, Hooman Majd and Manijeh Nasrabadi read from their non-fiction works at KGB Bar in the East Village on February 17th.

Sohrab Mohebbi might read from Hair is for Head-Banging as he’s founding member of iransm4the group 127, an alternative band in Tehran. He has also contributed Urban Iran, a book that illustrates Iran’s contemporary graffiti, graphic arts, photography, text and commentary. Charlotte Noruzi, creative director of Urban Iran will discuss the vibrant, “creative rebellion” that is happening (at least trying to) in Iran.

Hooman Majd, who is in fact the grandson of an ayatollah, will read from The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran, or from one of his many articles, such as the humorous piece he wrote for The New York Observer about being Ahmadinejad’s translator when he visited the UN in 2006. Manijeh Nasrabadi is currently writing Carry the iransm22Sand Away from the Walls, a memoir about her relationship with her Zoroastrian, communist father, and how they related to one another in 1980s America.

7:00pm to 9pm
85 East 4th Street
212 505 3360
For more information:
Urban Iran:
The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern

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Posted in Books, Iran, Week of February 16 to February 22 | Edit | No Comments »

Film: Dreyer’s “La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc,” “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” at Anthology Film Archives

joansmFebruary 21 & 22, 2009

La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, (The Passions of Joan of Arc) directed by Carl Dreyer in 1928, will play at Anthology Film Archives February 21st and 22nd. In In this silent, avant-garde movie, Maria Falconetti plays Joan of Arc during her trial, based on original records. There are many harsh close-ups of faces and dizzying camera angles. An original version of the film was only found in i981, in an Olso mental institution after being lost for decades, as the master negative had been destroyed in a fire.

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
212 505 5181

For more information:

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Posted in Film, France, Week of February 16 to February 22 |

Words & Music: Czech Out Milan Kundera, Leoš Janáček and The Cleveland Orchestra at the 92nd Street Y

milansmFebruary 5, 2009

Find out the just how unbearable the lightness of being Milan Kundera is at the 92nd Street Y, along with composer Leoš Janáček and The Cleveland Orchestra. Kundera will read a selection of excerpts from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and The Unbearable Lightness of Being, interspersed with two pieces by Janáček, Mládi Suite for Wind Sextet and Concertino for Piano and Chamber Ensemble, featuring Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan.

$19 and only $10 for people 35 and under!
The 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street)
212 415 5500
For more information and tickets:

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Posted in Books, Conversation, Czech Republic, Israel, Music, Week of January 5 to January 11 | Edit | No Comments »

Photography: Luigi Ghirri at Aperture Gallery

Through January 29, 2009


The minimal, graphic images of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri are on display at Aperture Gallery until January 29th. Although somewhat stark, Ghirri’s photographs have subtle humor in their juxtapositions and observations. One can see the influence of photographers such as Walker Evans, Atget and contemporaries at the time, William Eggleston and Lee Friedlander. The show at Aperture focuses on Ghirri’s photographs from the 1970’s and 80’s, images that are in the Aperture book, It’s Beautiful Here, Isn’t It

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street , 4th floor (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
212 505 5555

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Posted in Italy, Photography, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Book: Berlin Architect Jürgen Mayer, Discusses New Book “J. Mayer H.” at Studio-X

jurgsm2January 30, 2009

Berlin-based architect Jürgen Mayer H. will celebrate the launch of his new book, J. Mayer H., at Studio-X on January 30th, thanks to the Architectural Department at Columbia University.

J. Mayer H., also the name of his architectural firm, has designed jurgsm3exquisite, frisky buildings such as the Mensa Moltke in Karlsruhe and the AdA1 offices in Hamburg.

J. Mayer H. is the first book to show the entire architectural and design works by J. Mayer H. since its inception in 1996. Learn about inspirational data protection patterns at a round table featuring Jürgen Mayer himself, co-editor of the book Cristina Ines Steingräber and contributor Andres Lepik. A reception will follow the discussion.

Free, must RSVP:
180 Varick Street, Suite 16101

For more information, or

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Posted in Architecture, Books, Conversation, Germany, Week of January 26 – February 1 |

Film: “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” Screening at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations

congosmJanuary 28, 2009

Lisa Jackson’s harrowing, award winning documentary The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, will be screened at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations on January 28th. The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo take an unflinching look at the appalling, inhumane rape and sexual warfare that has taken place (and continues) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the current war. Jackson, herself a victim of gang rape here in the USA, interviews scores of women and girls who have been systematically raped, mutilated, kept as sex-slaves and tortured by both foreign and Congolese soldiers. The women who are interviewed in The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo are indeed heroic, as nearly all victims remain silent, too afraid and ashamed to speak out.congo2sm

For more information read Ginia Bellafante’s article in the New York Times when The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo was premiered on HBO:

2pm, free
Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations
313 East 43rd Street
Must RSVP by January 24th. Send email to with names of attendees to reserve seats.

The film is 75 minutes long and will be followed by a Traditional Malaysian Tea. This screening is made possible by United for Women of all Nations (UWaN). For more information:

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Posted in Democratic Republic of Congo, Film, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Talk: Spanish Noir

spnoirJanuary 28, 2009

Spanish crime writers Eugenio Fuentes and Alicia Giménez-Bartlett will participate in a roundtable discussion at the Riverside branch of the New York Public Library on January 28th. These two Spaniards are part of a growing number of first class crime writers from Europe.

Giménez-Bartlett’s series of crime thrillers centered around a Barcelona police inspector Petra Delicado, has been translated into English, as have many of Fuentes’s crime books. The Guardian Review called Fuentes’s The Depths ofspnoirsm21 the Forest, “Utterly absorbing and brilliantly translated, this should appeal even to those not attracted to crime fiction.”

6:00pm, free
The New York Public Library, Riverside Branch
127 Amsterdam Avenue (between 65th & 66th Streets)
NOTE: En español, in Spanish

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Posted in Books, Spain, Week of January 26 – February 1 | Edit | No Comments »

Film & Party: “Gogol Bordello Non-Stop” at 92Y Tribeca, Saturday After-Party at Bulgarian Bar

January 30 and January 31, 2009


Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, a documentary about Eugene Hütz—the freaky lady’s sex symbol—and his Gypsy Punk band Gogol Bordello will be screened at 92Y Tribeca on January 30th and 31st.

In Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, director Margarita Jimeno chronicles Hütz for over 5 years, starting in 2001, when he DJed at the infamous, wood-paneled, 1970’s Eastern Bloc style Bulgarian Bar on Canal Street. The film follows Hütz as he makes forays into acting, (he was the fantastic driver in the movie Everything is Illuminated) and his non-stop touring as the spectacular frontman of Gogol Bordello.

If you only want to partake in the insanity of Hütz’s DJing, you can just go to the after-parties. Friday’s will be at the 92Y Tribeca, Saturday’s will be at Mehanata on Ludlow Street.

8pm screening, 10:15pm party, $12 for movie and party, $8 for party
92Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street
212 601 1000

Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
113 Ludlow Street
212 625 0981

For more information:,,,

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Posted in Film, Ukraine, Week of January 26 – February 1 |

Books: Bill Santiago Va a Hablar about His New Librook, “Pardon my Spanglish ¡Porque Because!” at McNally Jackson Books

January 23, 2009

Bill Santiago will be explicaring how “thinking outside the taco” brought about his hilarious new book on Spanglish, written in Spanlish, Pardon my Spanglish ¡Porque Because! at McNally Jackson Books on January 23rd. Santiago, of Puerto Rican decent, has written the only how-to guide on mastering Spanglish, one of the most important languages to know if you live in New York City.

7pm, Free
En Spanglish
52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry Streets)
212 274 1160
For more information:,

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Posted in Books, Puerto Rico, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Talk: NYU Panel Discussion, “Fleeing Fascism: German-speaking Jews in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica”

sdsmJanuary 21, 2009

The panel discussion at NYU “Fleeing Fascism: German-speaking Jews in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica” will take place on January 21st. Participants include Marion Kaplan (Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History, NYU), Leo Spitzer (Vernon Professor of History Emeritus, Dartmouth College; and Visiting Professor of History, Columbia University) and Sibylle Quack (Visiting Professor of Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center). Moderated by NYU’s Jo Labanyi and Kathrin DiPaola.

Topics to be discussed: the Jewish refugee settlement in Sosúa, Dominican Republic 1940-1945 and the Jewish community in La Paz, Bolivia. Reception to follow.

6:30pm, free
King Juan Carlos Center Auditorium
53 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets)

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Posted in Bolivia, Conversation, Democratic Republic of Congo, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Music: Macedonian Invasion, Goran Alachki, Adrijana Alachka and Bajsa Arifovska

macsm21January 20 and 23, 2009

The Macedonian Goran Alachki with be squeezing his accordion all over town. He’ll be accompanied by his wife, the renowned singer Adrijana Alachka as well as clarinetist Bajsa Arifovska on January 20th and 23rd. Musicians of their level are rarely heard outside the Balkans, don’t miss this chance.

Future and current fans of the Alachkis can catch them perform their more urban, Turkish-influenced music, a style known as “chalgija” at Drom in the East Village. 3 days later is a more interactive experience, as you can dance to the Alachki’s more traditional music at Hungarian House’s (what might sound like a contradiction, but it does get pretty sweaty and freaky) “Folk-Dance Fury.” Excellent news for those who want to improve their kaval, tupan, gaida (pictured below), accordion or clarinet , not to mention voice, the Alachkis are teaching workshops while here.

macsmJanuary 20: Chalgija Spectacular
85 Avenue A

January 23: Folk-Dance Fury
Hungarian House
213 East 82nd Street

For workshops with the Alachkis and Bajsa Arifovska, contact Patrick Farrell at

For more information:, and

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Posted in Dance, Lessons, Macedonia, Music, Week of January 19 to January 25 |

Music: OhMyGod it’s Ida Maria at the Mercury Lounge

idasm January 15, 2009

Check out Ida Maria on January 15th at the Mercury Lounge. The 24-year-old pop musician from Norway is known to give explosive performances that in the past have included screaming, biting, head butting and fighting. Don’t let the cherubic Scandinavian face fool you.

7:30pm, $10
The Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston Street
212 260 4700

For more information: or

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Posted in Music, Norway, Week of January 12 to January 18 |

Performance: Yin Mei Dance at Asia Society

January 12 and 13, 2009yinsm

Even if you’re allergic to performance art and anything “multi-media” makes you run for the hills, see Yin Mei at Asia Society on January 12th and 13th. Choreographer and dancer Yin Mei will will perform an excerpt from City of Paper with Tibetan dancer Sang Jijia, a piece about her personal experiences living in Luoyang during China’s Cultural Revolution. Yin Mei will also perform a segment from Empty Traditions.

8pm, $15
Asia Society, auditorium
725 Park Avenue

For more information: or

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Posted in China, Dance, Tibet, Week of January 12 to January 18 |

Dance: Tango, Argentina, Guillermina Quiroga

tangosmJanuary 16 and 17, 2009

If bandoneóns, strings and passionately restrained dancing couples that verge on kinky make you quiver, make sure not to miss Guillermina Quiroga’s show Tango, Historias Breves (Tango, Brief Stories) at the NYU Skirball Center January 16th and 17th. Quiroga not only choreographed the show, she will also dance with her partner Cesar Coelho and several other top Argentine Tango dancers. The marvelous tango ensemble is lead by bandoneónista Cacho Acuna.

8pm both nights
$35, $45, students $18
NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place
Tickets: 212 352 3101, 212 545 7536 or

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Posted in Argentina, Dance, Music, Week of January 12 to January 18 |

Tertulia: Héctor Feliciano at Instituto Cervantes

hecsmJanuary 16, 2009

Writer and journalist Héctor Feliciano will talk at the Instituto Cervantes January 16th. Feliciano, originally from Puerto Rico is a frequent contributer to Spain’s El País, Argentina’s Clarín, and is the author of The Lost Museum, a book about art stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Not only will Feliciano discuss his personal vision of journalism, there will also be tapas and wine served

6pm, free
Instituto Cervantes
211 East 49th Street
NOTE: in Spanish, en español
212 308 7720
For more information:

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Posted in Argentina, Conversation, Puerto Rico, Spain, Week of January 12 to January 18 | Edit | No Comments »

Talk: The Enchanter of New York, Salman Rushdie at The New York Times Center

salmansmJanuary 11, 2009

Salman Rushdie will discuss his new book The Enchantress of Florence in The New York Times Center on January 11th. With Roger Cohen, Rushdie will discuss how his stories weave together history, politics and art. The discussion, titled The Literary Imagination and Political Freedom. Learn more about his fantastic historical novel set in Renaissance Florence:

4pm to 5:15pm, $30
New York Times Center
242 West 41st Street
For more information and tickets:

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Posted in Books, England, India, Italy, Week of January 5 to January 11 |

Music: Ideal International Music Festival for ADD Sufferers, GlobalFEST at Webster Hall

globfemsmJanuary 11, 2009

If you like your music cafeteria style, listen to the musicians directly from Nigeria, Spain and Brazil, among numerous other countries, who will play throughout the evening at Webster Hall on January 11th. A dozen bands who are part of this year’s GlobalFEST will preform staggered throughout the evening on Webster Hall’s various stages, a perfect scenario for those with short attention spans. It’s worth the entry fee alone just to see Femi Kuti & the Positive Force. If you only want to hear Femi Kuti, he’s playing at the same venue on January 8th at 8pm for $30.globchichsm

Other bands to preform: La Troba Kung-fú from Spain, Hot 8 Brass Band, Kailash Kher’s Kailasa, Chicha Libre, L&O, Marcio Local, Calypso Rose, Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, Shanbehzadeh Ensemble, Tanya Tagaq (throat singing!), and Watcha Clan.

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street


For tickets: or 212 307 7171 or can be purchased (cash only) at the Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston Street, Mondays through Saturdays, 12pm to 7pm.


For more informations:,,,

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Posted in Brazil, Canada, France, India, Iran, Music, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, Tobago, Week of January 5 to January 11 |

Talk: Azar Nafisi at Barnes & Noble, Talk about “Things I’ve Been Silent About”

January 07, 2009nafisism1

Azar Nafisi, who rose to fame in the USA when her book Reading Lolita in Tehran was published in 2003, will be at the Barnes & Noble near Lincoln Center on January 7th. Nafisi will be talking about her latest book, Things I’ve Been Silent About, a memoir about her family life as a girl, taking place in her native Iran. If Hamid Dabashi shows up, a lively debate is guaranteed.

Barnes & Noble
1972 Broadway
212 595 6859

For more information:

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Posted in Books, Iran, Week of December 29 to January 5 |

Film: Oscar Contenders from Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden Screened at Scandinavia House

scfilmsm1January 5 to 9, 2009

Four films up for the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film, Home of Dark Butterflies (Tummien Perhosten Koti), White Night Wedding (Brúðguminn), Worlds Apart (To Verdener) and Everlasting Moments (Maria Larssons Eviga Ögonblick), will be screened at Scandinavia House, January 5th through 9th.

danfilNot surprisingly, heavy themes pervade the film from Finland, Home of Dark Butterflies, about a young boy coming to terms with his traumatic past while at The Island, an isolated home for boys. The Icelandic White Night Wedding is more or less about searching for happiness, culminating in a wedding, based on Chekhov’s Ivanov. Worlds Apart from Denmark (written and directed by Drømmen’s Niels Arden Oplev) is a drama about a young girl, raised a Jahovah’s Witness who falls for a charming older boy, and Everlasting Moments from Sweden is about Maria, a woman who wins a camera in a lottery and how it opens up her world.

scfilmsm3Various times, 6pm, 7pm and 8:30pm, $10
Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue (at 38th Street)
212 879 9779
In Finnish, Icelandic, Danish and Swedish with English subtitles.
For more information:

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Posted in Denmark, Film, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Week of January 5 to January 11 |

Art: Wang Hui at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

wangsmThrough January 4, 2009

Don’t miss the exquisite paintings of Wang Hui on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 4, 2009. Wang Hui (1632 – 1717) is one of China’s best known a traditional landscape painters, active in the late Ming/early Qing periods. The exhibit Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui is also showing additional works from the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Avenue (at 82nd Street)
212 535 7710
For more information:

Posted in Art, China, Week of December 15 – December 21 |

Art: Spanish Masters at the Metropolitan Museum

January 3, 2009metvelsm

Take advantage of the Metropolitan’s free lectures, such as the talk on January 3rd given by Andrée Markoe Caldwell about the museum’s Spanish masterpieces. Works by El Greco, Velázquez and Murillo will be discussed, as well as their relationships with the Spanish royal family. Ask about the future influence works by Velázquez had on Goya.

7pm, free with admission, which is pay what you will
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gallery Talk Stanchion, Great Hall
1000 5th Avenue (at 82nd street)

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Posted in Art, Spain, Week of December 29 to January 5 |

Film: 3 weeks of Spanish Cinema at Walter Reade Theater

spain-smDecember 5 to 24, 2008

Post-Franco Spain, Barcelona’s hip hop scene, woodsy thrillers, a gay chef, a flesh-eating elderly women, a falling meteor… some of the subjects to grace the screens at The Walter Reade Theater’s annual series, Spanish Cinema Now. In addition to 15 feature length films and a handful of shorts released in Spain over the past couple of years, there are 2 smaller Spanish film series, Spotlight on Javier Cámara and Spanish Experimental. The series devoted to actor Javier Cámara will screen 7 films, including the opening night’s film, Fuera de Carta (Chef’s Special) and Los Girasoles Ciegos (Blind Sunflowers). The Spanish experimental series will screen several avant-garde Spanish shorts, curated by Jose Maria Prado, director of the Filmoteca Española, note that on December 10th, the 1929 film El Sexto Sentido (The Sixth Sense) by Nemesio M. Sobrevila will be screened with live piano music.

spainsm7Spanish Cinema Now:

Spot Light on Javier Cámara:

Spanish Experimental:

Walter Reade Theater
70 Lincoln Center Plaza
212 875 5600, or 212 875 5601
$11 public, $7 Film Society member & student (with ID)

Dance: The Formidable Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca at Joe’s Pub

flamsm2December 26 to 31, 2008

If your hair stands on edge upon hearing the first note of a Flamenco wail or hand clap, not to mention seeing the intense faces and dance movements, don’t miss Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca at Joe’s Pub. They’ll be singing and dancing December 26th through the 31st, which includes a special New Years Eve show.

The Madrid native Soledad Barrio and her husband, artistic director Martin Santangelo started the flamenco collective Noche Flamenca in 1993. Noche Flamenca’s shows are equal parts music, singing and dance. The near 15 person group puts on a straightforward, emotionally charged, cojones to the walls show.flamsm3

“Flamenco is an essential cry to express joy, sorrow, comedy and tragedy,” states Martin Santangelo on the Noche Flamenca website, “for those individuals and groups who are repressed by some form of limitation – social, economic, spiritual or physical. Through singing, playing and dancing we attempt to free the soul from this oppression.”

flam$35, $100 on New Years Eve
7pm (December 28th at 1:30pm and December 31st at 7pm)
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street
212 967 7555 and 212 539 8778
To buy tickets:

Music: Kaiku’s Back, Bearing Finnish Cosmetics

kaikusmDecember 21, 2008

Catch Kaiku, the Art-Folk-Pop group at the Cornelia street Cafe on December 21st. Kaiku is fronted by Paula Jaakkola and Jaana Kantola, two Finnish lasses with haunting harmonies. They’ll sing backed by cello, accordion, percussion and guitar. Paula and Jaana might even whip out and pluck their kanteles if you’re lucky. Getting into the holiday spirit, the first 20 guests receive free Finnish cosmetics.

8:30pm and 10pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street (between Bleecker and West 4th Streets)

For more information:,

Theater: “Black Watch” at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Extended!

blacksm2Through December 21, 2008

Only a handful of days left to experience Black Watch, the devastating, riveting play about a Scottish regiment’s tour of duty in Iraq, playing through December 21st at St Ann’s Warehouse. Amid the goose-bump producing score of bagpipes and Scottish folk music, actors weave the past and present dramas of their time in Iraq and their return home. This eloquent play, guaranteed to make most men in the house cry, is a production of The National Theater of Scotland, written by Gregory Burke and directed by John Tiffany.

blacksmBen Brantley of The New York Times, wrote that Black Watch “an essential testament to the abiding relevance-and necessity-of theater.” John Heilpern of The New York Observer wrote, “Perhaps we might think the issues about the war are already well known, or that this will be yet another self-satisfied antiwar saga preaching to the choir like David Hare’s Stuff Happens. But that isn’t the case for a second, and politicians as such aren’t the concern of this astonishing political play.”

Tickets start at $55
St. Ann’s Warehouse
38 Water Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn

For more information and tickets: call 718 254 8779 or 866 811 4111 or

Note: free entry for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, contact Marilynn at 718 834 8794 x17.

Music: Cansei de Ser Sexy (aka CSS) at Webster Hall

csssm4December 17 and 18, 2008

Those whacked-out, electro-indie-pop imps from São Paulo, CSS (”Cansei de Ser Sexy,” which literally translates to “got tired of being sexy”) are playing at Webster Hall on December 17th and 18th.

Doors open at 7pm
$20 advance, $25 day of show
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
212 353 1600
For tickets:
More about CSS:

Music: DJ Turmix and Geko Jones at Sputnik

December 18, 2008

Even the rhythmically challenged can figure out how to move when listening to the Afro-Colombian-Tropical-Latin-Brazilian grooves of Barcelona’s DJ Turmix and Brooklyn’s Geko Jones (who is 100% Puertolombian) at Sputnik, from 8pm to 4am.

8pm to 4pm
262 Taafffe Place (off De Kalb Avenue)
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Film: Newly Restored “Amarcord” at Film Forum

Through December 16, 2008

ampostsmOne of Federico Fellini’s most exuberantly bawdy movies, Amarcord is playing at Film Forum through December 16th. Maybe you’ve rented it, but Amarcord needs to be experienced on the big screen, and the new 35mm restored version is simply dazzling.

Film Forum
209 West Houston Street
212 727 8110
For tickets and information:

Talk: Babylon and on at The Metropolitan

December 17, 18 and 19, 2008


Get your babble on at The Metropolitan December 17th to 19th with a festival of lectures and symposiums coinciding with Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. All talks are free with museum admission, which is pay what you will.

Prime yourself by taking a look around the show first, an outstanding collection of artifacts from various cultures in the Near East during the second millennium B.C., some of which are from the Uluburun shipwreck.

babsmArcheoccentrics will be thrilled with the December 17th line-up of speakers. Cemul Pulak will talk about his experience excavating the Uluburun wreck at 2pm. Cheryl Ward will talk about seafaring in ancient Egypt at 3pm, and at 4pm, underwater archeology royalty George F. Bass, founder of Institute of Nautical Archaeology, will talk about the medieval Islamic glass cargo found at the Serçe Limani, Turkey shipwreck.

The numerous symposiums on the 18th and 19th have many academics from all over the globe. Check the link below for exact times and subjects. Briefly, the topics to be discussed on the 18th are primarily about cultural interactions between Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt and other societies during the middle to late Bronze Age. In the afternoon, topics range from eye paint in Egypt to Syrian artifact discoveries from the Second Millennium. On the 19th, the morning’s discussions will focus on the role of the artisans of the times and several royal palace’s wall paintings. The afternoon returns to topics of the Near East’s interactive trade culture.


For information call 212 396 5460 or email:

More information about December 17th:

More information about December 18th and 19th:

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Avenue (at 82nd Street)

Film: Finnish Films at Scandinavia House

October 29 to December 13, 2008

If you’ve watched Finnish movies like The Match Factory Girl (Tulitikkutehtaan Tyttö) or Ariel and found yourself actually getting Finnish humor (term used loosely), then don’t delay and buy a ticket to see one of the older Finnish classics playing at The Scandinavia House. They’ll be screened every Wednesday and Saturday until mid-December.

Juha, Eight Deadly Shots (Kahdeksen Surmanluotta), People in the Summer Night (Ihmiset Suviyössä), Blue Week (Sininen Viikko) and Hulda Goes to Helsinki (Juurakon Hulda) were made during the years 1937 to 1972. Expect long silences, dark humor and beautiful landscapes.

Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue (at 38th Street)
Wednesdays at 6:30pm, Saturdays at 3pm
For more information:

Music: Ondes Martenot Alert! It’s Messiaen’s “Turangalîla Symphonie,” Reinbert de Leeuw Conducts the Yale Philharmonia at Carnegie Hall

ondsm2December 14, 2008

If you’ve never heard the wild, theremin-like Ondes Martenot played live, you mustn’t miss conductor Reinbert de Leeuw pay tribute to the 100th anniversary (4 days late) of the French composer Olivier Messiaen’s birth. On the program is Turangalîla Symphonie, one of Messiaen’s great large-scale symphonic works,leesm2 inspired by themes of romantic love and tragedy. It was written from 1946 to 1948, and revised in 1990, two years before his death.

World-renowned Messiaen specialist Reinbert de Leeuw (who is “scandalously underrated” according to The New Yorker’s music critic Alex Ross’s blog, The Rest Is Noise) messsm2will conduct the Yale Philharmonia, with Geneviève Grenier on Ondes Martenot and Wei-Yi Yang on piano.

$10 to $25
Carnegie Hall
Corner of 57th Street and 7th Avenue
212 247 7800
For tickets and more information:

Conversation: Amitav Ghosh at Asia Society

gossmDecember 15, 2008

Amitav Ghosh, author of recently published Sea of Poppies and many other books (such as The Glass Palace) will converse with Kwame Anthony Appiah December 15th at Asia Society. Sea of Poppies is a wonderfully down and dirty, somewhat historical novel, replete with characters of all types that converge around the opium trade during the early 19th century. It has received excellent reviews from The Guardian and The New York Times among other publications. Catch Ghosh before he skyrockets to untouchable fame and won’t have time for the little people anymore as Sea of Poppies is shortlisted for The Booker Prize. There is still plenty of time to buy the book and read it (or at least start it) before the 15th.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
212 517 ASIA
For tickets and information:

Music: Jan Vogler plays Piazzolla at Americas Society

jansmDecember 8, 2008

Cellist Jan Vogler has just released his latest CD, Tango! Astor Piazzolla, full of moody, melancholic Piazolla classics. It was recorded with the Moritzburg Festival Ensemble and is To celebrate the CD release, Vogler and the ensemble (Mira Wang and Colin Jacobsen on violins, Nicholas Cords on viola and Vanessa Perez on piano) will play a small performance at Americas Society on December 8th. They’ll be primed to play Oblivion, Four for Tango and La Muerte del Angel, all found on Tango! Astor Piazzolla.

Americas Society (at 68th St)
680 Park Avenue

Free, must RSVP:, or 212 628 3200

For more information:

Film: “Fanny and Alexander” at IFC, uncut version, 312 minutes

December 5 to December 10, 2008fasm

If you saw the brilliant, devastating movie Fanny and Alexander in theaters when it was released in 1982, you saw an edited version. Igmar Bergman had originally made Fanny and Alexander as a series for Swedish TV, which was then edited down for a reasonable length feature film. Here is your chance to see the original, uncut version, all 312 minutes of it. Fanny and Alexander is playing at the IFC Center from December 5th to 10th. In Swedish with English subtitles.

$12 or $13
IFC Center
323 6th Avenue
212 924 7771

Part I 12:45, 6:40pm (no show of Tuesday)
Part II 4pm, 9:55pm
Note: separate admission for part I and II
For more information and tickets:

Talk: Rio’s Art Deco at Americas Society

riosm1December 9, 2008

Márcio Alves Roiter, the president of Art Déco Brasil Institute will talk about Rio de Janeiro’s Art Deco architecture and design elements on December 9th at The Americas Society. Rio de Janeiro experienced vast growth and an economic boom in the early 20th century, thus the numerous exquisite Art Deco buildings.

Free admission, but reservations are required,, or call 212 277 8359, ext. 3
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue (at 68th Street)

For more information:

Music: Constantines in Brooklyn

December 7, 2008consm

If you need some good old fashioned Canadian indie rock, go see the Constantines December 7th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. They hale from Toronto, are crazed Neil Young fans and Feist occasionally sings with them. This is an 18+ show.

Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
$12 in advance, $14 day of show

For more information and tickets:

Talk: Stefan Behnisch on the Green Campus of the Future

stefsmDecember 4, 2008

Stefan Behnisch founded his architectural firm Behnisch Architeketen in 1989, in Stuttgart, Germany. Behnisch Architeketen’s outstanding structures have become internationally known for their sustainable designs and beauty. Behnisch doesn’t consider himself a “Green Architect,” as he thinks architecture and environmental responsibility are organically intertwined, nonetheless, he will talk about sustainable architecture on December 4th at The Architectural League of New York. Behnisch will focus on the campus of the future, as he’s designing Harvard University’s new science complex.We have to look at how we can make the science complex so efficient that the University can actually afford these buildings decades from now,” Behnisch was quoted in a recent interviewstefsm2 with The Harvard Gazette. “We should also look at the master plan, at mixed use – the way that people will live, work, and study, [ways to] cut down on traffic, travel time, and energy used to commute.”

Dr. Andres Lepik, of the Architecture & Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art and author of Skyscrapers, will moderate.

The Architectural League of New York
457 Madison Avenue
Free admission
For more information:

Music & Talk: The International Contemporary Ensemble plays Marc-André Dalbavie at The Miller Theatre

mabsmDecember 5, 2008

The International Contemporary Ensemble will get colorful with Marc-André Dalbavie at the Miller Theatre on December 5th. Three pieces of Dalbavie’s will be played, Fantaisies, a world premiere, Palimpseste (2002) and Diadèmes (1986). On viola is Hsin-Yun Huang, on cello is Dimitri Maslennikov and conducting is Cliff Colnot. In addition to a night music, there will also be an on stage discussion with Dalbavie, ask him about Spectralism. Although according to Bernard Holland of The New York Times, sometimes it’s better to just sit back and enjoy the music.

$25, $15 for students with ID

Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
For information and tickets:

Music: 2 Nights of Shimmery Samba Soul at BAM

samsm31December 4 and 5, 2008

There are a brazilian reasons why you should sink your teeth into some Brazilian samba soul on December 4th and 5th at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House. Legendary João Parahyba will preform along with a younger set of Brazilian grooverssamsm1 who are splicing and dicing samba, Tropicália and Bossa Nova with pop, hip hop, rock and electronica. The concert is billed as The Next Generation of Samba Soul and indeed 3 of the musicians have parents that are musical icons, let’s hope they don’t have too much of a complex. In addition to João Parahyba, headlining musicians are the São Paolo-based CéU, Curumin, Bebel Gilberto (daughter of João Gilberto), the wistful Argentine Swede and honorary Brazilian for the evening José González and Otto. Providing back up: Domenico, Kassin and Moreno (son of Caetano Veloso), Janja Gomes (son of João Parahyba) and Money Mark.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit BrazilFoundation’s AIDS-related projects.

samsm41BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
Tickets are $25, $45, $65
718 636 4100
For information and tickets:

Talk: Barenboim and Buffet at 92nd Street Y

dbsmDecember 7, 2008

If you are in need of inspiration and brunch, listen to the world renowned pianist, conductor and all-round brilliant human being Daniel Barenboim talk about the power of music and how it changes lives. On December 7th at the 92nd Street Y, Barenboim will give a talk on the transformative nature of music and touch on subjects in his recently published Music Quickens Time. Perhaps his most triumphant musical endeavor in his long, wildly successful career, is the creation of the critically acclaimed West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. With the late Edward Said in 1999, Barenboim began the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians who have played together in Israel, Palestine and numerous other countries. Barenboin is deeply involved with human rights in Palestine. Expect stimulating, lively conversation. After his talk, he’ll stay for the buffet, ask him all your questions.dbsm3

92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street)
$40, $34 for Poetry Center members
For information and tickets:

Film: “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” Extended!

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” is a moving, inspiring documentary that chronicles the brave Liberian woman who stood up to their country’s leaders and warlords during their bloody civil war. Due to popular demand, its run has been extended to November 27th at The Village Theater. Directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail Disney, the documentary focuses on 6 heroic women who lived through the war: Leymah Gbowee, Etweda “Sugars” Cooper, Vaiba Flomo, Asatu Bah Kenneth, Etty Weah and Janet Johnson Bryant.

Cinema Village
22 East 12th Street
For more information:

Discussion: Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese Wines, who knew? Find Out at Asia Societ

winesm4December 1, 2008

Is China poised for wine-world domination too? Find out on December 1st at Asia Society, an expert panel of wine, sake and champagne professionals will discuss what’s been trickling in from from Thailand, Vietnam and China. Panelists will compare notes on some of the superb Asian cuisine and wine pairings they’ve discovered. Panelists include Cynthia Cheng of Cravings, Chanterelle’s master sommelier Roger Dagorn, Chris Johnson from the defunct Bao 111 and Litty Mathew from California. James Oseland, Editor in Chief of Saveur Magazine will be moderating. Note: live webcast.

6:30pm to 9pm
Asia Society, auditorium
725 Park Avenue
212 517 2742
$30, $15 for members and students

For more information:

Art: Zhang Xiaogang at PaceWildenstein

xsmThrough November 29, 2008

The days have a way of slipping by, so anyone who is a Zhang Xiaogang fan, make sure to catch his Revision show at PaceWildenstein in Chelsea before it leaves November 29th. Unlike his Bloodline series, the human form is nearly absent in this group of work. Instead, the subjects are melancholic, muted interiors.

534 West 25th Street
212 929 7000
For more information:

Talk: Preservation of Soviet Modernist Buildings

sovsm2December 2, 2008

If just hearing the name Konstantin Melnikov makes your palms sweat with both excitement and torment, as the fate of his and many others’ outstanding Soviet Modernist buildings could be piles of rotting debris, go to Studio-X, an outpost of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture on December 2nd.

At this roundtable discussion, Soviet Contamination, a knowledgeable group sovsm3of professionals including Barry Bergdoll of MoMA and Columbia, NYU’s Jean-Louis Cohen and Annette Michelson, artists Yevgeniy Fiks and Vitaly Komar, and Jorge Otero-Pailos of Columbia and Editor of “Future Anterior,” will discuss what is being done to preserve numerous Soviet Modernist buildings in Russia. Reception to follow.


180 Varick Street, Suite 1610

Free and open to the public, must RSVP:

For more information:

Music: El Guincho at Le Poisson Rouge, twice

November 29 and December 2, 2008

elsmEl Guincho is kicking off his North American tour today in Los Angeles and he’ll make his way east to New York City November 29th and December 2nd to play at Le Poisson Rouge. El Guincho (Pablo Díaz-Reixa) hails from Spain’s Canary Islands via Barcelona where he’s set up shop. His music is a jubilant, rhythmic mix of Afrobeat, dub, rock, Tropicália with heavy sampling, guaranteed to get your culo moving (check to see if you have a pulse otherwise). He’ll be spinning a DJ set with Prefuse 73 on November 29th and performing December 2nd.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
For information and tickets: ,

November 29
El Guincho and Prefuse 73 (DJ Sets)

December 2
El Guincho and Lemonade

If you want to prime yourself prior, (or never go out):

Film: It’s Lurid, it’s Finnish, it’s 1946

bamsmNovember 24, 2008

Need a dose of mad Scandinavian angst? Don’t miss the Finnish melodrama by Teuvo Tulio, Rakkauden Risti (Cross of Love) at BAM November 24th. The marvelous Regina Linnanheimo plays the country girl, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, who gets into trouble and is rejected by her village. She leaves for the big city, meets a man and doesn’t do much better there.

Show times: 6:50pm and 9:15pm

30 Lafayette Avenue

For info and tickets:

Photography: Maximilian Haidacher at Melanie Flood Projects

October 30 – November 22, 2008

Melanie Flood Projects is one of the city’s most unusual art venues, Flood’s Fort Greene home. On October 30th, she hosted the opening reception for her salon’s second show, aptly named Show Number Two, Photographs by Maximilian Haidacher. The photographs are on view until November 22nd by appointment.

Haidacher is a young German photographer whose images have been exhibited in solo and group shows in Germany, Austria and The Czech Republic. Haidacher’s photographs, all shot on luscious film, capture stark, eerie landscapes and industrial sites, flecked with hints of human life. The ever present hazy light would make Bernd and Hilla Becher proud.

Melanie Flood Projects
186 Washington Avenue (between Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues) Brooklyn
By appointment only: or 917 443 6581

Note: Haidacher will not be present at the opening, he’s attending classes in Linz.

Film: The Macedonian Film Festival at Village East Cinema

macsm4November 20 to 23, 2008

The 3 day Macedonian Film Festival will screen 10 films from Macedonia at The Village Cinema November 20th to 23rd. Perhaps the most anticipated film is slated for the opening night, I am From Titove Veles, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska. It’s a story about 3 sisters and features Labina Matevska (the director’s sister) who graces the screen in two other movies in the festival, Kontakt and Before the Rain. Teona Strugar Mitevska will be in attendance for a Q & A.macsm2

Other films showing are The Great Water, directed by Ivo Trajkov, the black comedy Bal-Can-Can, directed by Darko Mitrevski and Kontakt, directed by Sergej Stanojkovski and written by Gordan Mihic, who wrote two of Emir Kusturica’s movies. Happy New Year, directed by Stole Popov, a 1948 story about love and politics featuring students, Yugoslavia and the USSR. Upside Down, directed by Igor Ivanov, Mirage directed by Svetozar Ristovski and the 1971 film, Black Seed, directed by Kiril Cenevski about the Aegean Macedonians who were deported to concentration camps after the 1946 Civil War in Greece. Black Seed will be screened in conjunction with the short Dae, also by Stole Popov, about a Gypsy communities celebration of St. George’s Day. Directors Ivo Trajkov and Stole Popov will be available on certain days for Q & As.

macsm7Both of the closing night’s movies are directed by Milcho Manchevski, one being Before the Rain, a story about a young monk, a fleeing Albanian, a photo editor and a war photographer. The other, Dust, is a story that travels through New York City, back to turn of the century Paris and then the Ottoman Empire. Milcho Manchevski will also be at hand for a Q & A.

The Village East Cinema
189 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)

For more information:


Books: Week-long European Graphic Novel Extravaganza

November 17 to 21, 2008

comismCity-wide groover alert: this is the week of European graphic novel celebrations, presentations, signing, exhibits and discussions. There is a smashing line-up of artists from The Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, many of whom seem to lead double and triple lives as writers, journalists, editors, collectors, composers and musicians.

Artists Jaromír Švejdík (aka Jaromir 99) and Jaroslav Rudiš, bothcomfcrecysm from The Czech Republic will talk about their co-creation, Alois Nebel, a graphic novel about Eastern European history via trains and a former railway employee, Alois Nebel. You can also meet Max (Francesc Capdevila Gisbert) creator of Bardin the Superrealist, Igort (Igor Tuveri), David B. (David Beauchard), Nicolas De Crécy and Isabel Kreitz.

Schedule (all events in English):

November 17, 6pm
Discussion and exhibit of Igort’s work, 5 e’ il numero perfetto (Five is the Perfect Number) and Baobab trilogy. At Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 686 Park Avenue. Free, need to RSVP, 212 879 4242, ext. 375.

November 19 to December 12
Exhibit of all artists work. French Embassy Cultural Services, 972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th Street). Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. 212 439 1400, free.

comaloissmNovember 19, 6:30pm
Discussion with all artists and SVA’s David Mazzucchelli (author of the upcoming Asterios Polyp). School of Visual Arts, 209 East 23rd Stree, 3rd-floor amphitheater, 212 592 2000, free.

November 20, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Book signing, presentation and wine with all artists at Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA). 594 Broadway, Suite 401 (at Prince Street). 212 254 3511, free.

November 21, 4:00pm
Discussion with Nicolas de Crécy at Maison française/NYU, 16 Washington Mews. 212 998 8750, free.

For the clearest, most concise and organized listing:

Film: Truffaut’s “L’Enfant Sauvage” (The WIld Child) at Film Forum

Through November 20, 2008

wcsmFor those who didn’t get a chance to see Truffat’s classic film The Wild Child at the Film Forum, you’re in luck, it’s being held over until November 20th. The movie follows Dr. Itard (played by Truffaut) who finds a young, wild, beast of a boy in 18th century South of France and tries to civilize him. The new print is luscious.

209 Houston Street
212 727 8110
Showtimes: 1:00, 5:30, 7:15

For information and tickets:

Talk: Tercerunquinto at Americas Society

November 19, 2008tercsm

For those who get warm and tingly inside when discussing urban spacial concepts, go the Americas Society building on November 19. You’ll be sitting among your peeps, mulling over the boundaries between public and private space, socially defined borders and disruptions of ordered systems.

Tercerunquinto, a trio of artists from Mexico will be speaking. Artists Julio César Castro Carreón, Gabriel Cázares Salas and Rolando Flores Tovar comprise Tercerunquinto (which means a third of a fifth) known for manipulating urban planning tercesm1and architectural elements in order to “examine their limits and to alter their functions.”

Moderating the discussion will be Eungie Joo of the New Museum and Taiyana Pimentel, a curator from Mexico City.

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue (at 68th Street)
Reservations are required, email:, or call 212 277 8359, ext. 3

For more information:

Talk: Living in Château Vaux le Vicomte

November 18, 2008bedroomsm

Extricate yourself from your fifth floor walk-up, and go to Alliance Française to find out what it’s like to live in a French château. Comte and Comtesse Patrice and Cristina de Vogüé will talk about what it’s like to live in their stunning home Château Vaux le Vicomte. Topics slated for the evening’s conversation such as preservation of Vaux le Vicomte and being a modern day château hostess, a “châtelaine,” might pale in comparison to the château’s rather colorful, very French history.

Château Vaux le Vicomte was built in 1658-61 for Nicolas Fouquet, the once Superintendent of Finances of Louis XIV. But when Louis XIV suspected Fouquet of steeling funds, just weeks after Fouquet’s grand housewarming party at Vaux le Vicomte which Louis XIV attended, Louis XIV had Fouquet imprisoned. He was sentenced to life and he died in prison. Louis XIV then proceeded to employ the exact same Château Vaux le Vicomte design team to build Versailles. In 1875 the château was acquired by Alfred Sommier, Comte Patrice de Vogüé’s great grandfather.

The evening will include a tasting of the Comtesse’s desserts.

In English

Alliance Française
22 East 60th Street, Le Skyroom
212 355 6100
FIAF Members $20
Non-Members $25
For more information:

Music: Keiser Chiefs play Webster Hall

08November 15, 2008

The exuberant Brit-pop band from Leeds, The Keiser Chiefs, will play at Webster Hall November 15th. In addition to their über-hits Oh My God and I Predict a Riot, you’ll here songs off their just released album, Off with Their Heads. See if the The Keiser Chiefs channel the 80’s spirit of the building’s former tenant, The Ritz. Their highly catchy music is inspired from the days of The Ritz’s heyday. The Keiser Chiefs give good show, don’t miss it.

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
212 353 1600
For more information:,

Music: DJ Turmix and Nickodemus at Nublu

November 6 and 13, 2008

If you missed DJ Turmix last November at Joe’s Pub, boogaloo on over to Nublu November 6th where he’ll be djing with Nickodemus. Fresh off the boat from Barcelona, DJ Turmix will channel El Pescaílla, El Gato and the still living Peret, as he delves into his massive stash of Rumba Catalana, Afrobeat, latin soul, Boogaloo and old school disco to get your culo gyrating. Nicko-mi-swing-es-tropical-demus, the veteran, elder statesmen of New York City’s dance music scene, will also be spinning. If you can’t get enough of DJ Turmix (or don’t want to pay cover) catch him November 13th at Monkeytown in Williamsburg.

62 Avenue C (between 4th and 5th Streets)
$10 cover

Monkeytown, November 13th
58 North 3rd Street (between Kent and Wythe Streets)

For more information:,,,

Film: Iconic Symbol of Hillbilliness, African Roots Revealed

November 16, 2008

Feast your eyes and ears on Throw Down Your Heart, a new documentary featuring the exquisite banjo player Béla Fleck, part of the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival at The Museum of Natural History. Fleck, an 8 time Grammy award winner, strums and plucks his way through Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia and Mali, discovering the origin of the banjo. Filmmaker Sascha Paladino will be at the screening to answer questions.

Museum of Natural History
Use 77th Street entrance (between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue)
Tickets: 212 769 5200

For more information:

Dance: Inbal Pinto turns Snow Globes Inside Out at the Joyce Theater

November 11 to 16, 2008

The Tel Aviv based Inbal Pinto Dance Comapany will be preforming Shaker, a dance production that involves fake snow and faceless men in body suits. If you are looking for a tangible, narrative story to follow, Shaker may not be for you. But if you’re ready to watch random movements that hint at an eerie, magical snow globe world, buy a ticket for their New York City stint at the Joyce Theater. Possible spoiler and/or deal breaker: according to reviews from west coast productions, Shaker is full of whimsy.

Joyce Theater
175 8th Avenue (at 19th Street)
212 691 9740
$19 to $49
For tickets and information:

Music: El Director Dudamel at Carnegie Hall

November 16, 2008dudamelsm

Gustavo Dudamel, the young maestro from Venezuela soon to become the Music Director of The Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct The Israel Philharmonic for a Carnegie Hall afternoon performance. On the program is Bernstein’s Halil and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The exuberant Dudamel has traveled to Israel numerous times to conduct more than 30 Israel Philharmonic concerts.

When Zubin Mehta conducted The Israel Philharmonic at a Carnegie Hall concert in 2007, Bernard Holland of The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Mehta conducted with furious precision, but no one seemed to pay much attention. I suspect he has long since learned just to keep traffic moving and otherwise stand out of the way … The messiness seems more a choice than a failing.” Let’s see what happens with Dudamel.

Carnegie Hall
154 West 57th Street (at 7th Avenue)
$41 to $129

Dance: Manless Tango

November 9 and 14, 2008tangosm

If you like tango and you like women, then you’ll be thrilled to know about GlamourTango, an all female tango group of musicians and dancers to perform on November 9th at The Zipper Factory. GlamourTango will go on at 4:30 for a 20 minute set, part of a day-long Latin music and dance festival. GlamourTango’s musical portion is led by pianist Polly Ferman, originally from Uruguay and Valeria Solomonoff is the choreographer. But before the gentlemen (or ladies, or transgendered) in the house get too excited about girl on girl Tango dancing, Solomonoff, a native of Argentina states, “I’m not into passion between women.” Elaborating on her man-free concept, she continues, “I’m more interested exploring the ideas of femininity, and how women act in the presence of men, and in the absence of men.” In addition, she notes, “Tango is a very complex dance and I think the moves are clearer when you takeaway the male-female relationship.”

If you miss the November 9th show, you have a second chance to see the dancers at Blue Moon Tango at Dance Manhattan on November 14th. The general Tango dancing milonga starts at 9:30 (there will be plenty of hombres there) and Solomonoff’s female dancers, in this incarnation called Tango por Mujers (without live musicians) will perform at 10:45. The milonga continues until 12:30.

Blue Moon Tango, $13, $7 for members
Dance Manhattan Studios
39 West 19th Street, 5th Floor
For more information:

Film: “Be Like Others” at Walter Reade Theater


November 13, 2008

Join director Tanaz Eshaghian at the screening of Be Like Others, her documentary about young men in Iran who have undergone sex change operations. Although homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, sex-change operations have been legal for “diagnosed transsexuals” for more than 20 years. Eshaghian’s cameras follow several young men as they visit Iran’s best-known gender reassignment surgeon, Dr. Bahram Mir Jalali, giving an intimate glimpse into their lives prior to their transformation and post surgery. There will be a Q & A and reception after the screening.


Walter Reade Theater
Lincoln Center
The north side of West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues)
Upper level

$11 ($7 Film Society member and student with ID)

To buy tickets online:

For more information:,

Music: Finno-art-folk at Zebulon

kaikusmNovember 11, 2008

No one knows where the Finns really came from and after centuries of dark isolation (the language is not Indo-European nor Slavic) they tend to do their own thing in their own style. This makes Finnish people slightly uncategorizable and Kaiku, a Finno-art-folk group, follows suit. Kaiku is fronted by two Finnish singers, Jaana Kantola and Paula Jaakkola, backed up by accordion, percussion, cello and bass. Their eerie, melodic music is a fusion of Finnish folk tunes, sung in exceptionally beautiful harmonies with splashes of pop, tango, waltz and perhaps even polka thrown in for good measure. Listen to Kaiku at Zebulon November 11th, it’s free. If you’re lucky, Jaana and Paula will bring their kanteles. (Note: person in link is neither Jaanna nor Paula.)

258 Wythe Avenue (at North 3rd Street) Williamsburg

For more information:,,

Lecture: Italy, Afghanistan, Alighiero e Boetti at MoMA

November 10, 2008alism

Make sure you don’t pack yourself a crunchy, stinky lunch wrapped in crinkly paper on November 10th. At 12:30pm, art historian Anna Mecugni will give a talk about the Italian artist Alighiero e Boetti (1940 – 1994) part of MoMA’s Brown Bag Lunch series. The official name: Seeing through Boundaries: East and West in the World of Alighiero e Boetti.

aliportsmBoetti traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan numerous times during the 1970’s, calling it his second home. Throughout his lifetime, he worked in various media, including “postal” (he mailed himself letters) and ball point pen. During his Kabul years Boetti worked in collaboration with local weavers, creating magnificent tapestries and weavings, many of which are maps.

“One of the most interesting aspects of this topic,” wrote Mecugni in an email, “is that Boetti’s work seems to embody the kind of genuine dialogue beyond the limits of assimilation and exclusion that postcolonial critiques of orientalism wish would take place between Western and Eastern cultures.”

11 West 53 Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Education Classroom B, in mezzanine
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
$5, $3 for members, students and seniors
To buy tickets online:

Film & Music: “Slingshot Hip Hop” at NYU Kimmel Center

November 10, 2008sshhsm

Slingshot Hip Hop is a feature length documentary by Jackie Salloum about the evolution of Palestinian-Arab hip hop, focusing on the popular rap band, DAM. Other groups in the documentary are PR, Abeer, Arapeyat & Mahmoud Shalabiabout. At 7pm, there will be a screening of a Slingshot Hip Hop, followed by a Q & A with director Jackie Salloum and Abeer Al Zinati (aka Sabreena da Witch). In addition, you can listen to the live performances by Remi Kanazi, The Mahina Movement and “Sabreena da Witch.”

Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South
Tickets: $5 in advance, $7 day of, for people with an NYU ID, limit of 2 tickets per ID.
$12 with government issued ID. NYU or government ID required for entry.

All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to recouping the costs of the film’s production.

For more information:,,,

Talk: Jewish Immigrant Stories from the Middle East

sofsmNovember 9, 2008

At the 92nd Street Y Tribeca, there will be a panel discussion with writers Dalia Sofer, Andre Aciman and Ariel Sabar, all of whom write about Jewish communities from the acism1Middle East. Dalia Sofer was born in Tehran, Iran, André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and Ariel Sabar is of Iraqi heritage. Sara Ivry, senior editor at will be moderating.

1:30pm to 2:30pm
92Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street

For information and to buy tickets:

518 475 7212

Music: Eva Allyón en Vivo at Carnegie Hall

November 8, 2008Afro-Peruvian diva EVA AYLLON

If you’ve never heard “música criolla” before, get your culo over to Carnegie Hall and treat yourself to soulstress Eva Allyón’s powerful pipes where she’ll be accompanied by her 8 member band. Just try and sit still in your seat as the rhythm section, led by Perú Negro’s Campos brothers, explodes, hands flying as they bang on their cajóns.

Música criolla is a mix of Peruvian, African and Spanish music from all over Peru, songs ranging from saucy to melancholic. If you miss the show, Allyón’s new cd, “Quimba, Fa, Malambo, Ñeque” will be released in 2009.

For more information: Carnegie Hall

Film: Bollywood Churos Boys, Mumbai, Lesbians, Ghandi, Bose, Female Boxers & Mira Nair

November 5 to 9, 2008miacc

The Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival, celebrating its 8th year, will be screening an exquisite group of India-centric documentaries, features, shorts and classics in uptown and TriBeCa theaters. In addition to screenings, there will be numerous panel discussions with filmmakers (yes, Mira Nair) and a smattering of industry professionals.

miacc7Heaven on Earth, a story about a woman who travels to Canada in order to marry a character named Rocky, opens the festival on November 5th at Rose Hall, Lincoln Center. Some of the other films being screened are Lungiman Takes a Ride, Lakshmi and Me, Bose: The Forgotten Hero, Bound-Unbound: Journeys with Ram & Kabir, Amal, The Lost Rainbow and A Throw of Dice

For more details:

Reading: Elvira Lindo at McNally Jackson Books

November 8, 2008

The renowned Spanish writer Elvira Lindo will be giving a special noontime reading of her children’s book Manolito Four-Eyes (Manolito Gafotas), now in English. Lindo’s 7 Manolito book series about the eccentric, inquisitive 10-year-old Madrileño, have been classics in Spain since 1994.

In addition to her robust pint-sized fan club, Lindo has a large following of adult admirers who read her column in El País and her books, perhaps best known, Una Palabra Tuya (Your Word). “Elvira Lindo has managed to stay out of that ‘Latina literature ghetto'” says Javier Molea, an employee at McNally Jackson who runs the store’s Spanish literature discussion group. Molea notes that many women who write in Spanish tend to get lumped together and marketed the same way by American publishers, whether they are from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico or Argentina. (Cover art: folksy painting of a primitive peoples. Subject: how to keep ethnic roots while navigating through a new North American life.) “She’s not a ‘Latina’ writer or a ‘woman’ writer,” adds Molea, “she’s just a great, important writer, tackling interesting subjects from different points of view.”

After Lindo reads from Manolito Four-Eyes, ask if any changes were made in order to make the irreverent, socially astute story acceptable reading for American children.

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
In Spanish and English

Reading: Junot Diaz at Columbia Medical School

November 7, 2008

Junot Diaz, who wrote the phenomenal, mind-blowing, not to mention Pulitzer-prize winning, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, will be giving a reading at Columbia University’s Medical School on November 7th at 7:30pm. Some may be suffering from Junot-fatigue, as he’s been making the national and local rounds, but catch him before he disappears to write his next book.

There will also be a conversation with Junot after the reading, followed by music, art and snacks. All proceeds from the reading will go toward prescription medications for CoSMO’s (Columbia Student Medical Outreach) uninsured patients.

If you haven’t read this hilarious, brilliant, tragic book about a Dominican family, buy it and devour it before the 7th: Amazon

William Black Research Building, Alumni Auditorium
650 West 168th Street
$15 general, $10 with student ID

Lecture: The Urbanization of the Swiss Alps

November 6, 2008

If the urbanization of the Swiss Alps has got your knickers in a twist, listen to the lecture by Swiss architect Valentin Bearth of Bearth & Deplazes, at the Center for Architecture. After Bearth’s presentation, he will have a conversation with urban planner and CCNY professor Lance Jay Brown. They’ll touch on the relationships between environment, culture, design and urban planning. Pre-lecture reception starts at 5:30pm, lecture to follow at 6pm.

The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place (at Bleecker Street)
212 683 0023
Reception 5:30pm, lecture and conversation 6pm to 8pm
For more information and to rsvp:

Music: Dolomites Return to New York City

October 30, 2008

Stevhen Iancu, who sometimes goes by the frisky “Stefanko,” squeezed his box all over town and after a 3 year hiatus in Japan, he’s returning to New York City for 4 Dolomite shows. At the Mehanata kick-off show, Stefanko will be doing what he does best with his voice and accordion while Aaron Goldsmith plays the guitarron, Andy Svedka the drums. Ciccolina Sound System to follow.

Check out the show, it’s not true that once you’ve seen one Japanese-Gypsy-Voodoo band you’ve seen them all.

113 Ludlow Street
212 625 0981

For more information:,

Music: Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas

October 30, 2008

Mexico’s most formidable export, Alondra de la Parra, will be conducting her Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on October 30th. The program will open with 2 Mexican composers, Carlos Chávez and Javier Álvarez, and conclude with Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, From the New World.

Carlos Chávez’s Sinfonia India was written in 1935 and its percussive sound, melds Spanish, Mexican and Indian elements. Metro Chabanco, written by Javier Álvarez, the winner of the POA Composers Competition, is named after a metro stop in Mexico City. One of the guaranteed delights of any POA performance is watching the unpretentious, exuberant de la Parra dance as she conducts.

Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place
$40, $10 for students (must visit POA website for discount)

For more information:,

Lecture: Mercè Rodoreda Celebration at NYU

October 24, 2008

Celebrate the life of Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. The day long symposium offers 3 lectures about the Spanish civil war, fiction, surrealism and the challenges translations. The day is topped off by a 6:30 jazz concert by Catalan musicians Alexis Cuadrado and Òscar Peñas. Trade “bones paraules” with the Catalans at the reception to follow.

Mercè Rodoreda (1908 – 1983) was born in Barcelona, at the start of the Spanish Civil War she worked for the Catalan government and was then exiled to France. She wrote her best known novel, La Plaça Diamant, (Time of the Doves) in 1962. It has been translated into 20 languages and considered one of the finest novels about the Spanish Civil War.

Speakers include Kathryn Everly, Jo Labanyi, Enric Bou, Joan Ramon Resina, Geraldine Nichols, Jaume Martí-Olivella, Roser Caminals, Marta Marin and Mary Ann Newman. All the speakers are members of the North American Catalan Society, celebrating its 30th year.

Starts at 10:30am
In English, Spanish and Catalan
For more information:

Drink: Wine Tasting from the Middle East and North Africa

October 22, 2008

At the Alwan for the Arts benefit wine tasting, noted wine imbiber and writer Jamal Rayyis, will have you sipping wines from Lebanon, Morocco and Algeria, where the wine industry is experiencing a renaissance. As trays of hors d’oeuvres pass through the room, you’ll be busy getting giddy while tasting wines from Lebanon’s famed Chateau Musar, Chateau Kefraya and Chateau Ksara. Juice from the lesser known wineries Masaya, Nabise, and Clos St. Thomas, will also be sampled.

Seating is limited, you must RSVP:, 646 732 3261

16 Beaver Street
$100 per person
For more information:


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