This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Marcus Samuelsson, Madhur Jaffrey, and Maangchi will join Leonard Lopate for discussions, demonstrations, and tastings at the Greene Space

Marcus Samuelsson, Madhur Jaffrey, and Maangchi will join Leonard Lopate for discussions, demonstrations, and tastings at the Greene Space

Who: Leonard Lopate, Marcus Samuelsson, Maangchi, and Madhur Jaffrey
What: “Lopate and Locavores: Eating Around the World”
Where: The Greene Space at WNYC, the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, 44 Charlton St. at Varick St., 646-829-4000
When: Wednesday, October 7, 14, 21, $25 (includes one drink), 7:00
Why: Three-time James Beard Award winner Leonard Lopate will host his annual food series this month at the Greene Space at WNYC, featuring three celebrity chefs joining him for a discussion, demonstration, and tasting. On October 7, the WNYC legend will welcome Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Streetbird Rotisserie, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home) to talk about Ethiopian and Swedish cuisine, followed by the Korean Julia Child, Maangchi, author of Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, on October 14, and Madhur Jaffrey, the Godmother of Indian Cooking and author of Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking, on October 21.


Fantasy Grandma Jane B will be joined by FG Myrtle J  and lots of other pickle lovers at annual celebration on the Lower East Side

Fantasy Grandma Jane B will be joined by FG Myrtle J and lots of other pickle lovers at annual celebration on the Lower East Side

Orchard St. between Houston & Delancey Sts.
Sunday, October 4, free, 12 noon - 5:00 pm

Ambrose Bierce once said that life is “a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.” That quote takes on a whole new meaning at the annual Lower East Side Pickle Day, being held on Sunday, October 4, on Orchard St. The afternoon festivities will include a Pickle Relay Race, the always popular Pickle Toss, the Pickle Pooch Parade and Contest, a Home Pickling Contest, Pin the Pickle (we’re not sure what on), a Brine Dunk Tank, bocce, face painting, a Pickle Photo Booth, and lots of pickle merch. The303 at Louie & Chan is presenting live performances by Kristin Lush at 12 noon, PJ at 1:00, SR Serge at 2:00, Nikodemus at 3:00, and Gil K at 4:00. Among the participating eateries are Melt Bakery, Georgia’s BBQ, Russ and Daughters, Sweet Buttons, Kapowski’s, Shi Eurasia, the Meatball Shop, Mission Cantina, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, Langos Truck, Khao Man Gai NY, and Pop Karma, as well as eighteen pickle vendors, from Brooklyn Brine, McClure’s, Doctor Pickle, and Pickle Me Pete to Rick’s Picks, Adamah, Divine Brine, and, of course, Guss’. Pickles have a long affiliation with the Lower East Side, and the annual Pickle Day only adds to that pickled history.


taste of battery park

Brookfield Place
200 Vesey St. across West St.
Sunday, October 4, $25 in advance, $35 day of event, 12 noon - 3:00 pm

Big changes have been taking place down at Brookfield Place and Battery Park, so they have joined up to celebrate their growing culinary community with Taste of Battery Park, a benefit fundraiser for PS89, also known as Liberty School. From 12 noon to 3:00, people can wander around the waterfront marina at Brookfield Place and sample signature dishes from seventeen local eateries: Le District, Parm, Dos Toros Taqueria, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Tartinery, Northern Tiger, El Vez, Shake Shack, North End Grill, Financier Patisserie, Harry’s Italian, Atrio, P.J. Clarke’s, François Payard Bakery, Blue Smoke, Le Pain Quotidien, and Sprinkles. A $25 advance ticket gets you five tastings. (The tickets go up to $35 if purchased on Sunday.) There will also be a raffle, a Kids Corner with family friendly activities, and live music by PS89 students at 1:00 and TriBattery Pops at 2:00.



Japan Society is presenting thirtieth-anniversary screening of rarely shown Okinawan gem PARADISE VIEW

Japan Society
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
Friday, October 2, $12, 7:00

Japan Society has picked a real gem for its October Monthly Classics presentation, writer-director Gō Takamine’s rarely shown wry black comedy, Paradise View. The thirtieth anniversary screening is also part of Japan Society’s three-month multidisciplinary program “Okinawan Vibes,” which takes a look at the southern island that was occupied by the American military from 1945 to 1972 and, in many ways, is not exactly Japan’s favorite relation; Okinawans, who have their own heritage of language, culture, and religion, have faced longtime discrimination as Japan’s largest minority group. The film opens with a gorgeous shot (the cinematographer is Takao Toshioka) of ant lover Reishu (yakuza actor Kaoru Kobayashi, not the executed child murderer) on a vast beach, collecting sea salt to make him feel better about life, which is rather bleak for everyone on Okinawa, especially now that the occupation is over. The married Reishu has apparently knocked up local simpleton Chiru (Japanese pop star Jun Togawa); island girl Nabee is breaking tradition by marrying a Japanese teacher, Ito; Bindalay (Yoko Taniyama) is quitting her music group, the Tropical Sisters, to go solo, while being stalked by a former boyfriend who dresses as a samurai; a blind man returns home after losing his second family in the Philippines; blue chickens and rainbow pigs roam the land; Reishu’s dog has developed a liking for goat balls, which make the mutt horny; and poisonous snakes are everywhere, from coffins to amphibious trucks. The wacky cast also includes Shinzoku Ogimi, Tomi Taira, and composer and musician Haruomi Hosono as the dude with the great porn stache. “The Japanese are strange creatures,” one ne’er-do-well says. An elderly woman soon laments, “We’ll all be Japanese soon,” after which the man adds, “I wonder if we’ll just end up as a backwater province.” There’s plenty of backwater strangeness in Okinawa, as short vignettes sweetly portray a collection of oddballs doing very odd things while also remaining intensely concerned about holding on to their souls. “I had a dream that a dog ate Reishu’s spirit, then threw it up. He’s lost his spirit! He’s been spirited away!” a deadpan Chiru says, capturing the essence of Okinawan native Takamine’s (Okinawan Dream Show, Untamagiru) brilliant love letter to his homeland. The Japan Society screening will be followed by a reception with Okinawan beer and snacks. The Monthly Classics film series continues on November 6 with Yoji Yamada’s The Yellow Handkerchief, in tribute to star Ken Takakura, who passed away last November at the age of eighty-three.


dine around downtown

28 Liberty Plaza
Between Liberty & Pine and Nassau & William Sts.
Wednesday, September 30, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Admission: free, dishes $3-$7

Sponsored by the Downtown Alliance and hosted by chef Amanda Freitag, the fourteenth annual Dine Around Downtown will feature signature dishes from more than fifty Lower Manhattan restaurants, from pizza places and burger joints to steak and seafood houses. Among the participating eateries are ATRIO Wine Bar, Barbalu, Bavaria Bier Haus, the Capital Grille, City Hall, Cowgirl Sea-Horse, Delmonico’s, the Dubliner, Financier Patisserie, Haru, Le District, Les Halles, Lubolang, the Malt House, Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina, OBAO Water Street, the Paris Café, Route 66 Smokehouse, Stone Street Tavern, SUteiShi, Trinity Place, and Ulysses’ Folk House. There will also be live entertainment. Each plate goes for $3 to $7, with proceeds benefiting the Downtown Alliance, which “is striving to make Lower Manhattan a wonderful place to live, work, and play by creating a vibrant multi-use neighborhood.”


Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark’s last photographs are on view on Governors Island (photo courtesy ICP)

Governors Island
September 26-27, free (ferry $2 round trip), 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Fall might be upon us, but it will remain summer for one last blowout weekend on Governors Island. On September 26-27, the remainder of the summer art installations and special projects will come to an end, so this is your last chance to see some very impressive and wide-ranging shows. Most prominent is Mary Ellen Mark’s “Picture This: New Orleans,” a powerful exhibit that turned out to be the famous photojournalist’s last assignment, a CNNMoney commission that sent the Philadelphia-born Mark to document life in the Big Easy a decade after Katrina. Presented by ICP, “Picture This: New Orleans” features large-scale photos of current residents with fascinating stories, along with a video that takes you behind the scenes of the shoots. Mark passed away in May at the age of seventy-five.

Take your time while investigating Sean Boggs’s Paper Polygons (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Take your time while investigating Sean Boggs’s mysterious “Paper Polygons” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The eighth annual Governors Island Art Fair is up and running, spread across more than a dozen rooms in decommissioned army barracks and former military residences along Colonel’s Row and outside on the grounds. Sponsored by 4heads, a nonprofit founded in 2008 by Nicole Laemmle, Jack Robinson, and Antony Zito to offer free space to artists to explore their vision, the fair features painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video, installation, and sound works. Each artist or independent gallery/collective is assigned his or her own room where they can create to their heart’s content. We highly recommend the second floor of 404A, which features Sean Boggs’s “Paper Polygons,” a circle consisting of hand-cut blue and purple paper triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons that shift ever-so-slightly as the installation rotates almost imperceptibly; it’s like watching a clock, but it’s oh-so-satisfying when you see one of the small objects move, like catching a shooting star. Down the hall is Jillian Rose’s “two arrowheads a string of beads and a handful of nails,” a room where a ratty chair and table are precariously about to topple over, white paint is peeling and cracking everywhere, and splinters of wood appear to be growing over the wall, fireplace, and furniture; referencing the early history of Governors Island, the piece gives you the eerie feeling that something not so positive happened there, but you don’t quite know what it could be.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

One of the highlights of the Governors Island Art Fair is Jillian Rose’s site-specific “two arrowheads a string of beads and a handful of nails” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is sponsoring several exhibitions in Building 110, including “(Counter)Public: Art, Intervention & Performance in Lower Manhattan from 1978-1993,” which features photographs and video documenting works by John Kelly, Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer, Keith Haring, Agnes Denes, and Eiko & Koma, among others. To help celebrate closing weekend, LMCC is hosting open studios with artists in residence, so you’ll be able to meet and talk with Okwui Okpokwasili on Saturday at 1:00, Kyle deCamp at 3:00, and twenty other artists all weekend. A.I.R. Gallery, an advocate for women in the visual arts, has filled a house with work by New York artists while partnering with UnderwaterNewYork. Safe Streets Art Foundation is presenting “Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons,” comprising more than two hundred pieces by inmates from around the country and a look at prison reform. In addition, Brooklyn ARTery is showing “The Art of Mourning: Contemporary Works by Painter John Brendan Guinan” alongside DIY classes and a gift shop of one-of-a-kind items, the New-York Historical Society has the pop-up exhibit “Revolution: Independence and NYC,” local artifacts are on display in “Hidden Beneath Our Feet — Working Archaeology on Governors Island,” the Dysfunctional Collective is presenting “The Paper House,” members of the Sculptors Guild will be on hand for the site-specific “Under Construction Part II,” and the Summer Museum focuses on holographic art. And be sure to come hungry, as Governors Island has a bunch of cool food trucks as well as longtime mainstay, the Caribbean-flavored Veronica’s Kitchen.


Dumpling eating contest is centerpiece of festival (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Sara D. Roosevelt Park
East Houston St. between Forsythe & Chrystie Sts.
Saturday, September 26, 12 noon – 5:00 pm
Tasting tickets: $20 for four plates

Nearly every culture makes some kind of dumpling, involving meat and/or vegetables tucked inside a wrapper made of flour or rice. So the NYC Dumpling Festival, held on the outskirts of Chinatown in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, is not merely a celebration of the Chinese delicacy but of dough-encased delights from all over the world. In past years, you could find such “dumplings” as pierogi, ravioli, empanada, mandoo, bao, shumai, and momo. The twelfth annual festivities, emceed by Danielle Chang and Anita Marks and featuring a special appearance by competitive eating favorite Takeru Kobayashi, includes fare from Dumpling Go, Bibigo, Tang’s Natural, Mika, TBaar, and festival sponsor Chef One, which serves frozen bagged dumplings. Of course, the highlight is the dumpling eating contest; last year’s men’s champion, James “the Bear” McDonald, downed eighty-six dumplings in two minutes, while women’s champ Molly Schuyler beat the Bear with a record ninety. In addition, there will be live performances by beatboxer Sung Lee, Korean drummers KTMDI (Janggu), the Lion Dance Crew from Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute, Bellyqueen, and Yut and the Hot Four. All proceeds from the festival benefit the Food Bank for New York City, so you won’t have to feel too guilty about stuffing your face, if you’re patient enough to navigate the long lines.