Gōng xǐ fā cái! New York City is ready to celebrate the Year of the Monkey this month with special events all over town. The seventeenth New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival will explode in and around Sara D. Roosevelt Park on February 8 at 11:00 am, with live music and dance, speeches by politicians, drum groups, lion, dragon, and unicorn dancers making their way through local businesses, and more than half a million rounds of firecrackers warding off evil spirits and welcoming in a prosperous new year. Also on February 8, China Institute will host “A Taste of Chinese New Year” (free, 12 noon - 5:00 pm) featuring Mandarin classes, a China Ink workshop, and more; on February 13 (free, 12 noon - 5:00), China Institute invites everyone back for a family celebration including lion dances, kung fu demonstrations, arts & crafts, and dumplings.
The New York Philharmonic gets into the party spirit with Long Yu conducting a multimedia Chinese New Year Concert at David Geffen Hall on February 9 ($35-$110, 7:30) with violinist Maxim Vengerov and harpist Nancy Allen performing Li Huanzhi’s “Spring Festival Overture,” Chen Gang and He Zhanhao’s “The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto,” Kreisler’s “Tambourin Chinois,” and Tan Dun’s “Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women.” The Flushing Lunar New Year Parade takes place February 13 at 9:30. Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou has again curated a Lunar New Year Dance Sampler at Flushing Town Hall on February 14 (free, 12 noon). The seventeenth annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival will wind its way through Chinatown, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and Columbus Park on February 14 starting at 1:00, with cultural booths in the park and a parade with floats, antique cars, live performances, and much more from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and other nations. The annual family festival at the Queens Botanical Garden is set for February 20 ($2-$4, 1:00 - 3:00). The New York Chinese Cultural Center will present a Lunar New Year program with folk dances, paper cutting, calligraphy, and lion dances at the Bronx Museum of the Arts also on February 20 (free, 2:00 - 4:00).
The Museum of Chinese in America celebrates the holiday with its annual Lunar New Year Family Festival on February 20 ($10, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm) with live music and dance, demonstrations and workshops, storytelling, arts and crafts, and more. One of our favorite restaurants, Xi’an Famous Foods, will be hosting a Lunar New Year Festival concert at Terminal 5 on February 20 ($60-$200, 5:30) with Far East Movement, Kimberley Chen, Soft Lipa, and Kina Grannis, benefiting Apex for Youth. There will be a Hao Bang Ah Monkey Puppet Show by Chinese Theatre Works, calligraphy workshops, a zodiac-themed scavenger hunt, and arts & crafts at the Prospect Park Zoo and the Queens Zoo on February 27-28 ($6-$8). And finally, the Lantern Festival is set for February 28 (free, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm) in Sunset Park on Eighth Ave. between Fifty-Third & Fifty-Fifth Sts.
Who: Dave Stewart and Mick Rock
What: Conversation about new book
Where: Barnes & Noble, 150 East 86th St. at Lexington Ave., 212-369-2180
When: Wednesday February 10, free, 7:00
Why: “I love Dave’s constant creative search and his passion for making music; I love the fact that he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible,” Mick Jagger writes in the foreword to Dave Stewart’s memoir, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music (New American Library, February 9, $27.95). “He creates a fertile environment in which it’s almost impossible not to be creative and innovative. This environment includes a compulsory martini at seven thirty in the evening, although by ten thirty, no one has gone home and everyone in the control room is dancing.” British songwriter, musician, and producer Stewart will be at the 86th St. B&N on February 10 to discuss his brand-new book, which details his life and times from a small child through his glory years with Annie Lennox in the Eurythmics to his collaborations with such superstars as Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, George Harrison, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Jagger, and so many others. “I’ve had the chance to experience this wonderful state of being in the moment with some of the greatest artists on the planet,” Stewart, who also delves into his battle with pheochromocytoma, explains in the introduction. Legendary photographer Mick Rock, who has shot such musicians as Syd Barrett, Joan Jett, David Bowie, Alicia Keys, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, Ellie Goulding, the Sex Pistols, Snoop Dogg, the Killers, Michael Buble, and Daft Punk, will host the conversation. Preferred seating is available for this wristband event with the purchase of the book at the store; no word yet on whether martinis will be served.
Who: John Carpenter
What: Concert tour
Where: PlayStation Theater, 1515 Broadway at 44th St., 888-929-7849
When: Tickets go on sale Friday, February 5, 12 noon, for Friday, July 8, 8:00 performance (price TBA)
Why: We’ve all sat on the edge of our seats, suffering wonderfully through cult horror films and low-budget thrillers by John Carpenter, who has written and directed such classics as Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, They Live, and Ghosts of Mars. One of the reasons we are so glued to the screen is because of the creepy, propulsive music, memorable themes that were composed and performed by Carpenter (along with such regular collaborators as Alan Howarth). Carpenter has made only one feature film in the last fifteen years, 2010’s The Ward, instead concentrating on his synth-heavy music. In February 2015, he released his debut album, Lost Themes, and now the master of horror is readying the sequel, Lost Themes II (April 15, Sacred Bones), which boasts such tracks as “Distant Dream,” “White Pulse,” “Windy Death,” and “Bela Lugosi.” In addition, and even more exciting, Carpenter will be setting off on his first-ever live tour, playing songs from the Lost Themes records as well as soundtrack favorites from throughout his career; Carpenter, who hails from Carthage, New York, will be at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square on July 8. Tickets go on sale February 5 at noon. Get that popcorn and soda ready; this should be one splendid, and of course unusual, evening.
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, February 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum turns its attention to Black History Month for its February edition of its free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by Dasan Ahanu and Tai Allen (“The Originals,” a live mix-tape honoring Gil Scott-Heron and Oscar Brown Jr.), the New Black Fest (“HANDS UP 7: Testaments,” monologues followed by a Q&A), L.A. Lytes (Latasha Alcindor, DJ Afro Panther, and NonVisuals), and Charles Perry; art chats with experts using the ASK app; interactive activities with the Museum of Impact, the Very Black Project, and #TeamMelanin; an art workshop inspired by Romare Bearden’s collage portraits; an art workshop about Black Lives Matter and gender justice led by activist Joshua Allen; book-club discussions of Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin’s Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party and Bob Avakian’s From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, led by Andy Zee; and a screening of Stanley Nelson’s 2015 documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, followed by a conversation with Nelson and Elizabeth Sackler. In addition, the galleries are open late so you can check out such exhibitions as “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008,” “Stephen Powers: Coney Island Is Still Dreamland (to a Seagull),’” “KAWS: ALONG THE WAY,” “Forever Coney: Photographs from the Brooklyn Museum Collection,” and “Agitprop!”
Space Ibiza NY
637 West 50th St. between Eleventh Ave. & the West Side Highway
Wednesday, February 3, $26.75 (dance party only) - $42.20 (yoga and dance), 6:00 - 9:00 am
Getting home at 6am isn’t unusual in New York City. Getting up to go clubbing at that hour certainly is, but thanks to Daybreaker’s 6am to 9am raves, New Yorkers can do just that. Twice a month, a couple hundred to a thousand partygoers show up at a rotating series of clubs around New York for an hour of funky club-style yoga followed by a two-hour psychedelically lit, high-energy, super-positive dance party with DJs such as Claire Salvo, brass bands, drumlines, and changing themes. Then they head off to work. Founders Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal wanted an alternative to the often dark, exclusive nightlife vibe and founded Daybreaker in New York a year ago. The wildly popular parties exploded and have spread to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and, this year, London and Paris, but at its heart, Daybreaker grew out of the city that never sleeps. The parties are sober, and each has a different suggested theme, but the vibe is pretty accepting of whatever you wear, since most of the twentysomething attendees are powering off to work at 9. The January 13 rave at Irving Plaza was all about wearing grown-up onesies; the next, on February 3 at West Side’s legendary Space Ibiza, calls for bright colors. Tickets come with lots of treats from partners, including Califia Cold Brew Coffee, green juice, coconut water, energy drinks, and more. Stoking the energy at that hour is key, and MC Elliott LaRue will orchestrate the music, with appearances by the Hudson Horns, the Club Casa Chamber Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Express Drumline popping up in the crowd at various intervals to keep the spirit high. Early bird dance tickets are sold out already, but tickets for the 6-7am yoga segment plus the party, as well as 7-9am party-only tickets, are still available. If you want to jump-start your day with possibly the best jolt of energy in the city, rave on with Daybreaker.
You can get ready for the February 7 Super Bowl by getting down and dirty with some badass chili at the annual NYC ChiliFest, taking place January 31 at Chelsea Market. The fifth annual competitive celebration of hot meat will feature dishes from Bark Hot Dogs, Untitled, La Palapa, Resto, Toro, El Vez, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Talde, Untamed Sandwiches, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery, Hill Country Barbecue, Fletcher’s Barbecue Brooklyn, Hecho en Dumbo, Littleneck, Glady’s, Mŏkbar, El Original, Los Tacos No.1, Speedy Romeo, Bar Truman, the Brooklyn Star, and Chelsea Creamline, battling it out for the Golden Chili Mug. The food, which uses meat from responsibly raised animals provided by Dickson’s Farmstand Meat, can be washed down with four specially selected Samuel Adams beers or Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye cocktails from New York Distilling Company. Judging it all will be such chefs, entrepreneurs, and food writers as Adam Sachs, Martin Tessarzik, Brady Lowe, Bill Telepan, Lior Lev Sercarz, Alex Raij, and Catherine Lederer. In addition, there will be live music by Brooklyn band the Defibulators. The basic ticket price is $50, which comes with unlimited chili; for $60, you get unlimited booze as well, and for $70, you get the chili, the booze, and a copy of the Chelsea Market Cookbook. Ticket proceeds benefit Wellness in the Schools, whose mission is to “inspire healthy eating, environmental awareness, and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools.”