Village Voice Best of 2011 : Page 92

BEST OF NYC 2011 An American Craftsman Galleries Presents cra artdesignfashion Best Park for ConCerts Sure, Crotona Park is a great NYC om the arti s’ udios CRAFT SHOW AMERICAN place to watch a show, but it’s the city’s best park venue because a 40-minute con-cert there can easily become an evening-long affair featuring any combination of grill-ing dinner, catching up with old friends, drinking nutcracker, walking through the park’s 127 rolling acres, and reminisc-ing while your kids or grandkids play tops on the pavement. This year, thanks to SummerStage’s citywide expansion, the park, easily accessible from the 2 and 5 trains, hosted more concerts than ever. (We were lucky enough to catch Slick Rick and Brucie B bring back hip-hop’s golden age then dance to Afro-Caribbean quin-tet Xcstasy on back-to-back days.) But the real action took place on Thursday nights in July and August, when each week, another old-school legend would teach an informal master class on how to rock the wheels of steel, playing records that kept all genera-tions moving their feet. Fulton Avenue, The Bronx, nycgovparks.org/parks/ crotonapark (10460) ing. Thankfully, local country artists have asserted that they do exist, even in the roots-starved New York metro area. And Jalopy is the best place to find them. The vaude-villian stage, set back in a long, garage-like space just a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel exit, draws a consistent lineup of spirited acts from across the coun-try—more bluegrass, folk, and banjo than Shania ever could be. And it’s a breeding ground: Jalopy is also a school, where new-bies to the genre can learn to pick a banjo or play the harmon-ica. The best acts are the locals, like M Shanghai String Band, which usually plays monthly, proving that New York, nay, Brooklyn, is as country as Tennessee. 315 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, 718-395-3214, jalopy.biz (11231) Alan Cordova Best MoVie PrograMMing Anthology Film Archives might be Best Country Venue For a while, we thought the Jalopy Theatre was the only country venue. But the fact that we knew of it at all says a lot: We grew up in a smelly, armpit-shaped land not far from New York City where coun-try music simply did not exist except in the form of whatever crossover pop from Shania Twain Z100 happened to be play-located in a desanctified courthouse and officially consecrated to the most rarefied expressions of cinematic art, but the atmo-sphere is wildly eclectic and the program-ming excitingly nonjudgmental: High, low, old, new, obscure, pop, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The venue alternates selections from its collection of avant-garde classics (the so-called Essential Cinema) with epic Chinese documentaries or obscure exam-ples of the new Mexican cinema—often giv-ing week-long runs to the most recondite of these. A series of work by the austere, ultra-left film essayist Harun Farocki is sand-wiched in between retros devoted to pioneer gore-meister Herschell Gordon Lewis and post-punk transgressors Richard Kern 200 ARTISTS THE JAVITS CENTER NOVEMBER 18•19•20 October 19—25, 2011 TWO SHOWS ONE ADMISSION READERS PICKS Best Gallery Morrison Hotel Gallery Arts & Entertainment MEET THE ARTISTS! photography | mixed media | sculpture | ceramics | furniture fiber | digital art | jewelry | glass | metal | wood | painting Best MuseuM MoMa Best theater aCtress sutton Foster Best ny Band tHe dirty Pearls New Yorks most inspiring art event! If you missed it last year. Don’t miss it this year. FOR COMPLETE DETAILS Best larGe ConCert Venue Madison square Garden Best MC teCHnique Best Park for ConCerts Central Best dJ Park iMMortal villagevoice.com riCH russo AmericanArtMarketingNYC.com ANY ADULT, SENIOR OR STUDENT ADMISSION One discount per person. Can not be combined with any other offers. Best MoVie theater landMark’s sunsHine CineMa Best theater aCtor Mark rylanCe 92

Best Park For Concerts

Sure, Crotona Park is a great place to watch a show, but it’s the city’s best park venue because a 40-minute concert there can easily become an eveninglong affair featuring any combination of grilling dinner, catching up with old friends, drinking nutcracker, walking through the park’s 127 rolling acres, and reminiscing while your kids or grandkids play tops on the pavement. This year, thanks to SummerStage’s citywide expansion, the park, easily accessible from the 2 and 5 trains, hosted more concerts than ever. (We were lucky enough to catch Slick Rick and Brucie B bring back hip-hop’s golden age then dance to Afro-Caribbean quintet Xcstasy on back-to-back days.) But the real action took place on Thursday nights in July and August, when each week, another old-school legend would teach an informal master class on how to rock the wheels of steel, playing records that kept all generations moving their feet. Fulton Avenue, The Bronx, nycgovparks.org/parks/ crotonapark (10460)

Best Country Venue

For a while, we thought the Jalopy Theatre was the only country venue. But the fact that we knew of it at all says a lot: We grew up in a smelly, armpit-shaped land not far from New York City where country music simply did not exist except in the form of whatever crossover pop from Shania Twain Z100 happened to be playing. Thankfully, local country artists have asserted that they do exist, even in the rootsstarved New York metro area. And Jalopy is the best place to find them. The vaudevillian stage, set back in a long, garage-like space just a stone’s throw from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel exit, draws a consistent lineup of spirited acts from across the country— more bluegrass, folk, and banjo than Shania ever could be. And it’s a breeding ground: Jalopy is also a school, where newbies to the genre can learn to pick a banjo or play the harmonica. The best acts are the locals, like M Shanghai String Band, which usually plays monthly, proving that New York, nay, Brooklyn, is as country as Tennessee. 315 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, 718-395-3214, jalopy.biz (11231)

Best Movie Programming

Anthology Film Archives might be located in a desanctified courthouse and officially consecrated to the most rarefied expressions of cinematic art, but the atmosphere is wildly eclectic and the programming excitingly nonjudgmental: High, low, old, new, obscure, pop, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The venue alternates selections from its collection of avant-garde classics (the so-called Essential Cinema) with epic Chinese documentaries or obscure examples of the new Mexican cinema—often giving week-long runs to the most recondite of these. A series of work by the austere, ultra-left film essayist Harun Farocki is sandwiched in between retros devoted to pioneer gore-meister Herschell Gordon Lewis and post-punk transgressors Richard Kern and Nick Zedd. Last year’s mix included a two-part series devoted to the déclassé Hollywood musicals of the ’70s and ’80s and a program of “auto remakes” (movies remade by their original makers), as well as regular shows of slide projections and home movies. The place is open to everything and bursting with ideas. It’s like having a bit of Bushwick in the staid East Village. 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org (10003)

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