Cold winter nights are just right for cozying up with some culture, and a slew of January festivals make for some great things to do in NYC this weekend. Theater hounds should shake a leg for the Public’s Under the Radar fest, going on now. Troupes from Spain to Brazil to Iran present the future of drama. You can also catch a homegrown talent like Reggie Watts in Audio Abramović. He’ll let you sit across from him on stage—but only for five minutes. More avant-garde theater can be found at the American Realness festival at the Abrons Arts Center, and COIL 2015, presented across three boroughs by P.S. 122. Tickets may be getting scarce for this weekend’s NYC PodFest, but The Daily Show and Gilbert Gottfried hosting Susie Essman are both still in play. Saxophonist David Murray and sacred steel performers the Campbell Brothers are among the range of musicians playing dozens of shows Saturday, January 10 and Sunday, January 11 for the Winter Jazzfest, in and around the Village. Nearby at the Skirball Center you’ll find Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2015, which puts together nine companies from six nations for innovative takes on big top fun. Movies are great things to do in NYC when the temperatures plummet, and you can catch a brilliant outlay of fresh film at the Museum of the Moving Image. First Look showcases both new movies and new approaches, and you can spend the next week wearing out a festival pass for just $40.
Cassoulet Olé Olé
Friday, January 9 is National Cassoulet Day because of course it is. The hearty casserole from the South of France will warm up the most polar vortexy of winter nights. More than 30 local restaurants are celebrating over the next week, headed up by Alain Ducasse’s Benoit, which has a prix fixe centering on a traditional and seriously tasty version of the dish.
Seals have returned to New York Harbor and you can show them off to your kids on the Water Taxi’s NYC Audubon Winter EcoCruise. The tours start Sunday, January 11, and repeat weekly through early March. Beyond seals, you’ll be able to check out plenty of wintering birds, from geese to loons to sandpipers. If you can’t beat winter, join it.
There’s plenty of glam in New York even in this season, as witnessed by the arrival of BonBonniere, which spins off from Orchard Street (in London) to Ludlow Street (on the Lower East Side). The lower level of Hotel Chantelle hosts a high-energy club scene, with a decadent Fabergé egg-inspired DJ booth and lighting. For a lower-key night out, the East Village’s Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen gastropub opens a satellite in Chelsea this weekend. Knock back a pint of the house’s own craft beer, along with classic bites like pretzels, poutine, and beer-battered fish tacos.