THIS WEEKEND: Your Wacky & Delicious NYC Hanukkah Itinerary

Step aside, Christmas and New Year’s. Starting tomorrow and for the next eight days, there’s a big kid in town who’s ready to revel in his blue-colored spotlight. And based upon the crazy, sexy, and delicious Hanukkah events we’ve gathered for this weekly column, the “Festival of Lights” might as well be called the “Festival of Bites,” or the “Festival of Half-Naked Jewish Women” – depending on how you look at it. So go, eat latkes and jelly doughnuts, listen to a comedian kvetch, and oogle at some Hanukkah hotties. That’s the spirit.

FRIDAY THE 7TH:

  • Alright, so Hanukkah doesn’t officially start today, but why not start celebrating early?  Go out with like-minded folk somewhere (Murray Hill) and swap holiday stories over a rosemary cocktail at the ‘hood’s only non-beer hall, non-sportsbar: The Archive. Then head over to nearby Jewish legend 2nd Ave. Deli before midnight for a nightcap pastrami sandwich.

SATURDAY THE 8TH:

  • Usher in the holiday with some good-hearted kvetchy comedian monologues and Jewish identity crisis brought to you by Jackie Hoffman, comedian and Broadway star who most recently started in the macabre musical The Addams Family. In her second-annual off-Broadway show A Chanukah Carol, Hoffman is forced to reexamine her own life when she is visited by the Ghosts of Chanukah Past, Present, and Future, and oh crap this sounds familiar…Show is at New World Stages (340 W. 50th St.), 8pm, $39.50. Running every Fri. and Sat. until Dec. 29th. All the details here.
  • After the show, head to recently-opened UWS location of The Smith for some comfort food, where you can discuss the renewed significance of Tiny Tim over the American brasserie’s baked pretzel and famously decadent and sensational mac ‘n’ cheese. All the inside-info on The Smith here.

SUNDAY THE 9TH:

  • Start your second day of Hanukkah off right with a mouthful of jelly doughnuts and a two-and-a-half hour Hanukkah walk through the Lower  East Side. Led by the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, the tour will visit the LES’ historic synagogues and include free jelly doughnuts, coffee, and Jewish history you can proudly share with family at the dinner table later.
  • As mentioned in our weekly HUMP DAY article,Hanukkah hotness hits Highline Ballroom,when Jewish international burlesque duo The Schlep Sisters hold a pageant-style show where eight Hanukkah hopefuls vie for a spot in the very-exclusive Menorah Horah Royalty. Retro swimsuits and dreidel and latke songs included. Who will compete? Who will win the crown? I’m schvitzing just thinking about it. Bring your JDateShow is at Highline Ballroom, 6pm, $25. All the details here. All the inside-info on Highline Ballroom here.
  • Conclude your celebratory Hanukkah weekend at the city’s only modern Jewish-American bistro: Kutsher’s Tribeca.  Their popular “Eight Nights of Latkes” menu offers a different latke every night, such as their pastrami smoked duck with sour cherry, chili-cured belly lox and cream cheese, and peking duck. Oy vey. See the Hanukkah menu here. All the inside-info on Kutsher’s here.

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NYC Openings: Hermès Men, Eastern Alley, The Archive

Hermès Men (Upper East Side) – The No Girls Allowed branch of Hermès. Impress that hot date with a new $129,500 crocodile-skin jacket. ● Eastern Alley (Lower East Side) – Pan-Asian flair inside a rustic storefront on Clinton. ● The Archive (Murray Hill) – Grown-ups’ outpost takes pride in its indie rock playlist.

Gentlemen: Your Fall Fashion Wishlist

Men’s Style.com has published its Buyers Club Guide for 2009 fashion, with the country’s 14 most influential store owners (from Barneys and Bloomingdale’s to San Francisco’s The Archive, Los Angeles’ Confederacy, and New York’s Odin) offering their lists of gents’ must-have items for fall. The 87-slide-long grouping is more than enough to whet your appetite for full-on sartorial consumption; fortunately, nearly all of the stores featured have online shops. As for the overarching trend, buyers are without a doubt leaning towards updated basics for fall. From classic trenches and a studded motorcycle jacket, to flannels, five-pocket jeans and a great all-weather overcoat from Patrik Ervell, the clothes as a whole suggest a distinct ruggedness.

Although there are elements of luxe, like Balenciaga’s Varsity jacket that clocks in at just shy of $2,000. Also included in the mix: a fedora from Fashioneer favorite Molly Yestadt, a NYC-based milliner who provided hats for Marc by Marc’s FW09 show and who recently teamed up with LES boutique BBlessing. For the latter, Yestadt crafted headgear that channels “Alain Delon’s character Jef Costello in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï” and acts as the perfect icing on fall’s classically-inclined wardrobe cake.