Legendary Billy’s Antiques Closing This Weekend, Paris Fashion Week Begins

I’m so confused about the weather, and nowadays I’m at least six degrees of separation from Al Gore and have no chance of getting the truth, inconvenient or not. The sun is high in the sky but the temperature remains low, and I want the winter that really never was to turn into a spring of boundless possibilities. I don’t know what to wear and everyone I know is in Paris for Fashion Week, trying to find out for themselves. I guess it’s the worst time to go to Le Bain or Le Baron with all those Frenchies having gone home for the spectacle – or maybe not. Le Baron has The Virgins tonight and that might be fun.

These Fashion Weeks in those fashionable cities abroad take all the broads (er, models) for work and/or play and all the playboy types and such that follow them. It really strains the bottom line of joints that depend on the jet-set crowd for bottle bucks. It does mark the end of the winter doldrums and the spring will bring all the snowbirds back from their warm retreats. I am restless for the new season. Yesterday I spied crocus and other tough little buds rearing their little heads…ready, like me, for action.
 
Every spring needs a cleaning, but I’m sad to report that dear friend Billy LeRoy is cleaning up and out of his tent that has been the home of Billy’s Antiques on Houston Street for 30 years. There will be a couple of days of events to mark the end of an era of a place that often looked like a comedy of errors, but more than often  was a place that dreams were made of. Over a couple or few decades, I have purchased tables and chairs, kitchen sinks, and mirrors for clubs I have been designing. It was at Billy’s that I bought that life-size Muhammad Ali bronze statue that stands in front of Snap Sports Bar. I would poke around Billy’s on most warm afternoons, chatting with friends that popped by for a chat. Regulars like Clayton Patterson, Paul SevignyArthur Weinstein, and Anthony Haden-Guest would converse and bask in the unreal realness of it all. The place always seemed "semi-legal" – and that described many of the regulars anyway. If you needed a trunk or a stool, Billy would have a nice one. If you needed to know what was happening with a neighborhood storefront or missing friend, Billy had the scoop. The neighborhood has changed and Billy’s old clientele looking for a moderately-used end table or obscure oil painting for their tenement apartment have been replaced with yuppie scum buying their furniture brand new at Raymour & Flanigan. Many of the old characters have faded into the past and, with the closing of Billy’s, Nolita loses much of its character. This Friday, March 9th at 7pm until Saturday, March 10th at 7pm, the Billy’s crew will say farewell.
 
Lorraine Leckie, always the class of the place, will perform. There will be "eulogies, art, poetry, and film" and many other performances. It might go late. On Saturday afternoon, they’ll take down the tent. "In a gothic burial ceremony, the flesh and bones of Billy’s will be placed in a coffin that will remain on display until demolition day. In the week leading up to the event, our landlord, Tony Goldman, will invite renowned artist and visual poet RETNA to paint the legendary Bowery and Houston mural. In the absence of the tent, a tradition of thoughtful creativity will endure."

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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THIS WEEKEND: Your NYC Holiday Event Itinerary

It’s the beginning of December, which means now marks the time we transform into mushy, gushy, "oh my gosh! twinkling lights! I like Christmas cookies!" New Yorkers. And as we metamorphosize, it’s best we stick with like-minded events and like-minded people. So we’ve gathered this weekend’s top holiday events in NYC. Eat, drink, watch santa slasher movies, watch competitive jump-ropers – but please, make sure you’re your cynical, picky, self-deprecating self next year. No one likes an overtly emotional and sensitive New Yorker. 

FRIDAY THE 30TH:

  •  With the 55’ Bryant Park Christmas tree just lit this week, now is the perfect time to grab a decadent hot chocolate from one of the holiday shops, and marvel at the wonder that is spruce trees and colored lights. When you’re done, have some spicy salmon and eel rolls at what is considered one of the best sushi spots in Manhattan: Sushi Yasuda.
  • Santa slasher movies – they do exist. And Nitehawk Cinema honors the best of ‘em at its midnight screening of Silent Night, Deadly Night, the 1984 film where a toy-store Santa Clause goes on a rampage and axes people to death. Temper the crushing of your jolly Santa visions with a spiked hot bourbon cider and pretzel-crusted Nitehawk chocolate bar. 12:15am, $11. Also playing Saturday the 1st. All the details here.

SATURDAY THE 1ST:

  • Can’t decide which version of A Christmas Carol is your favorite? See them all at The Paley Center’s Christmas Carols: A Scrooge Mash-Up, where the classic story will be told using clips from a variety of versions starring Patrick Stewart, Mr. Magoo, and the animated casts of The Flinstones and Bugs Bunny. After, sit down to a cheese plate and rich mac ‘n’ cheese at our favorite Midtown West nook: cheese and wine cafe Casellula2pm show, $5-$10. Running till Dec. 31st. All the details here.

SUNDAY THE 2ND:

  • Jump-roping game Double Dutch gets festive and competitive at its 21st Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic performance at the legendary Apollo Theater, where international students compete in one of the world’s largest jump roping contests. Expect lots of jumping, sweat, and tears, all to the tune of holiday music. 1pm-4pm, $22. All the details here.
  • Get toasty as Brooklyn’s famous pizza spot Roberta’s gets crafty with its Third Annual Beer Masters Winter Classic at Greenpoint bar Warsaw, which is just a fancy title for “massive beer competition.” Twelve teams of pros from Eataly, Bushwick bar Tutu’s, and more face-off in beer games like beer pong and ten-legged races, all inspired by the ’06 boozy comedy film Beerfest. The best part: three-dollar Roberta’s slices and beers from Warsaw are making an appearance allll day. 1pm-10pm, FREE. All the details here.