Arts & Leisure - Editors' Picks
Photo by Lynda Shenkman Curtis
Classes for Future Spielbergs
Jacob Burns Film Center’s Media Arts Lab
Pleasantville (914) 773-7663
Just down the street from the Jacob Burns Film Center, the professionally outfitted Media Arts Lab is buzzing with people who want to know more about filmmaking. Three- and four-year-olds learn the basics of telling visual stories. Eight- to 10-year-olds practice using the real tools of animation. Teenagers make music videos using the same programs as the pros, with professional producers as their instructors. College-aged and adult auteurs are taught how to make documentaries with an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker. Everyone, regardless of age, discovers how to tell an effective story in this increasingly digital age. Soon enough, someone who comes out of the Lab will be invited down the street—this time as a big-deal director doing a Q&A about an award-winning film.
Reads and Eats
Ossining Public Library
We all know that hard times have driven more of us into libraries, but the yummy treats at the Ossining Public Library’s Footnote Café keep us there. Courtesy of the folks behind the Wobble Café, the counter is stocked with muffins, cookies, rolls, and bagels in the morning and a variety of sandwiches and snacks in the afternoon. (Summer reading is that much more pleasurable with curried chicken salad.) With better bites—and a much, much larger reading selection—you’ve reason enough to give up on your favorite coffeehouse chain.
Grass-Roots Art Gallery
The Pearson Art Gallery
White Plains (914) 287-8000
People who work in publishing are always a talented and creative bunch (ahem), so it’s no wonder that educational publisher Pearson Longman Global ELT’s employees would tap into that artsy reserve to found their own on-site art gallery. Since 2006, the coworkers have organized themselves and produced four shows a year, featuring photography, painting, sculpture, mosaics, mixed media, printmaking, and even music and dance. The great part is that you don’t have to be a Pearson employee to benefit from the gallery. The public is invited to the show openings (find out when on their website), or you can view (and, usually, buy) the artwork by appointment on Thursdays between 4 and 5 pm.
New Concert Series
The Peak’s Next Music Charity Concert Series
Enjoy “Next,” Chris Bro’s show on The Peak? After all, “Next” gives listeners the chance to hear new music by not-all-over-the-radio artists like Bishop Allen, M. Ward, and The Decemberists. As it turns out, being a “Next” fan would be good for the world, too. The show’s Charity Concert Series, which takes place over-the-border at Rack ‘n’ Roll in Stamford, Connecticut, donates its proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters. For a five-dollar admission, hear new music from emerging artists like Kaiser Cartel, Matt O’Ree with The Bonesmen, and Nikki Shannon. Not only will you get cool heard-of-them-first cred, but you’ll get to help out a good cause.
Holiday Event for Children
Winter WonderLights at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
Tarrytown (914) 631-8200
Inspired by Rip Van Winkle’s oversize nap, Sunnyside trans- forms into a surreal dreamscape unlike any wintry spread we’ve ever seen before. It takes two miles of electroluminescent wire, 1,500 feet of rope light, 571 lighting fixtures, and 14.7 miles of electrical cable—68,965 individual points of light in total—to create the glowing snowflakes, mushrooms, wild patterns, exotic animals, and even an illuminated game of 10-pin. Forget visions of sugar-plums; your kids will want to see these dreamy scenes dancing through their heads instead.
Greenburgh Public Library
Elmsford (914) 721-8200
From the outside, it looks like a glassed-in ski jump, and, from the inside, it almost feels like being inside a giant fish tank. Yet, inside or out—or while driving along 119 or 287—Greenburgh’s new $20 million library is simply striking. The most remarkable feature of the 46,000-square-foot building, which opened in December, is its new reading room, which stretches 140 feet alongside a curved, 28-foot-high glass wall. (That’s a lot of natural light for reading.) In addition to 160,000 volumes, the new space—which is double the size of the old library—also houses a children’s wing, and a “Teenburgh” area for young adults (with cool iPod-compatible chairs), high-tech meeting spaces, and banks of computers.
Photo by SUE AMENDOLA
The Restless Ones
It’s no wonder word is getting out about this Sound Shore group. They’re everything your favorite local bar band should be. They play the classics, but with their own twist so they never sound like stale karaoke. They pepper set lists with original songs, maddening, get-stuck-in-your-head catchy ones with a poppy “That Thing You Do” vibe. And they love their fans. You shouldn’t be surprised if lead singer Peter Herger jumps over the speakers, microphone in hand, and heads into the audience to sing amidst the enthusiastic crowd. Catch them now, while it’s still possible for the band to play small local venues and make time afterwards to chat with their adoring public.