The A-List


By Scott Stiffler

Photo courtesy of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Jenny 8. Lee (author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles”) does the meet and greet thing.


We’ve run out of superlatives to describe the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s “Tenement Talks” series — so let’s just say it’s a sure thing as these things go (“these things” being panel discussions, author meet-and-greets and uncategorizable happenings that shine a light on little-known facets of NYC history). This fall, the series delivers another embarrassment of riches. Here are a few that caught our eye.

Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m., “New Food, Old Foodways” is a panel discussion tracing new food trends back to the old ways of doing things. Sept. 30, “The Man Who Never Returned” looks at Peter Quinn’s book of the same name — which takes a little artistic license in its investigation of the enduring mystery surrounding the 1930 disappearance of New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater. Oct. 6, “Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City’s History” has author Eric Homberger taking you (and readers of his book) neighborhood by neighborhood through four hundred years of Gotham’s past. The new edition of his book includes spreads of Giuliani’s New York and the rebuilding of Ground Zero. On Oct. 14, “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement” is a talk led by “97 Orchard Street” author Jane Ziegelman and the James Beard Foundation’s Mitchell Davis. This culinary-themed tour through the Tenement Museum is a ticketed event ($25). Space is limited. For reservations, call 866-606-7232. 

“Monk Eastman: The Gangster Who Became War Hero” happens on Oct. 19. Author Neil Hanson delves into the life and times of Eastman — who did ten years in Sing Sing for crimes committed while leading a LES gang. Later, he’d serve with distinction in World War II. On Oct. 26, our own film reviewer Ed Koch (who some may know as a former mayor of NYC) discusses his legacy with Jonathan Soffer (associate professor of history at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute). On Nov. 18, “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present” is a talk led by Gail Collins (NYT editorial page editor from 2001 to 2007).

FREE. All talks take place at 6:30 p.m., at the Tenement Museum Shop (108 Orchard St. at Delancey). Call 212-982-8402 or visit www.tenement.org.



Are you hopelessly devoted to Karaoke, but can’t go out in public unless your horoscope says it’s OK? Tribeca resident Sky Filippi has your back on both counts. Along with barhopping cohort Daron Harris, he’s compiled what we’re pretty sure is the world’s most comprehensive guide to Karaoke, astrology and alcohol. “Karaoke Jungle: The Singer’s Almanac (The Ultimate Guide to Music, Myth & Mirth)” doesn’t take itself very seriously. It does, however, do a pretty good job of explaining the connection between beats, booze, spirituality and destiny. As for the best local spots to get plowed, sing and make a fool out of yourself, the authors recommend Baby Grand (at Lafayette & Grand), Karaoke Cave (13th St., btw. University & Fifth Ave.), U2 (St. Marks Place, near Third Ave.), Japas 27 (Third Ave., btw. 26th and 27th Sts.), Radio Star (35th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.), Karaoke 17 (17th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.) and Winnie’s (104 Bayard St.). If you’re still alive after that, visit www.karaokejungle.com.


Part of HOWL! ARTS PROJECT 2010, “The Sunken Living Room” is the New York premiere of David Caudle’s comedic tale. It’s 1978, and in a suburb of Miami. Studious and swishy teenager Wade is trying to finish a book report for school — if his dysfunctional family can leave him alone for a few minutes. Sept. 14-26, at Theater 80 (80 St. Marks Place, btw. 1st and 2nd Aves.). For tickets ($20), call 800-838-3066. Visit www.howlfestival.org and www.davidcaudle.org.