Expert Picks

Here’s What Our Culture Experts Are Doing This December—And You Should, Too!

From outstanding a cappella to latkes galore, these are the events you cannot miss this month.

Photo by Ally Schenker

Fall back in love with Mickey Mouse, get close to Gwyneth, and become a sushi master this December.

Live Music

Cecil Taylor MemorialDecember 11
The passing of iconic jazz pianist Cecil Taylor last spring hit the jazz community hard. All the present-day legends who were deeply inspired by his style will gather at Roulette to pay tribute to the master in what will be a phenomenal, star-studded night of remembrance, ritual, and amazing music. —Meera Dugal, music expert

Music Memorial nyc december events
Photo courtesy of Arts For Art / Vision/FB

Theater + Immersive Experiences

Zombie Asian Moms, through December 9
You’ve seen Crazy Rich Asians, so now it’s time for the undead version. Playwright-performer Kate Rigg mixes comedy, spoken word, and some very un-p.c. rap numbers to celebrate—and poke fun at—Asian matriarchs. David Cote, theater expert

Peter & the Wolf With Isaac Mizrahi at the Guggenheim, December 1–9
Peter & the Wolf, as depicted through Mizrahi’s guise, is pure, childlike delight. As the designer narrates in a great many voices, dancers parade about in couturelike garb that he created. If this show doesn’t bring you holiday cheer, very little else will. —Secret Culinary Insider

Performance Theater Live nyc december events
Photo courtesy of Peter and the Wolf

Choir Boy, previews begin December 12
Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (who won a best adapted screenplay Oscar for Moonlight) makes his Broadway debut with this play about a gay, African-American high schooler who balances his love of singing with fitting in with his classmates.David Cote, theater expert

Theater Performance Choir nyc december events
Jeremy Pope. Photo by Joan Marcus

Art + Museums

“Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974–1995,” through December 17
Artists have always considered light one of the most important elements in a piece of art. “Before Projections” at the Sculpture Center focuses on work that takes this notion a step further: video art installations. Explore two decades of experimentation at the intersection of cinema and sculpture. Molly Surno, art expert

“Justin Liam O’Brien & Celeste Rapone: Rose Tinted,” through January 5
Now this is a painting show to get excited about. Rapone’s figures resemble a mix of Fernando Botero and Nicole Eisenman and often barely seem to fit within the confines of the canvas, while O’Brien’s are discombobulated pretzel-type shapes. They’re both so weird and emotionally charged that the Monya Rowe Gallery practically hums with their presence. —Paddy Johnson, art expert 

Art Gallery Exhibition nyc december events
Courtesy of Monya Rowe Gallery, New York

“Mickey: The True Original Expedition,” through February 10
Enter the world of Mickey Mouse! This Disney-tainted interactive exhibition presents 16,000 square feet of historic and contemporary art celebrating the 90th year of the mouse’s influence on art and pop culture. Ross Tipograph, performance expert 

Dining + Drinking

Japan Village
If all those food halls are starting the feel the same, head to Brooklyn’s Industry City. The new Japan Village there offers 20,000 square feet of authenticity, from food stalls and a specialty grocer to an izakaya and cocktail bar and liquor store. (For those who don’t know, the Japanese are superserious about their cocktail culture.) Food vendors will offer teppanyaki steak and lobster, rice balls, sushi, soba, ramen, and more. Ingredient-wise, be sure to visit the tofu counter at Sunrise Mart: It’ll be made hourly! And you can buy Wagyu steaks at Japan Premium Beef—or visit its Japanese tapas counter and have it grilled.—Secret Culinary Insider

Industry City Japan Village nyc december events
Photo courtesy of Industry City

Everything Is Gold: A Modern Russian Hanukkah Dinner With Chef Sasha ShorDecember 6
Enjoy a five-course feast of Russian-Jewish preparations by chef Shor, including latkes made with smoked fish and Russian Standard Vodka cocktail pairings. After the meal, food writer Adam Sachs will discuss the importance and cultural significance of preserving family recipes. Molly Surno, art expert

Hands-On Fish ButcheryDecember 20
Take it from legit sushi masters on how to properly break down a fish from head to tail. Head to this low-key Japanese haunt in Williamsburg after hours to get the 411 on seafood butchery, then take home your newly cut fish for your own sashimi feast.Jess Bender, eating and drinking expert 

nyc december events
Photo courtesy of Osakana/Facebook

Wellness

Goop Lab
This is the closest most of us will get to being invited to Gwyneth Paltrow’s home: The new Goop Lab storefront on Bond Street, the first in New York, unfolds room by room. Walk from the closet, with blush silks and jewels, to the kitchen, where hand-spun ceramics are on display in open shelving. Then amble into the all-marble bathroom to see which Goop-approved products your home is sorely lacking. Leave with some impeccably designed items that will keep that Goop glow around for a little while longer. —Secret Culinary Insider

Strategist Pop-Upthrough December 30
If you, like many women, want to pull your hair out trying to figure out which natural beauty products are worth it, New York magazine’s Strategist pop-up in SoHo is your salvation. After extensive research and testing, the experts will tell you which clog to buy or why snail mucin cream might be worth a shot. They especially thrive with beauty product recommendations; on display for testing and purchasing is everything from just-right matte nail polish to their favorite (chlorophyll) face masks and (charcoal) washcloths. —Secret Culinary Insider

Strategist Beauty Pop-up nyc december events
Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for New York Magazine

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