Expert Picks

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

From rainbow-colored Pop Art to a long-awaited culinary celebration, these are the best happenings in New York this month.

Nina Katchadourian, “Talking Popcorn,” 2001. Courtesy of the artist, Catharine Clark Gallery, and Fridman Gallery.

We all go a little mad when March rolls around—maybe it has something to do with those Shakespearean Ides and all. Shake it off and spend the next 31 days slowly emerging from your long winter hibernation by shopping at an eco-friendly grocery store, rocking out to Congo’s version of the Talking Heads, and finding your new musical theater obsession.

Music

47Soul and Underground System at BRIC Arts BallroomMarch 7
Based out of London but founded in Jordan, the Palestinian quartet plays a high-energy mix of global pop, with all its hip-hop and disco signifiers, and a modernized electronic take on Arabic celebration music, dabke, which they call shamstep. The band’s music is immensely danceable and intentionally inclusive, offering a consistently positive message of cultural unity sung in a variety of languages. John Seroff, music expert

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Photo courtesy of 47Soul/Facebook

Tammy Faye Starlite at PangeaThursdays from March 7–28
Tammy Lang is a complexly clever and chameleonic performer who has memorably covered rock stars like Nico and Mick Jagger as her self-created alter ego, Tammy Faye Starlite, in intimate evening-length rock shows. Her latest run of performances at downtown alt-cabaret house Pangea celebrates the 40th anniversary of London singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull’s seminal album Broken English. John Seroff, music expert

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Photo courtesy of Pangea Restaurant

KOKOKO! at Baby’s All RightMarch 11
The sound of this musical collective from Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has an edge and funk that conjures up thoughts of early Talking Heads. Meera Dugal, music expert

Rafiq Bhatia: Breaking English at the KitchenMarch 15
The son of Muslim immigrants, this avant-garde jazz guitarist has a dark and beautifully designed sound that lives at the very edge of the frontier of jazz. This evening, he presents music from his new album alongside drummer Ian Chang and bass-synthesizer player Jackson Hill. Meera Dugal, music expert

Art

“Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless” at Red Bull Arts, opens March 6
My heart gets a tiny ache when an artist gets their due years after their passing (unless its deliberate, like Hilma af Klint). That being said, it’s exciting to know that multimedia master Bender’s influential art is finally being recognized. This unsung creative worked in video, sculpture, computer graphics, photography, and more. I’m ready for this new radical discovery to feminize my canon! Molly Surno, art expert 

Photo courtesy of Red Bull Arts/Facebook

“Austin Lee: Feels Good” at Deitch, opens March 9
The Pop Art painter makes Skittles-colored figurative sketches on his iPad and then paints those sketches on canvas. Looking at his work feels a bit like crawling inside a cartoon, which is pretty fun. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

“Nina Katchadourian: Ification” at Fridman Gallery, through March 31
The multidisciplinary artist travels a lot to show and speak about her art. She has used all that time in the air to produce an ongoing set of work from the materials available. Most famously, this includes a series of photographs in which she hilariously poses as figures in Flemish-style Old Master paintings. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

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Nina Katchadourian, Future Airport, 2012. Courtesy of the artist, Catharine Clark Gallery, and Fridman Gallery.

Shopping

Eckhaus Latta
Eckhaus Latta, the alt-fashion label from downtown creatives Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, has opened its first store in New York, and it’s a serene space with a spalike soundtrack and flowers—and it’s manned by one person. The shop is merchandised how the designers want it: There is a jeans bar in the back, in addition to jewelry and accessories made by friend designers. It defies what retail experts may have told them to do, but Eckhaus Latta’s decisions always seem dictated by the planets more so than consultants. —Secret Culinary Insider

Photo courtesy of Eckhaus Latta/Facebook

Love Henry
It seems increasingly harder to find a small heartfelt shop on a little-traveled street—the kind of place that feels like it was opened by friends who want to support the artisans and artists they love. But Love Henry defies the odds; it’s filled with things you want to give everyone on your list—and keep for yourself. Like turmeric-dyed aprons and kitchen linens, cult jams from Sqirl in Los Angeles, handmade rosy lip tints, fascinating chai blends made on the Lower East Side, and what’s up with that adzuki bean foaming face cleanser in the cutest packaging you’ve ever seen? Goop only wishes it had as much soul as this adorable find. —Secret Culinary Insider

Food

2nd Annual Brownsville Now! at Brooklyn BowlMarch 12
Toast to all the hard work the Brownsville Community Culinary Center has been doing over the past two years with an all-star night of food (from chef JJ Johnson), tunes (Talib Kweli), and bowling (what else would you expect from Brooklyn Bowl?). Proceeds go directly to the neighborhood nonprofit. Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

Pastrytown at Industry CityMarch 16
Take it from a brewery on how to throw the perfect sweets-driven beer fest. The team behind Other Half Brewing hosts the inaugural event with more than 30 of its hoppy friends participating in making pastry-inspired stouts, fruity IPAs, and barrel-aged barley wines. And if that’s not enough, professional wrestlers will provide the entertainment. Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert 

Precycle
If you love best-quality organic food and are into the whole zero-waste thing, but don’t have the nerves of steel required to join the Park Slope Food Coop, please meet Precycle. The Greenpoint grocery store is 100 percent packaging- (and therefore plastic-) free. Bring your own jars, bags, and what have you, and fill up on staples including pasta, grains, beans, dried fruit, nuts, snacks, oils, spices, detergents, cleaning supplies, and more. Didn’t BYOB? You can buy there. —Secret Culinary Insider

Photo courtesy of Precycle/Facebook

Performance

White Noise at the Public Theater, begins March 5
A new play written by the astounding and visionary Suzan-Lori Parks is always a cause for celebration. Here, she examines four smart, woke, urbane friends whose complacency is shook by an encounter with the police. The to-die-for cast includes Daveed Diggs, Zoë Winters, Thomas Sadoski, and Sheria Irving. David Cote, theater expert

Photo by Joan Marcus/Courtesy of Public Theater

Burn This at Hudson Theatre, begins March 15
Adam Driver and Keri Russell are tormented, unlikely lovers in Lanford Wilson’s beloved 1987 relationship play. The death of a gay dancer catalyzes life crises in the lives of his friends and family, including a fellow dancer (Russell) and his coke-snorting, aggressive brother (Driver). The script is raw meat for actors. David Cote, theater expert

Poetic License 2019: Resilience at The Wild Project, March 15–17
Wild Project’s eighth annual poetic theater festival will feature inspired works that aim to answer the question: How do we create art in the face of adversity and trauma? Ross Tipograph, performance expert

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Jason Bayani in Locus of Control, 2018. / Photo courtesy of Jeremy Karafin

Hadestown at Walter Kerr Theatre, begins March 22
Broadway’s next show from Rachel Chavkin (director of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) is Hadestown, a folk-opera musical that follows the tangled love stories of ancient Greek legends Orpheus and Eurydice, and King Hades and Persephone. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Family

The Happinest
The wellness movement has hit the babies of Williamsburg. They—and their parents, as well as expecting moms and dads—now have their own meditation and mindfulness center. The Happinest offers classes to teach the stressed-out of New York how to calm (the f*) down. Come with a clenched jaw and a crying kid, leave with some relaxation strategies and maybe a crystal or two (it has a good gift shop). —Secret Culinary Insider

Photo courtesy of The Happinest

Colors at BAM, March 23 and 24
This multisensory performance event shows how human bodies lend movement to the spectrum of colors, transforming them into a living, breathing painting. Dance and digital design come together to “activate the many hues of children’s dreams.” Ross Tipograph, performance expert

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