Ghosts and Monsters

Plus Lucky Jewel, Yukihiro Takahashi, and Zadie Smith.

JANUARY 28, 2023

Monster Jam

The best plans are ones made after taking your second edible, which is exactly how I ended up with tickets to Monster Jam at Belmont Park next weekend. To be entirely honest, I’d wanted to go for years and couldn’t have been more excited when the commercial blared onto my screen—the pomegranate Wyld gummies were just a good excuse. It seems like a nice way to break up the often monotonous blur that New York winter nights can become and a great reason to stop in Flushing for dumplings both pre- and post-game. (For more recs like this, subscribe to our High In NYC newsletter.) -PR

Ghost Pipe by Rompotodo

While their Tulip and Love pipes might be more seasonally appropriate, it’s Buenos Aires-based Romptodo’s Ghost pipe that’s become the object of my affection. This charming little guy sits on my mantle alongside just a few other rare cannabis pieces deemed art-y or design-y or simply cute enough to warrant that spot. It’s a fun one and, at $40, incredibly priced for the work that goes into it. -DW

“The Instrumentalist” by Zadie Smith

If you haven’t yet watched Tár, stop what you’re doing and do that instead. And then once you have, please read this essay by Zadie Smith for the New York Review of Books about the generational tension at the heart of the film. This is less an endorsement for Tár (though I think it’s an actual masterpiece) and more for Smith’s writing. If anyone else had set out to cover as many topics as she does in this essay, an editor would have immediately told the writer to refocus and do less. Instead, Smith deftly weaves together “cancel culture,” generational theory, mid-life crises, artistic hierarchies, capitalism, criticism, and power dynamics into one extremely insightful and finely honed thread. What a gift. -VvP

Happy Hour

Maybe because it’s January, lately I’ve been needing to motivate myself with a daily treat. Sometimes that’s a chocolate croissant for breakfast, sometimes it’s a martini at 5 PM sharp. But most effectively, it’s a Happy Hour joint just before the last hour of my at-home work day. It’s the perfect bite-sized break—one pre-roll takes about five-ish minutes to leisurely smoke—followed by a just-right buzz to power me through the last items on my to-do list. By the time I’m finished, I’m already relaxed and ready to move on from work, no decompression period needed. Try it and let me know what you think. -VvP

Come A Little Closer

On now at DC Moore Gallery, Come A Little Closer is an invitation to the viewer to do just that through an intimate collection of miniature pieces by over 70 different artists. By forcing the audience to come closer, the exhibition plays with the relationship between scale and importance. I’m especially looking forward to seeing work by Polina Barskaya and Julia Jacquette. Stop by before February 11th! -PR

Saravah! by Yukihiro Takahashi

I’m not sure when exactly I started listening to Yukihiro Takahashi, but over the past few months his music, and, more specifically, his album Saravah!, has been on constant repeat. Sadly, it was only this week that I learned of his unfortunate passing on January 11th. Takahashi is probably best known for his work with the Yellow Magic Orchestra, one the biggest Japanese bands in the 1980s and a seminal influence on techno ever since. But it’s Saravah!, his crooning first solo album, that I keep coming back to. If you have yet to be exposed to anything by Takahashi, by all means, explore everything he has to offer in his five decades of production. But definitely spend some time with this gem. -DW

Lucky Jewel Closet Sale

A perennial favorite of mine, Lucky Jewel Collective will be hosting a Closet Sale this Sunday at their (relatively) new shop in Chinatown. I’m desperately in need of new clothes that aren’t sweaters, so this couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally, and for those similarly challenged. Drop by between 12 and 6 PM to peruse the offerings. -PR

Representation: Past, Present, Future

Apologies in advance as this one is a little niche. If you’re a buyer or have plans to attend NY NOW next week, I’m speaking about representation in retail with Jasmine Mans, poet and founder of Buy Weed From Women. Hosted by Sackville and Bulletin, the panel is part of a series of conversations including Ty Haney and Cyndi Ramirez. Tickets are free and open to anyone who is registered for NY NOW. Hope to see you there. -VvP