What's with the loud popping sounds downtown? Happy Year of the Ox! It's the Chinese New Year, and thus, festivities shift south this week to Mott Street, the Bowery, East Broadway, Bayard Street, Elizabeth Street and Pell Street for the lunar new year.
Once again, the following list is a just a tiny fraction of the total number of cultural events in New York during any given week. I pare down the possibilities each week so I won't be overwhelmed and incapacitated by too many choices.
• CELEBRATION. Monday, January 26, 2009 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Chinese New Year Celebration. SDR Park Soccer field at Canal and Forsyth St. Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival. Performances by traditional and contemporary Asian-American singers and dancers.
• ART. Tuesday, January 27. Opening of Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue.
• ART. Wednesday, January 28. New Commissions: Daria Martin Minotaur and New Commissions: Mathias Poledna Crystal Palace. Both are film installations. The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 235 Bowery
• LITERARY. Thursday, January 29 6:30pm–8pm. Bicentennial of Washington Irving’s A History of New York . Presented by Elizabeth Bradley. Fraunces Tavern Museum 54 Pearl St, at Broad St, Financial District.
• MUSIC. Thursday, January 29 8 p.m. Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. Carnegie Hall, 154 W 57th St.
• ART. Friday, January 30. Opening of The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th St.)
• MUSIC. Saturday, January 31, 2009. They Might Be Giants with Spray Paint Star. 8 p.m.. Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. TMBG plays with a five-piece band to celebrate the release of their new album "The Else." Plus a kid show in the afternoon. Website for Le Poisson Rouge.
• CELEBRATION. Sunday, February 1. noon-3 p.m. Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival. Parade route: Mott St, Chatham Square, East Broadway, Allen St, Grand St., Chrystie St
• DANCE. Sunday, Feb. 1 at 2 pm. Meredith Monk Music @ the Whitney. Billed as "a one-day only music marathon." The Whitney Museum of American Art.
• THEATER. Opens Sunday, February 1. In previews. Puppet theater profiles the Arkansas portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer in "Disfarmer." St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Also, check out Ben Brantley's scathing review of the revival of Hedda Gabler (starring Mary-Louise Parker) in today's New York Times and be glad you're not in the play.
Image: Market, Grand Street, Chinatown, New York.