The week ahead

engine house and bunkers by austin mecklem

It could be a good week for a museum with the family (or without them...). If you stop by the State Museum, be sure to check out the exhibit of Public Works of Art Project paintings, including this one by Austin Mecklem.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this holiday week, from the weather (snow), to Christmas, to the movies, to museums, to holiday shows, to music...


Here's the paraphrased forecast for this week:
Monday: Sunny, mid 30s. Probably some snow overnight.
Christmas: 50 percent chance of light snow. Combined with the overnight snow, accumulation could be as much as 2 inches. Cloudy. Mid 30s
Wednesday: Cloudy. Maybe some snow in the afternoon, changing to freezing rain and sleet overnight. Temps in the low 30s.
Thursday: 70 percent chance of rain and snow. Highs in the mid 30s.
Friday: Cloudy, low 30s.
Weekend: More of the same, but with some chance of snow.

A white Christmas, perhaps.


As you know, it's Tuesday. Many places -- including supermarkets -- will be closed that day (and will also be closing early Monday evening).


Among the places that won't be closed on Christmas: movie theaters. Out that day: the film adaptation of Les Miserables and Tarantino's Django Unchained. Others that are recently out: Judd Apatow's This is 40, The Hobbit, and Silver Linings Playbook (which opens at the Spectrum on Christmas). And Spielberg's highly praised Lincoln is still in theaters.

Ice skating

If you're off from work this week, it's a good chance to go skating at he rink at the ESP closes at 4 pm on Monday and will open again (conditions permitting) on Wednesday for its regular hours (11 am-8 pm). On Friday Olympic silver medalist (1992) Paul Wylie will be there from 1-3 pm. (Friday is also free skate rental day.)

Here are other ice skating spots around the Capital Region. Be sure to check for special holiday hours at the rinks. And as for the frozen ponds -- the cold temps lately are good, but the freezing rain and snow are not. It may be another few weeks.


When you've reached your limit on quality time with the family at home, you can take them to a museum. The State Museum (close, free, family stuff all week), the Albany Institute (close), miSci (close, kids) MASS MoCA (unusual, big spaces, good for kids), and the Baseball Hall of Fame (a whole day trip with Cooperstown) are all open this week (except Tuesday, of course, and some are closed on Monday as usual).

If you go to MASS MoCA, look for the new exhibit "Xu Bing: Phoenix," which opens Wednesday. Blurbage:

The installation features two monumental birds fabricated entirely from materials harvested from construction sites in urban China, including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers. At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China.

The exhibit (sneek peek photo) was scheduled to open in November, but its shipment from China -- which included passage through the Panama Canal, and 16 18-wheeler trucks from port to the museum -- was held up by weather.

If you go to the State Museum, be sure to go through the "1934: A New Deal for Artists" exhibit. The group of 50 Public Works of Art Project paintings are from the Smithsonian's collection, and worth a look. The exhibit closes at the State Museum January 20 -- so this is a good chance to see it before it's gone. (You can also gawk at the state's (tiny) moon rock.)

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Friday-Sunday at Proctors: Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Blurbage: "Gingerbread men flip mid-air, toy soldiers march on thin wires, snowmen balance, penguins spin, puppets dance and reindeer soar high above a holiday wonderland. Original music accompanies seasonal favorites with hundreds of spectacular costumes set in a lush world of colorful dreams." various times - $20 and up

More holiday spectacle: Proctors will be showing the London Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker in the GE Theater Saturday and Sunday. various times - $15 / $10 age 17 and under

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
The Palace is showing Disney's 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Wednesday. 3 pm - $5 adults / $3 kids


Comedy Christmas Spectacular
Comics -- and upstate natives -- Moody McCarthy and Dan Frigolette will be at Proctors Wednesday for a holiday-themed show. 8 pm - $15

Rocky Horror
Friday at The Linda: a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with shadow cast the Whip-it Outskirts. 8 pm - $10


Wednesday: Chris Webby at Upstate Concert Hall
Rapper. Latest mixtape included Method Man. 7:30 pm - $18 ahead / $20 day of

Thursday: Astro Safari at Putnam Den
Alt rock from Canada. With: Stellar Young, The Heart Foundation, Jonathan Brunner. 8 pm - $7

Friday: Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution at Red Square
A 12-piece soul band... err, "explosion of love." 8 pm - $10

Friday: Bernie Worrell Orchestra at Putnam Den
Keyboardist, founding member of Parliament Funkadelic. With: Stone Revival Band. 9 pm - $10 ahead / $12 day of

Friday: Girls Guns and Glory at Helsinki Hudson
Country rock. 9 pm - $8 / $10 day of

Friday: Lila Ignite at Valentine's
Pop punk. With: Nine Votes Short, The Damaged, Streetlights at Midnight, Vacate the Scene, Hillcrest. 7:30 pm

Friday: Reunion Show at Valentine's
Three bands, three reunions: The Sense Offenders, The Switched On, Five Alpha Beatdown. 9 pm

Saturday: Rustic Overtones at Helsinki Hudson
Still kicking. With: Bohemian Slackers. 9 pm - $12 / $15 day of

Saturday: The Lucky Jukebox Brigade at Valentine's
An end-of-year party show. With: Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band, Headband Jack, Betty Bonneville and Alice Mammalis. And: tarot card readings. 8 pm

To do list

1. New Year's Eve is next Monday. Make reservations/prepare accordingly.

3. Find your friends and family. Spend time with them.


These are a just a few things for this week. Know of something people should be looking forward to this week? Please share!

image: "Engine House and Bunkers" by Austin Mecklem, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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