The host of Radio Happy Hour loves the Twin Cities, indie pop and the airwaves. Let him plan your week.
Mon Mar 8 2010
For a dose of history, Radio Happy Hour founder Sam Osterhout wants to hit up the Tenement Museum (108 Orchard St at Broome St; 212-982-8420, tenement.org; $15--$20 for its hour-long tour “The Moores: An Irish Family in America,” which explores the apartment of a 19th-century family struggling to deal with the death of a child. Next, he’ll head to his favorite sushi joint in the city, Marumi (546 La Guardia Pl between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts, 212-979-7055). “[There’s] nothing like 19th-century poverty-stricken immigrants to work up an appetite for sushi,” he jokes. He’ll chow on salmon ($2) and eel ($2.50) from the la carte menu, and chase them down with a bottle of Asahi beer ($7.50).
Twin City rock
Osterhout moved to New York from Minneapolis in 2008 and pays homage to his hometown tonight: He’s heading to Brooklyn to catch a performance by indie-pop duo the Twilight Hours at Union Hall (702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400, unionhallny.com; 7:30pm; $10--$12). The band, like Osterhout, hails from the Twin Cities. Then it’s back to Manhattan for a set by his friend Benji Rogers—who performs country-rock songs under the moniker Marwood—at Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St between Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-477-4155, rockwoodmusichall.com; 10pm, free). “It’s lucky for both of us that I like his music,” says Osterhout, whose wife is BFF with Rogers’s wife.
The Radio Happy Hour community
Radio Happy Hour (radiohappyhour.com) began in 2009 as a larger version of Electric Arc Radio, a live radio sitcom that Osterhout hosted back in Minneapolis. “It grew into a large-scale radio program—but it’s not actually on the radio,” he explains. The “live mystery meets late-night talk show” format mixes interviews (Craig Finn, Norah Jones, Tunde Adebimpe) with stories written by Osterhout in the style of old-timey radio mysteries (Andrew W.K. once starred as John Bender from The Breakfast Club) and musical performances. Tonight’s show, which takes place at RHH home base (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St at Thompson St; 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com; doors 1pm, show 2pm; $10--$12), is the seventh show Osterhout has hosted in New York. Special guests include Omaha indie-rockers Cursive, author Arthur Phillips (Prague), and sketch-comedy siblings John and Molly Knefel. “I [thought I] built an audience of people that came all the time,” Osterhout says. “But really, I was building a community.”
On Sundays, Osterhout and his wife like to abandon their East Village neighborhood for Fort Greene. They’ll start by checking out Jessica DeCarlo’s handmade jewelry ($20--$200) and whatever else catches their fancy at the Brooklyn Flea (1 Hanson Place at Flatbush Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; brooklynflea.com; 10am--5pm). Afterward, the couple plans to attend a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1953 suspense thriller, I Confess, at BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; 718-636-4100, bam.org; 4:30, 9:15pm; $8--$12). “I’ve never even heard of that Hitchcock film, which either implies that I’m a philistine or that BAM shows unique, original films,” says Osterhout. “Or both.”
Because he works at home (on his own projects and as a teacher for the Minnesota School of Business’s online program), Osterhout needs to escape the confines of his East Village apartment from time to time. He occasionally spends a few hours writing at Italian caf Ballaro (77 Second Ave between 4th and 5th Sts, 212-228-2969), where he orders an eggplant, mushroom, and fontina panino ($7), and black coffee ($1.50). Afterward, he’ll stop by Essex Market’s Saxelby Cheesemongers (120 Essex St at Delancey St; 212-228-8204, saxelbycheese.com; Mon--Sat 9am--7pm), which specializes in cheeses from Northeastern dairies. “They are one of the only places I’ve been to in New York that sells the kind of cheese curds one might find in Wisconsin,” says the cheese freak. “Amazing, fattening and delicious.” Saxelby sells cheddar curds from upstate New York farm Hillcrest Dairy by the pound for $13.99.
New Year’s cleanse
Osterhout and his lady, who is Persian, observe the holiday Nowruz , which typically falls on the first day of spring. They celebrate with a little spring cleaning, both spiritually and materially (Osterhout calls the ritual a “cleansing”). The duo will then head to a friend’s house to build a customary blaze in the tradition of the Persian New Year. “You’re giving the fire all your bad stuff,” he explains. From fire pit to fiery food—for a dinner at Mesa Coyoacan (372 Graham Ave between Conselyea St and Skillman Ave; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-782-8171, mesacoyoacan.com) Osterhout digs the grilled Mexican style corn in a cup ($7).
Vegetarian St. Paddy’s
Avoiding St. Patrick’s Day buffoonery isn’t easy in Osterhout’s neighborhood, but he wants to sidestep the debauchery. First, he’ll tuck into a vegetarian Irish breakfast ($11), which he calls a “gut bomb,” at quiet St. Dymphna’s (118 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A, 212-254-6636), before meeting up with friends in Park Slope. He and his crew will hang at O’Connor’s Pub (39 Fifth Ave between Dean and Bergen Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-783-9721), which serves free corned-beef sandwiches (beginning at noon) in honor of St. Paddy’s. Since Osterhout doesn’t eat red meat, he’ll replace the gratis beef with bottles of Guinness ($4.50). You don’t need to enjoy snacking on cow to close your week with a hearty slinte.
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