Guy Fawkes Night
Remember, remember the fifth of November at these Anglocentric events.
Mon Nov 2 2009
WTF is Guy Fawkes Night? Celebrated mainly in the U.K. on November 5 (hence the rhyme “remember, remember, the fifth of November”), this holiday commemorates the anniversary of the British Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A number of Catholic protestors who wanted to oust Protestant rule attempted—and failed—to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Guy “Guido” Fawkes was responsible for preparing the explosives to be used in the plot—but he was caught before they could be set off. Traditionally, says British expat Louise Gale of Big Apple Brits (bigapplebrits.com), the occasion is celebrated with fireworks, as well as by burning an effigy of Fawkes. But if you’re uncomfortable with lighting a dummy on fire, you can still celebrate at these Guy Fawkes events.
Gale says that her group will celebrate at Telephone Bar (149 Second Ave between 9th and 10th Sts, 212-529-5000; 7:30pm, free) with a raffle and a Fawkes-centric quiz that’ll require some boning up on your Brit history. (Sample question: Name any two of Guy Fawkes’s accomplices. Remember the names Robert Winter, Christopher Wright and Amrose Rokewood if you want to win.)
The Bell House (149 7th St between Second and Third Aves, Gowanus, Brooklyn; 718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com; 9pm, free) hosts its own Guy Fawkes party for serious Anglophiles, featuring a screening of the 2005 flick V for Vendetta (based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel, which has a Fawkes-themed plot). Sip Brit beverages like a Pimm’s cup or Newcastle Brown Ale or dance all night to Britpop tunes.
The Manhattan Theatre Source (177 MacDougal St between Waverly Pl and W 8th St; 212-260-4696, theatresource.org; 5pm, $10--$100) will hold a Fawkes-themed benefit, beginning with a processional through Washington Square Park. Following that, a scavenger hunt with a Gunpowder Plot--trial theme will have you picking out Brit sites in Greenwich Village. At the theater itself, you can groove to a Beatles tribute band or laugh yourself silly at Manchester-born comedian Simon Lovell. Or just nosh on British snacks, like parkin (sweet brown bread).
If you want to skip the festivities and have a quiet night Anglo-style, Gale suggests dining at The Clerkenwell (49 Clinton St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-614-3234, clerkenwellny.com); the “toad in the hole” (a concoction of sausages, Yorkshire pudding and gravy; $13) reminds her of home.