March 20 marks the start of spring, and you’ll have to forgive us for counting down the days. While winter slowly releases its grasp on the Northern Hemisphere, our cities are charging straight ahead. Whether you’re into food-truck feasting for a cause or prefer Shakespearean tragedies transformed for modern times, this month has it all and then some. Here’s what’s happening.
NEW YORK CITY: Thanks to a thriving culture of arthouse theaters, New York remains one of the best cities on earth to catch a movie–giving even L.A. a run for its money. Leading the way is Metrograph, a high-class theater hidden behind a facade of plain brick on the Lower East Side. Known for its indie world premieres and curated films series, Metrograph also loves showing classics on the big screen, just for old time’s sake, and this month will feature a special screening of David Lynch’s masterpiece Blue Velvet. Set in a town that’s not accustomed to trouble, the film plays out like a soap opera directed by a horror novelist from the year 3000. It’s strange, hilarious, beautiful, and brilliant–so much so that Metrograph will be bringing in actress and producer Stella Schnabel to introduce the feature before the lights go down. Sunday, March 11th, 3 p.m. // Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, Manhattan // Tickets $15
NEW YORK CITY: Some of NYC’s best restaurants are right out on the street. From DUMBO to SoHo, food trucks are taking over, and many of the city’s finest will be parked on the Upper West Side for the 2018 NYC Food Truck Fest. Entry is free and you’ll have your choice of empanadas, spicy mac ‘n’ cheese, pizza, sandwiches, and desserts, all thanks to twelve food trucks and over 100 vendors serving up their very best dishes. What’s more: all of the day’s profits will be donated to city public schools, helping to buy supplies for thousands of New York students. Sunday, March 25th, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. // 100 West 77th Street, Manhattan // Free entry
LOS ANGELES: Dance music trends come and go (RIP dubstep) but Four Tet is forever. The prolific London DJ and producer, more formally known as Kieran Hebden, is riding high off the release of his ninth record, New Energy, which blends pulsing club beats with ambient vocal samples and Far East strings. It’s perfect for headphone listening, but also makes for one hell of a party, and this month Four Tet will be playing back-to-back nights at the Masonic Lodge on Santa Monica Boulevard. Both shows are guaranteed to be all-night affairs that travel to the far edges of experimental beats without ever losing focus, so skip the usual EDM velvet rope affairs and treat your ears to something very rare. Friday and Saturday, March 16th and 17th, 10 p.m. // The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles // Tickets $35
LOS ANGELES: If you prefer to leave the dancing to the experts, March is the perfect time to visit L.A.’s Music Center, which will be taken over by the Joffrey Ballet for a very special dance performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Pulled from its 14th-century setting and reimagined in the fraught days of 20th century Italy, the Joffrey’s new ballet production blends the classic love tale with questions of war and political upheaval. The end result is a captivating allegory for modern times, featuring intricate costumes, a beautiful score, and the blistering choreography of Krzysztof Pastor. Whether you’re a casual ballet fan, a Shakespeare die-hard, or a first-timer for all of the above, this will be one high-class show you can’t miss. Friday, Sunday, and Saturday March 9th, 11th, and 17th; Showtimes vary // The Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles // Tickets $34-125
MIAMI: The heat’s going to be turned up to 11 when Miguel takes the stage at the Fillmore. Known for his sultry vocals and irresistible rhythms, the R&B dynamo is one of the most sought-after live acts this side of a Prince hologram, and lucky for us he’s coming to Miami. Get tickets fast and then get in line early for his upcoming show, with support from rising West Coast crooner SiR and rising star Nonchalant Savant. But the star is, of course, Miguel, and it’s a guarantee he’ll be playing most of his excellent new LP War & Leisure, which tempers his seductive go-to sound with political insight and calls for justice. This is one night that’ll get you lifted and then some. Friday, March 30th, 8 p.m. // The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Avenue, Miami // Tickets $73 and up
MIAMI: Art aficionados headed to South Beach this month, set your sights on MoCA. The groundbreaking museum will host Lionel Smit’s Obscura, a mesmerizing look at human identity and how cultural change rewrites history every day. Smit’s paintings look like a blend of distorted photos and paintbrush mosaics, giving his art an analog/digital character that leads to both confusion and delight. Smit’s subjects are often Cape Malay peoples, a South African community that defies stereotypes with its own rich history and tradition. Opens Thursday March 18th // MOCA, 770 NE 125th Street, Miami // Admission $3-5
Header photo courtesy of Lionel Smit