What to Do This Week in LA, Miami, and NYC

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Everything is huge this year. Big Hollywood scandals, big burgers, big fish. You name it, it’s big. In New York, go see the oeuvre of one of our few contemporary masters of cinema, Paul Thomas Anderson, on the Lower East Side. In Miami, check out what a small fish you are in the big sea at the Frost Science Museum’s monster fish exhibit. And in L.A., hell, just go eat a burger named after your favorite president. We are sure, by now, you have one that exhibited the kind of taste you are accustomed to. Herewith, your guide to the week.


Oy, this writer did not enjoy Phantom Thread, the pretentious and latest film by Paul Thomas Anderson. If this truly is Daniel Day Lewis’ swan song, wrong movie vehicle, good man. So precious. So skip it, and, instead, go this Wednesday to the Lower East Side’s Metrograph to revisit others from the director, including Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, and the trippy Inherent Vice, among others. It’s the P.T. Barnum of P.T. Anderson films. Bring a friend because, as Aimee Mann sang in Magnolia, “One is the Loneliest Number.” This is the mood for one brooding January. The showcase plays through January 12.


President’s Day isn’t until February 22, but we don’t give a deuce, nor does Lincoln Kitchen & Tap, a new burger joint in Lincoln Heights that has dozens of drafts but a categorical list of burgers named for U.S. presidents, and created for aspects of their personalities. Burger up. The bar is lined with Lincoln pennies under the glass. So Lincoln matters. With 40 drafts and 45 daily-ground burgers, this is our vote for a Thursday thing to do and down. Fattest presidents? William Howard Taft, hand’s down, at 340 pounds. Then you have Grover Cleveland at 280, Eisenhower, Clinton (cholesterol alone), Teddy Roosevelt, and Warren Harding. The ingredients at Lincoln say it all.


This Thursday, don’t be afraid to go in the water, and go see Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants. It’s a thing to behold, albeit from a glass-bottomed boat. Curated by Nat Geo’s Zeb Hogan, host of Monster Fish, this Frost Science Museum ongoing exhibition features replicas of some of the largest and scariest. From Australia to the Amazon, the colossal and ancient fish, those that drum up from rivers, are replicated in taxidermy-replicated form, and will blow your mind. There are 20 terrifying freshwater fish species, including a 20-foot sawfish replica. The sculptures also include pirarucu, something called a goonch, a giant carp, and an American paddlefish. It runs through spring.

Film still via Boogie Nights

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a culture reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of "A Fitzgerald Companion."