Barbecue ribs with a smoky rauchbier. A melon salad with a dark doppelbock. The folks behind Get Real Presents specialize in pairings like these, sharing the joys of craft beer and delicious, locally-sourced foods. In this spirit, its team of foodies and beer aficionados hosts festivals featuring more than 80 brews, as well as restaurant events that pair craft beer with regional foods. As unique as it sounds, they admit this isn't exactly a new idea—they take a page from other countries, such as Belgium, who actually anchor much of their cuisine around the effervescent beverage. Following this "cuisine a la biere" model, they aim to highlight all of the great things a freshly crafted brew can do to enhance an evening out on the town, such as highlighting the flavors of a complementary dish, spicing up a local chef's stew, or softening your dad to the idea of paying off all of your student loans.
Pour the Core: A Hard Cider Festival celebrates the revival of hard ciders and perries brewed from apples and pears. For the festival, the tree covered-landscape just outside of Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue fill with more than 30 local and international ciders including Peconic Bay Winery’s True Believer, Angry Orchard, and Magners from Ireland. Seminars teach patrons about all the ways to use versatile cider, from stirring into cocktails to mixing up in cupcakes and pork shoulder. A How to Make Hard Cider seminar demonstrates how to brew hard cider from nonalcoholic cider at home, covering the entire process from picking the right apples to forcing carbonation back into the opened bottles.
The deft dancers of New York Theatre Ballet energize young and adult audiences with The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies, which the New Yorker describes as a "witty, charming" production. A colorful cast of beloved characters from the Lewis Carroll classics, such as the Cheshire Cat, springs to life along with an ultra-kinetic score and field recordings of rabbit songs. Choreographer Keith Michael conceives the show as a vaudeville extravaganza set to a crazy quilt of American music vocabularies, from ballroom waltzes to wild ragtime ditties. John Tenniel's original illustrations inspire a stage set scattered with oversize children's toys, including a dollhouse and alphabet blocks.
Situated on 63 acres of Mitchel Field—a former military base—Nassau Coliseum is dedicated to those who lost their lives while serving their country. When its doors opened four decades ago, this entertainment hub became a portal, transporting crowds to hours of sound and spectacle. Since then, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus has performed every year, racking up the record for most performances, followed closely by the Grateful Dead, which has permeated the air with its brand of jam 35 times, leaving audiences exhilarated and hankering for peanut butter and bread.
Celebrating its 47th year, the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra tackles traditional baroque and romantic masters as well as contemporary songsters throughout its 2011–2012 season. An accomplished conductor of opera, Broadway, pops, and classical music, music director Gerald Steichen massages mellifluent tones out of Ridgefield's vibrant violins and boisterous brass. RSO highlights name-brand classical masters with its Beauty of Beethoven and Brahms Fulfilled shows. Young and aspiring musicians congregate at the Young Impressions concert, featuring 16-year old soloist Madeleine Bouissou. Celebrate the time signatures of foreign composers with A Trip to the British Isles, or sit back as visiting Broadway performers Nat Chandler and Teri Hansen belt homegrown classics during February 4th's Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration, attended by Oscar Hammerstein's grandson Andy Hammerstein.
When British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife stumbled upon a piece of unclaimed Manhattan hilltop, they knew it would be the ideal spot for their summer home. Built in 1765, the 8,500-square foot Morris-Jumel Mansion—as it's known today—was the centerpiece of an estate that extends more than 130 acres from the Harlem to the Hudson River. Loyal to the British crown, Morris left America during the Revolution; in the fall of 1776, General George Washington used the home as headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights.
Today, the mansion offers guided tours of its historic property. After becoming president, Washington returned on July 10, 1790, to dine with cabinet members that included future presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; you can visit the dining room where they ate together. More than 40 years later, in 1833, Aaron Burr got married to Madame Eliza Jumel—the widow of the mansion's second namesake owner, Stephen Jumel—right in the parlor of this estate.
Besides tours, the mansion now hosts rotating exhibits that display everything from period costumes to the axe Washington used to floss his wooden teeth. There are also events throughout the year, from classical and jazz concerts to wine tastings and, once, a lively debate between Burr and Alexander Hamilton scholars.