This Week in New Haven (December 5 – 11)

I f this morning’s snow doesn’t give you that holiday feeling, a jam-packed Saturday in Westville surely will. In the meantime, there are talented performers, a public art controversy and a city’s relationship with pizza to investigate.

Monday, December 5
Yale creative writing faculty Louise Glück, Caryl Phillips and Claudia Rankine perform the department’s “annual tradition of readings” this evening at 6 p.m. inside Linsley-Chittenden Hall (63 High St, New Haven). Offering a welcome and timely enticement, organizers say “cookies and cider will be served.” Free and open to the public.

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Mr. Gilbert's Railroad at the Eli Whitney Museum

Tuesday, December 6
Local artist Gordon Skinner’s cartoonish depiction of a pig wearing a police cap, in a work commissioned for Artspace’s annual City-Wide Open Studios festival in October, was removed from its placement outside the Goffe Street Armory after a police officer and correctional officer logged a complaint with city government. Tonight at 6, Artspace (50 Orange St, New Haven; 203-772-2709) hosts a public forum “to discuss the viability and significance of community-minded public artworks that take a political stance”—the second such discussion, after “none of the invited municipal representatives attended” the first one on November 20. This time, the city’s chief administrative officer Michael Carter and chief of police Anthony Campbell have promised to attend. Free.

Wednesday, December 7
Virtuosic pianist Yefim Bronfman, who’s won a Grammy among countless other formal and informal distinctions, “performs works by Bartók, Schumann, Debussy and Stravinsky” this evening at Morse Recital Hall (470 College St, New Haven; 203-432-4158). The show starts at 7:30 and regular tickets start at $21, with discounts for students.

“A streetwise storyteller whose characters and slice-of-life lyrics portray a world of unsung heroes, helpless romantics and rock ’n’ roll survivors,” singer/songwriter and New York City scene royalty Jesse Malin headlines the free 9:30 bill at BAR tonight. Opening the show is the local band No Line North, whose countrified rock, topped by lead vocals recalling Jakob Dylan, makes room for interesting compositional surprises (like an atmospheric, driving, instrumental, four-minute intro to “Leading You On”). 254 Crown Street, New Haven.

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Endgame at Long Wharf Theatre

Thursday, December 8
At 6 p.m., the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835) hosts local historian and apizza lover/expert Colin Caplan for an “illustrated presentation” of his latest book, New Haven Apizza. Dovetailing with the content of the book, copies of which he’ll be selling and signing afterward, Caplan plans to talk about “the history of pizza in New Haven… and the Elm City’s legacy as the pinnacle of America’s pizza culture.” Free.

Friday, December 9
This year’s Compassionfest, which organizers summarize as a “vegan winter wonderland experience, featuring local animal-friendly food vendors, crafters and product providers,” opens this evening from 5 to 9 p.m. Continuing tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 to 4, organizers describe it as “three whole days of inclusiveness, celebrating people [and] animals in harmony with the land.” Admission to the event, which also includes live music and guest speakers, costs $5, or you can bring “vegan canned fruits and vegetables” to donate to the Connecticut Food Bank instead. 1253 Whitney Avenue, Hamden.

Saturday, December 10
Including a tentpole tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. in the Blake Street-Whalley Avenue parking lot, Westville is testing the limits of how much holiday-celebrating one neighborhood can pack into a single day. It starts as early as 9:30 a.m. at Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave, New Haven), whose Winter Festival includes a “local artisan craft fair” until 2:30 p.m. and a “wreath-making from the farm and forest” session from 10 to 2. From noon to 5, as it does every second Saturday of the month, West River Arts (909 Whalley Ave) opens its various artist studios to the public, while fashion and oddity shop Strange Ways (910 Whalley Ave), along with its nearby annex Strange Space, hosts a “Winter Bizarre” bazaar selling “weird, fun and original items from independent creatives.” From noon to 8, Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave) hosts the Anti-Mall Shop Small Holiday Market featuring “local artisans and designers of jewelry, ceramics, letterpress, hand-poured candles, paper arts, wood sculpture and iron works.” At 2, the Mitchell Branch Library (37 Harrison St) invites people to “make and decorate a gingerbread house” with “icing and other goodies.” From 4 to 7, Kehler Liddell Gallery (873 Whalley Ave) hosts a reception for Deck the Walls, a sale and exhibit featuring “works of varying sizes in price ranges to suit all budgets” by nearly 20 artists. Finally, at 9 p.m. inside Lyric Hall (838 Whalley Ave; $10; doors open at 8), Circus Delecti presents The All Holiday Sideshow Cabaret Spectacular, an “all-ages event featuring sideshow stunts and thrills with… cabaret dance and performances.”

Sunday, December 11
Beloved for both its weirdness and its relatability, A Christmas Story (1983) is the feature film during this weekend’s Movies & Mimosas screenings at Criterion Cinemas (86 Temple St, New Haven; 203-498-2500). The first happened yesterday at 11:30 a.m.; the second happens today at the same time; and yes, mimosas are indeed available. $5.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Turning down a dream editing job right out of college, Dan instead went into marketing and media sales to better cover the rent. Stints at Spin Magazine and Yahoo! followed. But he kept scratching that writing-and-editing itch—first on the side, then at a couple of startups. Dan is now scratching it as Daily Nutmeg's editor.

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