Christmas Tree on the New Haven Green (2017)

This Week in New Haven (November 26 - December 2)

As the giant Christmas tree on the Green comes to life and celebrants in fedoras and boas carouse downtown, questions you already had—like “What’s the Middle East really like?”—and didn’t yet have—like “What was it like to experience a concert during the Renaissance?”—find some answers.

Monday, November 26
Hoping to pierce the idea of the Middle East as “a mysterious land of veils, minarets and Orientalist cliches,” Lebanese-Iraqi architect and satirist Karl Sharro—a.k.a. Karl reMarks—comes to room 103 of Yale’s Horchow Hall (55 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven) at 2 p.m. to discuss “his seven-year journey” spent critiquing “how his enchanted native land is represented in Western media and punditry.” Free.

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ATLAS Middle School

Tuesday, November 27
At the Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-432-2800) from 12:30 to 1 p.m., architect Louis Mackall discusses architect Louis Kahn’s final work: the Center itself. Free.

At 7 p.m. in Yale’s Ezra Stiles Head of College House (9 Tower Pkwy, New Haven), cartoonist Ricardo Caté—“the most prominent Native American cartoonist working today,” whose daily strip Without Reservations is published in the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Taos News—talks about his work, which finds “irony and poignant humor found in the Native American experience of living in dominant culture.” Free.

Wednesday, November 28
Following a 4:30 lecture putting the concert into context, the Yale Collegium Musicum—an ensemble that aims to perform very old music as it would’ve been performed in its own time—fills the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (121 Wall St, New Haven; 203-432-2977) with “Earth, Air, Fire, Water,” a program of Renaissance-era music inspired by “the four elements” starting at 5:15. Free.

Thursday, November 29
After weeks of being strung with some 30,000 lights, New Haven’s Christmas tree on the Green officially gets lit between 7 and 7:30 p.m. But the festivities begin at 4, “with rides, a petting zoo, the NHFPL read-mobile… crafts and visits with Santa” plus “food trucks, live performances and more.” Free.

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Paradise Blue at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, November 30
Two exhibitions—one that’s large but regionally focused and one that’s small but has all the world’s waters to splash around in—get an opening reception at Artspace (50 Orange St, New Haven; 203-772-2709) from 5 to 8 p.m. The first, In Plain Sight/Site, presents work by 10 artists “engaged in the multi-disciplinary project of fastening the foundational economies and histories of early New England, and the Western world-at-large, to our present day relationships with labor, land and race.” The second, Toy Boat, pulls a range of pieces held in the gallery’s Flatfile collection to explore the dualistic nature of the sea and our perception of it—as a place “to seek freedom, respite, peace and thrill, to unplug” or “practice mindfulness and drift into memories of childhood”; and also “a highly sought after and contested territory, a site of violence, failed experimentation, economic competition and the unknown.” Free.

As Artspace’s evening closes at 8, Cafe Nine’s doors open a block away for a 9 p.m. performance of The Year of the Horse, a “folk-rock song cycle” written by Chris Bousquet and performed by a whirlwind of locally active musicians: “Frank Critelli, Jon Schlesinger (No Line North), Lys Guillorn, The Sawtelles, Daphne Lee Martin, Anne Castellano, Ponybird (The Dizzy River Band), Paul Belbusti (Mercy Choir), Sam Perduta (Elison Jackson), Local Honey and Chris Bousquet.” $5.

Saturday, December 1
In “Side by Side: The Nutcracker Swings!”, happening from 2 to 4 p.m. in Woolsey Hall (500 College St, New Haven), the Yale Concert Band and Yale Jazz Band present alternating classical and big band versions of selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. Free.

On December 5, 1933, Prohibition was repealed, and nearly 85 years later, from 5 to 10 p.m., a gang of 20 bars is inviting you to drink to that fact while dressed as old-timey gangsters, flappers, bootleggers or politicians on the take. Each of the 20, including Olives & Oil, Ordinary and the Owl Shop (those are just the Os), is offering “two special ‘Prohibition-era cocktails’ at a reduced price.”

Sunday, December 2 – Chanukah begins
From 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Modern Apizza (874 State St, New Haven), local historian and apizza enthusiast Colin Caplan is selling and signing copies of his new book, Pizza in New Haven.

At 5 p.m. just down the street at Trinity Baptist Church (630 State St, New Haven; 203-789-4500), harpist Grace Cloutier marks the beginning of the Advent season with “an hourlong meditational concert of solo harp music to prepare the mind and heart for the Christmas season.” Free.

At 6:30 p.m., a free Grand Menorah Lighting at Beinecke Plaza (located between College, Wall, High and Grove Streets) celebrates the first night of Chanukah with help from latkes, doughnuts, chocolate gelt, dreidels and—surprise!—a performance by the Yale Precision Marching Band.

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

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