To Do: Purim Party Roundup

For the Creole, it’s Mardi Gras. For Brazilians, it’s Carnivale. And for the Jews, it’s Purim. When the sun goes down Saturday, Jewcy’s favorite holiday begins with drinking, masquerading, eating jam-filled pastries, followed by more drinking. Purim honors a time … Read More

By / March 1, 2007

For the Creole, it’s Mardi Gras. For Brazilians, it’s Carnivale. And for the Jews, it’s Purim. When the sun goes down Saturday, Jewcy’s favorite holiday begins with drinking, masquerading, eating jam-filled pastries, followed by more drinking. Purim honors a time when the Jews were saved from extermination in Persia, thanks to one badass chick: Queen Esther. Esther was raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who advised her to conceal her Jewish identity from the King, who fell head over heels for her. The King made Esther queen, and it was good. But Haman, the king’s advisor, hated Mordecai because he refused to let Haman boss him around. So Haman decided to get genocidal, and told the king a “certain race” weren’t following the laws of the kingdom. The king told Haman to do what he wanted with this race, and so Haman began plotting the extermination of the Jews. Wily Esther knew of the plot, and upon Mordecai’s urgings, went to the king on behalf of her people. The Jews were saved and Haman was hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. A yarmulke’d Shakespeare couldn’t have written it better. Religious texts teach us Purim celebrates the Divinity that intervened via Esther and saved the Jews.
The mitzvoth of Purim decree that we tell the story of Purim by reading the Megillah, a.k.a. the Book of Esther, aloud and drink until we can’t distinguish “blessed Mordecai” from “cursed Haman.” We also eat Hamantaschen, triangular jam-filled cookies that represent Haman’s hat, and masquerade to illustrate the mistaken identity motif of the Purim story. We’ve told the story. Now we just need to get to drinking and mask-wearing. Won’t you join us? Here are the best parties (read: no children) happening this weekend to help you fulfill the mitzvoth. Remember: Orthos drink responsibly. Take the Q-train back to Crown Heights.

New York: Queen Esther’s Royal Palace at Capitale, presented by The Tribe For: Jewish leftovers from 27th Street’s drunken cesspool; Israeli leftovers from 27th Street’s drunken cesspool. The Draw: “The largest Purim party held outside of Israel,” this “Costume Carnival” promises “late night Israeli Style trance,” which could be mesmerizing and rave-like if the DJs deliver; prizes for best costume; an enormous palace-like space. Expect: Aggressive Israeli pick-up “artists”; heightened Israeli aggression due to coagulation of Israeli pheremones; laser lights; under-agers; prom flashbacks. Saturday, March 3, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., Capitale, 130 Bowery at Grand, $25 JDub hosts “Masks and Flasks” For: The Jewish hipster; the rare breed of girl who openly prefers beer; whores (it’s nothing to be ashamed of). The draw: Free Stella Artois beer “until it runs out.” Expect: Girls in flat slouch boots; boys in hoodies with those trendy new swirlies; backpacks; Israeli DJs; eclectic Hebrew hip-hop/house; alcoholics. Saturday, March 3, 9 p.m., Lowbar, 81 Washington Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn, $10 at door Havalight and The Jewish Week’s Purim party at Frederick’s For: Confused 42-year-old European Jewish singles, confused 28-year-old single Jewesses looking for “nice Jewish boys” drawn to the “exclusive” factor and mystic artwork in the Havalight mailblast; anyone who will go to the trouble to rent an elaborate Queen Esther costume. The Draw: For the first 75 members to purchase tickets, an “outrageous” Megillah reading at The New York Synagogue; free drinks and treats; exclusivity (Havalight members and their guests only, but, you know, talk the talk, walk the walk…); Dudu Fisher. Expect: Gaggles of over-dressed, overly made-up husband hunters armed with cleavage; bald European men with glasses to help hide where their eyes are really looking; white suits; vodka mixed with juice; languages you won’t understand. Saturday, March 3, Megillah reading at New York Synagogue, 124 East 58th Street, 7 to 9 p.m.; party at Frederick's, 8 W. 58th St., 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., $13 to $20

The Shushan Channel Megillah Reading and Purim Shpiel For: Jews on the Upper West Side looking for something “hip” and “fresh” to do on Purim. The Draw: The Shushan Channel previously brought us “Hamantourage,” “Curb Your Anti-Semitism,” and “Persian Idol.” Purim brings us a special video presentation by Stephen Colbert, and features Dan Bakkedahl of the Daily Show in person; dance party at midnight. Expect: Why isn’t Colbert there? His office is right next to Jewcy’s. In midtown. Is it because he spends his weekends in Jersey? Can’t he hop in his town car and make a real live cameo? For the Jews?! Saturday, March 3, Makor, 35 West 67th Street, Megillah Reading 7:30 p.m., Purim Shpiel 9 to 10:30 p.m., Dance Party, midnight. Borscht Belt Brunch at Mo Pitkins For: Downtown residents who make brunch their one and only Sunday meal and the final opportunity to get wasted before Monday; New Yorkers who cure hangovers with more alcohol. The Draw: Mo’s weekly Semitic Sunday (read: Jews unite!); greasy eggs and hash browns; free hamantaschen for all!; live flute music; a serious make-your-own bloody mary bar: choose from garnishes like blue cheese stuffed olives, chipotle hot sauce, and okra. Expect: Hangovers; to be hungover; attempts to cure hangovers with poorly selected combos from the make-your-own bar. (Don’t fuck up your bloody mary with a poorly-chosen combo: The standard includes vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, cracked black pepper, hot sauce and a dash of lime or lemon.) Sunday, March 4, 12 p.m., Mo Pitkins, 34 Avenue A between 2nd and 3rd Streets

Miami: Purim Carnival at Glass at the Forge For: Rich Southern Floridians; snobby rich Southern Floridians; Miami Jews that just want to get their party on (read: all Miami Jews). The Draw: Welcome to Miami; succumbing to the marketing power of JDate; laser lights; finger food and hamantaschen; hot Miami DJing; wealthy people. Expect: The signature hot pink glow found in 96 percent of Miami nightspots; greetings that start with “Daaaaaaaaahling”; bling; Dior sunglasses at night; half-assed costumes consisting of one prop, like a scepter or tiara; body glitter; body shimmer. Saturday, March 3, 8 to 11 p.m., Glass at the Forge, 432 41st Street, Miami Beach Boston Area: Purim Masquerade Party Mixer For: Singles and Couples The Draw: The first ever Jewish mixer for singles and couples. Woo hoo! Tolerance forges ahead!; a kosher adult hypnotist; performance by the L.A.-based “Jewish Eminem”; unlimited hamantaschen. Expect: Whiteboy Jewish Eminem wannabes; partiers dropping to the floor in hypnotic stupors; “cordial confusion” (how almost all Boston visitors feel); costumes crazy enough to have a shot at that coveted romantic Cape Cod weekend prize—all partygoers are dying to go for the twelfth time. Saturday, March 3, The Longwood Club, 20 Chapel Street, Brookline, MA, Megillah 8:00 p.m., live performance 8:45 p.m. R-Rated Masquerade Party For: Anyone who has a babysitter’s number in their cell phone. The Draw: Purim “the way it was meant to be celebrated”—with Sushi; martinis; an R-rated version of the Purim story; adults only. Expect: Couples that wish they were secretly into S&M; couples who use the word “Bubbe” conversationally; curse words; boisterous marrieds discussing soccer practice and Thomas and Deb’s divorce. Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m., Congregation Shirat Hayam, 55 Atlantic Avenue, Swampscott Cleveland: Masquerade Double Dutch Extravaganza For: Cleveland Jew hipsters
The Draw: Six-person double dutch collective (imagine the Jewcy tee—times two!); a VJ; live eclectic modern Jewish music, including Bling Kong, which includes cheerleaders. Expect: Stompingjumpingstompingjumpingstompingjumping; thoughts like, “I like this, I think I’ll add it to my iPod. Wait, I don’t know if I like it. Do I want this on my iPod? Can I work out to this? Wait—is that an awkward remix of ‘Dangerously in Love’?"; not adding the promo cd sampler to your iPod but reflecting on it warmly amidst your hangover. Saturday, March 3, 9 p.m., Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

Los Angeles: IKAR’s Purim Justice Carnival For: Charity givers, do-gooders, manly drinkers The Draw: The idea that partying supports local and global social justice organizations; scotch tasting; blackjack; blackjack while scotch tasting. Expect: “Green” posters (not like the color, but the color of Al Gore’s heart and political affiliation); expensive costumes; expensive wrinkle-free foreheads; drinking and blackjacking away remorse over fees for expensive wrinkle-free foreheads, money better spent on social justice. Saturday, March 3, The Westside JCC, 5870 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 7:15 p.m. Megillah, 8:30 Adult Carnival

Philly: Esther’s Masquerade at the Raven Lounge For: Horny singles, anyone in need of a fake ID, anyone too lazy to remove a fake ID from their wallet after the 21 mark. The Draw: Masked madness in posh Rittenhouse Square; a costume contest with a prize for the queen; tasty hors d'oeuvres from 9-11 and drink specials all night. Expect: Eligible Jewish bachelors and bachelorettes straight out of Wharton; eligible Jewish bachelors and bachelorettes straight out of Jefferson (the invite says “young professionals and graduate students”); 18-year-old Penn girls with fake IDs; costume contest cheaters (they’re giving away masks at the door). Saturday, March 3, 9 p.m., The Raven Lounge, 1718 Sansom Street, Philadelphia

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