SINCE THE RELEASE of Vampire Weekends remarkable debut in January, demand for the New Yorkbased foursomes clever African-inspired indie pop has been higher than high. So they spent most of the year banging around the globecrisscrossing the United States, making stops all over western Europe (even Iceland!) and touching down in Japan, Australia and New Zealandperforming for packed audiences.
Since Ezra Koenig (lead vocals and guitar), Chris Baio (bass), Rostam Batmanglij (keyboard, guitar and vocals) and Chris Tomson (drums) have been out of the city for much of 2008, we figured they must have missed at least a few things about New York. So we assigned the Columbia grads the task of describing their ideal New York City weekends. As it turns out, they relish the citys simple pleasures after all the flash of worldwide travel.
Chris Baio: After a month of eating baguettes with bleu cheese while on tour, its definitely time for me to get serious about fitness. When Im home I love to go running in Greenpoint, from the Pulaski Bridge to the track at McCarren Park. On weekends I like drinking coffee from Café Bogota on Manhattan Avenue. At Pio Pio Riko on Manhattan Avenue and Huron Street you can get an incredible amount of food for your money. As a fan of meat, I enjoy purchasing meats from the slew of Polish meat shops in Greenpoint. Add a night or two of drinking with old friends and many hours of sleep, and you have my ideal weekend.
Rostam Batmanglij: On Flatbush Avenue there is a restaurant called Frannys, its basically a pizza place, but believe it or not the best thing there are the Brussels sprouts. My mom is a cookbook author, so if I take my parents out to dinner when they come up to visit New York, it had better be good. We had the Brussels sprouts, two pizzas and for dessert we had the salt and milk ice cream. When the meal was done I asked my mom what she thought: she said, I give this restaurant an A.
Ezra Koenig: I like to ride my bike up to the George Washington Bridge and crossover to Fort Lee, N.J. It gets a little scary for a bike rider over there, but if you ride south for a while youll get to Mitsuwa, a nononsense Japanese supermarket with a magnificent food court.You can get these great fish-shaped pastries filled with red bean paste.There are nice views of Manhattan.You can see Grants Tomb and the Riverside Church.
Christopher Tomson: When we´re not touring, there are basically three things that really interest me upon returning home: Sleeping, audio/visual entertainment and a 3:1 ratio of friends to alcohol. It is to those ends that I would dedicate myself on an ideal New York City weekend. Hopefully these hypothetical activities would take place sometime in October, before it gets too cold and after the heat of summer has passed, in that sweater-weather sweet spot. I would probably start with a good session at Academy Records on N. 6th St. Academy consistently has the best vinyl selection and prices in the city, and there are few places in the world where I would rather spend my money. From there, in search of a good movie, I would probably head towards MoMA or Film Forum. Both theaters are always showing great films, most of which I will admit to not previously knowing about. Edge goes to MoMA, though, as my old work ID still gets me in for free.
After a presumably well-spent Saturday night that somehow involved foosball, I´d awake craving an everything bagel from Syrena Bakery. Unfortunately, Syrena is closed on Sundays, so I would probably go back to sleep.Then, after watching the Jets and Giants (hopefully) win, finding some burrito or another to serve as a lunch/dinner combination, and reading for a while back at home, I would finish the weekend with some nightcaps at Connie O´s Pub. No Sunday is complete without a therapeutic conversation with my good friend and trusted bartender, Barbara! -- Vampire Weekend Dec. 3, 4 & 6, Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St. (at 11th Ave.), 212-260-4700; 7, $25.