Today Is Fat Tuesday, Here's How You Should Celebrate!

by M.J. Koury · March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday is the only institutionalized day in America that justifies going on food-binges and booze benders. Down South is where the real party is right now, but it'd be a shame not to take advantage of the good excuse to be hungover tomorrow.

[Photo by Mardi Gras master, Nick McGlynn]

1. Kick It Old School

Skip the VIP blowouts and pound the pavement for dive bar drink specials in your favorite neighborhood. There's The Blind Pig on East 14th between 2nd and 3rd with three dollar beer mugs, early drinking at Bourbon Street on 405 Amsterdam, and karoke at T.G. Whitney's over on east 53rd. Free beads at Mel's Burger Bar on the Upper West Side!

2. Give Back While Debauching

Pre-Lent letting loose can be done with dignity. Keep it classy at a gala- Mardis Gras Masked Ball is happening at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on 521 W 126th. Proceeds go to the church and its homeless outreach program. There's another ball going down at Le Poisson Rouge featuring a real live gospel choir and marching band. This party benefits the Lower Eastside Girls Club and it's 18+.

[The Hungry Marching Band, playing tonight at Le Poisson Rouge]

3. Be Sophisticated

A new eclectic-retro spot, Salon Millesime (92 Madison Avenue), is hosting a Fat Tuesday celebration with all the vital details for a refined Mardis Gras party. With a classic jazz quartet playing classic New Orleans tunes and offering punch bowls of Hurricane cocktails, it's the classy way to honor the day.

4. Get Feminist

It's also International Women's Day and Karen Finley, the famously intense performance artist is doing a reading of her new book "The Reality Shows" at Dixon Place. The Astor Center of New York City is throwing a "cocktail and culinary experience" and the proceeds will go to Bottomless Closet, which helps to train disadvantaged NYC women.

[Karen Finley]

Here's a List of More Parties to Hit:

Metromix's Guide to Mardis Gras [Metromix]

Murph Guide to Mardis Gras [Murph Guide]

The Feast Mardis Gras "Alternatives" [The Feast]

Zagat Guide [Zagat]

CBS Has Some Ideas Too! [CBS]

If You Take This Holiday Seriously, These Restaurants Do Too:

There are some spots with Mardis Gras specials and Fat Tuesday festivities.

Southern Hospitality BBQ on Second Avenue, which "throws the biggest Fat Tuesday party in NYC"

 BoBo NYC, which has special Mardis Gras cocktails.

Delta Grill, where twenty dollars gets you an authentic New Orleans dinner.

Back Forty, which has communal seating!

[Images via: Charlotte Magazine, pubcrawls.com, tribecacitizen.com, artinterviews.com]