High Culture + Low Culture = fun weekend
December 10, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

For Christmas I'm going to give my partner a planned weekend full cultural hijinks in a big city: Saturday it's all "high culture" activities and Sunday it's all "low culture" activities. How can I translate this intangible gift idea into something small and tangible to put under the tree?

To elaborate, Saturday will involve a candle-lit dinner, wine-tasting, art museum and tickets to the opera (which he loves.) Sunday will be roller disco, drive-in movie and chicken + waffles for dinner, followed by a trip to a tiki bar (which he also loves.)

Since it would be lame to just say on Xmas morning "so this is your present, we're going to do x, y, z," I want to be able to give him one or two tangible objects that correlate to "Highbrow" versus "Lowbrow" culture, attached to a list of the things we'll be doing on each respective day. Any ideas? I'd like it to be broad enough to encompass the idea of the whole day, rather than just (for example) giving him an opera cd for the High Culture present.

Also-- if you have any ideas for inexpensive but really fun activities that fit into the "very highbrow" or "very lowbrow" category, let me know and I'll consider changing the activities list.

(Yes, I know some art can be lowbrow and some chicken/waffles transcendent, but I'm going for the blanket statement.) Thanks in advance!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Once fancy chocolate truffle and one piece of Bazooka bubble gum, in a nicely wrapped box.
posted by carmicha at 7:06 AM on December 10, 2008


Top Hat / Trucker Cap.
posted by contessa at 7:07 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


or, on further reflection, one fancy chocolate truffle and one large gumball so there's size parity.
posted by carmicha at 7:08 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A pair of gloves: one fine leather and one leather workglove
posted by carmicha at 7:10 AM on December 10, 2008


I love this idea!

How about a split of champagne and a 40oz?
posted by JoanArkham at 7:15 AM on December 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


How about 2 magazines (or subscriptions if you're flush): The New Yorker and Time-Out New York.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:25 AM on December 10, 2008


A wineglass and a Tiki mug.
posted by anastasiav at 7:45 AM on December 10, 2008


I think you should just present him with the opera ticket and the movie ticket.
posted by rmless at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2008


Sorry, I should have said those 2 mags as examples. Of course sometimes I do believe the world does revolve around NYC, but I didn't mean to be so obvious about it!
posted by thinkpiece at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2008


How about incorporating the "wrong side of the tracks" idea - get a piece of railroad track and attach the gift items at either end, somehow.

Music: A mix with "uptown" songs and "downtown" songs:

Uptown Girl - B. Joel
Uptown - Chicago
Uptown - Prince
Uptown - Roy Orbison

Downtown - Petula Clark
Downtown - Pretenders

Maybe expand the theme with songs like Bernstein's "New York, New York, a hell of a town..the Bronx is up and the Battery's down" and Springsteen's "Saint in the City" and stuff like that.
posted by Miko at 8:06 AM on December 10, 2008


Do you want the tree gift to be an actual gift, or just a tiny token? Perhaps DVDs, one of set in New York or Paris and involving rich people doing rich people things (Thomas Crown Affair or similar, perhaps?), and another that's a kitschy comeday? Those would have the advantage of being a real "gift" in the sense that DVDs are something he might want, as well as representing the day.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:25 AM on December 10, 2008


Fancy pen (Montblanc or similar) / Bic Pen
posted by contessa at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2008


Downtown - Petula Clark
Downtown - Pretenders


Joe Jackson - Goin Downtown
posted by timsteil at 8:30 AM on December 10, 2008


Very cool idea! I think photos with a hand-drawn map of each activity/location might be good here, plus you can do the whole juxtaposition thing using styles of photographs too.

Or hire an artist to do an impressionist painting of a plate of chicken and waffles. That would be ridiculously awesome.
posted by antonymous at 8:43 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I did something like this for my SO last year, but it was a specific date every month for six months. I found six items, one to represent each date, and wrapped them individually. Included in each gift was a "coupon" explaining the date and what he would get. So, for example:

Home-cooked breakfast one weekend = a small bottle of fancy maple syrup.
Beer-tasting class at a bar = a bottle of his favorite beer.
A cooking class = a nice chopping board.

And so on. Each of the coupons were printed out in color and then laminated at the local Kinkos. He still has the coupons, and absolutely loved the idea. It's a bit more work, but it's also more fun to open up multiple gifts.
posted by bibbit at 8:47 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Judging by your mention of Chicken and Waffles, I'm going to guess you're in LA, so how about going to Damon's in Glendale (not the shitty chain) for some chi-chis and just get sloppy drunk and have a blast?
posted by banannafish at 8:48 AM on December 10, 2008


Judging by your mention of Chicken and Waffles, I'm going to guess you're in LA, so how about going to Damon's in Glendale (not the shitty chain) for some chi-chis and just get sloppy drunk and have a blast?

That's a silly assumption to make, you can get Chicken and Waffles a hell of a lot of places in the country, and there's not even any proof that it originated in LA. Furthermore, the person wasn't asking for more ideas, I think both days are already planned out.

As for what to present, I'd go with a mini bottle of wine, with list of the high-class itinerary wrapped around the bottle (under the wrapping paper) and a bottle of "working class" beer with the same done for that day's itinerary.
posted by piratebowling at 9:28 AM on December 10, 2008


Cufflinks (fellow mefier's blog) and a plaid flannel shirt. In the same box. Very mysterious.
posted by amtho at 10:09 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A small container of caviar and a new tie for the classy bits, a container of easy cheese and a nascar tshirt for the, ahem, developing culture bit.

Bonus: The nascar tshrit is awesome apparel for household tasks like painting/gutter cleaning. The easy cheese is totally crap, but still delicious in a strange (and guilt ridden) way.
posted by terpia at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2008


If you're crafty at all, make two tour maps. If you're not, print out nice pictures of the fancy places, with titles in the frames (a bit of fancy copy+pasting on a rented computer can be done at Kinkos, I think), then scrawl vague directions based on weird landmarks. Simpler yet, get a card from the art museum and write (or print) out the itinerary. Find a cheezy postcard of some sort and scrawl the list on the other.

In the more physical gift realm: nice CD (or record) of his liking, and a beat-up cassette of disco hits, maybe one you make yourself.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:05 AM on December 10, 2008


Print of a famous work of art, sad clown painting.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:14 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A Jeff Foxworthy DVD and a Frasier DVD?
posted by MaxK at 1:06 PM on December 10, 2008


I love all of these ideas, I'd like to add monocle (high brow) and aviators (low brow).

I think that (budget permitting) you should include a few of these things, e.g. top hat, cufflinks, and monocle vs. trucker hat, aviators and nascar shirt, or something along those.

What a great idea for a gift!
posted by dnesan at 3:58 PM on December 10, 2008


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