Five Things You Need to Know Now [Pop Culture Bites]

1. If you don’t live in New York or stopped following the Real World in the ’90s, the upcoming season was shot in Red Hook, which means we have to watch it at least once to freak out about how nice their apartment is. In a newly-released teaser a cast member refers to his transgendered roommate as an “it”; sweet digs or not, that might be all we need to see. [TVgasm]

2. A revival of West Side Story is coming to Broadway and director Arthur Laurents (who wrote the show over 50 years ago) has decided that characters should speak amongst themselves in their native language for cultural authenticity. It opens in New York on February 23, which gives you plenty of time to bone up on your Spanish — or you can just cheat like us and read the supertitles. [A Time to Dance]

3. Computer geeks know that this week marks Apple’s final appearance at the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco and that Steve Jobs won’t be delivering his famous keynote speech to the feverishly assembled techies, hackers and fanboys. Does this signal the end of the Apple era or is it more indicative of Jobs’ failing health? [Wired]

4. We find it slightly upsetting that we didn’t download even one track from Nielsen’s list of the most downloaded songs of 2008, but even more strange that Coldplay is the only rock act who managed to crack the hip-hop heavy top ten. Unless you count Katy Perry. Which we don’t. [Alley Insider]

5. One thing we never even considered that this economic crisis could lead to: Wall Street-types looking for jobs in the creative industry as an alternative to banking. Comedy, writing, filmmaking — according to the article, these former suits will soon be dominating all three. We just hope they stay away from culture blogging… [New York Times]