08/27/14 6:22am
Brooklyn Carnival, one of the largest Diaspora celebration of West Indian culture in the world, will take place Sept. 1 in Crown Heights. Photo: George Krauss

Brooklyn Carnival, one of the largest Diaspora celebrations of West Indian culture in the world, will take place Sept. 1 in Crown Heights. Photo: George Krauss

In many ways, September always feels like the start of a new year. So much cultural programming kicks off come Labor Day that we found ourselves flush with fun things to look forward to over the next week and well into fall–make sure to look out for our September Fun Map in your inbox tomorrow. While there will be plenty of time to celebrate summer over the long weekend ahead with backyard BBQs and beach trips, we would also like to direct your attention to a Michael Jackson karaoke party at Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn Carnival, a vampire film screening for anyone going through withdrawal following True Blood‘s series finale last Sunday, and a rooftop dinner in honor of the autumnal harvest we’re all about to reap. Your ideal week awaits.

Thursday, Aug. 28: Greenlight Bookstore has struck up a new literary partnership with culinary newcomer Peck’s Specialty Food, owner Theo Pecks’ iteration of an old-school kosher deli, which Brendan Spiegel clued us in on when it opened in Clinton Hill in January. The fruit of this new fusion is Book/Plate, a literary dinner party that pairs the works of authors with food dishes inspired by their writings. First up will be Francisco Goldman (Say Her Name) whose newest book, The Interior Circuit, a genre-bending book the follows Goldman through his grief after his wife’s passing as he rediscovers himself and his life inside Mexico City during the Mexican capital’s most recent time of socio-political upheaval. Tickets to the family-style dinner cost $45 and include a copy of Goldman’s book.

Friday, Aug. 29: Tonight the Morbid Anatomy Museum is throwing a karaoke birthday party for Michael Jackson. Let that thought sink in as you’re clicking over for tickets, because the oversized-curio-cabinet of an institution is going all out for the Gloved One. Along with a mic and karaoke machine, the museum has also organized gin cocktails, music videos and an illustrated talk by Shannon Taggart on “the curious afterlife of Michael Jackson.” Oddities start at 8pm. (more…)

06/24/14 1:04pm
Morbid Anatomy Library 2

Like a super-sized cabinet of curiosities, the Morbid Anatomy Museum will house a massive collection of esoteric books and artifacts dealing with death. Photo: Joanna Ebenstein

If the idea of a cultural institution devoted to disease and death sounds morbid, that’s because, by definition, it is. Set to open in Gowanus this Saturday, the Morbid Anatomy Museum will be one of the world’s biggest wunderkammers (cabinets of curiosities), displaying artifacts and ideas deemed too taboo to talk about in polite society.

“I believe death is taboo because it’s treated as this horribly tragic event where your loved one is taken away before their body is cold and they’re pumped full of chemicals, made over, and laid out in this strange place with other dead people,” says Tracy Martin, the museum’s executive director. “We’re so removed from the whole process of actually experiencing death that it’s become frightening. Death is a natural part of life.”

Martin may feel more comfortable with death than most. Not unlike the Six Feet Under clan, she grew up in a family that ran a funeral parlor. But by putting our fears on display, she hopes to change our perception of them. “The more you learn about something, the less frightening it becomes,” says Martin. “There is a beauty in death.”

It’s the obscure allure of macabre material that Martin and Joanna Ebenstein, creative director of the museum, are most interested in exploring in their new 4,200-square-foot space on the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue. (more…)