If we can swing it, we’ll be crisscrossing Brooklyn from Dumbo to South Slope, Prospect Park to Bushwick to make our way to seven stellar events in BK this week. Between David Shapiro’s book launch (you know the guy who writes the reviews of Pitchfork‘s reviews), a special South African film screening as part of Celebrate Brooklyn!, parties of both the block and dance variety and a new Nicaraguan food option opening, we have plenty to keep us entertained over the next few days. On top of that, BAM is bringing back its Animation Block Party for an 11th year on Thursday and we have two free VIP tickets to give away to next Wednesday’s SummerScreen—the ’80s cult classic Heathers will be the film and our passes are to Rekorderlig Cider’s VW camper, which comes with free cider samples, reserved seats and a ping-pong table to play on prior to the film (enter to win here; we’ll contact the winner on July 29). Summertime living certainly feels easy at the moment.
UPDATE: The David Shapiro book launch we recommended for July 24 is actually on July 31. See below.
Friday, July 25: Nelson Mandela would have been 96 years old last week, but sadly the South African civil rights leader died in December—just six months short of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid in his native country. Ending segregation in South Africa was a cause Mandela devoted both his life and freedom to, and to mark the momentous occasion of its discontinuation, Celebrate Brooklyn! is presenting a rare screening of the documentary Amandla: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony (2002) tonight at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The feature doc focuses on the part music played in reunifying South Africa after the segregated social system ended in 1994. Lee Hirsch, the documentary’s director, will introduce his film, and Neo Muyanga, one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians, will also perform a set in accompaniment to a screening of William Kentridge’s short doc, Second-hand Reading (2013), starting at 7:30pm.
Saturday, July 26: Fifth Avenue, between 12th and 18th Streets, is shutting down on Friday night for South Slope Summer Strolls. The annual community block party starts at 5pm and will include face painting, a bouncy house and basketball hoops, as well more adult-oriented entertainment like live music, fire performers and free hot dogs at South. Salsa band Sonido Costeno is performing and Brooklyn Boulders will be installing a mobile rock-climbing wall for the occasion. If you missed our Total South Slope Immersion in June, or if you still have some tickets left to use from the event, Friday night is shaping up to be an ideal way to get reacquainted with the area.
Sunday, July 27: When we put together our round up of Brooklyn dance parties that don’t break the bank a couple weeks ago, we were remiss for not including the Mister Sunday dance parties in Sunset Park. Since Memorial Day Weekend, the afternoon dance sessions have been taking place in a courtyard between two old warehouses in Industry City—which sounds creepy, but it’s actually rather cool. Its organizers, Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, have not only strung garden lights in the outdoor space’s birch trees, they’ve also installed a padded dance floor and made sure that people still have access to indoor plumbing. As an added bonus, when you work up an appetite from all those moves you’ve busted, you can recharge with tacos or hauraches from Country Boys or coal-oven pizza from Sottocasa, as well as sangria, limonata, Mexican Coke and Brooklyn-brewed beers to wash it all down with. Tickets are $15, and records will be spinning from 3–9pm.
Monday, July 28: If you find yourself in DUMBO and in need of a new food option this week, head to 145 Front Street because Vanessa Palazio and Adam Schneider, the folks behind Little Muenster’s grilled cheese stand, have replaced their gourmet gooey sandwiches with a special, summer-only pop up devoted to Nicaraguan street food. Little Nica, as their ephemeral eatery is being called, is serving up quesillos, a type of Nicaraguan street food traditionally sold from a roadside cart, consisting of handmade corn tortillas, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, pickled onions and crema rolled into a cone. You can also ask for add ons like smashed avocado, slow roasted pork, and braised lengua (tongue) if you’re feeling fancy. Other menu items include rice and beans and sweet plantains, all of which you can order for between $5–$9 from now until the end of September.
Tuesday, July 29: It’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good time whenever NY1 morning news anchor Pat Kiernan turns up in BK to host an event, and we expect tonight’s Pat Kiernan Trivia Food Fight at The Bell House to be worth every penny of the $26 ticket. The gist of Tuesday night’s event is this: partake in the ultimate, food-themed pop-culture trivia contest by attempting to correctly answer as many questions about the greatest food scenes in film and television, famous dishes, fictional foods, celebrity chefs and NYC restaurants/delicacies as you can for a chance to win your share of food-related prizes like tours, lectures and vouchers. There will also be plenty of actual food to eat and a chance to get on stage for a one-on-one with Kiernan as well.
Wednesday, July 30: The unexpected shuttering of 3rd Ward last October upended Brooklyn’s creative community, but the neighborhood’s artists have regrouped in recents months and are now carrying on some of the space’s most popular traditions at other local spots instead—among them its Drink n’ Draw nights, which are now taking place at Bat Haus on Wednesdays from 8–10:30pm. Every week its master of ceremonies Joel Morrison finds a different professional model to serve as a subject, and the $10 price tag includes unlimited cans of PBR. Jonesing for an artistic outlet that also involves alcohol? This sounds like just the ticket.
Thursday, July 31: Plenty of people have been mining the millennial experience for entertainment as of late, but much of the focus—Girls, Obvious Child, Francis Ha, Friendship—has been on the twenty-something female perspective. (Not that we’re complaining.) If you’re curious to hear how the other half is living, David Shapiro’s debut novel, You’re Not Much Use to Anyone, which sounds as if Shapiro took a page out of Miranda July’s book for the title, promises perspective on the nascent stages of adulthood as a dude. The book could pass for a roman à clef, considering the protagonist’s life path, a NYU graduate whose Tumblr goes viral, resembles the author’s own. Hear Shapiro explain where fact delineates from fiction with Jesse Cohen (No Effects) at the powerHouse Arena book launch, Thursday at 7pm.