Dare we say it? It FINALLY feels like spring around here, and this week brings a new month, some major holidays to celebrate, the promise of new beginnings and the return of much-needed greenery to our midst. If you want to accelerate your exposure to that last bit, register to pick up a free fruit tree at one of the many giveaways sponsored by the New York Restoration Project in Brooklyn this month. The rule is that you have to plant your tree in the ground somewhere within the five boroughs and agree to maintain it, but if you’re up for that, you’re in! It’s also a good time to take a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and observe the seasonal transformation underway before the place gets mobbed by the Sakura Matsuri festival crowds at the end of the month.
This week also brings the beginning of the end of AMC’s beloved Mad Men, and you might need some moral support as you contemplate the loss of Don, Joan, Peggy, Sally, Roger, and the rest of the gang (except perhaps Pete, although California has done wonders for him). When the season premiere airs at 10pm on Sunday night, you’ll have a plethora of screening options to choose from where you can commiserate with other superfans of the show, including Halyards, Monro Pub, Videology, Soda Bar, and the Graham. As the SC&P crew all knows, there’s nothing that a stiff cocktail can’t fix.
If you aren’t traveling out of town for Passover or Easter, we’ve got lots of different ways for you to fill up your time. Take a gander at our picks of the best things going on around Brooklyn this week and start making plans:
Thursday, April 2: If you haven’t had a chance to check out FLEXN, the street dance show at the Park Avenue Armory that Gabrielle Sierra previewed for us earlier this month, make sure you do before it ends its run on Saturday. Choreographer Reggie “Regg Rock” Gray pioneered flexing, a distinct and electrifying style of dance that involves pausing, snapping, gliding, bone breaking, hat tricks, animation, and contortion, in Brooklyn in the 2000s. He and director Peter Sellars joined forces in this show both to bring flexing from the streets and dancehalls to the attention of a broader audience, and also to use it as an entry point for a frank exploration of pressing racial and social justice issues, like the shooting of Michael Brown and “broken windows” policing. The choreography itself addresses these themes, and each performance is preceded by a public conversation led by a rotating panel of public figures and people who work in journalism, education, and the criminal justice system. Thursday night the topic is “College or Prison?” and the conversation begins at 7pm and show at 8pm. Tickets start at $25.–K.H.
Friday, April 3: Athens, Georgia may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of hotbeds of culture and entertainment, but the Southern college town has spawned plenty of great musical acts, including Washed Out, the B-52s, R.E.M., and most recently, the incomparably upbeat alt-rockers Reptar. This Friday, the band and its self-described “disco dust” sound is heading north of the Mason-Dixon to celebrate its new sophomore album, “Lurid Glow,” at Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Take it from a former resident of the Little A, you won’t want to miss these guys. Opening acts include Sun Club, Breathers, and Darren Keen and admission to the 7pm event is free.–N.R.
Saturday, April 4: Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is older than I am and yet every time one of its tracks pops up on my playlist I am blown away all over again by how excellent that album is. If you have a similar affinity for Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, et al, you’ll probably dig Saturday’s Fleetmac Wood Running in the Shadows Disco at Black Bear. It’s basically a huge party thrown in honor of one of the best bands of all time, with “lovingly curated” re-edits and original tracks playing all night (although covers are expressly prohibited), and the concept has already drawn lots of enthusiastic FW heads to previous shows in Brooklyn, L.A., San Francisco, and at Burning Man. Tickets are $10 if you buy them in advance and $15 at the door, and the tunes will be blasting from 9pm-2am.–K.H.
Sunday, April 5: In other parts of the world, robins and daffodils signal the arrival of spring, but in New York City, it’s the beginning of Smorgasburg’s outdoor season that really marks the advent of better days. Luckily for us, the most famous food fest in a borough known for food fests returns this weekend to Williamsburg’s East River State Park on Saturday and Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 on Sunday, bringing the return of fan favorites like Asia Dog and Ramen Burger as well as a whole slew of first-timers who made it through Smorgasburg’s rigorous audition process. (Be sure to check out the five new vendors whose treats we’re most looking forward to sampling here.) Gates open at 11am and snacks will be served until 6pm, but we suggest you get there pretty early. After all, delicious food waits for no one.–N.R.
Monday, April 6: What doesn’t Brooklyn Bridge Park have? There are unrivaled views of the Manhattan skyline, a beach, an amazing summer concert series . . . a freakin’ roller rink! But as we know all too well, cool stuff like that doesn’t come cheap, and the Park needs our support to remain the awesome resource that it is. So, if you love the BBP and want it to continue offering great activities and amenities, drop by the Park Conservancy’s Spring Cocktail Party at DUMBO’s Superfine on Monday at 7pm. Tickets to the 21+ event will get you tasty hors d’oeuvres, two drink tickets, and a chance to win very special items from some of Brooklyn’s best shops. Admission is $25 for current members of the Conservancy and $30 for non-members, and if you join up online before Friday you can snag one more free ticket.–N.R.
Tuesday, April 7: Everyone I know is raving about It Follows, which is apparently the most terrifying and original horror flick to come out since The Ring, but I am pretty much the ultimate wimp when it comes to scary movies and should never lay eyes on either The Ring or It Follows if anyone ever wants me to sleep through a night again. What I did see last weekend is Wild Tales, an Argentinian-Spanish black comedy that received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars and was finally released in this country about a month ago. The film consists of six standalone vignettes about the psychotic lengths people go to get revenge, and it evokes an unsettling vibe underpinned by sharp social commentary, a characteristic that people who enjoyed Black Mirror will respond to. It was co-produced by Pedro Almodovar, and his influence is palpable in the film’s random violence and dark humor, but as a whole it feels totally new and original, which is striking in and of itself these days. Both It Follows and Wild Tales are screening at Nitehawk and BAM through Thursday of this week.–K.H.
Wednesday, April 8: We all know that CSAs are great in theory: you get high-quality, healthy produce and provide much needed support to local, responsible farmers while at the same time usually saving a buck or two over what you’d pay in a grocery store. Despite all these advantages though, signing up for a CSA membership can still feel daunting. Have you ever almost pulled the trigger but then the pickup times seemed inconvenient? Maybe you got worried you’d end up with a backlog of celeriac or fennel rotting away in your fridge? Whatever the reason for your CSA phobia, get over it this Wednesday from 8-10pm at “Community-Supported What? Demystifying the CSA Movement,” a special panel sponsored by Edible Brooklyn at Brooklyn Brewery. For the price of a $5 ticket, you’ll learn from the experts and be guided to a CSA that easily fits into your life, just in time to partake in the springtime bounty.–K.H.
Tips this week by Kate Hooker and Nikita Richardson