Your Ideal Week: April 16-April 22

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Novelist Junot Diaz is doing a free reading and Q&A at St. Francis College this Thursday night at 7pm. Photo: St. Francis College

Novelist Junot Diaz is doing a free reading and Q&A at St. Francis College this Thursday night at 7pm. Photo: St. Francis College

Been a while since you heard a really great story? This week, there are so many cool literary/storytelling events going on in Brooklyn that we can’t possibly choose between them, but here’s a quick rundown so you can decide for yourself.

First up, we have to deal with the sad news that Big Terrific, the beloved weekly comedy show at Cameo run by Jenny Slate, Gabe Liebman, and Max Silvestri, then by just Gabe Liebman and Max Silvestri, and then, for the past few years, by Max Silvestri alone, is coming to an end after seven hilarious years. Final shows are tonight and next Wednesday at 8pm and, as always, are free.

Thursday night, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao author Junot Diaz will be reading and doing a Q&A at St. Francis College as part of the Walt Whitman Writers Series. Admission is free and first come first served, so you should probably get there long before the 7pm start time.

If you are looking to laugh on Thursday, we are once again teaming up with comedian Tom Shillue and Brooklyn Brewery to bring you Funny Story, the hilarious monthly showcase of excellent raconteurs that CBS named one of the 5 best storytelling shows in New York City. As always, your $10 ticket includes a beer, and this time we are running a special 2-for-1 deal for advance ticket purchases in honor of NYC Comedy Week.

Nostalgia for your adolescence? You won’t want to miss Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine when he reads from the latest installment in his creepy Fear Street series, Don’t Stay Up Late, at Bookcourt on Saturday night at 7pm. Just don’t walk home alone in the dark!

Of course, there are lots of other kinds of things going on this week in Brooklyn, from Industry City’s Open Studios to the seventh annual Brooklyn Folk Festival. Read on for more ideas on cool ways to spend the next seven days.

Hear Kehinde Wiley discuss his work and his wildly popular retrospective show at the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc.

Hear Kehinde Wiley discuss his work and his wildly popular retrospective show at the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc.

Thursday April 16

With all-star visitors like Lupita Nyong’o and name drops on Empire, there’s no denying that the Brooklyn Museum’s Kehinde Wiley show, which we previewed here, has taken Brooklyn—and the rest of the city—by storm. But if you want to truly immerse yourself in the exhibit be sure to drop by the museum tomorrow night at 7pm to hear the groundbreaking artist discuss his work at an interactive media talk and Q&A session. Wiley will touch on what this show means for his career as well as its impact on broader discussions of race, gender, and beauty standards. Afterwards, stick around for snacks and drinks and catch a very special performance by Washington D.C.’s multi-talented DJ Spooky. Tickets are $16 and include Museum admission, but if you are a museum member you get in free.–N.R.

Get into the old-timey groove at the Seventh Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival this weekend. Photo: Raymond Haddad

Get into the old-timey groove at the Seventh Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival this weekend. Photo: Raymond Haddad

Friday, April 17

Maybe folk music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Brooklyn, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on Down Home Radio and The Jalopy Theatre’s 7th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church. Drop by for three days of music featuring 30 bands, and a great lineup of screenings and workshops (vocal harmony lessons, anyone?). Then, at 1pm on Sunday, show up at the corner of Smith and 9th Streets in Gowanus for a banjo tossing contest, which is exactly what it sounds like with a banjo as the first prize. Tickets for the whole 3-day shebang are $80, but tickets for just Saturday or Sunday are $35, and even less if you’d rather drop by for just a few hours. All tickets (and the full schedule) can be found here.–N.R.

Get an intimate peek into hundreds of artists' and makers' studios at Industry City on Saturday. Photo: Industry City

Get an intimate peek into hundreds of artists’ and makers’ studios at Industry City on Saturday. Photo: Industry City

Saturday, April 18

Sure, you keep hearing about how Industry City has been transformed from a decrepit brownfield site to a buzzing hive of makers, small-batch food producers, and startups, but it’s hard to really envision what’s going on there if you hadn’t had a chance to walk around and get an up-close-and-personal view. Quench your curiosity this Saturday from 11-6 at the second-ever Industry City Open Studios, where over 100 participating artists and manufacturers are inviting the public into their workspaces to learn, observe, and shop. Many of the diverse group of tenants–which includes distillers, chocolatiers, painters, sculptors, photographers, fashion designers, and furniture makers–will be offering discounts on their products, and some will provide exclusive access to thus far unseen work. It’s a perfect way to get an early peek at this rapidly-growing manufacturing hub which, thanks to a $1 billion redevelopment plan, might be unrecognizable in just a few years. Admission is free.–K.H.

Trade in your old books for some new faves at the Earth Day Book Swap on Sunday. Photo: Kate Hooker

Trade in your old books for some new faves at the Earth Day Book Swap on Sunday. Photo: Kate Hooker

Sunday, April 19

Have you been lugging boxes of the same books around to every apartment you’ve lived in since college? Hate to break it to you, but the likelihood that you will get through Ulysses or As I Lay Dying again anytime soon isn’t high, and in the interim those aging volumes are just collecting tons of dust and contributing to the annoyingness of your next move. Enter Sunday’s Earth Day Book Swap, where you can exchange up to 5 used books (as long as they’re ones you really loved) for someone else’s favorite reads between 2-5pm in Union Square. It’s good for your wallet and the environment, and any unclaimed books will be donated to Housing Works, so it’s really a no-brainer.–K.H.

This 4/20 might be a little more lax, in light of recent changes to the law, than the time when Brooklyn sanitation workers systematically eradicated 41,000 pounds of wild pot growing in vacant lots. Photo: Brooklyn Public LIbrary/Brooklyn Eagle archive

This 4/20 might be a little more lax, in light of recent changes to the law, than the time when Brooklyn sanitation workers systematically eradicated 41,000 pounds of wild pot growing in vacant lots. Photo: Brooklyn Public Library/Brooklyn Eagle archive

Monday, April 20

It’s the first 4/20 since everyone around here chilled out about weed, so it’s a good year to really celebrate, if you’re into that kind of thing. Monday night at the Knitting Factory, comedian Rob Cantrell and sketch comedy group Murderfist are hosting a special 4/20 Spectacular show, featuring standup, sketch and music with special guests Michelle Wolf, Nick Vatterott, and Unicorn Smack. Tickets are $10 each and the show starts at 8pm. If you’re looking for a more low-key approach, Videology is showing four screenings of 420 Fest: Higher Channels, which features shorts by 15 local filmmakers and is being billed as “an evening of late night cable television programming with a particularly dazed demographic in mind.” Tickets to the 7, 8:30, 10:15, or midnight screenings are just 5 bucks a pop. Finally, make sure you check out our handy guide to pot paraphernalia to make sure you’re geared up for the big day, and revisit an oldie but goodie about the great Brooklyn pot bust of 1951. –K.H.

Learn to make your own flower crown at Three's Brewery on Tuesday night. Photo: Stems Brooklyn

Learn to make your own flower crown at Three’s Brewery on Tuesday night. Photo: Stems Brooklyn

Tuesday, April 21

After a brief winter-induced hiatus, we can only assume that the flower crown, last summer’s number one Pinterest trend, will come booming back on the scene now that sunny days are here and rustic weddings and outdoor music festivals loom in the near future. Learn how to make your own from the floral experts at Stems (the flower shop in Scamore Bar) when they relocate to Three’s Brewery for a special Brews, Blossoms & Babes workshop this Tuesday at 7:30pm. Tickets are $50, but that includes supplies, an hour of instruction, a flight of beer, tax and tip.–K.H.

Enjoy a delicious and Earth Day-friendly vegan meal at the Culinary Collective pop-up on Wednesday. Photo: Culinary Collective

Enjoy a delicious and Earth Day-friendly vegan meal at the Culinary Collective pop-up on Wednesday. Photo: Culinary Collective

Wednesday, April 22

Wednesday is Earth Day, and one way to show your commitment to the environment is to change your eating habits by swapping out animal products for a plant-based diet and trying to limit food waste. You can achieve both these goals in style at a ten-course dinner served in a Clinton Hill brownstone by the Culinary Collective, a pop-up dinner series launched by accomplished vegan chefs Jay Astafa and Angela Lowe. The vegetable-forward menu will feature small bites, entrees, plant-based cheeses, and desserts inspired by salvaged ingredients, in keeping with the theme of conscientious consumption. Tickets are $100, but that includes ten courses with wine pairings, and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to City Harvest.–K.H.

Tips this week by Kate Hooker and Nikita Richardson

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