This week ushers in the historic opening of the brand new and much-anticipated Whitney Museum of American Art. Although there are still tickets available to be one of the first to see it this weekend, it seems like it might be worth holding off a bit unless you love dealing with crowds. In the meantime, you can celebrate other creative pursuits by checking out the schedule for the month-long Red Bull Music Academy Festival that starts this Friday or by participating in one of several local events being held in connection with the first annual Independent Bookstore Day, which we wrote about earlier this week.
The start of May also means it’s been four full months since you made that New Year’s resolution to finally get your finances in order. The gurus at Brooklyn Plans, a community-based, collaborative financial planning startup venture, are here to help you finally do it: They’ve set up a pop-up in the Realty Collective office in Red Hook for the entire month of May, with a schedule of really helpful programs on things like student loan counseling, finance for couples, finding the perfect rental, and travel hacking.
But don’t worry, we’re not just here to lecture you about stuff you’d probably prefer to ignore. In fact, we’ve found something cool and different for you to do every day this week, so get out there and make it a seven-day stretch to remember!
Thursday, April 30
Just because we’re city-dwellers, doesn’t mean that we don’t get the urge to grow plants every once in a while, especially when the signs of spring are popping up all around us. Maybe you’ve been itching to tend to your own crops but just need a little encouragement and instruction to get over the gardening speedbump that is living in a tiny urban apartment? Luckily, the head gardener at Roberta’s is offering a series of classes this spring to get you started–with a walking/tasting tour of the restaurant’s kitchen garden and a complimentary beer thrown in for good measure. Thursday’s class is focused on baby greens, like those found on Roberta’s famous white and green pizza, and everyone will go home with their own pot of baby greens to grow and harvest at home. The hour-long session starts at 7:30 and costs $25. –K.H.
Friday, May 1
The next time you are strolling through Washington Square Park, consider that it could have been paved over with a giant expressway in the ‘50s were it not for the tenacity of one urban community activist (and enemy to Robert Moses), Jane Jacobs. This weekend, the Municipal Art Society of New York is hosting more than 200 free guided walks all over the city in honor of both Jacobs and the staggering array of sights, sounds, and stories that the vast patchwork of neighborhoods we call home has to offer. There are 34 walks scheduled in Brooklyn, including a sneak peek at the construction on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park at 6pm on Friday, a Brewing History of Bushwick tour on Saturday, and Sunday’s timely East New York: Past, Present and Future. . . Frontier!, but it would also be a great opportunity to get out of the borough and learn about something new, like the Tibetan buildings in Staten Island or Lost and Found Murals in East Harlem. The full list of “Jane’s Walks,” which will take place between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon, is available here.–K.H.
Saturday, May 2
It’s the first Saturday in May, which means it’s time for some Kentucky Derby action, and it turns out that Brooklyn is the place to be to watch the unfortunately named favorite to win, Dortmund, and his equine buddies race around the track (well, unless you’re actually planning a trip to Louisville, that is). The mother of all Derby parties, the Brooklyn Derby, is celebrating its 12th year at Greenwood Park starting at 4pm, so get your seersucker out from storage. Of course, the four hours of mint juleps, Southern-style pulled pork feast, live alt-country, old timey jazz, and DIY hat-making station comes with a hefty $95 price tag, so if you’re looking for a cheaper option The Bell House is throwing its annual gala (with a pay-as-you-go bar) for just $10 per ticket, and Pete’s Candy Store is hosting its yearly party with ribs, juleps and the “Idiot Stakes,” which gives you a second chance at winning should you pick the wrong horse. Newcomer Berg’n is entering the fray with a costume contest, slushie juleps (yum!), $5 Sixpoint drafts, and food specials, while whiskey bar Noorman’s Kil will be projecting the races on the wall, pouring Four Roses mint juleps, and raffling off related prizes. Finally, foodies will appreciate the 5th annual Derby party at Mable’s Smokehouse, which promises derby pie and “friendly wagering.” May the best horse win! –K.H.
Sunday, May 3
It’s the beginning of a new month, which means that the good people at Nitehawk have put together another weekend brunch series of films focused on a specific theme. This time, it’s all about the Cold War, so conjure up your childhood memories of Gorbachev and Elton John’s Nikita video and head over at 11:45am to see one of the most ‘80s movies of all time: Red Dawn, starring the dearly departed Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Grey as a bunch of teenaged Wolverines who save their town from a Soviet attack. Later in May, you can catch classics like The Hunt for Red October, Dr. Strangelove, and– of course– Rocky IV, on the big screen. As always, a full brunch menu (including drinks) will be available.–K.H.
Monday, May 4
This Monday, Fort Greene’s Greene Grape Annex invites you to get cultured with a talking and tasting event devoted to the art of yogurt. New York Times food writer Melissa Clark will moderate a yummy discussion between Yogurt Culture author Cheryl Sternman Rule and local yogurt-makers Homa Dashtaki of White Moustache yogurt and John and Angela Fout of Sohha Savory Yogurt. Learn how yogurt differs across cultures (sorry!) and get an insider’s look at the process of making and cooking with the popular snack and topping. After the talk, there will be plenty of time for questions, book signings, refreshments, and, of course, complimentary yogurt tastings. Admission is free and open to the public; the talk begins at 6pm.–N.R.
Tuesday, May 5
Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo, the holiday that this country can’t seem to come to a consensus about. Is it little more than an excuse for chain restaurants to hawk neon slushie drinks in obnoxious TV ads or is it a major holiday that we should be celebrating to the hilt? Either way, it’s a fun excuse to cut loose on a Tuesday night, and there are lots of opportunities for you to do just that around these parts. Mexican favorite Fonda will host a special night of celebration at all of its locations, featuring $9 drink specials, $7 tacos, food specials, and enough mariachi music to keep you dancing into the night. Ted & Honey in Carroll Gardens is having a pop-up dinner featuring Nazario Cruz, the restaurant’s very own Puebla-born sous chef, and his version of elote, mole poblano con pollo, and strawberry fritters. The dinner has two seatings and drink pairings are included with the price of your $55 ticket. If you’d like a more hands-on approach, The Brooklyn Kitchen is offering a tamale, salsa, and guacamole making party with traditional recipes and techniques straight from the teacher’s Abuela. Tickets are $85 and are available here. Finally, if you want to keep things simple and cheap, you can never go wrong with a Sunset Park taco tour–we’re partial to Tacos El Bronco.— N.R.
Wednesday, May 6
The devastating situation in Nepal has been on everyone’s mind this week, and if you’re looking for a way to help it might be as simple as working from your favorite co-working spot on Wednesday. DUMBO Startup Lab is spearheading an effort, through its Co-working for Nepal initiative, to get shared workspaces across Manhattan and Brooklyn to step up and donate a limited number of seats for a pay-what-you-wish day to support relief efforts in Nepal. You can simply register here for a seat at Dumbo Startup Lab (DUMBO), St. Lydia’s (Carroll Gardens), Bat Haus (Bushwick), New Work City (Soho), Impact Hub (Soho), or The Compound Cowork and then show up on Wednesday with proof of a donation in any amount to an organization like Global Giving, and you’ll get a clean, professional space to work all day. That’s it! Of course, even if you can’t make it to a coworking space, it goes without saying that there is still a great need for funds, and any donation you can make would be greatly appreciated. — N.R.