While we here at Brooklyn Based are busy prepping for our Gowanus Immersion on Saturday, we concede that it is not the only game in town this very busy week in our borough (although it might be the most fun). There are large-scale festivals and events going on all over the place, including the 22nd annual Red Hook Fest, which runs Thursday- Sunday with free Hometown BBQ (the BEST), kayaking, dance and music performances, and Red Hook trivia. A summer day in Red Hook is a delight any time, and this is a great way to show your support for a unique and wonderful community that was nearly destroyed by Sandy. Sunday also marks the Tour de Brooklyn bike race, and you can celebrate even if you aren’t registered to ride by chowing down on food and beer at the unofficial afterparty, a second birthday celebration for Bicycle Roots bike shop in Crown Heights.
If you’re looking for A-list comedy, The Bell House has got you covered this week. Snatch a ticket to tonight’s not-quite-sold-out show featuring Twitter King Rob Delaney and the super funny Jessi Klein of Inside Amy Schumer, or make plans to attend Tuesday’s album release party for the multi-talented comedian/writer/rock star Dave Hill, with guests like Michelle Wolf, Seaton Smith, Greg Barris. Either way, you’ve got lots of laughter in your future.
Finally, as we noted, this is a jam-packed week, so you might find yourself overstimulated and in need of some serious R&R. If that’s the case, sign up for the Saturday evening Sound Healing session at Brooklyn Zen Center (bonus: you’ll already be right in the hood if you’re at the Immersion). Starting at 7pm, integrative sound therapist Nate Martinez will use gongs, drumming, tuning forks, and singing bowls to created a relaxing, meditative state “sound bath” that sounds like a pretty perfect way to spend an hour and a half.
We’ve got loads more ideas of things for you to do and see between now and next Wednesday, so read on and get your GCal ready!
Thursday, June 4
I read something like 26 Shakespeare plays in college and retained next to nothing from the experience, which is why I’m always amazed by how easily I get sucked right in to a well-done stage production, especially one that manages to inject some modern elements into the mix without feeling forced or distracting. Theatre for a New Audience’s new production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which runs through June 20, does just that and does it splendidly– deftly emphasizing the jokes that still land from what was probably Shakespeare’s first play and using simple, contemporary costumes and sets. The story (a love-rectangle between two best friends and the women they love) is a predecessor to the familiar, modern-day romcom, with a dose of problematic late 1500s male entitlement thrown in, but the actors manage to defuse that somewhat by overtly acknowledging silliness as it arises. Despite lacking agency over their lives, the female leads nonetheless command power by being smart, sharply funny, and well-performed here. The cast members seem to genuinely love performing this play together, and their joy is infectious. It’s a fun way to spend an evening– especially if you grab a quick bite beforehand, as I did, at the newly-reopened-for-the-season Habana Outpost– and tickets are only $20 if you are under 30 or a full-time student of any age, which is a ridiculously good deal for theater of this caliber. Evening shows like Thursday’s start at 7:30, and weekend matinees are at 2. –K.H.
Friday, June 5
Bushwick Open Studios, one of the biggest weekends in North Brooklyn arts, is back for its ninth year starting Friday night. Dozens of artists from throughout the neighborhood (and slightly beyond) will open the doors of their studios and workspaces and share their creations with the public all weekend. Although most studios are open between noon and 7pm on Saturday and Sunday, hours do vary so make sure you check the schedule. Friday night, the festival kicks off with an opening party at Be Electric, which features a special exhibition curated from a pool of open-call submissions, as well as drinks from Pine Box Rock Shop and Brooklyn Brewery. On Saturday from 12-5pm, Sugarlift gallery is hosting an exhibition party and rooftop BBQ, with food from Arrogant Swine, music from the Steve Kattermann band, and new work and live mural painting by the area’s best street artists, like Rubin, Sonni, and London Kaye. Then get down at the BOS Closing Party on Sunday, where you can enjoy Sixpoint beer and appetizers from Mominette and Bushwick Bakery while watching films made by local auteurs. And that hardly covers all that Bushwick Open Studios has to offer, so definitely consult the full events rundown before you make your plans. If you’d like to support local literary arts too, Molasses Books is throwing a launch party to celebrate the inaugural edition of lit mag American Chordata at 7:30 on Friday night. Finally, if all this art exposure has gotten your own creative juices flowing, head to a giant Etsy paper artwork craft party under the Manhattan Bridge Archway from 5-8pm– it’s free with rsvp and includes music, a bar and food trucks, and all the supplies you need to create your own paper masterpiece. –N.R.
Saturday, June 6
Of course, we recommend that you spend your Saturday drinking beers with us at the Gowanus Immersion, but tickets are close to selling out and if you miss the window, there are a few other things going on around town to keep you busy. American Pharoah is competing to win the Triple Crown and make history at the Belmont Stakes, and if you make plans asap, you can sign up with Tailbus for a fun-filled day at the races (transportation included). Then again, the one time I went to Belmont Stakes I ran into Sarah Palin, who was there for some inexplicable reason (and was wearing, for even less clear reasons, a bedazzled Ed Hardy hat), so you might want to just watch at a bar. Or, you can also skip it altogether and head to the Williamsburg Waterfront for the first in a month-long series of Saturday Renegade Craft Fairs, featuring 350+ independent makers selling their wares. –K.H.
Sunday, June 7
With citywide Pride not set to start for a few weeks (June 23, to be exact), Brooklyn’s LGBTQ+ community and its supporters can get things started a little earlier with the 19th Annual Brooklyn Pride Week. Entitled “In Unity There Is Strength,” this year’s Pride begins with an opening party at The Rock Shop featuring Hot Rabbit and Boy Wonder Crew ($5 cover) followed by a flag-raising ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday at noon. From there, enjoy a weeklong whirlwind of great activities, including an art exhibit at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, an interfaith service, a screening of the film, Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine at the Brooklyn Museum, a Pride 5K, a special Family Fun Zone, and much, much more before the Twilight Pride Parade on Saturday, June 13. Check out the official events list here. Happy Pride! –N.R.
Monday, June 8
Now in its seventh year, the Northside Festival returns this Monday, bringing its amazing lineup of talks, film, activities, and music back to North Brooklyn. The annual fest celebrating creativity and innovation begins with on Monday with Northside Films, a DIY Film Competition for emerging filmmakers, featuring juried screenings of The Stanford Prison Experiment, The Winds That Scatter, and Tired Moonlight as well as more than 50 shorts and episodics. Northside Innovation begins on June 11, bringing together great minds from places like Gawker Media, Glossier, LinkedIn, and Vice on HBO to discuss the future of their respective industries at the Northside Innovation Expo and the Northside Innovation Conference. Finally, the hotly-anticipated music program kicks off on Thursday with four days of concerts and performances from the likes of Run The Jewels, Neko Case, Built To Spill, Blonde Redhead, and 400-plus more musical acts. Single show tickets (some of which are totally free) can be obtained here, while more comprehensive Northside badges are for sale here. –N.R.
Tuesday, June 9
We might be well north of the Mason-Dixon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get some delicious southern cooking around these parts– in fact, the opportunities to partake in delicious, authentic ribs, brisket, pulled pork, crawfish, cornbread, and grits in NYC are seemingly endless! Case in point: Sarah Simmons, proprietor of the fabulous City Grit and new-ish LES hotspot Birds & Bubbles, will be slinging southern-influenced chicken wings and sides for just $10 a plate at Finger on the Pulse’s June BBQ blowout at Good Co. on Tuesday night. By the way, that same ten-spot entitles you to a free Brooklyn Brewery beer and complimentary Jameson Irish Whiskey to go with your dinner, and entertainment by way of DJ sets from Domino Records and Sweet Pete. Buy your ticket to either the 7:30 or 8:30pm slots here. –K.H.
Wednesday, June 10
Bored of your same old workout routine? Spice things up for a change with Garden Moves!, free outdoor dance classes taught by the talented types from the Mark Morris Dance Center every Wednesday in June and July in the Target Community Garden in Bed-Stuy. This week is a Kukuwa African Dance Workout, featuring a high-energy, choreographed routine set to African beats that are guaranteed to get your heart pumping and the rest of you sweating. The class starts at 7pm and runs for an hour, and you don’t need any prior experience to participate. –K.H.