Valentine’s Day is upon us this week, and if that fact alone makes you want to hole up in your apartment indefinitely, just think of it as an opportunity to remind everyone you care about how loved they are (and to eat loads of chocolate). There are also activities galore to avail yourself of, so rest assured that we are indeed embarking on another Ideal Week, even if this one happens to include an overblown, somewhat phony holiday that has the potential to make you feel bad and/or forces you to pretend that the conversation heart is an even vaguely viable excuse for actual candy.
Here’s one great, non-V Day thing happening this week to get the ball rolling: Roberta’s is doing another kitchen takeover at Williamsburg’s Humboldt and Jackson all week long, and that means you can snatch up one of the premier pizzeria’s elusive square pies from 5pm every night until they run out of dough, and starting at noon on Sunday. Get there early–they go fast, folks.
Another cool idea for the weekend is to grab a ticket or two to Show:Up, an intimate, immersive pop-up dinner started by two lifelong friends from Bed-Stuy and hosted in a secret location. Season Two of the popular experiential dinner party and improv theater performance is kicking off in Brooklyn on Saturday, before hitting the road for Atlanta, Detroit, LA and DC. Also on Saturday, you can head to the brand-new Landing at Industry City to hear Baby Soda Jazz Band and The Tribute String Quartet play Wedding Crashers’ Bootlegger’s Tea Party with Lucy Music from 1-3pm. It’s free with RSVP, and guests get free small bites and BarkTHINS. The Landing is a gorgeous new venue run by the owners of The Bell House and Union Hall, and it’s right across from Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea, so if you needed an excuse to finally visit Industry City, this is it.
Remember a few years ago when the Internet was all abuzz about My Little Pony fetishists, or Bronys? Well, you can observe the phenomenon first-hand this weekend by heading to The Grand Prospect Hall, as the venerable producer of the quintessential NY1 ad campaign will be hosting Ponycon 2016 and tickets are still available. The event is open to fans of all ages, and scheduled events include a costume contest, appearances by special guests from the TV show, and workshops like Prancing with the Stars, Ponysuit Making 101, and Enhancing your Fandom through Homebrewing. See, you almost forgot about Valentine’s there for a minute, didn’t you?
Finally, on Valentine’s Day itself, you can celebrate the many forms and permutations that love takes with a special screening of the Hal Ashby classic, Harold and Maude, at Videology at 7pm. Your ticket includes a chocolate-covered strawberry and a chilled glass of Prosecco, two traditional Valentine’s Day treats that you definitely don’t need to be in a relationship to enjoy.
Those are just a few things to look forward to, but there’s a bunch more where they came from. Another Ideal Week is fast approaching, so read on and discover a bevy of ways to keep busy.
Thursday, Feb. 11 If heteronormative definitions of romance and love aren’t really your style, then you’ll probably want a Valentine’s Day experience that takes a slightly different approach, and you’ll get just that if you kick off the lovey-dovey weekend with Kweendom’s Valentine’s Gay celebration. This Thursday night, journalist/blogger/comedian Bobby Hankinson invites revelers to “round up. . . friends, lovers, husbands, wives, non-monogamous genderqueer paramours and party with some of NY’s finest LGBTQ comedians and storytellers” at The Unicorn. Featured players include Garry Hannon of web series The Real Queens of Kings County, playwright and performer Ryan Haddad, and comedy band Afterbirth Monkey, among a host of other funny acts. There’s a suggested donation of $10 at the door (net profit will go to LGBTQ youth organization Streetwise & Safe) and the partay begins at 8pm. –N.R.
Friday, Feb. 12 Gowanus Darkroom, a community darkroom and photography center located in–you guessed it–Gowanus is celebrating its first anniversary in style this Friday night with a party starting at 8pm. Swing by after dinner for drinks, DJ sets, and the chance to see a brand new gallery exhibition of works produced in the darkroom. Like what you see? You can pick up one of the prints that will be on sale, which might make for a pretty sweet Valentine’s Day present for your sweetheart or, better yet, for yourself! — K.H.
Saturday, Feb. 13 Leslie Knope said it best: Galentine’s Day is dedicated to “ladies celebrating ladies.” The tradition should definitely live on, despite the conclusion of Parks & Rec’s run, so leave your boyfriends and husbands behind this Saturday and gather your best pals of the female persuasion for a Galentine’s Day celebration sponsored by Word bookstore at Villain. Maddie Caldwell, who leads Word’s Romance Book Group, will host an evening of cold drinks, hot conversation, and book matchmaking (sounds saucy!) plus a panel featuring local romance novelists Megan Frampton, Sarah MacLean, Maya Rodale, Tessa Bailey, and Zoraida Córdova. Enter the raffle to win great prizes like booze, an e-reader, and–of course–books. A $10 ticket gets you access to the party and the panel plus a book of your choice from any of the five authors in attendance. Doors open at 6pm. –N.R.
Sunday, Feb. 14 You might think that Valentine’s Day is the worst mating ritual out there, but that’s just because you’re forgetting about that dismal rite of passage feared by tweens across the nation known as “Seven Minutes In Heaven.” You remember, being forced into someone’s parents’ coat closet with a classmate upon whom you invariably did not have a crush, where you sweatily counted down the seconds until you were released into a pack of hormonal pubescents who all assumed you’d been furiously making out in there. Ughhhhhh. [Did anyone actually do this?–ed.] Greenpoint’s Diamond Bar has a much more romantic (and way less awkward) answer to everyone’s least favorite middle school game. This Sunday, you can cuddle up with your significant other (you know, someone you actually like) in a real-life gondola for seven minutes of true romance, which includes an on-call butler, mood music, champagne, aphrodisia-inducing oysters, and your choice of dessert all for just $25, or $12.50 each if you’re going dutch. Simply shoot an email to email@example.com to book your reservation between 5pm and 8pm on Sunday night and then let the romance take you where it will. –N.R.
Monday, Feb. 15 If you have Monday off but you’re stuck in town for the long weekend, bring the whole gang to Brooklyn Bowl from noon to 6pm for no cover charge bowling at Brooklyn Bowl’s President’s Day Family Bowl. You can blow off some steam striking pins down like a boss, and dig into some of the best fried chicken in town (courtesy of Blue Ribbon). After bowling, why not catch a flick at nearby Nitehawk Cinema? On Monday they’re screening the Oscar shorts, Brooklyn, Spotlight, Hateful Eight, and Michael Moore’s latest, Where to Invade Next. –K.H.
Tuesday, Feb. 16 The New York premiere of Nice Fish, a new play co-written by and starring the incomparable Mark Rylance, will hit the stage at St. Ann’s Warehouse on Valentine’s Day but that show is already sold out and, if we’re being honest, the show on Tuesday the 16th is sold out too. The reason we’re sticking this writeup here is to encourage everyone to buy tickets now for one of the dates later in the run, which lasts through March 27. There are seats still available starting at $66 each, but we have a feeling that once reviews hit the local press early next week it will suddenly get much harder to score a ticket. While you’re at it, you might as well pick up seats to see the thankfully-very-much-back-on-the-scene Gillian Anderson reprise her highly-acclaimed London turn as Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire. That show has a high sell-out probability too, but as of now there are currently plenty of open seats throughout the April 23- June 4 run. –K.H.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 There’s been a lot of ink spilled over the past several years–by us here at Brooklyn Based and others all over the globe–about the renaissance of our borough’s local industry and commerce. There’s no denying there’s been an explosion of small business around these parts, but why did it happen now, is it sustainable, and what does the future hold for homegrown entrepreneurial endeavors? These are just a few of the questions that will be explored at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Brooklyn Business Boon panel taking place this Wednesday night. Jim Cramer (that’s right, the yell-y guy from CNBC’s Mad Money) will lead the head honchos from Etsy, Livestream, Brooklyn Brewery, Steiner Studios and more in a discussion about Brooklyn’s ever-evolving economy. Tickets are $10, and the presentation begins at 7pm. –K.H.