Your Ideal Week: April 7 – April 13

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See the Spirit Family Reunion

See the Spirit Family Reunion at the Brooklyn Folk Festival this weekend: Photo: Spirit Family Reunion

What a week! Between what was probably the most exciting NCAA championship game ever, the coldest April temps in recent memory, the news that Hillary and Bernie will be squaring off in a debate right in our own backyard, MTA fiascos, and everyone scrambling to get their taxes done, perhaps you haven’t found the time to scour the borough for fun stuff to do this week. No worries, that’s what we’re here for! We’ve done the research for you, and compiled a list of super activities to help you make the most of the Ideal Week looming on the horizon, so read on and get cracking on your plans. Trust us, you can drive yourself insane flipping through the same pile of papers over and over looking for that missing 1099 form–take a break and check out one of these ideas for a much more satisfying way to spend a few hours:

Make a colorful, or monochrome, you do you, addition to your spring wardrobe. Photo: Make ToGather

Make a colorful, or monochrome, you do you, addition to your spring wardrobe. Photo: Make ToGather

Scratch your DIY itch at Henri on Fifth this Thursday night, when the Park Slope bar-resto hosts an event with Make ToGather, a roving craft consortium. This week’s session is all about colorful, tribal-inspired necklaces and bracelets. Buy a $35 ticket, and you’ll get all the instruction and materials you need to create your own unique piece–sure to add some flair to your spring wardrobe–and you might make a new friend or two in the process.

If you or someone you care about enough to cook for has gluten issues, Court Tree Collective’s Friday night Gluten-Free Sides and Sweets cooking class is a great bet. This is an instance where the $45 for a lesson from a pro is probably money well spent–as anyone who has ever dug into a sub-par GF baked good can tell you, it’s easy to miss the mark. After the two-hour course, you’ll be able to whip up an entire feast consisting of spring vegetable quiche, caramelized stuffed figs with honey, cannoli cups, and thumbprint cookies.

Saturday is a great time to check out the Brooklyn Folk Festival, which is returning for its eighth year and will run all weekend at its new home at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights. The lineup includes more than 40 sets of live music, reflecting a diverse array of sounds from gospel to blues to jug bands to traditional Syrian music, as well as food, films, discussion panels, and activities like Sunday’s weird-sounding but popular banjo toss into the Gowanus Canal. Two of the most anticipated acts, the Spirit Family Reunion, who have been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, and Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton, a blues and ragtime master who happens to be legally blind, are on the slate for Saturday night.

Don’t have a garden of your own? On Sunday afternoon, urban foraging expert Leda Meredith is leading a Prospect Park expedition that will teach you all about the edible bounty (think wild garlic, nettles, and sassafrass) that you can harvest there for free. Later on that evening, you can reconvene with your new friends at a special park-to-table meal, inspired by the ingredients you found, at Ditmas Park’s The Farm on Adderley. The tour starts at 1pm, dinner is at 8pm, and tickets to the whole shebang are $80 each.

Writer/musician/comedian/radio host/fun guy around town Dave Hill always makes me laugh. In fact, I saw him open a standup set a few years back with one line that still makes me smile every time I think about it: “I’m willing to buy that some people were Kung Fu fighting. . . ” He’s hosting a Heavy Metal Speed Dating event on Sunday night at St. Vitus Bar that sounds like it will be a blast no matter how the pool of eligible headbanging singles in attendance actually shakes out. The event is free but you should register here, and if you do luck out and chance upon your future main squeeze, you’ll have the best meet-cute story of practically anyone you know.


Burgers, burgers, burgers on a Monday night.

Burgers, burgers, burgers on a Tuesday night.

Is there a better way to cure the Monday doldrums than with a beer and the sounds of Motown spun by a rotating cast of special guest DJs? If there is, we can’t think of it, so happy hour at Bed Vyne Brew’s brand-new, weekly Motown on Mondays party sounds like a must. Cap off the evening with a ridiculously delicious fried chicken dinner from nearby Peaches Hot House and you’ll almost forget that you’re staring down another ⅘ of the work week.

Then, on Tuesday night, you can see some really great comedy for cheap at Union Hall when it hosts a slew of great comics recording their best bits for play on Sirius/XM Radio’s comedy channels. The show is hosted by comedy vet Rob Paravonian, who opened for George Carlin, and features an awesome lineup of talent, including Frank Conniff, who you know from Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Ophira Eisenberg, who hosts NPR’s Ask Me Another. Tickets are just $7 and are available here. Another option that caught our eye is the launch party for The Great American Burger Book at Dumbo’s powerHouse Arena. Renowned food writer and burger expert George Motz, who also happens to live in Brooklyn, will discuss his exploration of a plethora of distinct regional takes on the classic American meal with Eater’s Nick Solares. If you’re already craving a burger after just reading that, don’t worry, because a one-night-only burger truck will be parked outside the store and will hand out samples after the event. 

Get those spring vibes going with Steel Pulse. Photo: Steel Pulse

Get those spring vibes going with Steel Pulse. Photo: Steel Pulse

Sure, they say it’s spring, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that we’re all wearing sweaters and there was snow in the forecast earlier this week. At this point, I’m starting to think it’s all about mindset, and one thing that unfailingly reminds me of easy, sunny days spent outdoors is reggae music. As luck would have it, one of the best acts is the biz, Steel Pulse, is hitting the stage at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday night (they’re playing Tuesday too) and you can see them for just $25 if you purchase your ticket in advance.

Thursday, April 7

Make ToGather event at Henri on Fifth [PARK SLOPE]: 7-9:30, $35. Get tickets↠ 

Friday, April 8

Gluten Free Sides and Sweets at Court Tress Collective [CARROLL GARDENS]: 7pm, $45. Get tickets↠ 

Saturday, April 9

Brooklyn Folk Festival [BROOKLYN HEIGHTS] 

Sunday, April 10

Forage and Dine with Leda Meredith [PROSPECT PARK, DITMAS PARK]: 1pm, 8pm,$80. Get tickets↠ 

Heavy Metal Speed Dating, [GREENPOINT]: 8pm, free. 

Monday, April 11

Motown on Mondays at Bed-Vyne Brew,  [BED-STUY]: 6pm-12, free. 

Tuesday, April 12

Sirius/XM Comedy recording show at Union Hall [PARK SLOPE]: $7. Get tickets ↠

Great American Burger Book Launch at powerHouse Arena [DUMBO]: free. 

Wednesday, April 13

Steel Pulse at Brooklyn Bowl [WILLIAMSBURG]: Get tickets↠

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