Greetings from the other side of the tipping point. I’ve been trying to avoid social media and TV today, but I must say that the little I have seen has impressed me. There are a lot of people out there writing and tweeting about how, now more than ever, we need to feel hopeful, to remain committed to fighting for our country, and to take comfort in the fact that people are basically decent and there are many Americans who are not full of hate and anger.
I am in awe of the people who have the strength and optimism to feel those things right now. I am also just not there yet myself. I wish I could relay a positive message but all I can think about is that we just handed everything over to an unrepentantly ill-informed narcissist who embodies the belief that a majority of this country’s population (myself included) is inherently “less than.” It’s grim. It’s unthinkable. It’s still very raw.
I know that in coming days and weeks we’ll all find it somewhere in us to be energized to fight the good fight again. The numbness and helplessness will give way to tenacity and we will come back stronger and more determined and most of all wiser because of this setback. Time and time again it’s been proven that humanity’s limitless resilience is among our most profound and remarkable strengths. But there’s also no shame in needing to take time to recover and recharge.
So I’m giving myself a break today, and maybe tomorrow, and however long it takes. What I do know is that it isn’t over. We are stronger than bigotry and stupidity. Somehow, it will eventually be okay. But for now, I’m exiting the echo chamber and focusing on things that don’t make me feel alienated and apoplectic, which include getting out and about in the beautiful, diverse, and forward-thinking borough that we are lucky to call home. It might not be an Ideal Week, but the show must go on, and it might be a little easier to get through if you get yourself back in the game out to one of the many great events going on this week.
Thursday, November 10
Did you all take that interactive quiz on the NYT website a few years back that asked questions like “What do you call a firefly?” and was able to pinpoint where you are from to the county? If not, you should check it out because it’s pretty amazing, especially if you are the kind of person who is fascinated by regional accents and dialect. And then you might want to plan to see its creator, Josh Katz, when he appears in conversation with Ben Zimmer, the language columnist for the Wall Street Journal, at Greenlight Bookstore on Thursday night at 7:30pm. Katz, a full-time graphics editor, will be presenting his Speaking American book, which is billed as an extraordinary visual tour through the American vernacular.
Friday, November 11
On Friday night you can catch the very funny Judah Friedlander, of 30 Rock fame, returning to his standup roots at 7:30pm. Lord knows we need a World Champion right about now, and you can see this self-proclaimed one for the price of a $10 ticket.
Saturday, November 12
Saturday you can deal with your election-related woes the good old fashioned American way–by drowning them in booze. Brooklyn Crush, a wine and artisanal food festival, is descending upon Industry City with a curated selection of 175+ wines, hors d’oeuvres straight from Brooklyn, and live music. There are afternoon and evening sessions to choose from, and tickets start at $69. Or you can head to Villain from 9am- 3:30pm for an epic Battle of Bloody Marys featuring tomato-based beverages from places like Buvette, the Cannibal, Llama Inn, and more. Tickets start at $45 and are available here. For the musically-minded among us, Williamsburg music venue Union Pool is hosting an afternoon show in collaboration with A Song A Day, a Brooklyn-based music discovery community. The concert will feature Cut Worms, Nassau, and Ben Seretan, tickets are just $10, and the party starts at 2pm. And finally, Dumbo-based art gallery Smack Mellon is celebrating 20 great years of promoting local artists with a new exhibition featuring over 90 works that opens on Saturday at 6pm.
Sunday, November 13
Given the events of this week, the monthly yoga and poetry class happening at the Brooklyn Public Library on Sunday morning sounds like just what the doctor ordered. The series brings living poets onsite to read from their work as participants receive professional yoga instruction– you’ll just need to bring your own mat. This month’s poet is Bob Holman, the class starts at 9:30am, and you can register for a free spot here.
If you feel like laughing again by the time Monday rolls around, there are two great comedy events happening in Gowanus that night. Littlefield is hosting the Fourth Anniversary of Night Train with Wyatt Cenac at 8pm, and The Bell House has a live recording of Ask Me Another, featuring guests Dennis Quaid, Cary Elwes, and Christian Cook at 7:30. Meanwhile, across town, you can catch a screening of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as part of Nitehawk’s popular Booze & Books series. Your $25 ticket includes two beers from Flying Dog Brewery, and the movie starts at 7:30pm.
Tuesday, November 15
If you’re feeling like getting out of the house and being entertained this week’s installment of The Fancy Show, a free comedy show brought to you by Langston Kerman, Michael Joyce, and Lane Pieschel, is back at Dizzy’s starting at 8:30pm. Enjoy $5 wine and $3 mystery beers while being treated to the comedic stylings of guests Dave Ross and Michelle Wolf.
Wednesday, November 16
Cat lovers take note: On Wednesday night, Stone Park Cafe is hosting a fundraiser for Brooklyn Animal Action and to honor Ferals in Peril for their tireless work on behalf of our city’s homeless cats. Tickets to Party for Paws 2016 start at $35 and are available here, and they include food and drink specials from Stone Park’s renowned bar and kitchen.