Welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing long weekend! If the amount that I’ve heard that weird version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside (which Shazam tells me features Seth McFarlane, for some reason?) while going about my daily routine is any indication, the holiday season is upon us. And while that means lots of running around and stressing about what to buy people and eating and drinking too much, ’tis also the season to remember those around us for whom the holidays are not the whirlwind of cocktail parties and high-stakes cookie exchanges that the TV commercials would have you believe. Especially given the heightened anxiety and vulnerability caused by the recent ascension of our orange overlord, it’s a good time to donate time or money or coats to help people who need it, and to reach out to that friend who had a particularly tough 2016 and ask them if they want to go for a walk or get a drink. It’s a nice way to show you care, obviously, but I bet it will make you feel more connected, grounded, and focused on what’s really important too.
This week, we’ve found a ton of fun ways for you to spend your spare time—whether you want to watch a movie, hear jokes, cook, eat, create, give back, ride, or shop. Read on and take note of the things that strike your fancy, and make sure you make the most of another Ideal Week.
I have a long history of avoiding movies that I know are amazing but that seem too upsetting for me to handle at the time they are in theaters. Case in point: I caved and watched Schindler’s List for the first time in about 2010, and spent weeks afterwards telling everyone about it while they were like “yep, way to go uncovering that unsung diamond in the rough, weirdo.” And now I will come clean and admit that in 2016, I still have never seen Platoon, Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket, Born on the Fourth of July, Precious, or Dallas Buyer’s Club (I know, I know. . . ). The last of those films is being screened at Nitehawk Cinema on Thursday night in honor of World AIDS Day, which is a pretty good reason for me to finally put my fears of emotional overload aside, followed by a post-movie Q&A with Jeremiah Johnson of the HIV Prevention Research & Policy Coordinator for Treatment Action Group. The movie starts at 6:30pm and tickets are $16.
Alternatively, you can get started on your New Year’s resolution of “more pizza” by signing up for a special Wood Fired Pizza Class from the best in the game: Roberta’s. Starting at 6:30pm, the dough slinging experts will be schooling would-be pizza mavens all the tricks of the trade in this 2 ½ hour class at the Pfizer Building. Tickets are pricey at $125 a pop, but that includes unlimited pizza, beer and wine.
Friday, December 2
Rekindle memories from your childhood Christmases past this Friday night at the 8th Annual live performance of the Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, the verbatim real life rendition of the classic Peanuts holiday special, complete with a jazz trio playing the iconic Vince Guaraldi score, will be happening at ShapeShifter Lab this weekend and next. Friday’s performance starts at 7pm and tickets are $12.
Saturday, December 3
Here’s a cozy way to while away a winter Saturday: Mosey on over to Ditmas Park for the first installation of Sycamore Bar’s Art in the Bar Workshop Series. These hands-on, one-off classes will cover visual art topics like printmaking on totebags, collage and mixed media, watercolor, and book binding, and will be happening on select Saturdays from 2-4pm through April. This week’s focus will be on acrylic on canvas, and you will get all the instruction and materials you need to create your own masterpiece, as well as a drink voucher, with your $45 ticket. For a slightly more active afternoon, hitch onto the First Annual Brooklyn Cranksgiving, a bike ride/food drive/scavenger hunt that will have you racing through the streets of Brooklyn looking for specific items to donate to Brooklyn-based charities. It starts at 1pm and is free, but you will need to donate about $10-15 to buy food to donate.
Sunday, December 4
It’s holiday market time, and Sunday’s sunny weather will make it easy to get a head start on your gifting. The Bulletin Holiday Market brings the best of their curated online shop to life at the swanky William Vale the first two weekends in December. There you can browse the wares of 60 vendors, sip on pints from Other Half Brewing Co. and best of all ship everything on site. In the world of craft markets, Renegade always features top-notch vendors and you can find 150 of them at Industry City every weekend until Dec. 18. You can also shop from emerging and mid-career artists and designers at F.A.D., the roving fashion, art and design makers’ market that’s popping up in the Basement of St. Paul’s Church at 190 Court St. the first three weekends in December.
Monday, December 5
Head to Threes Brewing on Monday night at 8pm for a comedy show featuring three half-hour standup sets from a trio of comedians to watch. George Gordon, Giulia Rozzi, and Will Miles will be providing laughs in the bar’s Tiny Montgomery room, and there is no cover so you can treat yourself to that extra beer you may need to put the Monday blues behind you.
Tuesday, December 6
Everyone has their own list of movies that they rewatch every year to help them get into the holiday spirit, and if one of yours is Tim Burton’s weird and wonderful Edward Scissorhands, you’re going to want to be at House of YES on Tuesday night. That’s because the offbeat venue is hosting an immersive screening of the 1990 surrealist, gothic drama starring Johnny Depp, which will incorporate an indoor snowstorm, in-person dancers and aerialists, and a partial live score. Fans are encouraged to get into the mood by donning their best goth/steampunk attire. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $25.
Wednesday, December 7
Two pretty cool food events are happening on Wednesday night, so take a break from take out and check one of these out. First up, the always-excellent Short Stack Editions cookbook series just released its 24th volume, which is focused entirely on ginger, and Archestratus Books + Foods is celebrating with a release party from 7-9pm. Mingle with author Mindy Fox, and enjoy drinks and snacks from the book at this free event. On the other hand, Madiba is hosting Inside the Brooklyn Fridge: Mzansi at Madiba, an event to benefit Inkululeko, a South African education non-profit. Some of the cost of your $50 ticket will go to this worthy cause, and you will also get to enjoy an evening of wine and food from all over South Africa and a silent auction of crafts from the Eastern Cape Province. The event begins at 6:30.