Your Ideal Week: Feb. 9-Feb. 15, yeah, yeah, yeah, Valentine’s Day

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It's Valentine's Day next week--may as well have a little fun with it. Valentines: Brandon Bird

It’s Valentine’s Day next week–may as well have a little fun with it. Valentines: Brandon Bird

The image of our current President screaming at CNN alone in the dark or wandering around the White House in a bathrobe at all hours that emerged in media accounts last week managed to drum up the closest thing to sympathy that I can possibly muster for that individual (don’t worry, it’s not that close).  I read that his usual dinner is a Big Mac served on a silver platter, which I promptly recognized as precisely what I fantasized being rich and powerful meant when I was seven. I tried to imagine how much time he spends doing the most vapid and boring task I can think of–poring over ratings of various network and cable television shows–to gather fodder for his inarticulate Twitter tantrums. I thought about the fact that his idea of a vacation is to fly to a hideous golf resort in Florida that he owns to eat grey, well-done steaks in an ostentatious country club while surrounded by the spineless lackeys who fawn over him. Or that this is what passes for a decent joke in the dismal, humorless world of his Congressional allies.

No, of course this thought spiral didn’t make me actually feel sorry for a man whose laziness, narcissism, casual cruelty, and incompetence will destroy lives in the weeks, months, and years to come. But they did make me feel luckier than usual that I get to live in a place where thousands of people spontaneously torpedo their day off to trek to JFK with homemade protest signs to stand up for people who are in danger, not because they are paid to but because they actually care about people who might not be exactly like them, which is a concept that many on the right can’t seem to grasp. And that it’s a city that constantly presents new opportunities to make, do, read, see, talk about, eat, and experience a diverse array of creative, funny, delicious, and thought-provoking things. Below, I’ve highlighted some of the best examples happening over the next seven days.

First though, there are two new plays from across the pond being staged In Brooklyn this week: The excellent all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at St. Ann’s Warehouse (which I saw and recommend), and Escaped Alone, which opens with some pretty stellar advance reviews at BAM on Wednesday. Make it a real night out by grabbing dinner at Fort Greene’s Roman’s before or after the show–they’re running a special on penne all’arrabiata all month and will donate proceeds to Planned Parenthood. As for me, I think I will try to track down a copy of Art of the Pie, the first book selected for Food52’s new Community Cookbook Club, and hunker down with my rolling pin in the snowstorm expected tomorrow. Or, get out the glitter and glue that’s buried under your bed and make valentines for your friends like you did when you were seven, or send them the awesome SVUtines above. Spread the love. Whatever you all get up to this Ideal Week, I hope that  it keeps you sustained and inspired as the outside world roils on.

Is way more exciting than a typical Thursday night. Photo:

The Recipe: Ile Flottant at Invisible Dog Gallery promises to be way more exciting than a typical Thursday night. Photo: Kristin Worrall

The image of our current President screaming at CNN alone in the dark or wandering around the White House in a bathrobe at all hours that emerged in media accounts last week managed to drum up the closest thing to sympathy that I can possibly muster for that individual (don’t worry, it’s not that close).  I read that his usual dinner is a Big Mac served on a silver platter, which I promptly recognized as precisely what I fantasized being rich and powerful meant when I was 7. I tried to imagine how much time he spends doing the most vapid and boring task I can think of– poring over ratings of various network and cable television shows– to gather fodder for his inarticulate twitter tantrums. I thought about the fact that his idea of a vacation is to fly to a hideous golf resort in Florida that he owns to eat grey, well-done steaks in an ostentatious country club while surrounded by the spineless lackeys who fawn over him. Or that this is what passes for a decent joke in the dismal, humorless world of his Congressional allies. No, of course this thought spiral didn’t make me actually feel sorry for a man whose laziness, narcissism, casual cruelty, and incompetence will destroy lives in the weeks, months, and years to come. But they did make me feel luckier than usual that I get to live in a place where thousands of people spontaneously torpedo their day off to trek to JFK with homemade protest signs to stand up for people who are in danger (not because they are paid to but because they actually care about people who might not be exactly like them, which is a concept that many on the right can’t seem to grasp). And that it’s a city that constantly presents new opportunities to make, do, read, see, talk about, eat, and experience a diverse array of creative, funny, delicious, and thought-provoking things. Below, I’ve highlighted some of the ones happening over the next seven days that caught my eye.

First though, there are two new plays from across the pond being staged In Brooklyn this week: The excellent all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at St. Ann’s Warehouse (which I saw and recommend), and Escaped Alone, which opens with some pretty stellar advance reviews at BAM on Wednesday. Make it a real night out by grabbing dinner at Fort Greene’s Roman’s before or after the show– they’re running a special on penne all’Arrabiata all month and will donate proceeds to Planned Parenthood. As for me, I think I will try to track down a copy of Art of the Pie, the first book selected for Food52’s new Community Cookbook Club, and hunker down with my rolling pin in the snowstorm expected tomorrow. Whatever you all get up to this Ideal Week, I hope that  it keeps you sustained and inspired as the outside world roils on.

Thursday, February 9

I don’t know about any of you, but “live baking show” that combines theatre, Valentine’s Day, and dessert sounds a lot more exciting than my typical Thursday night. See for yourself exactly what it entails at The Recipe: Ile Flottant at Invisible Dog Gallery at 8pm. Writer and performer Kristin Worrall will teach guests how to make Ile Flottant (French “floating islands”) and share anecdotes about love and stories of heartbreak. Tickets are $20, which includes a serving of the final product, and wine will be available for purchase. On the other hand, The Good Fork in Red Hook is hosting Viking Night, with a bonfire, $5 beers, homemade sausage, drinking horns, and music, starting at 6pm. And if you are looking for a way to #resist on Thursday, check out the Brooklyn Museum’s panel of experts discussing the immigration ban, Defending Immigrant Rights: A Brooklyn Call to Action, from 6:30-8:30pm.


Blindfolded shabbat

Eat Russian tapas while blindfolded at a Shabbat dinner to remember. Photo: Borders & Edges

Friday, February 10

On Friday night, enjoy a seven-course Russian tapas meal, wine, and an immersive sound drama performance, all while blindfolded in the dark, at Edges & Borders’ Immersive Shabbat in the Dark event. Register here for a chance to enter the lottery for $45 tickets, which include all that plus a copy of The Gefilte Menifesto cookbook, and the secret location of the pop-up dinner will be revealed. Another option: Red Hook Winery is hosting a Meet the Winemakers party from 7-10pm, featuring grappa, cheese, charcuterie, fruit, and enough wine to kick off the weekend with a bang. Tickets are $75 a pop.  


The Messy Show – Sizzle Reel from Andrew Benedict on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 11

On Saturday night, get down and dirty at The Messy Show, a comedy variety show that requires its performers to incorporate messy materials like fake blood, fake pee, cake, motor oil, clam chowder, and ice cream into their act. It’s hosted by the sketch group SOAP, and the guest lineup features funny folks from the Annoyance Theater, UCB, and more. Tickets are $10, and the show starts at 7pm at Bushwick’s Super Chief Gallery NY.


Valentine's Delia's

Sunday, February 12

Get a head start on Valentine’s Day sugar consumption at Sunday’s Brooklyn Chocolate Takedown at the Royal Palms. Starting at noon, eighteen cooks sponsored by Rakka Chocolate will be turning out delicious desserts, and you get to try them all for just $20. Head to Bay Ridge for brunch specials and a pop-up shop from local artisans at Delia’s Lounge, from 11am through the afternoon with tarot card readings from Gina Michaels. Or, indulge yourself with some retail therapy at The Greenpointers’ Old-Timey Valentine’s Market, which features cocktails, vintage jazz, face painting, massage, activities, the opportunity to shop from 1-7pm at the Greenpoint Loft. RSVP here. Alternatively, treat yourself without busting your budget or any calorie counts by signing up for this Intro to Reiki Class to learn the Japanese art of energy healing, which runs from 6-7:30pm and costs just $30.


West Side Story

Monday February 13

For three nights starting on Monday, Wyatt Cenac’s perennially popular comedy show, Night Train, will be at Littlefield taping its second television season. Each date has two scheduled sets full of top-notch comics bringing their A-game. On Monday, there is still room to see Jonah Ray, Mellissa Villasenor, Giulia Rozzi, Will Miles, and more at 10pm. tickets are $5. If you feel more like a good cry, Nitehawk Cinema has everyone’s favorite nostalgic tear-jerker involving singing and dancing gangs, West Side Story, on the big screen at 7:30 for $16 (with specialty cocktails).


Tuesday, February 14

Without commenting on the merits of Valentine’s Day, which is something people seem to have very strong opinions about, we present a smattering of things going on Tuesday night that might strike your fancy. If you’re feeling wild, Gemini + Scorpio’s legendary steamy Valentine’s party at the Russian Baths in Coney Island is back from 7pm-2am, and tickets start at $40. For a more traditional V-Day experience, sign up for Brooklyn Winery’s three-course prix fixe Valentine’s dinner for $65 per person. Or maybe you just want to go all-out emo, in which case, The Bell House’s Sixth Annual Unloveable: A Smith and Morrissey Valentine’s Day party is the place to be. The show starts at 8pm and GA tix are $18.


romeo

Wednesday, February 15

Cultural opportunities abound on Wednesday night, in part because it’s the first night of Anthology Film Archives’ Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power series. The all-too-timely schedule of short films kicks off with an evening devoted to “radical visions of resistance to police violence” at 7:30pm. Across the East River, House of YES is hosting an immersive screening of Baz Luhrmann’s classic Romeo + Juliet at 8pm, with all the aerial performances, DJ sets, and video art we’ve come to expect from shows at the performance space. Tickets start at $15.  


 

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