Good morning all! When I was a kid, I loved The Muppet Family Christmas, which brought the whole gang together for the holidays at Fozzie’s mother’s house in a snowy backwoods somewhere. For some reason, the line “it’s cold enough to freeze your Winnebago!” is repeated throughout, and it was the first thought that popped into my head when I stepped out into the frigid air for this morning’s dog walk.
A quick Google search suggests that this is not the commonplace regional idiom that I’d always assumed it was and might have only ever been uttered out loud on this one 35-year-old, lesser-known holiday TV special from the Jim Henson empire that I just happened to tape on VHS and watch approximately 57 times. Important research findings outta South Slope today, I think we can all agree!
Anyway, point is, today is a day to stay inside, preferably NOT with a mouse with a severe case IBS (hush up, you, I’m not interested in your theory that this much poop equals more than one mouse and likely many mice), but we all deal the hand we are dealt. Luckily, most of us are pretty much pros at staying home by now, so as you were, folks, and make sure you layer up if you’re headed out.
A reader who shares my despair about the shuttering of beloved local businesses due to the pandemic wrote in and suggested that we put a spotlight on Barbes, which until last March hosted a diverse array of small live music events out of its Park Slope space and in normal times was one of my favorite spots in the city to meet someone for a midweek drinks. Obviously, the events of 2020+ have been financially devastating for Barbes, which has converted into a takeout/delivery bottle shop in order to make ends meet temporarily. My local wine shop has seen plenty of business from me lately, so tonight I am going to haul my cookies over to 9th street to buy this weekend’s supply from Barbes, and I implore you to do the same if you’re able. There are so many layers to the tragedy of Covid-19, but the loss of institutional Brooklyn restaurants, bars, and shops is one that we just might have some power to do something about, so please let us know if there are others that you’d like to see specifically called out here.
Speaking of local businesses, Restaurant Week ends on Sunday, so if you haven’t yet taken advantage of this $20.21 per meal deal at one of 70ish participating Brooklyn restaurants, make sure you do it soon. Maybe you can tuck into that delicious meal while watching a Sundance Film Festival screening from home for the first time ever, or The Great Outdoors, a livestream variety show staged out of a Ridgewood backyard Sunday night. I am about halfway through The White Tiger on Netflix, which I’m liking so far, and I finally completed an epic binge watch of Search Party so I’d love any new TV recommendations. I
f you’re looking for some (relatively safe) in-person action, I suggest heading to the courtyards of Industry City during the afternoon this weekend—there is live music, plenty of outdoor seating, an ice rink, firepits, and lots of food and drink options to choose from. (I personally can’t go there without inhaling a spicy tuna onigiri from Obentoyasan in Japan Village, but that’s just me). Feeling that more mellow activity is your vibe? Consider participating in Sunday morning’s Worldwide Mass Meditation with The Big Quiet, which is free to attend virtually. Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a creative outlet, you might want to check out The Weaving Hand, a weaving studio on 7th Avenue that offers a variety of instructional classes for kids and adults.
I’ve just learned that National Hot Chocolate Day is happening this weekend, so let’s all treat ourselves to that small pleasure while we’re bracing against the freeing wind this weekend. Here is the Smitten Kitchen recipe for homemade hot chocolate, if you want to graduate from packets of instant. Pour a little out for City Bakery, which used to host a month-long celebration of hot chocolate before it closed. Otherwise, stay warm, stay safe, and keep on keepin’ on, friends—at least the days are getting longer!