Hello Brooklyn, and here’s hoping that a great many more of you have been vaccinated since the last time we checked in with each other a couple of weeks ago! I myself am one Pfizer shot down, having hauled my cookies to a Bay Ridge Walgreens and experienced the cognitive dissonance of becoming the beneficiary of a bona fide scientific miracle that may save my own life, and allow the human race to carry on. This all happened while seated on a molded plastic chair, in the most prosaic setting possible, staring at a shelf full of topical, antifungal solutions for toenails as the faint strains of Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” were piped in over an invisible speaker. Cheers to the amazing people who actually got us here. That list includes Dr. Kati Kariko, a truly inspiring female biochemist whose steadfast dedication to mRNA work—despite being told no, over and over again—should be praised from every rooftop until any shred of knowledge about the likes of Khloé Kardashian or the My Pillow guy are forever obliterated from our minds.
Another spring weekend is mercifully upon us, and the intensity of the feelings that inspires within me are giving me the sense that I am in the middle of a DEFCON 1-level burnout cycle. Question for all of you out there who are still meeting your fitness goals, churning out sourdough loaves, and consistently journaling, or whatever: how???
For my part, I took a look at my average step count over the past month, promptly ordered an under desk treadmill, and realized that I am too weak to get it out of the box on my own, let alone move it from its current position where it blocks both my front door from fully opening and a clear view of my TV from the couch. Suffice it to say, I am currently finding it easier to relate to this person than to Dr. Kariko. Also, I am assigning some blame to seasonal allergies, because is it just me or are those things completely off the chain this year?
It’s not all bad though—cherry blossom season may not be heralded with the traditional Sakura Matsuri festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens this year, but the blossoms are still very much on display if you want to go see them! While you’re there, try and catch a pop-up music or dance performance at the first Art In the Garden Spring Weekend. Over at the New York Botanical Gardens, Yayoi Kusama’s Cosmic Nature exhibit is open as of last weekend, as are the Coney Island amusement parks and the Brooklyn Flea.
On Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra will perform live for the first time in over a year at the plaza in front of the Brooklyn Museum, and Tayari Jones, who wrote the best-selling An American Marriage, will be appearing on Tuesday night for a virtual talk as part of BAM’s Eat, Drink, and Be Literary series. This week, I may also venture into the city to see this exhibition of the work of Katherine Bradford, a painter I’ve long admired.
Otherwise, I’ve had great experiences at Oxalis in Prospect Heights and King in Soho recently, and those certainly added some excitement to my otherwise humdrum existence these days. If you are looking for a good outdoor setup for a special meal, both restaurants have got that down to an art form (even if a cavalcade of passing illegal ATV riders is uninterested in your dinner being quiet). My sister raves about Clinton Hill newcomer Chef Katsu, which is next on my list, but I’m also starting to feel hopeful about dinner parties at people’s apartments again! Or, if I have a wave of the strange social anxiety that comes and goes now, I can stay home and watch Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown, which we previewed in our April Culture Calendar and is scheduled to premiere on HBO this week.
For now, though, I’m just excited that one day lies between me and the weekend, which I plan to savor every minute of through a Claritin-induced haze. Have a good one, everybody!