Greetings on this Friday following my first official, in-person work event in 15 months. It happened last night and involved staying out way too late after allowing a coworker who was born when I was in college to buy not one, but two rounds of ill-advised shots. Should I have left earlier? Sure, but this is pretty on brand for my pandemic reemergence so far—everything still feels a little rusty.
While it is wonderful to have options and the ability to travel and connect with people, so far the whole thing feels less “hot vax summer,” and more “I need to relearn how to function in society, apparently.” I can’t think of a better example to illustrate my point than the fact that an incredible Saturday evening at the Hymn to the City event that I previewed last week quickly turned harrowing when I came the closest I ever have to choking to death on a free almond they handed out during the whiskey-tasting portion of the program. A gorgeous night in Green-Wood Cemetery, stirring musical performances, and chewing and walking at the same time are apparently where this old broad maxes out—lesson learned and noted.
Which is all to say, I think it’s important to go easy right now, last night notwithstanding, and remember that it’s okay to skip stuff and stay home every once in a while. This week, I’ve been just as happy to sit in air conditioning and watch Bjornstad, a Swedish show on HBO that my sister put me on to, as I was to spend several hours eating and drinking rosé at Chez Ma Tante with my boyfriend and a friend.
How much excitement are you up for this week? Maybe it’s a night at home watching In the Heights, which premieres tonight in theaters and on HBO Max, or tuning in to the virtual launch of a new book about the creation of the show and its ascent to Broadway and the silver screen, which will feature appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Jeremy McCarter, and American Ferraro on Tuesday night. Or, if you’ve got a car, watching Jaws at the Queens Drive-In sounds like the ultimate summer Sunday night diversion.
Perhaps, though, this weekend’s tolerable temperatures and lack of monsoons means you’d like to be out and about, in which case there’s lots to keep you busy, including Wynton Marsalis at Summerstage, the Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governors Island, and a variety of events to celebrate Brooklyn Pride.
Tonight, the Archway in Dumbo is hosting a free happy hour concert as part of its Brooklyn Americana Music Festival. Tomorrow, you can see a pop-up drag show presented by the Mobile Drag Performance Unit in Albee Square, you can head over to Coffey Park for the last day of Red Hook Fest, or you can swing by Industry City for the return of the FAD Market maker fair. And, if you fancy an excursion to Ditmas Park, some 50 local artists and 10 bands are slated to participate in Sunday’s Artmaggedon fair.
Looking ahead, keep in mind that tickets to see the limited run of What to Send Up When It Goes Down, a groundbreaking new play at BAM that bears witness to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people as a result of racist violence, go on sale to the general public on Tuesday and will likely sell out fast. Other tickets that are currently sitting in my various virtual shopping carts include appearances by Patton Oswalt and Stacy Abrams (both in October at Kings Theatre), and Wilco and Sleater-Kinney at Forest Hills Stadium in August.
But for now, I am going to take my own advice for once and slow my roll a little bit. There’s a whole summer of sun and people to reconnect with and fun things to do laid out before us, and no good reason for rushing or overexertion. Here’s to a happy, chill week ahead for all!