How ya feelin’, Brooklyn (besides, obviously, HOT as all hell)? As per usual these days, there’s been a lot to digest in the past week or so, whether it’s confusing new COVID guidance, the conclusion of the weirdest Olympics in memory, a truly terrifying report on climate change, a new governor in Albany, or the long-awaited emancipation of Britney Spears! It’s tough to feel grounded about anything when both the immediate and long-term future feels so opaque—my office has pushed back it’s September reopening indefinitely, a friend’s wedding in New Orleans next month seems back up in the air, and now I’m starting to wonder whether this winter is going to involve another lockdown (please no).
At the same time, though, it’s been great to be out and about in the summer sun, and I’ve rediscovered a reassuring ability to focus for sustained periods on tasks like making an entire lasagna from scratch (oddly meditative and calming, except for the whole 400 degree oven in August part), weaving giant potholders like the ones I made as a kid in Brownies, and. . . ta da!. . . FINALLY finishing my first book since March 2020! I realize that this minor accomplishment isn’t likely to knock anyone’s socks off, but my inability to read was getting legitimately scary, so it was a huge relief that I tore through comedian/writer/Best Show host Tom Scharpling’s thoroughly enjoyable memoir, It Never Ends, in just two days. Now I’m reading Razorblade Tears, which is moving along at a nice clip, until I can get my hands on Sally Rooney’s latest, Beautiful World, Where Are You on Sept. 7. Anyone out there who has similarly broken through a reading block, what was the book that did it for you? I’d be super interested to know.
I’m trying to limit time spent indoors again, which means that Nowadays, which has a full slate of upcoming music performances and live screenings in its vast outdoor oasis—and a new menu from Diner by The Izakaya—is looking especially good. So is Little Island’s week of free events, which includes live art, music, and tap dancing performances to check out from now through Sunday. A stand up show by rising star and British transplant Janine Harouni at Union Hall could be a fun activity for tonight, and if you can knock off work early, you may want to swing by Albee Square beforehand to see The Public’s Mobile Unit Summer of Joy pop-up there at 4:30pm.
Tomorrow and Sunday, catch a breeze at the Rockaway Beach Surf Music Festival, which includes evening performances by six surf bands on the boardwalk at Beach 97th Street, or you could head out to Governors Island for another installment of the beloved Jazz Age Lawn Party, focused specifically on “the Return of the ’20s.” Alternatively, peruse the shelves at the legendary St. Mark’s Comics, which has just reopened in a new location in Industry City, having closed its East Village doors in 2019 after 35 years.
On Sunday morning, woman-owned Talea Beer Co. invites you to sweat it out ’80s style at an aerobics dance class followed by a cold beer. Later on, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra will play for free in the plaza in front of the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Grange rooftop in Sunset Park hosts a pop-up dinner by Alex Harris of Emma’s Torch.
Looking ahead to this week, three very funny ladies, Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla, and Maeve Higgins, have lined up a particularly great group of comedians for Butterboy, their Monday night show at Littlefield, and NYC Homecoming Week means all kinds of cool events happening all over the city, including a free screening of Summer of Soul in Fort Greene Park on Thursday night. This Wednesday night, you can see I Am Your Masseuse, which consists of six short plays by Pulitzer and Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley being performed for two nights only at the Bridge Residency at the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Finally, I’ve been itching to visit the new Local Roots Market and Café ever since I read Kara Zuaro’s write up for us about it, so hopefully that’s in the cards.
Otherwise, just planning to lay low and avoid the Delta variant and heatstroke, while continuing to blaze through my Sopranos rewatch on HBO Max, which I can’t recommend enough. Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy the week, everybody.