And just like that, we are full steam ahead into Labor Day weekend in what has to be the year marked by the fastest passage of time in human history. Somewhere around, say, Friday, March 13, 2020, I sort of gave up trying to wrap my head around the peculiar way in which the hours, days, and months tick by now. But when I do actually take a minute to think back to how I felt at this time last year, or around the New Year, I’m astonished and a little bit freaked out by how quickly it’s all whizzing by.
Also, and I know I’m not alone here in believing that the sheer, all-consuming nature of work in a WFH era—tinged with the Great Resignation—has given Labor Day a new and unprecedented level of importance. In years past, it was a sort of throwaway day off that probably meant some beers on a friend’s balcony. This time around, though, I’m OOO from now until Sept. 7, and I’ve created my very own Labor Week.
Seeing as how I haven’t really had time off in over a year, it’s not just a luxury, but a necessity, and one that I plan to celebrate with lots of time spent lounging in various bodies of water, drinking rose, and slurping oysters.
Maybe you can’t swing an away message on your work email this week, but you can still take advantage of myriad activities that can help make you *feel* like you’re on vacay, starting with heading up to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem tonight to catch Bird at 100, a free jazz performance in honor of what would have been Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday. It’s part of the annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which runs through Sunday.
If you’re taking the subway from Brooklyn, maybe consider stopping in Times Square to ride the new ferris wheel that’s been temporarily set up there. While I wouldn’t normally advocate for a trip to that part of town, we live in weird times and we all gotta roll with it.
Alternatively, you could give your taste buds a thrill by making a reservation at one of the many spots around town participating in the city-wide Filipino Restaurant Week, which ends tonight, or grab tickets to see some standup at the Tiny Cupboard’s Brooklyn Rooftop Comedy Festival tonight, tomorrow, or Sunday.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Brooklyn Museum is hosting an outdoor party with music, food, and art-making to celebrate the opening of its exhibition of the Obama Portraits, which are officially on view starting now.
You could also spend a few hours in pastoral Green-Wood Cemetery commemorating the Battle of Brooklyn with reenactments and demonstrations of cannon fire, 18th century food, dye-making, and political debating.
If you’re in the doghouse because you forgot that yesterday was National Dog Day (who knew?), you can make up for it by bringing your canine BFF to Talea Beer Co. starting at 1pm, when Hop Hounds will be onsite handing out samples of dog-friendly ice cream. Or, you can check out a day-long Back to School-themed ‘90s block party at Albee Square, featuring live music, an art walk, games, and vendors.
Another option is to hit up the 10th Annual Bushwick Collective Block Party, which boasts a headlining performance by Ghostface Killah. Interested in picking up a new skill? You can try your hand at curling at Vanderbilt Open Streets on Saturday afternoon or sign up for a hula dancing class in Socrates Sculpture Park on Sunday morning—we all need to mix it up every so often, right?
The fun doesn’t need to end with the weekend, though, because the Glass Animals/Bikini benefit concert is happening Tuesday night in Prospect Park, and the Dan Joe DVD Show is at the Bell House with a killer lineup that include Janeane Garofalo and Pat Regan, among others.
On Wednesday, Rooftop Films is screening the first two parts of ESPN’s four-part documentary about the legendary ‘86 Mets, Once Upon A Time in Queens, at Citifield. Meanwhile, a new hatchet-throwing venue called Stumpy’s opens to the public on Thursday in Industry City.
I don’t have much on my to-do list this week, but I am planning to watch The Chair, a new Netflix show starring Sandra Oh as the first woman of color to chair a fictional university’s English Department this week. I also plan to make this Alison Roman recipe for clam pasta, which isn’t necessarily a summer dish but demands to be eaten outside, IMO.
Here’s hoping you all find your own way to enjoy this week in a manner truly befitting the incredibly difficult set of circumstances that we’ve all had to navigate recently. You deserve it!