Well, friends, there’s no escaping it… we’re fully back in the thick of it now. No more long, lazy summer days, no more ignoring work emails because the odds are good that at least someone on the chain is on vacation, and, sadly, no more holding out hope for summer 2021 to be the definitive turning point of this blasted pandemic. Yes, things are much better than they were at this time last year — I’m vaccinated and so is everyone else I know who is over 12, so why is it that I don’t actually feel better? Why is making and keeping plans so difficult, and why do the activities that I used to love hold such bizarrely diminishing appeal? For 18 months I haven’t shut up about how I can’t wait until things go back to “normal,” but now I’m wondering if that’s even true —in fact, it sometimes seems like I’m keeping my life as small as possible on purpose. Every Myers-Briggs test I’ve ever taken in my life (which is a lot, tbh) has placed me squarely in the ENFP zone, but lately I’m thinking about taking one again to see if I’ve suddenly morphed into the exact opposite: an ISTJ. Whatever is going on, I hardly recognize the homebody who is relieved when plans fall through and becomes depleted by an hour’s worth of errands. It’s a weird time.
That said, I felt a little bit more human when I had a good cry/laugh watching old Norm MacDonald talk show guest appearances last night. After a close friend had to cancel her wedding in New Orleans due to Ida, some of us took her to axe-throwing at Kick Axe and dinner at Victor and it ended up being just what we all needed. At first I was sort of freaked out by the amount of people at Forest Hills Stadium last weekend when I went to see Brittany Howard and My Morning Jacket, but in the end it was cool to see live music like that again. So, it’s just a process I guess.
In the spirit of forward trajectory, then, I’m planning to make time to check out The Last Stand, Creative Time’s public sound installation and experimental opera written for and about trees, which opens this weekend in Prospect Park, as well as at least some of the Photoville exhibitions going up around town starting Saturday. The new Dior show at Brooklyn Museum is generating a lot of buzz, and while you’re there you can pop in and see the Obama portraits too. I’ve never been to Jazzfest to see Trombone Shorty, but catching him live at Celebrate Brooklyn! on Saturday night sounds like a great plan; as does cruising over to Governors Island earlier in the day for the NYC premiere of John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds, which is based on the songs of birds native to the American northeast and midwest; or seeing “Cascade,” a brand new interactive art exhibition at the William Vale from artist Jen Stark.
At Prospect Heights’ Olmsted, Mohamed Wahiba of Tripoli Events will be serving up homemade wood-fired pizzas on Saturday and Sunday as part of the restaurant’s Black Entrepreneur pop-up series, or you could also pay a visit to Red Hook to experience Fort Defiance’s new, larger location (the broccoli sandwich made a great WFH lunch for me the other day). Beyond that, my list of stuff to do this week includes watching Only Murders In the Building, Hulu’s new show starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, and LuLaRich on Amazon Prime, because I love a good takedown of an MLM marketing scam. If I’m feeling up to it and just a teensy bit touristy, maybe I’ll venture to Little Italy to enjoy a cannoli at the 95th annual Feast of San Gennaro, or maybe I’ll get really ambitious and book a seat on the Circle Line for an Oktoberfest cruise to Bear Mountain and back. The thing is, even if I’m not cramming 50 different professional and personal obligations into every day or planning exciting international vacations anymore, the city hands out lots of opportunities to rediscover and replenish one’s mojo — all we have to do is commit to getting dressed and making the effort to get out there again. Come on, y’all, we got this!