What to do this week(end): Oct. 15 to Oct. 21



The canal is calling. Gowanus Open Studios is this weekend. Photo: Gowanus Canal Conservancy

Happy weekend boroughmates, and here’s hoping this one is nothing short of a banger. We’re smack in the Ides of October, which you’d never know since it’s almost 80 degrees outside, but Halloween is fast approaching and I’m wondering who’s got a good costume idea this year? In pre-pandemic times, Halloween was my favorite holiday and I’d spend weeks conceiving of and making a costume from scratch, but my imagination, like everything else, feels a little blunted at the moment. I’ve finally scheduled a mightily overdue hair appointment for this weekend, and I’m hoping that not looking like a frizzled termagant for once will snap me out of my current mindset of perma-meh borne of these times. 

That said, I did watch the entire new season of Sex Education on Netflix this week and was utterly delighted by it, although in the interest of full disclosure my bar for entertainment featuring British teens is pretty much on the floor. Next up, I’m into Endeavor, because if there’s anything I love more than adolescents on the Beeb, it’s a UK crime procedural.

Another bright spot of my week is that my cookbook club, a cross between a book club and a potluck dinner party, is back after a pandemic-induced hiatus, and this month’s cookbook selection looks quite promising. These little things keep us all going when the humdrum gets deafening. On a recent night my boyfriend and I stayed up too late because we were each trying to come up with the worst possible Billy Joel lyric to sing to the other person to make them laugh, and I didn’t regret it for a second when I felt a little crappy the next day.

This weekend, more than 400 painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, and more will open their doors to the public to showcase new works and discuss their process and inspiration as part of Gowanus Open Studios. If you’ve never been, it’s a really cool way to spend an afternoon meeting and supporting members of the local artistic community — and you might just wind up treating yourself to a new piece for your place! The event runs from noon to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday and it’s free to attend; here’s a map of participating artists to help you plan your visit. If you see someone whose newly cut and highlighted hair ensures that she’d never be mistaken for a frontierswoman, it might be yours truly and I’ll definitely accept compliments!

If you’re trying to find something you can do to combat climate change, consider stopping by the  Sustainable Home Fair at Old Stone House & Washington Park on Saturday from 11am-5pm to learn how you can lower your carbon footprint and energy bills from experts on everything from solar panels to composting to urban farming.

Speaking of, I’ve got tickets to dinner at the Sunset Park Brooklyn Grange rooftop on Sunday that I’m looking forward to. It caps off a very satisfying string of meals that I didn’t make or unpack from cardboard and plastic, including a great evening with a friend at LaLou, a truly memorable experience at Ernesto’s, and an impromptu midweek supper date at Krupa Grocery this past Monday.

I’ve noticed that the nice weather and the reduced hours of many restaurants mean that it’s hard to find a spot at the last minute, so maybe take a few minutes today to make a couple of online dinner reservations over the next couple of weeks — future you will be glad you did when you finish a crazy day of back to back Zoom meetings and need to get out of the house.

Or, you can just show up to Fornino’s at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sunday afternoon for Pizza on the Pier, an all-you-can-eat affair featuring the collaborative efforts of dozens of the city’s best pizzaioli. The best part? All proceeds from ticket sales go to benefit the Campaign Against Hunger, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that increases access to safe and nutritious food. 

I haven’t yet gotten around to reading The Lincoln Highway, the latest novel from Amor Towles, but if anything would be a good motivator, it might be his upcoming conversation with the inimitable Ken Burns on Tuesday night. It’s a virtual event sponsored by Books Are Magic and tickets start at $30. I also just dusted off my library card and put a hold on Nothin’ But A Good Time, a fun-sounding history of 80s hair metal that was recommended by one of my favorite tastemakers. On Wednesday night, Parklife is hosting an outdoor screening of Get Out, and of course the long-awaited new season of Succession debuts on Sunday on HBO.  

What do you all have on the slate for the week that lies ahead? Are you back to life as normal or are you finding it difficult to make and keep plans? Whatever the case, here’s hoping that you find some time in the next few days to do something —anything — that makes you truly happy. And if bad Billy Joel lyrics factor into that in any way, I’ve got loads of those to share.

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