Happy Friday, friends, and I hope you’re all battening down the hatches for this nor’easter that they now seem pretty convinced is going to hit. I stocked up on some provisions last night, but also was ruminating about how minimally the news of a massive storm affects my behavior now that I’ve spent the better part of two years inside. So you’re saying I’ll be holed up in sweats in my apartment for a couple of days, having one-sided conversations with my dog who can’t hear me, watching TV, and grazing on leftovers while standing with the fridge door open? Hmm, OK, something tells me I can handle that.
Speaking of the dog, I got some potentially alarming news from the vet this week, which isn’t surprising given Hurley’s age (15!) but which is nonetheless panic-inducing for his number 1 fan, yours truly. There is nothing more obnoxious to me than a “grateful for the pandemic because it made me realize what’s truly important” take, so this is decidedly not one of those, but I will say that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a gift my time with him has been, particularly since we’ve gone into lockdown together. Having a constant companion following me around the house who doesn’t object to the constant stream of songs I make up subbing his name in for well-known lyrics (I’ve got an oeuvre at this point) or the fact that at least 4 times a day I forget that he’s fallen asleep curled up under my office chair and accidentally roll into him, more than makes up for his appalling table manners and the frigid morning walks during which he absolutely refuses to be efficient about his business. I have fantastic friends and family and a partner whom I love, and I wouldn’t have gotten through this era of unbridled crapola without them, but Hurley has been the true star of the show that is my pandemic mental health maintenance and I’m eternally grateful for him.
I actually ventured back indoors to a restaurant this week, (don’t worry, being a non-monster, I waited until I didn’t have COVID to do it), but the combo of the cold weather and Omicron added up to another string of days spent mostly migrating from bed to desk to couch to bed again. Praise be to Vitamin D supplements is all I’ll say! When I wasn’t busy trying to cancel my Spotify account or perusing Zillow (oh yeah, my landlords are listing my building for sale soon, January has been a month), I have been. . . to everyone’s surprise. . . streaming all kinds of content, including the things everyone I know is watching (Ozark, Somebody Somewhere) and something that most aren’t, which is Letterkenny, a comedy about small-town Canadian farmers, hockey players, and meth heads that is inexplicably resonating with me and has all 10 seasons up on Hulu at the moment. On tap this weekend for sure is We Need to Talk About Cosby, the new 4-part documentary about Bill Cosby from W. Kamau Bell that premieres on Showtime Sunday night, which will invariably depress me but feels necessary in light of the amount of space that Cliff Huxtable took up in my childhood.
As usual, I don’t totally grasp how I should apply the current Covid data to my day-to-day, but for now the declining numbers and my own recent recovery have me feeling a bit more inclined to be out and about, and there are more than a few things on my radar if it warms up a bit this week. A new interactive light installation called The Pool by artist Jen Lewin opens tonight at Industry City, which is always worth the trip for Sahadi’s amazing canned beer selection and a tuna onigiri from Japan Village.
Also, West Chelsea Contemporary is exhibiting work by local artists in a special show opening tomorrow to benefit the victims of the devastating fire in the Bronx a few weeks back, which is enough to get me into Manhattan, and if we get as much snow are they are predicting on Saturday, a guided winter wander in Green-Wood Cemetery could make for a visually beautiful Sunday afternoon.
On Tuesday, you can venture into Chinatown in the middle of the day to celebrate the year of the Tiger at the annual Lunar New Year Firecracker Festival, which is something I’ve always wanted to do and have never quite gotten together, or fire up the Zoom to catch Polish Nobel Laureate Olga Tokarczuk discussing The Books of Jacob, her magnum opus that has recently been translated into English, at the Brooklyn Public Library. And, depending on your comfort level with indoor concert and comedy venues, there are tickets available to see War on Drugs (Jan. 29), Todd Barry (Feb. 4), and Courtney Barnett (Feb. 5) perform live. Ever since I read this review of Just For Us, a one-man show by comedian Alex Edelman at Cherry Lane Theater that promises to actually make you laugh about the current political situation, I’ve been hell bent on seeing it before it closes on Feb. 19.
Whatever you get up to this week, be sure to shower some extra love upon any animals in your life, and stay warm and safe and supremely confident in the knowledge that it is absolutely fine to be a total schlub of a human when it is freezing and dumping snow outside during an ongoing global pandemic.