Greetings BBers, and welcome to another Friday dispatch from the weirdest, most confusing time to be alive. As mask mandates and other COVID precautionary measures drop away, the resounding refrain seems to be that people have reached a collective breaking point and are “done with the pandemic.” It’s an odd argument, because HELL YEAH OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE IS DONE WITH THE PANDEMIC. I mean, weren’t we done with it on March 13, 2020?? The relevant consideration, of course, is whether the pandemic is done with us, and it better be because it seems like we’re just throwing in the towel. So, godspeed everyone, and I guess all we can do is just hope this is it! Fingers crossed!
After what felt like an eternity of cold, dark February days, the sun finally broke through this week and that is cause for celebration and much procrastination on my daily walk to grab lunch. For me, this week also marked the triumphant return of one of my all time favorite pre-COVID pastimes: going to dinner parties at friends’ houses. There were two last weekend, both involving delicious food and too many bottles of wine and frenetic conversation that made me feel so energized and connected and un-hermitlike that it was briefly disorienting — a reminder of distant times that felt vaguely comfortable but also incompatible with this new way we live now. As Friday night’s revelry was winding down, it was clear that everyone was exhausted but also didn’t want the experience to end, so we all retired to the hosts’ couch and watched the Olympics womens’ snowboarding events together, in total silence, before reluctantly calling cars to deliver us back to our respective apartments to recharge our overtaxed social batteries.
I think the name of the game right now is just the overwhelming feeling that things are very suddenly social again, and I’m doing the best I can to take advantage of it, which means looking at flights online(!) and dusting the cobwebs off my calendar to pencil in plans to meet people at various places around town. I met a childhood buddy for a much-needed catch-up over dinner at Leland Eating and Drinking House, which opened over a year ago but wasn’t on my radar because, well, it’s not within the 5 block radius that I rarely leave these days, and it was fantastic. For the same reason, I missed that Red Hook’s Grindhaus, a pre-pandemic favorite of mine, is back in business, a fact that I hope to take advantage of stat.
I stayed out far too late on a weeknight drinking palomas and talking sh*t with some work friends at Leyenda; I went to another friend’s place and we ordered in Thai and killed a bottle of wine while she regaled me with her latest online dating news; and, on one particularly dull day weather-wise, my boyfriend and I trekked to the Upper East Side to catch the “Hare with the Amber Eyes” exhibit at The Jewish Museum, followed up by an early dinner of chicken parm at a nearby red sauce joint. For someone who can’t even be arsed to listen to my voicemails anymore, this is a lot of activity all at once.
This weekend, we’ve got the Super Bowl fading into Valentine’s Day, and the people I know seem to be making cautious plans to venture out for both. No house party with homemade nachos and a comfy couch to watch Dre, Snoop, and Mary J. from? No problem– several hotspots around town are broadcasting the game and serving up drinks and food specials, from Parklife to Brooklyn Bowl. For Valentine’s Day, a trip to the movie theater sounds perfect to me, especially now that I’ve got a list of Oscar noms to get through in short order. The Worst Person in the World, which I’m dying to see, no longer requires a trip to the Angelika, but if you want a real classic you might consider BAM’s special V-Day screening of The Lady Eve, a 1941 battle-of-sexes comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda that takes place on a cruise ship.
A brand-new Tomas Saraceno exhibition at The Shed allows visitors to experience a human-scale spiderweb, and on Tuesday night author Marlon James will launch his new novel, Moon Witch, Spider King at St. Joseph’s College to kick off Brooklyn Voices, a literary series sponsored by Greenlight Bookstore. If you’re looking for another gripping tale, I can’t recommend the Wind of Change podcast strongly enough — it investigates whether or not the 1990 smash hit by The Scorpions was actually written by the CIA. I’m actually forcing myself to ration out the episodes. And if you’re still looking for stuff to do, you might find some inspriation in our February Culture Calendar from last week.
Here’s hoping you all cobble together a killer weekend, whatever that means for you at this odd liminal time in our lives. Whether your plans involve football or Valentines or both or neither, the important thing is that we are all hanging in there, so please do keep that up! I bookmarked this recipe for an eclair cake, because it looks delicious and what the hell, right? Treat yourself to something special too, you deserve it!