Mid-April has arrived, and now that we are post-taxes, post-Easter, almost at the end of Passover, and more than midway through Ramadan, how are you all feeling? Is Spring really here or are you like me and still finding yourself reaching for a winter coat more often than not? Daffodils and tulips are in bloom all over my neighborhood, but never do I recall feeling so impatient about the arrival of warm, sunny days as I have this year. I’m back on my evening constitutional routine because all of this ordering in and binge-watching stuff like Severance and The Dropout and Russian Doll isn’t exactly making me feel ready for swimsuits and sundresses, and it’s been downright cold out there most nights this week. This forecast for today and this weekend looks a bit more auspicious, though, so fingers crossed we can all get in some parktime over the next couple of days.
My bf and I loved our first visit to Runner Up, the restaurant connected to the perpetually mobbed Winner in Park Slope, earlier this week. In addition to the perfectly roasted chicken that put Winner on the map, highlights included a spring pea salad and the Eton Mess dessert option, which involved rhubarb and creme fraiche and shards of poppy seed meringue — a combo of flavors and textures that was probably my favorite thing I’ve eaten so far this year. Patti Ann’s, where I met a friend for dinner the week prior, has a great atmosphere and a killer short rib pot roast, among other comfort food dishes. And, if I’m being honest, one of my favorite meals I’ve had recently was a seder hosted by family friends that started with homemade matzah ball soup (my weakness) and ended with a tiered dessert platter laden with coconut-chocolate macaroons and Peeps.
Today is Earth Day, and so it’s a great weekend to go for a stroll on one of the many thoroughfares that will be free of cars on Saturday, or to check out Prospect Park or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is kicking off a three-week-long series called Art In the Garden: Weekends in Bloom featuring pop-up music and dance performances, craft activities, and (of course) zillions of spring blossoms on display. It’s also the first weekend of the Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, which means you can pick up a passport at your favorite local indie shop and start amassing stamps to win prizes at next week’s Independent Bookstore Day festivities, and Saturday is Record Store Day for all you vinyl collectors out there.
Perhaps this weekend is the time to check out Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace at Rock Center, which our own Meredith Draig de Pietro wrote about in her recent guide to Midtown. A new immersive play about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln called All the Mournful Voices is being staged by gaslight at a 19th century former stable in DUMBO, and Saturday afternoon marks the return of Shakespeare on Stratford, a free annual festival from Brave New World Repertory featuring performances of Shakespeare sonnets on Victorian porches in Ditmas Park. On Sunday, Greenpoint’s Archestratus Books is celebrating Greek Easter by hosting a Spanakopita Tutorial that will teach you, among other things, how to make phyllo from scratch. Later in the week, the Brooklyn Poetry Slam is back in person at BRIC and featuring beloved hosts Mahogany L. Brown and Jive Poetic.
On the topic of triumphant returns, my Cookbook Club convenes for the first time in over two years tomorrow night and we’re all expected to bring something we made from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables to my friend Sarah’s apartment. This was a part of my pre-pandemic social life that I used to daydream about in the darkest corners of the last few years, and I’m looking so forward to it. Related: Anyone got a line on stinging nettles around here? What’s something you’ve all done recently that feels so decidedly post-Covid?
Coming up, I’ve got Cyrano de Bergerac at BAM on the horizon, and I’m planning to scoop up tickets to see Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson at Kings Theatre when they go on sale today. Also, extreme nerd alert, but I’d love to find time for this Crossword Puzzle creating workshop at Atlas Obscura in May, or to have brunch or dinner at one of the upcoming Roof Stoop Sundays on the roof of the Brooklyn Grange at Industry City.
That’s it for this week, amigos! Hope you’ve got lots of fun and relaxation to look forward to this week and are getting pumped for the weeks and weeks of good, mood-improving weather in our immediate future (it *has* to get here soon, right???).