Valentine’s Day is upon us! … and Black History Month, and Lunar New Year, and the release of Deadpool. There are all kinds of things to do this week, whether or not V-Day is up your alley. Have fun and get out there, rumored polar vortexes be damned!
Brooklyn Boulders, 575 Degraw St, 6:00 PM, $22
We’ve all heard that climbing is great exercise, right? Arm grip, core is activated, legs push, muscles bulge. This Friday, Brooklyn Boulders gives us all the perfect chance to give climbing a try, with a drop-in night full of climbing, live punk music, aaaaand a box full of gourmet chocolates! Bring a date or find a friend at the event, because this night also features climbing routes meant for two people to solve together. Arrive early to make sure you get your chocolate- it’s only available while supplies last!
SingleCut Brewery, 19-33 37th St, Astoria, Free
It’s supposed to be cold enough to freeze entire faces off this weekend, so you might as well hunker down the entire night in a bar. For live music, board games a’plenty, frequent packages of free chips, you can’t do better than SingleCut. Get a (very reasonably priced!) flight to try SingleCut’s impressive selection, though I always land on the Half-Stack IPA.
Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, 9:00 PM – Midnight, $7-$15
Switch ‘n Play is a gender-bending Brooklyn institution, featuring award-winning performances from artists with names like “Oliver Fist” and “Ri Zen.” This colorful, fantastic-sounding show is also a great opportunity to check out Branded Saloon, a Western-themed honkey-tonk saloon with brisket that will make your mouth weep.
Sun 14: Second Sundays at Pioneer
Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM, $10 (suggestion donation)
This event actually begins at 4:00 PM, when artwork by artists Charles Harlan and Adam Stennett can be viewed. The music starts at 6:30, though, with The Bil Afrah Project laying down some improvised and well-known tracks from a much beloved Middle Eastern alum, Ziad Rahbani’s Bil Afrah. The fun continues at 8:00 with Lions, an Ethio-funk group based in New York City.
Once Upon a Tart, 135 Sullivan St, 7:00 PM / 9:00 PM, $75
Whether you’re dating someone (condragulations) or you just want a very fancy dinner with a friend, you can’t do better than a 4-course meal at the very charming and delightful Soho restaurant, Once Upon a Tart. The V-Day menu looks amazing, with choices like a house-cured salmon appetizer and kabocha squash tart entree. Once Upon a Tart lives up to its adorable name, and this is probably the most cozy place you’re going to find to celebrate the pagan god of love (or is V-Day a Catholic thing? I never fully understood). I mean, look at this place.
Administrative note: I am not sponsored by Once Upon a Tart, though I’m completely open to selling out for a smoked white fish tart.
For reservations, call 212-387-8869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun 14: Thank You for Coming Out!
Magnet Theater, 254 W 29th St, 10:30 PM,
Thank You For Coming Out! is an awesome, collaborative event, one part storytelling, one part improv, one part musical improv. Performers fall on several points on the sexuality spectrum, all identifying as the “other” but support each other in their corner of the inclusive Magnet Theater environment. Proceeds from this performance support Live Out Loud, a program that encourages and supports LGBT teens by connecting them with professional LGBT adults in their community.
What a perfect way to celebrate love.
Tues 16: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Madison Square Garden, West 33rd Street & 7th Avenue, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM, ~$30
I think of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show like I imagine most humans (?) think about that football thing that happened last week. I get really excited, I cheer, I get angry and slights and fouls, and it makes me fondly remember Christopher Guest’s best-in-show. But did you know that actual people are allowed to attend this thing? I don’t know why I never did- I guess I thought it was exclusive to Kennel Club members?
Remember the wonder and glory of Miss P’s win in 2015?! You can be there for the magic!
Tues 16: Give Freeganism a Try
Meeting: David Rubenstein Atrium at 61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY, 7:30 PM. Freeganism 101 and Trash Tour: 9:00 PM. Free, of course.
America does a pretty terrible job dealing with food that is no longer considered “perfect.” We throw away $165 billion worth of food per year, most of it perfectly good for consumption. Sometimes it’s past its sell-by date (which in no way means it’s necessarily spoiled), sometimes the packaging is dented, sometimes it’s simply the result of over-ordering and a need to make room for new stock.
I’ve personally never tried dumpster diving (beyond grabbing books from the stoops of random Brooklynites) but the 9:00 “trash and Freeganism 101” sounds like a perfect introduction to a growing movement to combat wanton wastefulness. Plus, it sounds like a lot of fun! Don’t you want to see what grocery stores are throwing away?
Weds 17: Too Black to be French?
La Maison Francaise, 16 Washington Mews, 6:15 PM, Free
Although we generally think of France as being more socially tolerant than us Americans, recent antisemitism and anti-Muslim outbreaks have shown the cracks in the idea of France as a country that absorbs rather than isolates. Filmmaker author Isabelle Boni-Claverie presents her documentary about race and racism in France, followed by an open discussion. If you haven’t done anything yet for Black History Month, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.