The day has finally come: as of 12:57pm today, this monster of a winter is over. Spring is here! And that’s a pretty huge thing to celebrate.
There are a lot of good ways to commemorate the turning of the seasons—traditional pagan rituals, cocktails that don’t use whiskey as a base, food that doesn’t sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks, the ritual of throwing away all the things you don’t need… the list goes on. Because we’re just as ready for the end of this winter as you are, here are 10 ways to shake off everything that was brutal about the last four months.
Help Save Goodbye Blue Monday
First things first. Get yourself to Goodbye Blue Monday. A trip to Bushwick’s beloved DIY venue-slash-bar-slash-junk shop wouldn’t normally be a seasonal thing, but as we’ve mentioned elsewhere, this place is in trouble right now, and needs all the help it can get. Tomorrow night (Friday, 3/21), they’re having a fundraiser show that’s $5 a head for hours of live music and promises to be a rager. But also, there is a seasonal tie-in here: their huge backyard! You’ll probably still have to wear a coat, but you can drink your plastic cup of wine outside, and know you’re doing the neighborhood some good.
Eat Some Macarons (Today is Macaron Day in New York!)
One nice springtime activity that has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not it’s nice out: eating a bunch of dainty, mouth-watering little french cookies. Today’s officially “Macaron Day,” so a few places (including Clinton Hill’s Michael Allen) around the city will be giving out a free cookie to anyone bold enough to ask; Gothamist has a handy map of the options. But you can also do some off-roading and pick up an assortment at any number of Brooklyn’s stellar bakeries, including Almondine in DUMBO, Beny’s Delice in Clinton Hill, and for a thicker version, Cookie Road in Greenpoint.
Sign up for the Tasting Menu at Fabbrica
Just a year into its lifespan, Fabbrica is already one of Williamsburg’s most reliable restaurants (their cavernous space and proximity to the ferry dock don’t hurt), but now they’ve got an added draw in the form of a new Chef’s Table program. Beginning on April 1st, renowned chef (and Chopped winner) Jennifer Cole-Ruiz will put together a seasonal five-course Italian meal for 14 people (reservations are first-come, first-served) once every two weeks. The food’s fantastic, of course—a recent launch version included the most delicate gnudi we’ve ever had anywhere—and also more affordable than a lot of its competitors, running for $55 a head (you can also pay an additional $45 for wine pairings). Another reason to go? The restaurant’s enormous floor-to-ceiling windows, which act as a nice pre-cursor to when it’ll be nice enough to eat outside-outside. Soon enough.
See the Crocuses Bud at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
It’d be pretty remiss to talk about vernal equinox activities without giving a nod to the biggest and best garden in all of Brooklyn. And while the Botanic Garden’s springtime cherry blossom festival Sakura Matsuri isn’t happening for another month, it’s still the best place to go to see early signs of spring, and as of the past week, their website says crocuses—which couldn’t have survived even a few weeks ago—are starting to bloom! Go take a brisk walk around the place, listening to birds chirping, marvel at nature, etc.
Head Back Down to Coney Island and Grab a Beer at Ruby’s
Winter beach trips have a lot of undeniable charms, but if you’re like a lot of us, you haven’t set foot anywhere near Coney Island or Brighton Beach since sometime in August. It may still be too cold for a serious beach day, but it’s not too cold for a leisurely stroll to re-acquaint yourself with the ocean, the boardwalk, boardwalk snacks, and perhaps most importantly, 80-year-old Coney stalwart Ruby’s. The boardwalk’s best bar officially opens back up on April 5th, though they were also open last weekend, so keep an eye on their Twitter feed. Take in a cold beer and the sight of the ocean before all the warm weather crowds start to descend, and forget you ever even learned the term “Polar Vortex.”
Do Some Spring Cleaning
So you maybe shouldn’t put your coat into storage just yet, but you absolutely should start taking inventory of the clothes you didn’t ever wear this winter, or anything in your warm weather wardrobe you don’t think you’ll be wearing this time around, and getting rid of ’em. There’s a reason spring cleaning is a tradition and a cliche, which is that it feels great to rid yourself of unnecessary baggage, especially as the seasons change. Once you figure out what it is that you want to get rid of, you have a few options: heave it into the nearest donation bin to your apartment, take it by the Salvation Army (we hear particularly good things about the one on Atlantic if you also want to do some shopping while you’re there), or, in the temporary absence of Beacon’s Closet, take your clothes by Monk’s, which’ll then give you 25 percent off your next purchase in-store, so you can begin the cycle all over again.
See Psychic Twin at Radio Bushwick
Remember when getting from place to place wasn’t a frigid gauntlet, and you got out into the world and saw new things and met new people? It’s time to start doing that again! Ease back in with Saturday’s Psychic Twin show at Radio Bushwick (cover’s $7). Nothing like light, bouncy dance music to shake off the effects of a months-long hibernation.
Stand an Egg on its Head
There are a lot of traditional ways to celebrate the equinox, but maybe the most fun and accessible is the “World Famous Spring Equinox Celebration” at Grand Army Plaza, led by “Urban Shaman” Donna Henes. At 12:57 today, Henes will lead anyone who’s interested in the ancient Chinese tradition of standing an egg on its head to commemorate the first day of spring. This is supposed to bring incredible good luck for the entire following year, and who are we to argue?
Catch a Hitchcock Movie at Film Forum
So you really, really would still prefer an indoor activity? No time like the present to head into Manhattan, where Film Forum has been running a “Complete Hitchcock” series all month, and is still showing classics like The Birds, Marnie, Psycho, and Family Plot for the next week or so. Anyway, nothing says springtime like, um, birds.
Listen to Music, Drink some Rosé, Repeat
You can fit this one to your own particular tastes, obviously, the idea is to set a specific mood. Grab your warm weather drink of choice—this 2010 rose from Red Hook Winery, maybe, or a bottle of Owney’s rum—maybe buy some Easter candy in bulk at your nearest drug store, and put on something so simple and exuberant that you can’t even stay mad if the weather dips back down to 30 degrees (which it almost certainly will). Something like the above single from Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, which I haven’t stopped listening to since a co-worker played it for me last week. The point is, do whatever you’d do on the warmest, laziest day of summer. We’re almost out of the woods here, and the end of winter has never felt better.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.