Feb 25, 2022
On Air Fest and Mac & Cheeze Takedown: 12 things to do this weekend
Or celebrate Mardi Gras in all its gluttonous glory, barely 1,000 miles from New Orleans
Mac and cheese binges and beer tastings! Mardi Gras parties and house music! There’s no shortage of things to do this weekend, from Black history celebrations to stand-up comedy, and more … That is, if you have time between On Air Fest’s programming running throughout.
Here’s the low-down on what’s happening in Brooklyn:
Friday, February 25
Listen in at On Air Fest
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A “magical weekend of sound” is in store for Williamsburg as the annual On Air Fest makes a return to the neighborhood’s Wythe Hotel, bringing with it a roster of guests that includes some of the biggest names in radio, podcasting and music. It’s a two-day event with a lineup that features the likes of Chuck D, Jane Goodall, Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, and more. The even runs Friday and Saturday in person, plus virtual options. Schedules vary, so be sure to check the event’s website for a complete rundown; one-day tickets start at $150 each, or $250 for a full two-day pass. A two-day virtual ticket is priced at just $60.
Explore the work of local artists
At the Brooklyn Art Cave in Bushwick, 15 up-and-coming artists from across the borough will converge on Friday night to share their work and tell their stories, promising an evening “full of good vibes and art” that’ll also feature live artistic performances and a DJ on premises. The three-hour “Art of Dreams” gallery event costs $35 per person.
Ring in Mardi Gras
If you can’t make it to New Orleans for the yearly celebration of gluttony and bead-throwing, head to the border of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick for the next best thing: a Mardi Gras burlesque party replete with dancers, games and a live jazz band. The fiesta is going down at Marian’s restaurant on Patchen Avenue on Friday night; tickets start at $30, which includes one free drink at the bar.
Take in a ‘drive-thru’ movie
Soft Firm’s “Drive-Thru” public art installation has made its annual return to the Plaza at 300 Ashland, right behind the Apple Store in Fort Greene, showcasing a series of original movies about urban life by Brooklyn-based filmmakers. This weekend’s showing is “Follow / Unfollow,” a hypnotic—and dare we say, trippy—look at commuting in New York, though different films will be on rotation weekly through April 14 as part of the display, so check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.
Saturday, February 26
Take a trolley tour of Brooklyn’s Black history
In recognition of Black History Month, Green-Wood Cemetery historian Jeff Richman is leading a special two-hour trolley tour through the sprawling burial ground that highlights the lives of some of New York’s more prominent permanent residents: Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the state’s first Black female doctor; pioneering artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; and Jeremiah Hamilton, the first Black millionaire in New York, just to name a few. The tour begins from Green-Wood’s chapel near its main Fifth Avenue entrance in Sunset Park, with tickets for the general public priced at $30 each.
Join a local garden club
Living in Brooklyn (ie, in an apartment) isn’t exactly conducive to gardening, but if you’ve got a green thumb and have been itching to get hands-on in the soil, check out the monthly gardening club at Phoenix House, a Brooklyn Community Recovery Center in Bed-Stuy. This month’s class is all about crafting your own bouquets of plants and flowers, and it’s completely free to attend.
Toast to the start of NYC Beer Week
To kick off the 10 “beer-iest” days in the city, join the organizers of NYC Beer Week for their Opening Bash, featuring samples of craft brews from just about every brewery in the city, plus a generous handful of special guests from across the state and country. General admission is $80 or early access passes are available for $100, unlimited samples included; and keep in mind that the beer bonanza is in a new location this year: the Ageer Fish Building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
This Saturday marks the third annual “Hella Black Hella Proud” event at Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy, offering a comprehensive education program for Brooklyn’s Black citizens that will touch on everything from financial literacy and civic engagement to knowing your legal rights and the expungement of criminal records. Pre-registration is required, but the event itself—which runs until 6 p.m.—is 100 percent free to attend.
Dance along to house music
Saturday night’s “For the Love of House” is exactly what it sounds like: a parade of beats from resident DJ Ray Vazquez, joined by guest DJs T-Groove and Juwandi, stretching into the wee hours of Sunday morning. Happening at Albee Square in Downtown Brooklyn, this 21-and-over party costs $15 if you snap up a tier 1 general admission ticket, or $20 if you go for tier 2.
Sunday, February 27
Chow down on mac and cheese
New York is looking to crown a new mac and cheese monarch, and the Brooklyn Mac & Cheeze Takedown is how the borough will decide. Featuring the gooiest, cheesiest, lactose-tastic recipes found on this side of the East River, this two-hour event at the Bell House in Gowanus is a mere $30 per attendee—a small price to pay for unlimited, all-you-can-eat mac and cheese, if you ask us.
Get hooked on rug hooking
If you haven’t already taken up rug making as a pandemic hobby, now’s your chance because this weekend, Brooklyn design artist Rose Pearlman is hosting an intensive introductory class that’ll teach anyone the basic techniques and principles of this age-old textile art. The one-day course, which is running at A.MANO in Prospect Heights, includes all the materials you’ll need to create a rug of your own—plus comprehensive instructions to continue the craft at home. Tickets are available for $230.
Laugh along with rising star comics
The monthly Punching Bag Comedy Show is back this February at O’Keefe’s Bar and Grill in Brooklyn Heights, featuring a line-up of up to 10 comedians plus some special drop-in stars; guest comedians often include personalities seen on Comedy Central, Netflix, SNL and more, the event’s web listing says. Tickets for the show alone are $10 each, or $25 for the “Burger Special” package that includes a meal, fries and a drink (and yes, that drink can be alcoholic).
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