Photo by Steve McFarland, courtesy of Brooklyn Derby
May 5, 2022
Mom’s moment and a Derby day: 10 things to do this weekend
You can also learn to sail in Sheepshead Bay, or raise a stein and ‘prost!’ to all things German
April showers might bring, uh, May showers if this weekend’s weather forecast is to be believed. But a slight dip in spring temperatures and a couple of overcast days are no match for a full slate of weekend events in the city, which is hosting everything from Kentucky Derby watch parties to an artisanal wine festival to a do-it-yourself bead marking course over the next few days.
Here’s your weekend to-do list. And for God’s sake, for those who can, don’t forget to give your mother a call on Sunday.
Friday, May 6
Toast to the best of Bavarian culture
5 p.m. Friday
3 p.m. Saturday
Pretzels, brats and steins full of the finest German beer. That’s what you can expect at Maifest 2022, a belated celebration of May Day hosted by New York biergarten Zum Schneider. Under a classic decorative tent, you’ll be able to usher in the arrival of spring with a cold drink and delicious meal, all while house polka-slash-rock ‘n’ roll band the JaJaJas gets the party going with live music. Held at 3 Dollar Bill in East Williamsburg, entry to this cousin of Oktoberfest is $25 per person, and if you’re unable to make Friday’s festivities, there is also a Saturday afternoon celebration starting at 3 p.m.
Clear your mind in Prospect Park
If you believe that some meditation will do you good, Brooklyn’s Vajradhara Meditation Center is hosting a very zen get-together in Prospect Park this Friday, and every Friday evening for the rest of May. “The park can be busy and noisy, of course, but that’s life—it is rarely quiet,” the group’s event listing says. “Learning to meditate in a lively environment will prepare us for the hub-bub of our everyday lives.” Attendees of all ages and species (i.e., pets) are welcome to sit in for the free one-hour session in Prospect Park, just off of Grand Army Plaza; in the event of rain, which appears to be about 50/50 based on Friday’s forecast, the meditation group will meet indoors.
Attend a comedy musical ‘for the people’
Join Brooklyn-based comedian Josh Nasser at the Brooklyn Comedy Collective this Friday as he ropes in some of his “coolest musical comedy friends” for a show that is billed to be “as funny as it is nice.” Featuring a lineup of local comics including Steve Jeanty, Rebecca Weiser and Dylan Adler, this 21-and-over show at BCC’s Graham Avenue space in Williamsburg is just $10 per person; doors open at 6:30 p.m. before the show officially begins at 7.
Saturday, May 7
Learn to sail
Assuming you didn’t already have “take to sea at the helm of a yacht” on your weekend to-do list, here’s your opportunity: this Saturday, the Miramar Yacht Club in Sheepshead Bay is continuing its annual “Seek and Sail” tradition of welcoming novice captains—no previous experience required—to learn the rudiments of sailing. During the five-hour intensive, which also includes lunch, participants will learn critical yachting basics like rigging sails, water safety, essential knots and nautical terminology, all for $99 per person.
Sip artisanal wines and sample gourmet snacks
The annual Brooklyn Crush food and wine festival is back in town this Saturday, transforming an asphalt plot in Industry City into a “vast vineyard” that invites attendees to try over 120 wines and spirits from some of the world’s most high-end producers, as well as a selection of local foods to pair them with. Entry to the edible extravaganza is broken into two three-hour sessions, from 2-5 p.m. and from 7-10 p.m., for $65 per person; VIP tickets, which allow access to the grounds one hour earlier and include admission to a lounge with “12 exclusive higher-end wine selections and appetizers to enjoy with the wines,” are $105 each.
Watch the Kentucky Derby in style
Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day down in Louisville, but here in Brooklyn, there’s no shortage of occasions to enjoy the bourbon, ponies and fashion that define “the best two minutes in sports.” The largest such celebration in the borough this weekend seems to be the Brooklyn Derby at the Greenwood Park beer garden in the shadow of Green-Wood Cemetery, a four-hour fiesta of free-flowing mint juleps, live music and a “DIY Hat Station” that guests 21 and over can enjoy for as little as $95 each. However, other venues around the city—including Ten Hope bar and Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsbur), and Time Out Market in Dumbo—will also be hosting their own dignified Derby Day bashes throughout the afternoon.
Appreciate fine art… after dark
The Brooklyn Art Cave’s monthly Gallery After Dark event is back this weekend, opening up its Bushwick space from 7 to 11 p.m. for an evening “full of good vibes, art, and music” with a live DJ, according to the gallery’s online listing. The night will also welcome up-and-coming New York artists to showcase their art and tell stories through their work. Tickets for the nighttime glow-in-the-dark experience, which also include one free drink, are available for $15 per person.
Sunday, May 8
Celebrate Mother’s Day
All day long
By the time Sunday rolls around, expect every brunch reservation in New York to be spoken for, every chintzy Hallmark card to be purchased, and every florist to be cleaned out. But even if you haven’t yet arranged plans for Mom, there is still plenty happening in Brooklyn to make her feel both loved and entertained: the Sephora in Bay Ridge is hosting a Mother’s Day makeup and raffle special; the Parks Department is hosting a family-friendly “upcycling” arts and crafts fair at Shirley Chisholm State Park; and there are brunch events around town to suit every taste.
Make your own beads
If you’ve got a thing for beads—or better yet, if your mother does—then head to UrbanGlass glass blowing studio in Fort Greene on Sunday for a hands-on, six-hour course that will leave you with all the color, texture and flameworking know-how to create wearable glass beads. Hosted by artist Maria Aroche, tickets for this unique experience run $170 per person, though that price does include all the materials and instructions you’ll need to leave with beads of your very own.
Learn to garden with native plants
Summer is fast approaching and if you plan to start a garden, whether it’s on a rooftop or from a windowsill, this free garden tour and workshop will teach you all you need to know about cultivating flora that’s native to the greater New York City area. Hosted by urban naturalist Chris Kreussling—who’s better known online as the Flatbush Gardener—will walk through the city’s nearly 200 native plant and over 400 insect species, giving you plenty of inspiration to get your garden started for the year. Online pre-registration for his two-hour course near the intersection of Stratford Road and Matthews Court in Flatbush is required.
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