Photo courtesy centerforfiction.org
May 23, 2023
It’s Gemini season in Brooklyn: Get lit(erate) … and lucky
Your guide to having an airy literary month in Brooklyn with highlights from BRIC, Brooklyn Public Library and bibliophilic speed dating
For some of us (hello!) Gemini season is the most wonderful time of the year. And even if you’re not celebrating a regular or significant solar return between now and the summer solstice, the fun themes which are the dominion of the Zodiac sign symbolized by the twins apply to all of us at this time. These flavors of fun include flirting, reading, learning, language (written and spoken), exploring neighborhoods, mental stimulation, communication and satisfying curiosity, talking and broadcasting.
Gemini — ruled by the planet Mercury, the messenger — is an air sign and as springtime in Brooklyn boldly strides to meet the summer, it’s prime time for all things open air. The three air signs in astrology (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) denote the realm of ideas. Gemini in particular fills us with a hunger to feed our minds and pass on to others what we have learned. We’re all perennial students and teachers in a sense and there isn’t a better time of the year to tap into those archetypes in whatever way that works. As a mutable sign, Gemini is also about adaptability, resilience and flexibility.
So take these one size fits all symbols and twist and stretch them to suit yourself. Doing Gemini things in Gemini season is a form of experiential astrology (it’s a big part of my practice) and can give you a feeling of cosmic alignment. Plus it’s fun. Here are some suggestions as to how in our beloved neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
Put on your walking shoes and take yourself and perhaps a flirty friend on the Brooklyn Literary Walking Tour, a presentation of our esteemed and endangered Brooklyn Public Library and the very cool Otocast app that checks a lot of the Gemini boxes and is perhaps the most Gemini thing anyone can do during Gemini season. You can learn about historic literary landmarks in Brooklyn while walking in the neighborhood and using your phone as a portable classroom.
You’ll get Brooklyn addresses of apartments where authors once lived and fictional places where novels have been set. There’s two hours of info and you can go at your own pace, stopping and starting as you please. A handful of the many writers featured on this tour are Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace, Walt “O Captain! My Captain!” Whitman, Jenny Zhang, Chaim Potok, Richard Wright, Patti Smith and W.E.B. DuBois.
For those who prefer a more sociable tourism experience, the Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl on June 17 is the move. Covering beloved watering holes of famous scribes in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill, you can sip on libations while learning a little history as presenters read passages from the works of selected Brooklyn writers and impart info on and insights into their lives.
If you’ve ever flirted with the idea of making a podcast of your own (haven’t we all?), BRICArts Media, the mothership of affordable media education courses ($0 to $50), offers Make a Podcast on Your Phone ($5) and Intro to Radio Podcasting. Naturally I recommend listening to the Brooklyn Magazine podcast in any season for inspiration, education and enlightenment, but especially do this during Gemini time! In fact, as we cosmically turn our minds to writers at this time, you can glimpse through a New York lens the ongoing WGA strike by listening to the recent episode with striking “Daily Show” writer Devin Delliquanti.
Brooklyn Brainery in Prospect Heights is another house of learning to consider should you find your interest in taking a course piqued under the Gemini Sun. They offer a myriad of topics, but for Gemini season we recommend Improv for Communication Skills on May 25 and Building Your Journaling Skills on June 11.
Speaking and thinking of writers and books, as is the order of the day/month, I recently discovered while strolling in Prospect Heights that the irresistible Unnameable Books on Vanderbilt Avenue has a secret backyard where they’re hosting free open air literary events almost every evening at 7 p.m., all ages welcome.
Another local hub for literary events is the 200-year-old Center for Fiction. This temple devoted to the worship of the creatively written word was founded in 1820 and took up residence at its shiny new Downtown Brooklyn digs along with its renowned 200 year old circulating library library collection, an independent bookstore and a literary cafe/bar in 2019. In addition to the expected illustrious book launches of the literati, you can enjoy a dazzling array of readings from emerging authors and fellows, The Center for Fiction also offers a variety of ongoing courses and one off workshops for writers and readers of fiction alike.
And if you’re a sapiosexual whose bag is bibliophilia, you will want to get your Gemini flirt on at Booking For Love: A Speed Dating Event on June 9.
Excuse my while I plug myself …
As you hopefully guessed from the opening lines of this missive, I’m Gemini, and as an astrologer, I can tell you I’m a quadruple Gemini. If you join me for a ChartChat, I can tell you where you’re doubling down, quadrupling up, mooning and rising, et cetera. It’s fun. And if you have any questions on the astrological quality of time, please feel free to write me a letter & drop it in the Brooklyn Magazine Mailbag. I’ll answer via an instagram story.
And the great Marc Ribot
Also, please come to my Significant Solar Return Spectacular at Union Pool on June 21, the last day of Gemini season. There’ll be live music, flirting, scintillating conversation, tacos and tamales. And if you want to attend a free show by Gemini Brooklyn Luminary Marc Ribot, catch the Ceramic Dog show at Union Pool the previous Sunday, June 18, which is part of the awesome ongoing Union Pool Summer Thunder afternoon series (other upcoming highlights include legends Joe Bataan on July 2 and Sister Nancy on July 9, but that’s for you Cancers to enjoy).
You might also like
Amy Sohn and ‘The Man Who Hated Women’
Podcasts & Video
Podcasts & Video
Amy Sohn and ‘The Man Who Hated Women’
CULINARY PARADISE IN A VERTICAL FARM: INTRODUCING FARM.ONE