Say happy birthday to this Virgo: Reverend Vince parties at Union pool every Monday
Aug 29, 2023
Look sharp and be prompt! It’s Virgo season in Brooklyn
How to spend Virgo season like a clean king (or queen or whatever) in the county of Kings
It’s birthday season for all our beloved Virgos — happy solar return to the late Augustines and the majority of Septemberists! Often their own harshest critics, these folk are known for their perfectionism, punctuality and pristine precision. Ruled by the planet Mercury, Virgos thrive in the mental realms with their quick, analytical minds, able to sharply focus on details that may be invisible to the rest of us. As an earth sign, Virgo applies all of this processing of information into the practical arena, of which they are champions.
Many a neatfreak or germophobe will identify Virgo or vice versa, but should you know a Virgo who does not apparently share these tendencies, scratch the surface and you will usually find some kind of method to their madness. The maiden holding a sheaf of wheat who symbolizes the sixth sign of the Zodiac is said to be in the process of sorting wheat from chaff, which turns out to be a highly relatable metaphor for all kinds of Virgo proclivities. Virgo rules caring for the health and well-being of our physical bodies, the abdomen, the gut and the digestive process. Whether or not cleanliness is next to godliness, it goes a long way to creating a sanitary environment to that end, and is also really an infinite act of moving particles around, which seems particularly Virgoan to me.
As many of my readers know, I like to get into the spirit of whatever Zodiac sign the sun is transiting each month, and highly recommend doing so — it’s fun, and perhaps a nice gift for the birthday folk if we all try to view the world through their lens for a month. Virgo season is for all of us, and it’s the time of the year that invites us to pull up our socks, tighten our ships, eliminate impurities, get sorted and get things right as we hone our survival skills for the colder months ahead, even if we are ordinarily less inclined to be so sensible.
So as summer winds down and the winds of change begin to shake the leaves loose on the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn, get offline and take advantage of some of our wonderful local goods and services to get yourself set up for the fall.
Virgo bonus: Mercury turned retrograde on August 23, the sun’s first day of Virgo season, and will appear to move backward through the sign until September 15. Whereas Virgo season automatically eases us into the transition from high summer to fall, which entails a cool-down period and a slowing down after the hazy crazy days of Leo season, the extra presence of Mercury in the sign and its retrograde cycle may catapult us more vigorously into that pause than usual. It’s a time to do everything more deliberately, perhaps analyzing the steps of a lot of tasks you may complete on a daily basis on auto-pilot — avoid the soaring costs of not paying attention!
Be on time
While time may be a construct, I have observed over my time here on the planet that my Virgo friends are very particular about punctuality. The system of time, after all, exists for many good reasons and has, um, stood the test of time. If you’re plagued by tardiness or you just love a finely crafted precision functional object, consider investing in a timepiece “Made With Pathological Stubborness in Brooklyn, NY” by renowned Nashville photographer-turned-watchmaker Giles Clement of Clement Design Studios. For the technically curious, Giles makes his Swiss standard precision watches on his two self-designed and fabricated CNC 3 axis milling machines in his brownstone basement workshop, a process he arrived at by painstakingly wanting to make a nice watch for himself. Turns out he wasn’t the only one wanting a nice timepiece: His personally crafted pieces are now available for advance order to those who understand that craftsmanship is well worth the wait.
Virgos are known for their love of orderliness and running of tight metaphorical ships. In the post-Kondo age, there is no shortage of home organizing and decluttering services available to us in Brooklyn. There is a widespread belief that a sparkling, spic-and-span environment is beneficial to our physical and mental health, and as noted above, the sign of Virgo is indeed associated with health. Music lovers who are tempted to reach out for help in turning their homes into an elegant oasis of uncluttered tidiness should reach out to our resident Brooklyn rock ’n’ soul star Meah Pace of !!! and the Resistance Revival Chorus, whose pandemic passion for better housekeeping parlayed into a second career path of The Lifted Home. Meah will come to your home and offer organization solutions. She also offers a ton of advice for keeping up the good work on her socials. You can email Meah at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote and to set up a consultation.
Another Brooklyn declutter and clean-up service is Clutter Cutter, LLC, in Fort Greene, which in addition to helping you declutter and organize your space, offers time management coaching, which will enable you to think more like a Virgo.
Organize your office
Whether it’s a coincidence that in Brooklyn the “back to school” season coincides with the sun’s annual transit of Virgo is one of life’s little mysteries, but Virgo being an earth sign and all, wouldn’t you rather soak up the physicality of a good old school school supplies store in Brooklyn than shop online as you mentally prepare for the impending change in the weather? Try out some pens on a scribble pad, admire organizational tools displayed in their neat and tidy glory? Behold the staplers, scotch tapes, and file cards while gently inhaling the smell of virgin notebooks?
This is the stuff nostalgia is made of, and a visit to the stationery store is a great expedition on which to find yourself tightly in sync with the cosmos. I’m ever a champion of supporting the classics, and in Brooklyn we are lucky enough to still have 7th Ave Copy & Office Supplies at 315 7th Avenue in Park Slope, its wares as practical as its name, although they do offer art supplies and party goods in addition to the usual, er, staples. Moreover, they offer a very Virgo shredding service. Purge those pesky piles of paper you never need to look at again and make room for gorgeous, uncluttered surfaces.
If your relationship to stationery is more sacred, ritualistic, aesthetic, or, dare I say, fetishistic, you can find pen and paper perfection at Yoseka Stationery on West Street in Greenpoint, a stationery store lovingly founded by Neil of Taiwan, son of a Taipei stationer, who takes his stationery very seriously and “will always have respect for the power of simple tools and a notebook to organize his thoughts throughout the day.” When Neil and his wife Daisy moved to New York 10 years ago, they noticed that American culture was missing the enthusiasm for stationery as a form of self-expression, which they had grown up with in Asia, where stationery was an extension of one’s identity.
Neil tells me the 2024 planner season is upon us, and this would therefore be a good time to visit the store and choose a planner from a wide range of famous Asian brands including Hobonichi, Midori, Shinnipon and Himekuri. Nothing makes the future seem more certain than a gorgeous planner. I plan to investigate all the options and choose one that best defines me.
Dig some discerning crate diggers
Virgo is associated with expertise and discernment, qualities you’d surely prize in the perfect DJ. While there’s no accounting for taste, your perfect DJ continues to investigate their subject thoroughly over a lifetime, sharing with you an evermore specific distillation of their musical experience. This is a very Virgo act, regardless of the DJ’s sun sign.
I have no doubt that this is what will be going on at two Virgo themed DJ parties on September 8: Virgo Clash is the annual birthday DJ slam put on by legendary psych disco rocker Oweinama Biu of Calamity Glamour, and DJ Crooklyn County. It’s at TV Eye, just across the border in Queens for that beyond Buswick experience.
For an irie vibration, roll up to East River Bar under the Williamsburg Bridge at 97 South 6th Street the same night where Virgo sax virtuoso Anant Pradhan will be joining forces on record players with Grace of Spades, Jah Point and Tony Conquerrah. Pradhan carries on the festivities with his eight-piece instrumental rocksteady band featuring reggae royalty Larry McDonald at Bar Lunatico in Bed Stuy, closing out Virgo season on September 22.
Celebrate the Reverend
Shameless plug alert: while on the subject of virtuosity, please behold during his birthday season the Reverend Vince Anderson who performs with his band (in which I’ve played baritone sax for 26 years!) The Love Choir every Monday night at Union Pool in Williamsburg. Knowing Reverend Vince as well as I do, I could perhaps fill a biography on him framed astrologically.
Reverend Vince is a multi-faceted musician and performer, but here I just want to focus on what has to me become one of life’s great mysteries. If you’ve seen Reverend Vince “play the shit out of the piano” (his words), maybe you’ve observed it: Reverend Vince at times wildly pounds the keyboard in such a manner that one would expect atonal cacophony (not saying that’s a bad thing), but standing next to him and watching his hands I can see that he has created order from chaos and is transmuting it back into chaos — with immense control. Mainly, he just puts on an amazing show. I may be biased, but 26 years of regulars and a constant stream of newcomers seem to attest. So come celebrate The Reverend at Union Pool on September 18.
In the meantime please enjoy my Zodiac Soundtrack filled with pristine performances by virtuosic Virgo saxophonists, Virgos on Sax. And if you’d like to chat with me about your natal chart, meet me for a ChartChat and we will break it down.
You might also like
Brooklyn’s 50 Most Fascinating People 2023
Brooklyn’s 50 Most Fascinating People 2023
An Expert Dishes On the Benefits of Switching to Claw Clips