Drinking at the bar? A movie? Dinner? Meh. How about something really different this weekend when the sun goes down… Consider a trip over to the Gowanus Nite Market. The most recent iteration in the pop-up market phenomenon, the GNM is a 5,000 square foot eclectic indoor bazaar featuring local artists and vendors, cold beer, tasty foodstuffs, and a live DJ spinning. One other pretty intriguing detail: this market happens to be located inside the lower level of a gigantic industrial warehouse chock full of boutique movie props called “Film Biz Recycling.” Why not, right? The party starts at 7pm and goes to midnight. It’s a truly unique nighttime experience, only in Brooklyn (natch.) Eat your heart out, Brian Williams.
We’re always looking for something weird and fun to do indoors on the weekend. There’s no shortage of weird and fun things to do in this town, but rare is the weird, fun thing also simultaneously a terrific charity event. One such affair on our agenda this particular weekend is the 20th annual Canstruction competition down at the World Financial Center. Here’s the deal: it’s a contest where 25 leading architecture, engineering, and design firms are enlisted to transform more than 100,000 unopened cans of food into larger-than-life pop art masterpieces like this one.Each of these design firms have spent months planning their entries but are allowed only one superfreakout night to meticulously stack and color-coordinate their cans into ingenious feats of engineering. Are you listening, Bravo? Why isn’t this a reality show? Regardless, it’s exactly the kind of supernerd stoner thing that will no doubt produce some bizarrely clever pieces of transient art. And the feelgood kicker is, at the end of the exhibition the structures are dismantled and all the food is donated to City Harvest. At last year’s Canstruction, 73,970 pounds of food were collected, translating into nearly 74,000 meals for the city’s hungry.Admission to the show is free, but all visitors are asked to bring a can of “high quality” canned food (no spaghetti-o’s, I guess) to the exhibition’s collection station to reach a goal of collecting over 50,000 pounds of non-perishable edibles. Do good for humanity! See gigantic ladyparts comprised of tin cans! It’s a win-win this weekend for the Cold Weather Companion.
I grew up on Long Island and as an 80′s era pre-teen, a cool thing to do was go to the roller rink on the weekend. It was called “Laces,” and I spent many a Saturday with my buddies there. In those halcyon days, skates had four wheels, chicks wore Jordache unironically and the cool kids always huddled in the middle of the rink. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys low hanging fruit, go ahead and make your wisecracks, but dammit, it was ridiculously fun. If you’ve ever known the joys of speeding through the glittering sequined lights around dark rounded corners to the amplified sounds of Rick James, only pausing to rest for a spirited round of Galaga… then I have some great news for your weekend.This Saturday at the Brooklyn Lyceum you can relive all your childhood roller-disco memories, because they are hosting a Roller Skate and Disco Dance party. If you’ve never been to the Brooklyn Lyceum, the backstory is that it originally opened in 1910 as an indoor bathing facility, but today is an arts and cultural center on the edge of Gowanus playing host to a range of theatre, music, dance, markets and community activities. And apparently, roller disco parties. Bring your own skates and the kids to roll from noon til six, and then from six to midnight it’s just for the adults to get their rollerfreak on. I can only assume/hope there will be this song, and this song, and maybe this song, and that there will be bland square pizza and Dr. Peppers to go around.
Now that the weather is officially gray and frigid, what does one do to avoid going stir crazy? Sure, booze is always a fun way to pass the afternoon but there’s only so many times you can bring your two year old to the bar before Social Services comes knocking. With that in mind, every Friday On the Real will help you find stuff to do indoors. And so today, we bring you…puppets?Yes, puppets. And of all the creatures in the puppet Kingdom, I personally find marionettes inherently creepy. Maybe it’s because they are so herky-jerky. Maybe seeing them manipulated by strings inspires a certain Machiavellian dread. Or maybe it’s because of Chucky. Was Chucky a marionette? How about King Friday? Because I didn’t like him either. No matter. They’re freaky and so it was entirely an antsy-kid-in-cold-weather decision that made us head over to Park Slope to check out long-time marionette mainstay, Puppetworks. Set up as a black-box theater in the ground floor of a brownstone, it is actually sort of funky and charming.The puppeteers (marionetters?) come out before the show and explain to the kids the mechanics of how the puppets work, and they’re enthusiastic and silly and all the kids (including mine) ate the schtick up. The actual show itself was great — the kids yell and clap and point and are completely engaged, and despite my marionette aversion I’ll actually admit to being entertained as well. And I was struck by the notion that it’s totally wholesome, innocent and old-timey fun for a little kid and there isn’t tons of that fun around anymore. So this Saturday when the thermometer reads 19 degrees and your kids are drawing on the walls with Sharpies– remember the puppets.