The weekend is almost here, and it’s a long one at that thanks to the Indigenous Peoples’ Day — or Columbus Day, depending on whom you ask — holiday this Monday. And whether you’re into competitive birdwatching, experimental art, after-hours comedy, slow-smoked barbecue or the fascinating world of textiles, there’s sure to be something going on in Kings County over the next few days that’s just for you.
Here’s what going on in the borough this weekend:
Friday, October 7
Check out the final weekend of Steve Keene’s art show
The Steve Keene 30-Year Retrospective & Art Book Launch is both a mouthful and going on in Brooklyn right now, with this Friday, Saturday and Sunday marking the final weekend of the show. Running daily from 1 to 7 p.m. until October 14 at ChaShaMa’s gallery in Brooklyn Heights, this celebration of the prolific painter will also feature a number of live music performances throughout the weekend and give fans a chance to see “a career-spanning experiential retrospective” of Keene’s work like it’s never been presented before. The show is free to enter.
Head to an Of Montreal concert
Pop band Of Montreal (which, in reality, is of Athens, Georgia) is playing Elsewhere in East Williamsburg as part of their ongoing tour on Friday, and general admission tickets can still be had for $27 apiece. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Johnson Street venue, which isn’t far from the Jefferson Street L subway stop, with a curfew closing down the 16-and-over show by 10:30 at the latest; a solo act by the name of Locate S,1 is opening for the band.
Reimagine records with the Vinyl Vandals Project
The Vinyl Vandals Project is a group show “featuring record covers reimagined and remixed by style writers and artists,” organizers say, and its unique hybrid of record collecting and graffiti art is taking the shape of a live showcase in Prospect Heights on Friday night. Featuring a number of on-site DJs who’ll be putting their own spin — no pun intended — on classic jams, the show at BierWax bar on Vanderbilt Avenue is free and open to the public, running from 7 to 10 p.m.
Take in some late-night comedy
If this show’s start time makes you say “Wow! That’s f*cking late,” then your reaction is probably appropriate considering that also happens to be its title. Hosted by BQE Comedy, this late night of laughs (keyword: late) features a lineup of a half a dozen stand-ups and is happening at Hart Bar on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, kicking off at 11:30 p.m. and going until at least 1 o’clock in the morning. Admission to the show is free.
Saturday, October 8
Participate in this year’s ‘Big Sit’
Throughout the day
For the uninitiated, “The Big Sit!” is a “semi-competitive birding event” in which birdwatchers both expert and amateur from around the world challenge each other to see who can spot the most species of birds while remaining in a circle that’s just 17 feet in diameter. (Last year, two circles — one in Connecticut and one in Sweden — tied for first place at 97 species each!) If you want to participate, Brooklyn’s Shirley Chisholm State Park is organizing an all-ages team of its own, offering free two- and three-hour shifts to the enthusiastic public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Space is limited so RSVPs are required. More information about the activity’s roots and rules can be found on the Big Sit’s website.
Weave your way through the Kings County Fiber Festival
The annual Kings County Fiber Festival is back in the borough for another year of quilting, knitting, dyeing, spinning and celebrating all things textile. Dozens of vendors, including a handful whose crafts go beyond just yarn and tapestries, will be on-site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the showcase at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn in Washington Park, near the intersection of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue in Park Slope. The festival is also organizing a hat drive for the homeless, collecting handmade hats for both men and women in sizes medium and large throughout the day.
Check out the Myrtle Avenue Arts Market
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shoppers can visit over 25 local artists and makers to find handmade jewelry, artwork, fashion, crafts, vintage clothing, and more. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership’s now-annual event will happen this Saturday and next in Clinton Hill’s Myrtle Avenue Plaza (between Grand Avenue and Emerson Place). In addition to the creative vendors, the market will also have free hands-on arts and craft activities for both kids and adults and music.
Harvest your own farm-fresh sweet potatoes
The Wyckoff House Museum’s urban farm is welcoming the public this Saturday to teach Brooklyn families about the sweet potato crop before opening its grounds and letting kids (and their parents) hand-dig their own sweet potatoes to take home. This outdoor activity is free for all, albeit a little dirty, though attendees are encouraged to arrive promptly by noon at the latest to make sure they’ll be able to harvest their share of the farm’s very limited sweet potato crop.
Ring in 5783 with a queer Jewish New Year’s party
Whether or not you’re a queer Jew, you’re invited to the “neshama-shaking, honey-sweet dance floor” at Bushwick’s Talon Bar this Saturday night, where inclusive community space Flaminggg is hosting a New Year’s party to mark the Hebrew calendar rolling into the year 5783. If bought in advance, regular general admission tickets are $12 each; however, if you can afford to help, there’s also a “high net wealth” ticket option for $36, or a reduced pay-what-you-can ticket if you’re hard up at the moment. The party starts at 9 p.m. and goes until 4 a.m. Sunday morning, with Sukkot then starting at sunset that evening.
Sunday, October 9
Take your kids to the cemetery
A graveyard may not seem like the most intuitive place for an all-ages outing, but the Green-Wood Historic Fund is known for its range of tours that cover nearly every aspect of Brooklyn’s largest cemetery, and on Sunday it’ll host two walks geared towards a younger audience. The first, dubbed “Meet Your Green Neighbors,” is a 90-minute walk guided by botanist Molly Nash Rouzie that’ll teach kids the ins and outs of ID’ing local flora. Then at noon, mycologist Sigrid Jakob will lead families on a “Fun With Fungi” walk to learn about Green-Wood’s numerous deadly and delicious mushroom species. Tickets for both are $10 each.
Pig out at Hometown Bar-B-Que’s fall block party
Hometown Bar-B-Que, a top-rated “Brooklyn-style” barbecue joint in Red Hook, is hosting its inaugural Fall Festival Block Party this Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. This family-friendly gathering will be fed by a smoked whole hog and will also feature a number of activities like face painting, pumpkin carving, an on-site fire truck for kids to tour, and a roster of five live bands throughout the day. It’s free to attend.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Join more than 150 Brooklyn-based artists & bands at more than 50 locations in Ditmas Park. The entirely free festival (donations are appreciated) will give artists and admirers an opportunity to interact and visitors a chance to explore the ornate architecture of “Victorian Flatbush.” A range of musicians and bands will perform at dozens of locations throughout the day. Painters, illustrators, ceramicists, photographers, sculptors, designers and artists working in multiple media will show and sell their works in person on front porches-turned-galleries. The event will run primarily between Cortelyou and Beverley Roads between Stratford Road and Marlborough Road (with a closing concert by NYAVI from 6 to 8 p.m.)
But leave room for an all-you-can-eat cake tasting party
Short for “Cakes Rule Everything Around Me,” this Sunday’s C.R.E.A.M. tasting party by Emerald Treats and NYkki’s Cheesecake is ringing in fall with a four-hour feast of cupcake, cheesecake and wine samples. Happening at 245 Boerum Street in East Williamsburg, the delectable dinner will also feature a live DJ, interactive games and comfort food by caterer Eats With Leek. Tickets, which include all-you-can-taste desserts, are $10 per person.
See a competitive improv show
The Brooklyn Comedy Collective is hosting its very own Improv Olympics this Sunday night, inviting funny competitors including “Mr. Guts,” “OLESTRA” and “Clint” for a 21-and-over competitive improv performance — whatever that means. Going down at the BCC’s Graham Avenue venue, general admission tickets are $12 each, though seating is limited, so arrive early to avoid standing for the whole show; doors open 15 minutes prior to showtime.
Monday, October 10
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day
10 a.m. or 2 p.m.
Once reserved for Columbus Day, the second Monday in October is now viewed by many in the U.S. as a chance to honor and recognize the culture and contributions of Native Americans, which is exactly what the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will be doing this long weekend. On both Sunday, Oct. 9 and Monday, Oct. 10, the institutions’ rooftop will be hosting a program full of Indigenous live music, theater performances, storytelling, food demonstrations, games and art-making. Tickets for the museum’s two time slots are available online for $13, or free for children less than 12 months old.
Attend the monthly Brooklyn Poets Yawp
The Brooklyn Poets Yawp — which this very publication once “touted as the ‘best poetry event in the borough,’” according to the organization’s website — returns to the city on the second Monday of every month, and considering we’re approaching the Indigenous Peoples’ Day long weekend, October 10 marks a rare overlap where this to-do list is able to feature it. Formally kicking off at 6:30 p.m. at 144 Montague Street, the gathering will start with a generative writing workshop before launching into an open mic night that’ll go until 9 o’clock. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $10 each.