The Christmas orphan’s guide to holiday week 2013

so so glos
Who cares about seeing your family when you can hang out with the nice young men of the So So Glos. via Facebook

If you’re a delusional millennial like me, then your big fat paycheck from the coffee house and free lunch from your internship just isn’t going to cut the mustard when it comes to meeting the travel expenses involved in getting home to see your family this week. Living this Brooklyn dream costs and between your rent, Netflix, and conference room rental for your (now sadly doomed) “Keep the Isles Out of Brooklyn” committee, this time of year can be a bit of a bummer when you can’t see your family.

But you know what? Home with the family and your hometown friends is all well and good for about three hours until you’re reminded of why the hell you got out of that burg in the first place: same conversations leading to the same arguments and the same idiot yelling abuse at you from the same car they drove when they were 17. Only now your beard or vintage style is probably award winning. On that note, here’s a couple fun things to do this week while everyone else has upped sticks back to the Midwest or Long Island.

Saturday 12/21

Wandering Winter Solstice Concert with Make Music New York
Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 11:30am – 12:45pm, 1000 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights

If you feel like marking the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of winter in a more unconventional manner, Make Music New York will be presenting a migrating performance of Schubert’s Wintresse throughout the garden featuring Grammy nominated baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert. Entrance to the Garden is free before midday which means the 11:30am start time at Magnolia Plaza leaves you with no excuse not to check out the beauty of all that Mother Nature has not yet laid her frozen touch upon. Unless you’re hungover, of course.

The So So Glos, Californax, Palehound, Darlings
Brooklyn Night Bazaar, 8pm, 165 Banker Street, Greenpoint

You don’t need me to add to your cold sweat in reminding you that we are on the cusp of the final shopping weekend before Christmas  but if you’re still trying to pick up something special for that special someone or, heaven forbid, haven’t started shopping yet, the least you can do is support local and independent businesses while you panic-buy like the marauding young capitalist that you are. In spite of a few shortcomings in this year’s incarnation, one of the great things about the Night Bazaar is once you’ve found the perfect artisanal trinkets for Aunt Sara and Grandma Lois, you’ve got readymade entertainment on hand to assuage your buyer’s guilt. This Saturday’s show is headlined by Brooklyn’s own The So So Glos and kicks off at 8pm. Make sure to get in early and catch the openers Darlings, who inconspicuously dropped one of this year’s sweetest and laziest jams in the form of Perfect Trip.

Sunday 12/22

Jazz Jam
Bar Chord, 9pm, 1008 Cortelyou Rd, Ditmas Park

At this stage, you’ve probably heard “All I Want For Christmas is You” enough times in the last few weeks to the point where you can time your violent rampage to sync preternaturally with every flurry of Mimi’s voice. But why not soothe that savage beast with some jazz at Ditmas Park bar cum vintage guitar boutique, Bar Chord? Cry over all the money you spent at the Night Bazaar while gazing longingly at the carefully curated selection of vintage and rare guitars stocked courtesy of Underdog Guitars while marveling at the rotating selection of draft beers and impressive range of bourbons and whiskeys as you wait for the jazz to soothe your soul, beginning at 9pm.

Monday 12/23

True Grit (2010)
Huckleberry Bar, 9pm588 Grand Street, Williamsburg

This month is Coen brothers month at Huckleberry, and the fourth installment in the series is the 2010 remake of the John Wayne classic, True Grit because hey, what says “holiday week” like frontier justice revenge-adventure? Free popcorn and 2-for-1 drink specials are provided when you sign up for the free movie membership but regardless, the entire screening is free so get in early for the best seats.

Friday 12/27

HEAD ON 2013 vs. 2003
The Bell House, 10pm, 149 7th Street, Gowanus

As the year draws to a close it’s time to reflect. We’ve had a topsy-turvy 12 months filled with bangerz a-bangin’, Yeezus a-leakin’ and all other manner of musical gems, so what better time is there to look at how far we’ve come? With the ‘90s rapidly becoming the new ‘80s, we turn to the ‘00s to give us a fix that only Clarissa Explains It All and heroin Nirvana used to. Thanks to the Bell House that fix is near at hand thanks to this month’s Head On DJ battle/dance-off pitting the mighty 2013 against the formidable 2003. Who triumphs? Your twerk or whatever dance was popular a decade ago will decide, as the winning DJ set is judged by crowd reaction. The battle begins at 10pm so get your best moves ready to set the scene for the real fantasy grudge match: Bound II vs. Crazy In Love. Sorry, Stallone and DeNiro.


The Nutcracker at BAM
Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene

Although definitely the priciest suggestion on the list, starting prices of $25 per ticket are still more than 50% cheaper than tickets to the same ballet in stupid Manhattan. The show runs until the 22nd so there’s not a lot of time left but there’s a little. If the spirit of the season hasn’t been ground out of you it may just put a spring in your step or the step of a loved one this holiday week.

Exhibits at Brooklyn Historical Society:

This year’s ongoing exhibits feature a retrospective on Hurricane Sandy and a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation amongst other things, all of which are on display through the winter but what better time to remind yourself of the broader perspective than this often crazy and misguided week?

Dyker Heights Christmas lights

You’re gonna be here anyway, so why not follow Eric’s advice and pack a thermos with a hot toddy and wander around checking out the insanely extravagant and insanely awesome Dyker Heights Christmas lights displays? Odds are you’re never gonna own a house around here, so it’ll give you a glimpse at a life that you’ve only seen in pictures.

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