“What are my qualifications to write this book? None, really,” comedian Jim Gaffigan writes at the beginning of Food: A Love Story (Crown Archetype, October 21, $26), the follow-up to his 2013 bestseller, Dad Is Fat. “So why should you read it? Here’s why: I’m a little fat. Okay, to some I might not be considered that fat, but the point is, I’m not thin. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating, I’d highly recommend that you do not read his book. . . . First of all, how do you know they really feel passionately about food? Well, obviously, they are not passionate enough to overdo it. That’s not very passionate. Anyway, I’m overweight.” The stand-up comic and married father of five, who has appeared in such films as The Love Guru and on Broadway in That Championship Season and has publicly shared his desire for Hot Pockets and bacon, among other edibles, will be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble on October 20 at 7:00 to read from and discuss his new book, which features such chapters as “Not Slim Jim,” “The Buffet Rule,” “Cup of Gravy,” “Salad Days,” “Kobe Beef: The Decadent Meat,” “French Fries: My Fair Potato,” and “Hot Pockets: A Blessing and a Curse.” Seating will begin at 5:00 on the fourth floor, with priority given to those who have purchased a copy of the book; the event will conclude with a signing.
Advertising itself with the deliciously cringeworthy phrase “It’s kind of a big dill,” Pickle Day returns to the Lower East Side on Sunday, October 19, promising its annual mix of food, fashion, and fun. Among the fifteen purveyors of pickled items will be McClure’s, Guss’, the Pickle Guys, Brooklyn Brine, Mrs. Kim’s Kimchi, and Sour Puss as well as more than two dozen other food vendors, including Georgia’s BBQ, Brooklyn Taco, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, Mimi and Coco, Melt Bakery, the Meatball Shop, Russ and Daughters, and Doughnut Plant. We’ve never really equated pickles with fashion, but at this festival you’ll also find clothing from Pull In, Yaf Sparkle, Fox and Jane, Grit N Glory, and Realife. Throughout the afternoon, music will be blasting from two stages, featuring Fantasy Grandma, Ellen Kaye and the Moscow 57 Band, Gil K, and DJs Hurrikeen, Bruce Tantum, and Kai Song, in addition to face painting, dancing, a home pickling contest, cat Bingo, a Pickle Day Pun-Off, a photo booth, workout demonstrations, a brine dunk tank, and animal adoptions.
The New York Botanical Garden, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx (easily accessible via Metro-North)
Tuesday - Sunday through October 31 (special events October 18-19, 24-26, 31), $20
The Haunted Pumpkin Garden opened last month at the New York Botanical Garden, featuring a vast array of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. Continuing through All Hallow’s Eve, the display is accompanied by daily family-friendly activities in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, including interactive puppet shows, a pumpkin sprouting demonstration, a scavenger hunt, and parades (Tuesday – Friday, 1:30 – 5:30; Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm). On October 18-19 and 25-26, there will also be a Creepy Creatures of Halloween picnic with live animals (12 noon & 2:00). On October 18 & 25, children (recommended eight and up) can participate in a Budding Masters Creepy Pumpkin Carving Adventure ($50, 10:00), while Spooky Nighttime Adventures take place October 18, 24-25, and 31 ($20, 6:30 & 7:15) with programs geared for children four to twelve; flashlights will be supplied as families encounter ghost stories at the Wild Wetland Trail gazebo, make trick-or-treat bags (and go trick-or-treating), decorate gourds, carve pumpkins, dissect owl pellets, and more. On October 18-19, pumpkin carver extraordinaire Ray Villafane will give demonstrations (10:00 am – 6:00 pm) and take part in Q&As with growers (12 noon – 4:00), while the giant pumpkins will make their way into the garden October 25-26.
PULP FICTION (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
Tuesday, October 14, and Wednesday, October 15, $75, 7:20
Dinner and a movie — two things that go together like, well, Abbott and Costello, Batman and Robin, yin and yang, Bogie and Bacall, politics and corruption, football and head injuries. However, among the films that might not especially elicit thoughts of a fancy meal is Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated 1994 masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, a violent bloodbath that involves brains being blasted all over the inside of a car, a Mexican stand-off in a huge coffee shop, blasphemy, and serious discussions about foot massages and the Big Mac. (“Hamburgers: the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast,” Jules points out.) On October 14 & 15, Nitehawk Cinema will be hosting its latest Film Feast, two evenings of Pulp Fiction screenings paired with a gourmet meal with dishes that evoke scenes from the all-star flick, which features John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, and Bruce Willis, mostly as you have never seen them before. The twentieth-anniversary screenings will begin with the “One Minute They’re Having a Denver Omelette,” consisting of pancetta, peppadew peppers, Cabot clothbound cheddar, chives, and toasted sourdough, paired with a Honey Bunny cocktail (juniper-and-hop-infused Absolut, pear and thyme honey syrup, fresh lemon, and Prosecco). Next up is “This Is a Tasty Burger!,” with grilled pineapple, jack cheese, chipotle aioli, and shoestring fries, accompanied by a Tasty Beverage (Absolut Citron and homespun cherry limeade), followed by “Jack Rabbit Slims” (coke-and-vanilla-marinated skirt steak and a Fox Force Five Herb salad) with a $5 Shake (whiskey-barrel-aged Absolut and dark chocolate milkshake). The food and drink keep coming with “Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato, Baby Tomato” (beefsteak tomato, goat cheese, sundried tomato stuffing, and green tomato catchup) and a Comfortable Silence, and then dessert: “Toaster Pastry” (cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted puff pastry and maple royale icing), Potbelly Punch (fresh SoCal fruit punch with Absolut Mandarin), “This Some Serious Gourmet Shit” (coffee panna cotta and white chocolate foam), and Some Serious Gourmet Shit (bacon-infused Absolut, house-made maple Irish Cream, and espresso). Fortunately, the chefs have skipped other obvious choices. “Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I’d never know ’cause I wouldn’t eat the filthy motherfucker,” Jules says. “Pigs sleep and root in shit. That’s a filthy animal. I ain’t eatin’ nothing that ain’t got sense enough to disregard its own feces.” Vincent replies, “How about a dog? Dog eats its own feces,” to which Jules responds, “I don’t eat dog either.” Don’t be scared off by talk like that or if the website says both nights are already sold out; we have it on good authority that more spaces will open up on Monday. Bon appetit!
CROSSING BROOKLYN: ART FROM BUSHWICK, BED-STUY AND BEYOND
Newtown Creek to Wallabout Channel and back
Sunday, October 12, $15 (use password picnic), 4:00 – 10:00 pm
Back in May, we took Brooklyn-based artist Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi from the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island to the FDR Drive walkway, as Lorenz and Charlie rowed us across the East River. (You can see photos and video here.) Lorenz has been inviting adventurous souls to join her on her waterway journeys since 2005, documenting every trip. On Sunday, October 12, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Beyond,” Lorenz is teaming up with the North Brooklyn Boat Club for “East River Drift,” in which a pair of twenty-five-foot canoes will be piloted from the NBBC’s dock under the Pulaski Bridge on Newtown Creek toward the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where everyone will convene for a floating picnic in Wallabout Channel at sunset. The project will include discussions about water ecology and a safety briefing; participants will be provided life jackets, and once you get on the boat shortly after 4:00, there is no turning back until the canoes return to the dock at 10:00. As of this posting, there are still eleven spots left; tickets are $15, which include picnic snacks. Lorenz is an engaging figure, so we highly recommend this unusual adventure.
Atlantic Ave. between Hicks St. & Fourth Ave.
Sunday, September 28, free, 12 noon - 6:00 pm
Brooklyn’s most popular street fair, Atlantic Antic, turns forty this year, and it’s doing it in style with an extensive lineup of special guests and live performances, along with games, family-friendly activities, art exhibitions, book readings, dozens of vendors, and plenty of politicos. There will be live music from the Windsor Terrors, Junior Rivera and Charanga Soleil, the Black Coffee Blues Band with Popa Chubby, the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band, Dead Leaf Echo, Le Sans Culottes, and headliner Brown Rice Family World Roots Band, a welcome-ceremony dance by the Brooklyn Ballet, and the presentation of the Ambassador Award to Assembly Member Joan L. Millman. And for the twenty-first year, the New York Transit Museum is hosting the Bus Festival on Boerum Pl. between State St. & Atlantic Ave., featuring vintage buses (Betsy, Bus 2969, Bus 3100, Tunnel Wrecker), workshops, free tours, and other fun things, with admission to the museum only one dollar.