Still cold. Still grey. Still with the too-short days. Not fun. And everybody’s shoving red hearts and roses in everybody else’s face because we all know you should tell somebody you love them on one particular capitalist holiday! (What, no, I’m not single, what are you talking about?)
But there are still some things to look forward to! For example:
TGIF Valentine’s Day Ballroom & Swing Dance Party – 39 W. 19th street, 5th floor, Manhattan
I don’t like Valentine’s day at all; the only thing good about it is the chocolate sales that happen on Feb. 15th. But I LOVE a dance party. Particularly a ballroom and swing party. (No, I’m serious. I hate clubs, but I love to dance.) Dance Manhattan is one of the better studios to take classes – no matter what kind of dance you like – but they also host dance parties for the non-class-goers. With only $15 to cover you for the night, you can dance on two floors, enjoy chocolates, performances and a dance lesson to get you started. Go and enjoy some old fashioned fun without the constant pressure of “being sexy” in a dark interior with music so loud you can’t hear yourself think!
Rhapsody in Blue, The Town Hall 123 W. 43rd street, Wed. Feb 12th
90 years ago in 1924, Paul Whiteman performed at the Aeolian Hall in a concert that premiered George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. (And let’s face it, even if you hate jazz you’ve heard of Rhapsody in Blue and heard it in 2013’s The Great Gatsby.) For the last 90 years there has been an annual celebratory recreation of that night. This time around Vince Giordano, jazz musician and preservationist, will team up with pianists Ted Rosenthal and Jeb Patten, under the watchful eye of conductor Maurice Peress. Tickets range between $27 and $42 so you can listen to one of the main events of modern music without breaking the bank. Go do it.
Read a Damn Book: The Lady in the Tower, by Alison Weir
Alison Weir is one of my favorite biographers. She knows how to make lives that should be far away and completely alien seem accessible; as if you could know the people she’s writing about. In this book she undertook to try and give context to the infamous beheading of Anne Boleyn. (If it isn’t infamous in America it should be. It’s one hell of a story.) Second wife of Henry VIII of England, Anne Boleyn was the sort of woman who was probably born in the wrong era, and while her rise was in power was explosive in its suddenness, her downfall was even more so. Many popular books have been written off the general tale but this is the first time that all the circumstances are carefully peered at, from all sides, instead of just the sensational.
Enjoy feeling cultured!