Joy’s Best of Brooklyn, November 29, 30, December 1, 2

The presents come early and often at Prospect Park Zoo on Saturday and Sunday. (photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS)

Twelve reasons to keep it local this weekend.

Thursday: The Brooklyn Cheese CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) begins this Thursday and runs for 6 weeks until January 3, 2013. On Thursdays, Cricket Creek Farm, a small, grass-based dairy from Williamstown, MA, will distribute their cheese at Picada y Vino in Park Slope. Regular shares of 2 lbs and half shares of 1 lb per week are available. Four cheeses made from raw and pasteurized cow’s milk are featured, and described on Cricket Creek Farm’s lovely website.

Thursday through Sunday: Holiday Art Sale at 440 Gallery. This artist-run collective offers affordable, original works of art, as well as reproductions, during their 2nd annual holiday sale. Prices range from $4.40 to $440. Ask about Philomena Marano’s $25 prints to benefit Coney Island relief funds. Park Slope. Thursday and Friday, 4pm-7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm.

Friday: Winter Art Sale at Trestle Gallery. A one-night-only reception of paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media from 46 artists. Proceeds benefit the participating artists as well as Trestle Gallery and Brooklyn Art Space programs for emerging and mid-career artists and curators. Gowanus. 8pm-10pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Presents to the Animals, Prospect Park Zoo. To a meerkat, mealworms are artisanal; otters consider capelin (smelt) and eggs a delicacy. Starting this weekend through December 30, watch Hamadryas baboons, Pallas’s cats, red pandas, mongoose, and other zoo critters have the most delightful and comical time tearing into gift-wrapped bags and boxes of treats. The Zoo provides these presents as a form of enrichment to keep the animals’ minds and bodies healthy and active. All I know is that last year we split our sides laughing. 11am and 3:30pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, Etsy New York. Over 35 local artisans, designers and crafters selling unique handmade gifts, along with snacks from locally made sweets. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with other small businesses. Williamsburg. 11am-6pm.

Saturday: St. Nicholas Day at Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. Dutch-American traditions: learn to craft pomander balls, bird feeders, snow globes and tree ornaments. Usher the season in with hot apple cider, holiday treats, Dutch cookies, along with visits from Sinterklaas and Santa Claus. Tree lighting ceremony at dusk. Flatbush. 12pm-4pm.

Saturday: Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair presented by Honey & Wax Booksellers. Rare, vintage, out-of-print books from independent booksellers from all over Brooklyn. Antiquarian maps, prints, ephemera. At 4:30pm, Park Slope native son and author, Pete Hamill, will read O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” Old Stone House, Park Slope. 12pm-6pm.

Saturday: Decemberfest from the “collective boozy/curdy brains” of JakeWalk and Stinky Bklyn. Promises of debaucherous celebration and awesome pairings of cheese and good things to drink. Purchase tickets ahead and save $5 on admission by calling Stinky Bklyn at (718) 596-CURD. Carroll Gardens. 2pm.

Sunday: Frosty First Sundays, part of Light in Winter 2012 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Several events scheduled for the first Sunday of each month to celebrate the beauty of the Garden in winter during the darkest months of the year. Walks and tours, a tasting from Brooklyn Salsa Company, yoga, more. 10am-4pm.

Sunday: Eat Pie and Shop Holiday Festival at PS29. Home-baked pie samples, baking contest, gift fair, professional portrait booth. Cobble Hill. 11am-4pm.

Sunday: 3rd annual Beer Masters Winter Classic hosted by Roberta’s. In 2011, the NYTimes declared Roberta’s one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the U.S. This fall, Bill and Hillary had pizza there. Today, twelve teams will compete in an intense beer-drinking competition for “rad” prizes. Pizza and other food from Roberta’s. At Warsaw—where pierogies meet punk—in Bushwick. 1pm-10pm.

Extra-Credit Monday: The Williamsburg Spelling Bee 2012 Finals. Concluding a year’s worth of monthly Monday night Bees, this is your last chance for this year to spell and compete. Open to all 21+. Pete’s Candy Store, Williamsburg. Signup 7pm. Bee 7:30pm.

Brooklyn Artisans on the road: Brooklyn Visits Heath. A six-week show co-curated by Heath Ceramics and Brooklyn stylist Pam Morris at the Heath showrooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you covet Heath as I do, then you understand how wonderful it is for Brooklyn to be represented in California by them. “Exceptional craft products for the table and home by Brooklyn-based artisans and designers” will be shown. Brooklyn design studio enormouschampion created the graphics and is participating in the show. November 30 through January 13.

Joy Makon curates Brooklyn Artisan’s Craft & Design coverage and creates the weekend to-do lists.
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