If you just want to kick back and watch TV, but can’t shake off the FOMO, this weekend features tributes to The X-Files, Lost, and Modern Family. Also: Party like it’s 1999, hear poetry like it’s 1925, and eat pickles like it’s Lower East Side Pickle Day, any year.
X-Files Party at Videology (8 p.m., Friday, $5)
“In the ’90s, The X-Files was an absolute powerhouse of a show, with agents Scully and Mulder driving the pop-culture conversation into shadowy corridors in search of alien autopsies. And then, sometime early in the century…it just vanished. Coincidence, or conspiracy? Gather your evidence and meet tonight at Videology, where the website TV Hangover is hosting the X-Files Party, featuring trivia contests, screenings of primo episodes, and more. And if you wake up somewhere strange, with hazy memories of a Monster of the Week drinking game…well, that still doesn’t absolutely prove you weren’t abducted. Does it?” –Rob Staeger
Party Like It’s 1999 at The Bell House (9 p.m., Friday, Free)
Why let the ’90s stop there, when you could break it down to Spice Girls, Nirvana, or Butterfly-era Mariah Carey? If you’re ever identified more with the scrub than the person who wants no scrub, look no further than this free dance party. 21 and older.
Saturday’s events are on the next page.
Shwick at Shwick Market (10 a.m., Saturday, Free)
In the part of Bushwick more easily accessible by the JMZ than the L, Shwick inhabits a compact, white-walled space that shows off its artisans with an intimacy you won’t find in Williamsburg or the Lower East Side. Necklaces with “Taco Bell” engraved on them and Phumplings (pho-filled dumplings, coming in November) are at home in Shwick.
Marco Polo Festival at Grand St., between Mott and Mulberry (11 a.m., Saturday, Free)
Watch larger-than-life marionettes of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, a hand-painted 50-foot silk banner (the Silk Road) floating through Grand Street, acrobats, and traditional Chinese and Italian folk music and opera at the sixth annual Marco Polo Festival, which celebrates — you guessed it — Chinese and Italian relations in New York.
Gowanus Open Studios at Various Locations (All-day, Saturday, Free)
If you’ve ever wondered what an artist’s studio actually looks like — beyond the Hollywood renditions of The Factory or Vermeer’s house — Gowanus Open Studios allows you access to 320 artists’ studios and arts venues, all located in former factories and warehouses. Visitors (an expected 5,000) guide their own tours based on maps and artists’ schedules, available online.
InVerse: A Poetry Reading at KGB Bar’s Red Room (7 p.m., Saturday, 2 Drink Minimum)
“We love it when so many of our favorite poets get together, for two reasons: 1) It’s the classiest excuse for a drink we can think of, and 2) it reminds us of why we moved to New York in the first place. That might sound sappy and nostalgic for the long, long bygone, but there’s still nothing like gathering in the Village for some original, irreverent, and unafraid stanzas. Tonight at InVerse: A Poetry Reading, Michael Robbins (Alien vs. Predator) will share from his new collection, The Second Sex, already receiving wide acclaim for bringing a pop readership to poetry. Also appearing is Aaron Belz, whose Glitter Bomb is a delightfully down-to-earth series, half art, half jokes (because you’ve got to have a sense of humor when writing poems about going to Starbucks), as well as Bianca Stone with her graphic-poetry hybrids. Vanessa Gabb, co-founder of Five Quarterly, and Jason Koo, founder of Brooklyn Poets, will also share from their newest books.” –-Heather Baysa
Sunday’s events are on the next page.
Cafe Bustelo Pop-Up at Cafe Bustelo Pop-Up (8 a.m., Sunday, Free)
Everybody’s favorite retro-kitsch espresso brand is experiencing a bodega-to-pop-up shop transformation. Their temporary space at 168 Bowery offers complimentary coffee, Wi-Fi, giveaways, and, at 4 p.m., a free performance by Eli Jas.
Fall for All at Union Square (12 p.m., Sunday, Free)
On this day, Union Square is home to a family-friendly interactive corn maze, over 60 feet long and eight feet tall, that tests Modern Family knowledge and culminates with a pumpkin patch. While nobody likes the house that gives raisins to trick-or-treaters, the event includes giveaways of Kind bars for the health-conscious *and* Hershey candies for Halloween purists.
Back to the Island at Union Hall (3:30 p.m., Sunday, $8)
“How awesome was Lost, right?” and “Wait, was Lost awesome?” are two questions funny guys Chris Farren and Jeff Rosenstock, hosts of the podcast “Back to the Island,” grapple with in this live taping. Watch an episode from season three (“Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”) with them and maybe you’ll find some answers. Maybe. You’ll find out who Tricia Tanaka is, at least. 21 and over.
Lower East Side Pickle Day at Orchard St. (12 p.m., Sunday, Free)
“If you loved the movie Crossing Delancey and would have had no hesitation about hooking up with Peter Riegert just because he sold pickles, this is the event for you. The folks at the Lower East Side Business Improvement District are dedicated to revitalizing the Orchard Street shopping district while preserving its unique and diverse character. To this end, they put on the annual LES Pickle Day, involving three blocks packed with games, face painting, live music, food and fashion vendors, Cat Bingo, and, yes, pickles. There will be a huge assortment of sweet and sour, plus a home-pickling contest. Several terrific restaurants on the stretch are creating special pickle-themed menus. This may really be the street fair with something for everyone. As they say, it’s kind of a big dill.” –Allen Barra