If you've never been to a First Friday Artscrawl, well, that's OK. You've been busy. Work, the kids, your biannual attempt to read Ulysses; such is the busy stuff of life. But an Artscrawl is one of the best ways to see a ton of art, eat some cheese and make new culture-loving friends, finally enabling you to ditch your culture-hating ones. Let them stay at home and watch "Ghost Medium"—you've got better things to do. Openings and receptions are not just happening in Nob Hill, but all around the city. Artscrawlabq.org is the ultimate resource for all of the gallery goings-on for this Friday, Feb. 6.
But let's say that you're not really the gallery type, what with the quiet appreciation and soft hum of recorded violins. That's cool, no judgement. Then maybe you should hit the First Friday party that ABQSlams and Warehouse 508 are bringing to Winning Coffee Co. (111 Harvard SE). A poetry slam, beatbox battle and open mic will be hosted by Jasmine Cuffee and feature Erin Northern, with music by DJ Smartiepants (who, I believe, has a PhD in beats). Sign-up for prospective participants starts at 7 p.m., with the action beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 7, Cravin' Cookies (10420 Fourth Street NW) presents a Shop With the Artist event featuring work by Paper Menagerie from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. While picking up treats for your sweet, examine the handmade cards and paper works. Door prizes will also be handed out on the half hour. See some of the artist's work at papermenagerieshop.blogspot.com.
John Updike passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the age of 76. I can’t speak of his accomplishments or import more eloquently than the many literary luminaries that already have, so I won’t. But when I first read the heavily anthologized story “A & P” in early college, I was overwhelmed by how fiction could be so small and quiet and yet so purely true. Fiction and poetry can achieve a kind of honesty that nothing else can, and Updike was a master. He was prolific, and we are lucky.