wkd’s May wishlist

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For the longest while I’ve been dreading the end of April. Back in the day (as in 11 years ago when I first moved out to the Middle East), April ending meant a whole lot of hot nothing was going to happen in town until about October.I’d usually be grateful to fly out for as long as possible, finances willing.

I know it’s not anywhere near ‘summer hot’ yet, but Island Girl or not, I’ve never been good with heat/humidity and I’m already feeling kind of icky.

Anyway, what’s different this year is that I’m so distracted by a packed calendar to really notice said ickiness – May is pretty busy still! Indoor and outdoor fun is still going strong, from free open-air cinema and alternative kinds of sea, sand and terrace brunching to outdoor boot camps, and there are more gigs, fairs, markets, foodie, art and culture events on than I have enough energy (or money) for.

With summer a month away too, I can’t believe I’ve just been to the launch of two new rooftop bars in the capital! Doesn’t look like the UAE much cares what the weather brings anymore. And I like that.

Here are the Top 10 things I want to have done, outdoors and indoors, this month. And you’re certainly encouraged to join in.

wkd’s May wishlist (starting with the most boring one first, promise)

*Have a little nerd time at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Not just books and books, but also workshops, author talks and even film screenings, and entry is free. On until May 3rd.

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*Wander through the new exhibit at Warehouse421. ‘Departure’ (which appears to be merging incredible iron craftsmanship with poetry) is the work of Spaniard Xavier Mascaró, and will be unveiled this week at the massive Mina gallery, running until September 4th. On May 4th, however, you can even pick the artist’s brain during the weekly ‘Wednesdays at the Warehouse’ series. Sign up for the talk ASAP via the website.

*Cash in on Dh10 drinks one last time. Grab your tenners and get in on the last wave of cheap-as-chips drinks offered during Jazz @ Pizza Express’ daily 5-7pm Happy Hour. It includes beer and bubbly too! At Dh10 a pop! This will certainly be missed when it disappears on May 5. Best kept secret ever, that was.

*Finish those two books you feel like you’ve been reading forever. Sorry, more books (I’m a writer, and therefore a reader). The two titles I’m currently juggling are Caitlin Moran’s Moranthology, and Martin Amis’ Money. I swear the M theme wasn’t intentional for, um, May. What are you reading? Hustle it up and finish with me!

*Eat for free courtesy Taqado. In celebration of the launch of their 11th branch in the UAE – and Cinco de Mayo – Taqado is giving away 1,000 free burritos a day at a select outlet each day until May 11. In Abu Dhabi, that’s only at The Galleria, Reem Island on May 3rd, whereas Dubaians are a little more spoilt for choice. Check it.

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*See Brighton band Black Honey live at Bad House Party. Dynamic shoegaze-y surf rock, featuring the amazing Lana Del Rey-esque vocals of frontwoman Izzy Phillips? Um, yes, I think so. Bad House Party (or BHP), a monthly fixture at Dubai dive bar Casa Latina, is a must if you’ve been pining for a night out that caters to your weirder musical tastes. Let’s get weird!

*Blag my way into a book-themed dinner at The Ritz. Oh, look, more books! This is good though. The Forge steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal is impressing me mightily by attempting to pair literature and dining on May 13 in a menu inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books. I guess you could call it a culinary journey inside a story. Each guest will receive a copy of The Great Gatsby and will be invited to join a literary discussion moderated by the guest speakers from New York University Abu Dhabi. The menu looks ridiculous: go.

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*Dabble in Dudeism once more at another Abu Dhabi Lebowskifest. Barosa/Vertical Bar at the Ramada Downtown Abu Dhabi are back with another Big Lebowski-themed bash on May 20th complete with 70s classics via a live band and house DJs, bowling and a slice of ‘that’ severed toe cake. Come in your dressing gown and prepare to drink way more White Russians than your stomach might be happy with.

*Try to finish paying my respects to the late legend, Prince. There have already been a couple tribute nights across Abu Dhabi and Dubai that I’ve missed, but it’s no surprise to me that other bars are giving me a second chance. Check out The Music Room in Dubai this Wednesday May 4th, or if you’re in Abu Dhabi, try to hold out until May 25th for another Prince shoutout and sendoff during Abu Dhabi Soul Edition 20 at Saadiyat Beach Club.

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Say a slow goodbye to the good weather with a rooftop bar toast. In fact, I’d particularly recommend you do it at swish new Latin American restaurant and rooftop bar BU! at The Hub, World Trade Center Mall. I can tick this one off, just did, quite fab, but I’ll be back again to properly dig into the menu too. How pretty is this place? And where can I order myself a light fixture that spells ‘Flesh’ please?

wkd out & about: The Other Side X Ray-Ban Private Launch

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I think a huge portion of my young adult life was spent wanting to own a pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers. You know, the classic black RB2140s, as they’re fondly known by no one? When I finally, at 20, found a job decent enough for me to afford one (even 3!), at roughly Dh800 a pop (at that time), I still didn’t feel like I had earned the right to buy them. I’m weird, yes.

Now I’m 27 on some sort of semi-paid sabbatical of a bender (or bender of a sabbatical?), and therefore NOT making that money anymore, and I STILL don’t own one. I have, however, broken and lost a TON of cheap frames quite consistently in that time – which has not made it easier on me deciding to invest in a pricier pair.

But I do get invited to Ray-Ban’s parties, and for now I’m okay with that much proximity.

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I’m so late in posting this because I had some actual real adult work I had to take care of this past week. But last week Ray-Ban teamed up with indie live music hosts, The Other Side to throw a hell of a party for the launch of their latest line of eyewear (which I’m really digging, by the way; can’t wait to show you some of the pieces).

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Needless to say, we also got to hear som ‘wkd’ sounds. Not only was it my first time to ANDLounge, which is a really pretty place at The Address Marina; it was also the first time I’d heard of Londoners BIG DEAL.

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They’re touring this summer, and this is what they sound like:

I know, jump-around-your-room-with-your-hair-loose-because-life-is-going-semi-bummerish music. Or driving in your car music, I guess.

I also like this song:

 Anyway, Ray-Ban and The Other Side are at it again in May for this event featuring TELEFERIK. Check it.