Culture Compass: Zombies, Ben Affleck and succotash

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome, hotties.

Sarah Harper

THURSDAY

The Haunted Basement

The Soap Factory

514 Second St. SE, Minneapolis

6 p.m.

Sold out

 

In the second weekend of its sixth year, this artist-designed and volunteer-driven netherworld ought to be running so smoothly that you’ll be scared pantsless before you take your first step down. And if this year’s crew of free laborers is taking any cues from last year’s batch, two of ’em will be in love with each other by the time you get there. Note: The two Haunted Basement volunteers who got married almost immediately after meeting in the Soap Factory last year have since split. Sorry for the bummer news, but we’re sure that you’ll have a decent time at the Haunted Basement, known for both its artistry and terror. Scared of divorce? Cry “Uncle.”

 

FRIDAY

St. Paul Art Crawl

Various locations in Lowertown and throughout St. Paul

6-10 p.m.

 

According to A&E’s hyper-scientific analysis of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is the more movin’ and the most shakin’. After all, the University itself is left-loaded, with scads more gophers burrowing into the mini apple. But is it all so quiet on the eastern front?

This weekend, take the Campus Connector or one of the Metro Transit routes (the 3 and the 16 run often from the campus area) to get to our more saintly sibling. Experience the arts scene in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood as you shuffle from gallery to gallery. Rest assured that artists and curators will be putting their best feet forward.

SATURDAY

 

Zombie Pub Crawl

West Bank in Minneapolis and Midway Station in St. Paul

$23 in advance, $40 the day of the crawl

 

If you haven’t prepared at all for this alcohol-acalyptic night, rest easy: Making blood for your costume is simple. Just take a knife, preferably a large/sharp one, and make a single cut into … a package of food coloring! Heh. For thick, realistic blood, mix two tablespoons corn syrup, one teaspoon cocoa mix and four drops red dye.

In its typically irritated response, Hard Times Café will shut its doors at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Even if you agree that the zombie craze is a little passé and obnoxious, you can’t deny that the pub crawl’s lineup this year is stacked, with live performances from the Chalice, the Goondas, Marijuana Deathsquads, DMX, the Gin Blossoms and more.

 

CULTURE TO CONSUME

Watch this: Ben Affleck flicks

 

Set in the throes of the Iranian Revolution and boiling with CIA intrigue, the political thriller we’ve been holding our breath for comes out this weekend. For “Argo,” Ben Affleck does double duty as the director and the lead character, Tony Mendez.

Take this moment to celebrate all of Affleck’s flicks, both minor and major. From his uncredited appearances as an extra in “Field of Dreams” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to his very much credited roles in “The Company Men” and “Good Will Hunting,” there’s an Affleck film for everyone on your list.

If you’re feeling generous, make like J-Lo and pretend “Gigli” never happened.

 

Drink this: Hot Toddy

 

It’s so cold that we can’t feel our blood alcohol levels. If that’s not cause for celebration, we certainly don’t care, and that has nothing to do with how many hot toddies we’ve kicked back today already.

Perhaps the highest falutin’ of the heated cocktails, the hot toddy will make you look fancy and get your guests hot to trotty. To boot, it’s easy to make. Sink a dollop of honey into a shot of whiskey. On top of that, squeeze a quarter of a lemon. Fill out the mug with some piping tea. After a few of these drinks, you won’t even need to bug your landlord about turning on the heat.

 

Eat this: Succotash

 

Sufferin’ succotash! During the Great Depression, Americans made this hearty dish because the ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find. It’s not 1931 anymore, and thank heavens for that, but economic and meteorological gusts still blow bitter, calling for some sweet succotashy action. Take a page out of the cookbooks of yore: The essential components of succotash are beans and corn, and yes, that sounds gross. But think about putting a crunchy and colorful spin on this filling, nutrient-rich dish by throwing in diced sweet peppers, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini and edamame.