Photograph by the Library of Congress

Have you ever had a chance to observe the difference between the weekend and Monday crowds at the gym? Every Monday we absolve the weekend’s sins of alcohol and excessive debaucheries by rushing into the gym, replacing bloody marys with smoothies, and retrying that diet we started last Monday and quit on Friday. It is rare but, just like we detoxify our bodies, there is a place to detoxify our minds as well. It is a place where we can be mentally stimulated and exercise our favorite muscle, the brain. In Bushwick, that place is The Living Gallery, which every Monday night hosts all lovers of wisdom in a Philosophy Night hosted by Nyssa Frank, the owner and gallery director.

Nyssa, who holds a degree of philosophy from University of California at Santa Barbara, and she wanted to create a structured environment for discussion somewhere in between the informal friendly conversations and the competitive environment of classrooms. Within that context, she is leading the discussions every Monday in a very informal environment with BYOB, while steering the conversation toward a fruitful result.

Ben Cumberbatch thinking

If you want to exercise your brain, the Philosophy Night at The Living Gallery works great as a mental gym. Nyssa, or whoever leads a discussion, is the trainer that pushes you from one muscle group to the next figuring out a workout that delivers the best result for your body. The other people are the “gym buddies” who challenge you, always offering different perspectives on issues that you had never thought about. Together, we go through 90 minutes of workout that leaves us with a mental equivalent of the physical vivacity felt after leaving the gym.

Last Monday the conversation began with gender roles, evolved into happiness and the pursuit of it, then transitioned to a debate about our perception of things and the nature of the fact. Even though these subjects might sound overbearing, the discussion abounded with modern day movie references and personal experiences sprinkled with the occasional joke. More than just a discussion night, The Living Gallery offers a way to converse and connect with other people in the age where gchatting, texting and emailing have replaced most of our interpersonal connections.

I think therefore I am Lolocat

In Bushwick, we’re oftentimes still stuck on the question, “How many stupid things did this weekend?” You can silence that little voice by working out your brain and mentally stimulating your mind by discussing, engaging and connecting at The Philosophy Night at The Living Gallery.

Check out The Young Philosopher’s Symposium held every Monday 10-11:30pm. FREE admission (Walk Ins Welcome check status on Facebook).