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Archive for the ‘Alcohol’ Category

For those who like to get black out drunk on Sundays, swing by Red Hook this weekend for the Brooklyn Bourbon Festival. From noon until nine this Sunday at LeNell’s (416 Van Brunt St.) the bourbon will flow for free. Also, apparently you can buy six American bottles of whiskey for 10% off. Drink up!

LeNell's

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The owners of Red, White and Bubbly, Park Slope’s wine destination, are trying to meet all of my needs – not just by fueling my alcoholism, but by fueling my love of all things Brooklyn.

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That’s right! We, as a borough, now have our very own wine company…in a manner of speaking, I suppose. If you want to be technical about it, the grapes are grown, fermented, mixed and bottled in California. But the guy who designed the label totally lives in Brooklyn! And the only place it is currently sold is in Brooklyn. So that’s close enough, right?

I tried the “Feliz Red” last night. I wasn’t crazy about it, but it might have been that it just doesn’t pair well with a black bean burger and garlic scrapes. Or it could be that I just wasn’t doing it right. The instructions say to “celebrate a day well lived” with it, but I was actually just watching The OC and painting my toe nails. The owners of Brooklyn Wine Co. & Red, White and Bubbly feel different, of course. They said to the Brooklyn Paper, “it’s not so much that we create a good wine, but that we create a fantastic wine. And if we’re going to put our names on a bottle of wine, we want it to knock your socks off.”

It’s true that my socks were off, but that was because of the pedicure…or was it?

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This Sunday, a handful of Skeptics traipsed merrily through 5th Avenue Street Fair in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And as it turns out, we were not the only ones there. Looking down the Avenue from the top of the Slope, you could see it was packed for about a mile. The whole thing made me feel a little gay for Brooklyn. Here are some of my favorite parts of the fair:

1. Open Container Laws Be Damned

The fair gave a new meaning to al fresco drinking – of which we all know I’m the biggest fan. Nearly every bar was selling some beers, of both the generic and fantastic variety, on tap out of coolers in the middle of the street. You could get a plastic cup of beer or a frozen margarita from Mezcal and stumble around drunkenly, fondling pashminas and mozzarepas, for the rest of the day.

2. Kids Are So Predictable

At exactly 4:00, all of the children at the fair (roughly 2 million from the preliminary count) began to cry as their sugar highs wore off and they started to feel the effects of missing nap time. One child noted, “oh look – balloons,” in an uncharacteristically sarcastic manner.

3. Dancing Ladies

There were quite a few bands playing along the way, but there was one that stood out above all others: The Burlesque Alliance. This is an 11-or-so-piece band that was playing some kind of music with which I am not familiar enough to know the genre’s name. They had like horns or whatever. But more importantly, they had a lady who wore a tiny USO-style getup, dancing on the side of the stage. She was just awesome.

I was first introduced to the concept of go-go dancers at street fairs last summer at the Atlantic Avenue Street Fair. I didn’t like them as much. It seemed more exploitative in some way. Pizappas found this band a tad exploitative too. And I can understand that. I guess. But I’ll still going to their show at Southpaw on May 26.

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The Gowanus Lounge told me that Brooklyn Brewery might move into Smith & 5th!

I once made the trek out to the industrial boneyard that is W-burg to celebrate a fellow blogger’s b-day at the Brewery, and it was great. The only bad part was getting there. And getting back.

Yay beer gardens! I’m thirsty.

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a-train.gifc-train.gife-train.gifin the hole.

s-train.gif Short, limited service. Perfect for so many men I’ve dated.

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Brooklyn Skeptic’s best bet for St. Patrick’s Day is MONSTER EIFFEL TOWER @ Trash Bar.

Saturday, March 17th
256 Grand Street, between Roebling & Driggs, Williamsburg
$7, doors at 8, free PBR from 8-9, M.E.T. plays at 10

And of course, as always, free tater tots!

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I’ve recently adopted a Tuesday evening tradition. Well, it’s only been two times now, so maybe it’s more of a Tuesday evening coincidence. It’s something in the spirit of Mardi Gras – revolting hedonism on a Tuesday. This event, which I like to call “Shotdogs,” has everything but the girls gone wild.

The evening starts out at Welcome to the Johnsons, a perfectly divey bar in the Lower East Side in Manhattan (yuck, I know). I’ve been going to this bar for several years now and was something of a regular when I lived in that hood. I was there for the summer when fruit flies had infested the limes and so there was always a fine film of bugs and bug-parts on every drink you ordered. That was when I developed an irrational fear of bar fruit. I’ve witnessed the replacement of the toilet that was once so covered in band stickers, you could hardly tell what you were supposed to do with it. The new one is collecting its own piss stained collection. I’ve been there for brawls between guys who look like they fell out of a Ramones show thirty years ago – replete with blood trickling from their self-pierced safety pin earring holes. Anyway, as pleasant as all that sounds, there is one reason above all that I have been a Welcome to the Johnsons fan for so long: $2 drinks during happy hour (from when you wake up till 9 PM). You must not tell anyone about this. It’s a secret.

At Welcome to the Johnsons, the drinking begins. First, $2 whiskey and gingers. Then the shots. Last night we did a Red Headed Slut, followed by the bartender’s own concoction, Dr. Nut. Then we continue on with the regular drinks. All the while, the conversation gracefully flits from one topic to the other, weaving in nearby patrons and their opinions of The Flaming Lips, March Madness, olive juice, etc.

cupcackeeIn order for the Shotdog participants to remain reasonable, we all have to eat dinner. Dinner is hotdogs from Dash. In my case, vegetarian chili dogs. In other cases, processed meat monstrosities, choked with bacon, Fritos and other wonderful things. But that’s not all. Then come the chips and salsa from Festival Mexican Restaurant (outside of which, some guy drunkenly peed behind a Pathfinder while everyone in the bar watched with horror and glee) and then cupcakes (including one for the bartender) from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Please keep in mind, I skipped the gym to partake in this madness.

By 9:00, we are all sufficiently bloated and return home to watch American Idol while we mainline salad and try to rehydrate.

Now, I don’t know if this particular evening’s activities can be approximated in our borough. I have a feeling that it is possible, but only in Williamsburg, where girls in leggings and guys in hoodies are a dime a dozen. The real issue here is that while the people at Johnsons and the people in Williamsburg are all disgusting hipsters, the ones at Johnsons are much skeezier. In my mind, this goes a long way. So, until an absurdly underpriced dive bar and an absurdly overpriced hot dog vendor move into my current hood, I think I’ll just keep hitting up the L.E.S for my shotdog fix.

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The Brooklyn Skeptic Brooklyn Brewery Taste Test 2007

In an effort to both bond with our fine borough and get totally soused, Brooklyn Skeptic gathered on Friday evening to painstakingly taste test seven varieties of Brooklyn Brewery beer.

Undisputed winner: Monster Ale
Undisputed loser: Our livers

Brooklyn Lager: We started our evening off with the cornerstone of the BB lineup, Brooklyn Lager. The general consensus is that it’s mad bitter. I mean, it’s bitter to the point that before I moved to Brooklyn, I thought the borough would be too intense for me because of this beer. Some suggested it’s “bitter like johnbaptisedme,” while johnbaptisedme suggested it is “bitter like Wynona Ryder, but delicious like Val Kilmer. Oh! Cheers to the new couple (according to pizappas – but her celebrity gossip is debatable). Either way, Brooklyn Lager is a total power couple from 12 years ago.” Other folks suggested it tastes like “street cred” and “tobacco,” which, apparently, taste excellent with tofu pups in a blanket.

East India Pale Ale: Immediately upon popping the cap off this bad boy, we noticed the little story on the Christmas-colored label. BB suggests that the IPA is responsible for colonialism in that it is the beer that enabled the British to get to India. This ideological bitterness overcame the bitterness of the beer itself. Nice touch. Otherwise, all parties agreed that the eIPA was flavorful, dynamic, fruity, perfumey and divine. It felt like it was just bouncing on the tongue.
Johnbaptisedme added: “I feel sick” and “DRUNR!” I think this means she felt sick and drunk. That happens to the best of us.

Let's go METSPennant Ale: This is Brooklyn Skeptic’s binge drinking beer of choice. It is mild and delicious, with a burst of versatile flavor. We agreed that it is not offensive to any palate, won’t turn anyone off to Brooklyn, but still tastes like a quality beer. The best comment here is that it “can be drunk in mass quantities if necessary.”
Turtle suggests that it is Brooklyn Brewery’s safety school. Agreed. Pizappas offered that it tastes like a beautiful day at the Mets game. This concerns me because I really don’t like the idea of her licking around Shea Stadium. Shit’s nasty.

Pilsner: The Pilsner was, by far, the crap-wad of the group. It was suggested that it’s name be changed to Bud Dark – uncharismatic, deserving of a can rather than a bottle. Upon sipping this beverage, Turtle declared it a “wussy, flowery foo foo dandy beer,” and then dashed it to the floor. I cried as it began to warp my hard wood. Get your mind out of the gutter. The discussion was ended abruptly by the hostess declaring, “the sooner we finish the Pilsner, the sooner we can move on to something good.”

Frothy BrewBrown Ale: This is a really delicious beer that pizappas, johnbaptisedme (who at this point in the tasting is completely out of the game) and I had the great fortune of sampling at the actual Brooklyn Brewery last fall. It was just as delicious in the bottle as on tap.
This is a dark, rich brew with hints of chocolate, coffee and burnt sugar. Pizappas, who is a long time Brown Ale enthusiast, commented that it had a nice mouth-feel – thick on the back of your tongue. Plainclothesman countered with “makes me drunk.”

mmm...chocolate...Black Chocolate Stout: By this time, all of the Skeptics were drunk as skunks, but we still had two high-alcohol-content beers ahead. All handwriting illegible. I’ll just abandon the narrative so you can get a good picture of what’s going on:
“Smells like liquor!”
“Tastes delicious and gets me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasted.”
“Smells like delicious tar – like once the dinosaurs has gotten totally fucked up & hallucinating on the tar that would be the end of their species.”

AHHH! Godzilla!Monster Ale:
Wins.

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I don’t think the word ethereal has ever been used in relation to a game where you lob large circular objects onto a court in an effort to knock other balls out of the way. However my point was not that Bocce is ugly. More that Bocce is, in a word, cute. Bocce is billiards’ cute indy-rock girlfriend who is a little more shy and less overtly sexy. Billiards, on the other hand, is slightly more out of one’s league (pun sooo intended). Billiards has a series of shiny, colorful balls and a beautiful green felt table with six evenly placed leather pockets. And you use a looonng, shiny, aerodynamic, wooden stick that you know you just want to wrap your hands around and….. Ahem. Chalk.

Anyway, again, bocce is definitely hot. Its balls just aren’t as polished.

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Bocce is, perhaps, the hottest game in the history of bar sports. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head with its overtly sexual equipment (cue, balls, holes, etc.) – it’s a demure game with dignity, class, and a regal aura. Sure it’s easy to look sexy while splayed out on a table, man-handling a huge stick. That’s some rookie shit. All of the sexiness in bocce emanates from a player alone on the court, the envy of the entire bar. That player in untouchable. And as we all know, the hottest person in the room is the one you can’t even get close to.

Where billiards is carnal, bocce is ethereal. Though your feet are on a court made of earth, your spirit hovers above near the pressed tin ceilings. Your body becomes a vessel for the, um, balls and thousands of years of Italian history course through your veins, like so many Brooklyn Lagers. If there is anything sexier than the spiritually superior and historically inclined, I don’t want to know what it is.

This sport is so fucking hot, even the pope plays.

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