Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The NY Times discusses one of current society’s most hated, gluten.  I find this article thought provoking as it goes through and lists the (apparently) many nays of the protein.  (Who knew?)  I’d like to share with you some of the most interesting points/truths exposed by the Times. 

“There is no question that eating gluten aggravates celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients.” (Nay, especially since I am convinced I might currently be suffering from this disease.)

“Brandi Walzer, a 29-year-old cartographer in Savannah, Ga., loves bread, not to mention pizza and beer. But she tries to avoid them, because they contain gluten — a substance she says upsets her stomach, aggravates her arthritis and touches off depression.”  (Nay.)

“[Gluten] is responsible for a variety of ills, from skin eruptions to infertility to anxiety to gas.”  (Um, nay.)

“To be sure, whole wheat and other cereal grains that contain gluten can be hard to digest. (Nay.) The bran and germ components tend to pass through the alimentary canal intact, which is why they are often prescribed as a sort of natural broom to relieve constipation (Nay?)— and why they can also cause gas and diarrhea.” (Hmmm, yeah, nay.)

“Gluten is relatively new to the human diet, as wheat cultivation began only some 10,000 years ago. Now it is ubiquitous, not only in processed foods (including salad dressings, ice cream and peanut butter) but even in the adhesives on envelopes as well as in lipsticks and lotions.”(Whoa- yay for fascinating factor, but nay for possibly ingesting carbs from licking an envelope.)

Despite what this piece argues, I, personally, am a fan of gluten.  Obviously not because of its health benefits, since as it turns out, eating gluten can lead to almost every problematic health issue just shy of death.  But because gluten is the key ingredient for a crispy bread and deliciously textured pasta.  We, the American people, need it.  Our (my) taste buds have adapted to accept only the most indigestible food products our (my) bodies can handle.  And as of right now, we (I) am okay with that.  Though, I suppose if consuming this particular protein will set off “a variety of ills” to “erupt” within my holy sacred (body), perhaps this article should be taken more seriously.  Or, maybe I (and most likely the rest of Brooklyn Skeptic) will ignore these facts altogether and drink as much beer as humanly possible. 

 (Breakfast of Champions)

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

I went to this bar on three separate occasions this weekend. And I bet I’m not the only one. Brooklyn is a great place when it comes to patios. Walking down Court Street for example, there are a number of bars to choose from that offer a nice, relaxing outdoor space. Even the Dunkin’ Donuts has a pretty terrace where the three customers I’ve ever seen eating there can enjoy their pastries. I’ve walked by that Dunkin’ Donuts with Manhattanites, and their heads almost explode. There is such a lack of nice patios in Manhattan, that the idea of giving some up to a Dunkin’ Donuts is mind-boggling. But in Brooklyn, that’s just the way it is.

Gowanus Yacht Club is a bar that is open from the late spring until around Halloween. Located on Smith and President right next to the Carroll stop on the subway, GYC is a small outdoor patio that can probably seat about 40 or 50 people, and is incredibly laid- back. It’s not really a club, and there are no yachts to be seen. Instead, it’s a group of wobbly, colorful tables, parasols, and cheap drinks. The beer selection is quite impressive (ask a waiter – he’ll go on for minutes), and they also offer hot dogs, burgers and the occasional pulled pork entrees.

Pros: Cheap-ish drinks, a drunk but oddly behaved clientele, a friendly and attentive wait-staff, nicotine-friendly environment, bar plays full albums of both new and classic rock, cheap hot dogs.

Cons: Only one bathroom, tight quarters, sometimes tough to get a table, neighborhood kids throwing rocks inside from the street, the grill has been taken away after complaints from neighbors (don’t bring up P.J. Hanley’s ribs around these guys), beer prices are slightly up from last year.

All in all this bar is pretty magnificent. I have the feeling that they’re going to challenge the suspension of their grill, hopefully improving the food situation. In terms of kids throwing rocks inside the bar, one bartender told us his intention of using a bottle of Ballantine as a weapon if they ever come back. That makes me feel safe.

Read Full Post »

After a long day at the Met game, some of us were just looking for a way to unwind last night. It was quickly decided that we all needed to let our hair down, forget the troubles of the world, and get to some orderly – if excessive – competitive drinking. And so we began the first game of Asshole I’ve played since college. It was a doozy.

In case you are not as painfully familiar with the game as I am, you can look it up for yourself because it is too complicated to explain. It had a lot in common with the Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tasting, in that it involved a lot of beer and a terrifyingly drunk Johnb. It differed only in the amount of swearing, rules and playing cards involved.

About an hour in, the game devolved into some sort of fantasy/role-playing drama as one president reigned over the rest of us. She doled out drinks like other unelected leaders dole out summary executions or questionable intelligence. We curried her favor by slinging praise and adulation at her. We undercut our opponents with cruel moves and mandatory drinking. That’s the thing with this game – it encourages the very worst in its players. Normally generous, gregarious individuals reveal themselves to be sniveling brown-nosers whose only real skill is torturing those who are arbitrarily ranked lower than they are. It’s like Risk with livers.

Pros:

  1. Encourages swearing, drunkenness and other underrated activities.
  2. Less complicated than poker.
  3. Invites discussion of civic infrastructure, economic mobility and democratic principles.
  4. Involves trivia questions from time to time.

Cons:

  1. Brings out the asshole in everyone, so to speak.

Read Full Post »

If there’s a lovlier bar than Flatbush Farm, I don’t want to know about it. It’s so classy, it makes Union Hall look like Welcome to the Johnsons. It’s so charming, it makes George Clooney blush. It’s so pretty, it makes sunsets turn to ash and fall out of the sky. It’s so expensive, it makes me perspire.

Flatbush Farm is decorated with perfectly shabby barnyard equipment, has hippie hand soap in the bathrooms and sells organic beer. I think the concept of organic beer is both horrifying and life-affirming. It’s horrifying in that it’s a pussified version of an essentially tough beverage. But it’s kind of life-affirming in that I am an alcoholic vegetarian with a thing for farmers’ markets. It’s like they don’t even pretend that place is not exactly for people like me – except older and with more money.

Last night, they had a fund raiser for some sort of animal shelter and were auctioning kitty-pleasuring gift baskets to insane people who actually try to stuff pets into their tiny New York apartments. Attendees were literally yelping with delight as they bought hundreds of dollars worth of scratching posts and tiny plush mice. “Mr. Muffins is going to be so spoiled,” squealed one woman. Really, that money would be better spent on anti-depressants and a good lint roller.

Aside from how insane rich people in Brooklyn are, this bar is really lovely. You should go check it out. But don’t stay too long because the organic beer will probably melt your brains.

Flatbush Farm
76 St. Marks Ave. at 6th Ave. and Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Read Full Post »

Hey. I’m an Irish American. By that I mean that my family, a long while back, came to America on a boat from Ireland. And I have red hair and freckles. Allll over.

I’ve spent many a St. Patrick’s Day in the United States now, and I have to say, I’ve never enjoyed myself. I don’t particularly like this whole “tickle my shillelagh, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day, I’ve seen Boondock Saints so I know everything about Irish culture, someone get me a Miller Lite” kind of attitude. We, as Americans, have taken this day as an excuse to get drunk, and this year the day has fallen on a weekend, which means we’re going to get very drunk. We will find the closest thing to a pub that we can, which means most likely that we will look for those bars with Guinness signs, or pictures of Samuel Beckett or cute stickers that say “Tipping is not a city in China,” walk in, and get drunk.

My question is, does anyone really know what they’re celebrating? Or are they just celebrating the huge stereotype that the Irish are a bunch of loud drunken leprechauns? By that rationale, why don’t people celebrate, say, Martin Luther King Day by throwing a party that revolves around eating fried chicken and drinking malt liquor? Oh wait, they already did that.

Basically, this is a pointless rant. I’m just saying that maybe we, as a people, should learn a bit more about what we’re celebrating (or mourning, because St. Patrick’s Day is actually the anniversary of his supposed death) instead of just using it as an excuse to do jello shots and dance to Pour Some Sugar on Me on a bar. You can do that pretty much any time you want, and don’t worry, you don’t have to know why. For information on St. Patrick, see here.

I, meanwhile, am going to go out on Saturday. I’ll probably end up at Trash Bar seeing Monster Eiffel Tower because I know that shit will rock hard. But before that, I will most likely go to a pub, and will knock back a Kilkenny or two. But I do that every Saturday. And Boondock Saints sucked.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »