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Posts Tagged ‘Balls’

Nostalgia is fully represented in popular culture. Images & products of vintage television, video game and brands are found everywhere, offering a sense of happy recollection with a slight sense of irony.

Barcade is a staple of Williamsburg, letting you wade knee deep in the nostalgia by offering a host of antique arcade games. You can relive playing Ms. Pacman & Galaga with a joystick that for some reason won’t move left, just like back in the day! All the while they offer a wide selection of drinks.

In this same spirit, the owners are opening a new bar this weekend in Greenpoint called The Gutter. They will be offering the same mix of nostalgia, with a new suburban feel, by offering goold ole fashioned, plaid pant wearing bowling.

I know personally I’ve traversed the length of Brooklyn in order to find bowling, and finally to have one so close is like mana from heaven.

So you should definitely relive the joy of communal shoes & tacky bowling shirts while receiving of what I expect to be (similar to Barcade) a wide selection of draft beers. After intense research by the Brooklyn Skeptic staff, I’m sure you will get an in-depth review later.

The Gutter
200 North 14th Street
Monday – Thursday 4pm to 4am
Friday – Sunday 12 noon to 4am

Bowl!

 

Photo by”highwaygirl67″

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Forget padding box office totals with fuzzy math, purchasing a Toyota Tundra, or stuffing one’s pants with a worn (gently loved) gym sock. If you are a man who craves all natural male enhancement, you should look no further than Phillip’s Bodygroom trimmer/shaver:

Bodygroom

Promising to add a full optical inch, the Phillip’s Bodygroom can be used carefree on one’s kiwis, peach and carrot. I’m relatively uncertain what body part is represented by the peach in the risque commerical for the product, as the only logical equivalent certainly falls far from the tree. In fact, one might say this product raises many more questions concerning body maintenance than it answers.

1. Since the inch gained from use of the Bodygroom is purely optical, doesn’t this just leave room to disappoint rather than overachieve in bed?

2. How can a shaving product be both safe and effective when applied to a man’s most important and sensitive areas?

Mega Mega, a reviewer of the Bodygroom product on amazon.com, provides positive feedback, noting that “the skin irritation was only about one third that of standard Mach 3 shave. The skin irritation was limited to the inner thighs (Shaft, Beanbag, and Starfish showed no signs of irritation)….”

While this praise for the comfort and utility of the Bodygroom was mostly typical of the reviews on amazon.com (along with more inventive pseudonyms for one’s taint and package) one user, J. Wilson, recalls only a moment of pure terror:

“Although the small teeth do not cause large knicks in the skin, they do tend to get caught under flat laying hairs, they then dig into the skin while ripping off large chunk at the same time. This creates a larger and more painful blemish than I have ever experienced with any other product – electric or manual. Blood everywhere.”

3. How long does one get to cherish their optical inch after using the Bodygroom, and will repeated shaving lead to diminishing returns?

Fortunately for the Bodygroom, the verdict on this question is decidedly in favor of shaving. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Shaving hair doesn’t make it grow back thicker. It also doesn’t affect the color or rate of growth. The color, location, thickness and length of hair on your body mainly depend on genetics and hormones. After you shave body hair, it may feel coarse or “stubbly” for a time as it grows out. During this phase, it may be more noticeable – and may appear darker or thicker. But it’s not.”

An update with empirical testing of these questions will be forthcoming, provided that my co-worker and I are still alive.

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After a lovely Sunday afternoon of walking around the neighborhood, drinking outside and playing Scrabble at Abilene (Jonathan, I apologize, “wino” is actually in the OED), I returned home, put on my pajamas and opened up a fresh Netflick. My roommate was on the way to his shift at the Park Slope Coop, and I was all set to sit back, relax and enjoy some non-Food Network programming. But before I saw Coming Attraction #1, I got a phone call informing me that Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman and some guys from Upright Citizens Brigade would be performing later on that evening at Union Hall. My roommate has just recently started enjoying Michael Showalter’s comedy, and was eager to attend. So I took my pajamas back off, put down my Netflick and once again vanished into the bustling Brooklyn biosphere.

Here at Brooklyn Skeptic, a lot has been written about Union Hall, as it is home to two bocce courts, and, according to some, a lot of assholes. Despite all of this, it can not be denied that Union Hall’s basement is a great place to see a live show. The way it is set up is kind of like your childhood neighbor’s basement. A small, old, room with folding chairs and comfy couches, it is truly an intimate and comfortable setting. I spent half the time I was down there waiting for my old neighbor’s mom to walk in with a bowl of cheese doodles and soda (what’s up Mrs. Stirparo?). We were there only about fifteen minutes early, but managed to get seats in the front row, looking at a small stage on which we could literally rest our feet.

The show was fun and relaxed. Michael Showalter came on first and warmed up the crowd, talking about his weekend and making fart jokes. He introduced a British comedian who I am pretty sure was funny, but I might have just been charmed by her accent. Eugene Mirman was really drunk and quite humorous as he went off on rants about how he hates various things. And the guys from UCB were there to plug their new show Human Giant, which is unfortunately airing on MTv, right between Pimp My Ride and My Sweet 16, I believe they said.

At one point, Michael Showalter was crouched down watching the show right next to my roommate, who nerdily kept poking me and smiling. The place is so casual that the comedians usually hang out there afterwards, talking with fans and drinking. This friendly atmosphere worked equally well when I saw Zach Galifianakis at the same venue. He was allowed to get close to his audience, which is essentially half of his show, as he frequently runs around berating people. Although I have never seen live music performed at Union Hall, I can only imagine that the area works well, allowing the audience to truly feel like their favorite band is playing at their basement party.

So for all of the nay-saying that seems to go on about Union Hall, don’t judge a bar by its cover (there is no cover, mind you). There may be some annoying people and some bocce hostility, but there aren’t many bars in Manhattan or Brooklyn that can stir such happy, warm and intimate feelings. And isn’t that what drinking on a Sunday is all about? No? Oh right. I’m just an alcoholic.

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nyccondom1.jpgAlarmed that some people didn’t know about this, I decided it is essential I throw down a little FYI for the good people of New York City.

NYC is distributing a projected 18 million free, NYC-branded condoms, available all over the place. Right now, the locations look a little Manhattan-heavy, but the other boroughs are well represented. I found some at Welcome to the Johnsons. My roommate found some at those crazy Manhattan clubs.

So, as the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says, “Get Some.” You know you want New York City all up on your gear.

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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.

bocce-pope.jpg

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I am a pool player living in Brooklyn, and was recently introduced to the small world of bocce. Featured at a few bars in my neighborhood, some of my friends have recently taken an interest, and I have been more than happy to come along for the ride.

A lot has been said on this blog about the game of bocce. It’s been around for centuries. Charlemagne played it between orgies and fighting wars against the Saracens. Mussolini threw the balls around while drinking tea and reading Il Popolo D’Italia. I myself used to watch the old French men in my neighborhood stand around, chomping on cigars and getting their shoes dusty while playing the very similar game of petanque. And now it has gone so far as to reach the Brooklyn bar scene.

I enjoy playing bocce, even though I suck. And I have to say that of the two bars I have been two with bocce courts, they don’t fuck around. People seem to be enjoying themselves immensely, and I have heard that leagues have been established and are quite popular. I know for a fact that one of the editors of this blog happens to be an avid bocce player. My question is this: does the concept of playing bocce in bars have any staying power? Will this catch on? Will bars start to sprout up all over the country with long, rectangular courts and large balls in every corner?

The answer, is no. And the reasons are simple. For starters, you have to have a pretty big establishment to host even one bocce court. Floyd already feels a little cramped with the one they have in there. Secondly, no one will ever pay for bocce. And this is for the simple, but incredibly stupid reason that there is too little involved in the sport. Would you honesly want to pay to throw little balls on the ground? No. Thirdly, and I am not denigrating the talent involved in playing this sport in the slightest, but it is not a sexy sport.

Pool, on the other hand, is a popular sport worldwide to pay for and play in bars. Men and women alike are drawn to the long phallic shape of the cue, and know that they don’t have the money to purchase a pool table of their own. You can pack a bunch of them into a room, and charge people two dollars a game to cross their fingers and hope that they can make that bank shot and look cool in front of the sexy person standing next to them. Why does this look cool? I’m not really sure. Ask Paul Newman.

Even if there are only two bars that I know of (although I’m assuming there are a few more) that have indoor bocce courts, I hope it stays that way. While it may not have the sex appeal of the aforementioned billiards, there is something comforting about sitting in a dimly lit bar, clutching a nicely poured micro-brewed beer and listening to the sweet cracking of two heavy, hard balls. I’ll always have pool, but it’s nice to know that there’s an alternative past-time in Brooklyn.

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Last night I had a dream – a flash of unconscious thought really. I was walking on a dark street and became aware that there was someone walking behind me. It was a tall, thin man, wearing a trench coat and clutching a shot gun. It was then that all my fear melted away.

I was safe in the sights of this psychopath, because he was Omar Little, Baltimore’s drug-laden Robin Hood on The Wire.*

Having dreamed about Omar, I thought it might be time to make my feelings about him known in the public sphere – or the “blogosphere” if you want me to vomit on myself.

First of all, Omar is a total badass and is admirable and exemplary in that way. Proof of bad-assedness: gigantic scar across face (which, admittedly, is the actor’s and not technically Omar’s), trench coat/shot gun combo, and the courtroom smack-down in Season Two.

Secondly, Omar is more than a character. He is a statement about agency. In the world of The Wire, there are two strong bureaucratic institutions that control the power – the Police and the Drug Trade. In both institutions, you see a very specific ranking system which at the low end features Hoppers and beat cops and goes all the way to the top, to Avon and the Mayor. The ranks are solidly established, although there is possibility of (limited) vertical mobility. Essentially, once you are in the system, your entire purpose is to perpetuate the institution and the circumstances which allow the institution to exist.

Omar is remarkable because he is not part of either institution, but is able to move freely between them, exploiting the institutions and the circumstances that they create. While others go on as cogs in either the law enforcement or drug machines, Omar is a vigilante, a free agent, going around and fucking things up. He can be compared to another floater, Bubbles, who putters about in both scenes, but is not part of either and wholly reliant on both.

Thirdly, Omar remains a pillar of moral fortitude – albeit the fucked up, killing-is-okay moral order of Baltimore. He is the most consistent character despite the fact that he is not compelled by any outside forces to act in a specific way. While the other characters – both the drug dealers and the cops – constantly stab each other in the back or undermine each other to get a sliver of the power available within their respective institutions, Omar adheres to a strict behavioral guideline from which he never wavers. It is something special to run around as both the most feared man around and the most morally righteous (which is why his face-off with BrotherMouzone is interesting – but a story for another time).

Finally, Omar is a poor, gay, black man and I’m going to go ahead and say it – members of this group do not traditionally hold a lot of power in society. This just makes it all the better that he is the toughest, most righteous, most powerful person on The Wire.

So, in conclusion I can say with little hesitation that if Omar were walking behind me with a loaded shotgun on a deserted street, I wouldn’t be scared. I would just wonder how I ended up in a TV show.

 

*Just to address one concern – yes, I often dream about The Wire, and no, I don’t think I need to get out more.

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Baseball season has almost arrived and many of us here at Brooklyn Skeptic are already hot and bothered over the most adorable team in baseball: The Mets. While I’m sure any reputable Mets blog will give you all sorts of information about hitting and throwing stuff…and like, running after stuff…or whatever they do, we’re here to give you the hard-hitting cuteness updates all you Brooklyn girls are looking for.

Important information from the beginning of spring training:

  • “The Mets are coming together.” [Hott. – Ed.]
  • “They speak different languages. Most say hello with words. Others use different means. Reliever Scott Schoeneweis passes by the locker of second baseman Jose Valentin, extends his rigid left leg to the side and lightly taps the stool on which his onetime White Sox teammate sits. His greeting is little more than a nod. Valentin nods in response. Enough said.”
  • “Even during drills, pockets of players, based on ethnicity and language, form. But then there is Delgado lockering next to his longtime friend Shawn Green, the union of a Latino and a Jew.”
  • “Wright and fellow rising star Jose Reyes are hardly inseparable. But they know, like and trust each other. They can communicate by no more than a glance and a smile. [No need for a safety word. – Ed.] They laugh at the same things. And when either becomes more proficient in the other’s language, he will begin to complete the other’s sentences.”
  • “David Wright walks through the obstacle course of teammates, reporters, clubhouse workers, trash cans, laundry baskets and stools as if he is a one-man welcome wagon. He has hellos, handshakes, backslaps and embraces for everyone.” [Isn’t he just a cutie? – Ed.]
  • wp_wright_reyes_800×600.jpg

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    Not Hot: American Idol – Season 100

    American Idol sucks (sux) this season. I can feel it already. Did you watch it last night? Because I did. And I was very disappointed with its not hottness. Here’s what I thought:

    That big, southern guy should’ve been better. Although, do we really need another Taylor Hicks? No, we don’t. That Korean (represent!) guy was really nervous, and it showed (pit stains). Though, I admire (but also find annoying) the fact that he took off his shoes. That takes balls, and some serious dedication to Asian tradition. But I did not like that guy who supposedly reminds people of Justin Timberlake. Yes. Definitely. This guy totally, really, truly reminds me of a busted version of Justin Timberlake. And singing my most hated song, no less. (I Don’t Wanna Be by Gavin Degraw– hate it.) Although, his performance wasn’t awful, despite his aversion to a steady head. Then there was that guy who sang a Richard Marx song. Haha, Richard Marx. Who is this guy? Me, ten years ago? Go write me a love letter. But you know who I do love? The Indian kid. I am In love with him. I may have fallen asleep during his minute and a half long performance, but boy is he cute. And 17. Then there was the Jack Osbourne look alike who is 28. 28? He looks 18. Go grow some wrinkles. And I definitely hate the last singer’s guts. He has the eyes of a sad woman, and embodies a weird eagerness that makes me want to punch. Not a fan.

    So there you have it, my American Idol review. I might not watch this season if this awfulness continues. But we’ll see.

    PS If Paula doesn’t learn how to articulate her thoughts into a coherent sentence soon, I’m going to post screen stills from Junior High School. Which, if you haven’t seen it already, is a musical from the 80s with Paula before her nose job.

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