2021-10: NYC I


Pope of Djibouti, Djiboutian Phoenix, Monocular Ben, and I all turned 40 this year. We decided to have a long weekend getaway together without the spouses/children. They unwisely left the bulk of the planning up to me, and we ended up going to Brooklyn. This happened to be the week before KrisDi and I were planning on going to NYC for another Pietasters Rock the Boat show, and it turned into a three part vacation for me: Thursday-Sunday with college buddies, Sunday-Wednesday alone, Wednesday-Sunday with KrisDi.

Chapter I

Click here or on the whisk[e]y for more pictures

I got a three room AirBnB in Brooklyn. I didn’t figure anyone really wanted to deal with sleeping in the same room as each other, and that I would be OK sleeping on a futon or the floor in the living space, since I wake up early as hell and if someone else slept there I’d have to tiptoe in the mornings.

Pope of Djibouti (PoD) and Djiboutian Phoenix (DP) flew out Wednesday night. PoD brought a bottle of scotch with him (Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba, a cask strength doozy), and DP bought a bottle of Eagle Rare bourbon. Ben and I took the redeye Wednesday night and arrived around 7 AM. I had had a shitty night of sleep the night before and my back was hurting, so I took some flexeril and zonked out for basically the whole flight, and probably got as much sleep as I usually do at home.

Our Thursday plan was to visit the Widow Jane distillery. I had booked a private tour at 3 in the afternoon. We went to a nearby breakfast place for a very late breakfast, and then walked to the Other Half brewery and had a couple beers.

Ben is not a beer drinker. He asked me to pick stuff for him, and so I looked for things that depart wildly from the “norm” in the beer world — fruited berlinerweisses and barrel aged stouts with chocolate and such added to them. I did not hit a home run, but I did not strike out, he was OK with one of fruited sours.

We walked on. We found the distillery but still needed to kill some time before they opened, so we went to a nearby deli and ate a sandwich.

Edit: Forgot to mention the yelling match between a moron in a pickup truck who couldn’t get through an intersection blocked by a FedEx truck stopped for a delivery and the FedEx driver, pickup guy genuinely angry and screaming invective, and FedEx driver mostly laughing at him. I’m on the FedEx driver’s side because I think a competent driver could have made it through the intersection.

The distillery tour was pretty cool. Since it was just the four of us, I didn’t feel like I had to be polite and let other people ask questions. I learned that almost everything they sell right now is other distillery’s whiskey that they blend. They are still in the process of distilling and aging whiskey enough to sell their own, but they do have a four year old that is somewhat available. The tasting flight at the end was their four year old, a whiskey aged in barrels that first aged whiskey and then aged maple syrup, two ryes, and the regular Widow Jane 10.

We tried to visit Sixpoint (a brewery) after that, but learned that they were closed on weekdays. We walked back to the room, which was a 45 minute walk (according to Google) and a seventy-two hour trek according to Ben’s poorly-shod feet.

The plan for dinner was pizza from a local joint (Luigi’s). I walked in and ordered takeout, but it was like an hour and twenty minute delay for orders to be filled, so PoD and I wandered around looking in the myriad corner delis and discovering that they each have different selections of beer and some of them have fresh beer and some of them don’t. I bought a couple (~8) beers at one. We eventually got the pizza, brought it back, and spent the rest of the night drinking, eating, and shooting the breeze.

The next day, our primary plan was to go see We Come From Away on Broadway, a musical about Gander, Newfoundland, and the chaos that ensued when dozens of international flights had to land and stay there after 9/11 and the closure of American airspace.

I was up hours before anyone else. No surprise. Unfortunately, I was also up about an hour before any coffee places opened. I had two cups of coffee from two different shops before we actually went anywhere. We had breakfast near the room and then got subway passes to go elsewhere. Since breakfast was late, our first stop was the Evil Twin brewery, where I was able to recommend some beer that Ben actually liked, so I felt like an accomplished beer dork.

We subwayed to the southeastern side of Central Park and wandered some more, with the intent of going to the Met, only to discover that the line to get tickets for entry was about a long block long (side note: there are two types of blocks in New York, long ones and short ones; I think in general a long one is 3x longer than a short one, but some areas I swear it’s 5x). We gave up on that idea, walked through central park, and had lunch at a seafood place because Ben wanted to have Maine lobster. He and I shared a five pound bucket. It was excessive, but very good.

Then we subwayed to broadway. The show was really good. After that, we walked someplace for ice cream, and then subwayed back to the room to drink and chat some more.

That subway ride was interesting. There was a dude on the far end of the car with a big stroller sort of thing, with a big colorful parrot on it. Later, I saw him reach in and pull out a portion of a snake with a five or six inch diameter cross section. Then a portion of an albino snake with a four or five inch cross section. Then he took the parrot for a walk up and down the car.

I asked the girls across the car from us, “We’re not from around here. Is this normal?”

She scrunched up her face. “It’s New York City. This is the first time I’ve seen this specifically, but there’s always something.”

We had absolutely no plans on Saturday. We went to a ramen place for lunch (first time at least for DP), then we subwayed down to Coney Island and walked around getting sandblasted in the wind. Then we stopped at the Coney Island Brewery. We subwayed back, had dinner at a somewhat fancy Italian place, bought some more whiskey (I don’t remember actually if we bought it that day or another day), and spent the rest of the night drinking and chatting.

Ben’s early morning flight was cancelled late in the night. I didn’t know about it, so I was worried he’d slept through his alarm and missed his flight. In the end, I got a Lyft to my next place, a hotel on Manhattan Island called The Marcel at Gramercy, for the next segment of my vacation.

Posted by snaotheus


Sounds like a great trip! I’m surprised Ben’s first “like” was a *sauer*, though!

My friend T, the wine person, wants to know if you’ve ever tried Yeungling Black & Tan. She’s more a stout/porter person, but says it’s really good.

If I’ve had Yuengling Black and Tan, I don’t remember it. I want to say Yuengling recently made a Hershey’s Syrup Porter or something like that, but maybe that was a different brewery.

The “sour” was much more “fruit juice” than beer. Sour came across more as fruity tartness.

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