2021-10: NYC III

Click here or on the goofy picture of us with the Pietasters front man for more photos

KrisDi arrived midafternoon on Wednesday. It was time for some “victory lap” visitations — back to The Grand Delancey!

This was with a specific purpose. KrisDi and I love Cantillon, which is incredibly hard to find in the US, and they had bottles of it there. For $35 each. So we each had one. Treat yo’ self!

We ordered random food (including pierogi!) from the neighboring food places and continued drinking beer (including a notably unpleasant Firestone Walker — notable both for its unpleasantness and the fact that it was FW, they never make bad beer). Unfortunately, Sam wasn’t there that day to chat with.

We headed back to the hotel and stopped at a place called Craft + Carry, where they have a pretty good selection of mostly local beers and free skee ball. We enjoyed both aspects of the place, then started to head back to the hotel and realized we wanted to eat something…so we stopped at another bar (“The Globe”) for fries and beer.

The next day, we walked down to Katz Delicatessen, which is apparently famous and has been used as a location in several movies. While we were there, some film staff was talking with restaurant staff about logistics for recording there early the next morning before customers arrived. It was the most confusing restaurant I’ve ever been in. Different counters to order different things. I think we had to order at three different counters to get our food. There was a ton of stuff we wanted to try, and we ordered way more than we could eat. But it was really good.

We walked from there to Malt & Mold, a beer and cheese place. We had…beer and cheese. Then we subwayed back out to Grimm and tried more of their stuff! Still awesome! Same server was there! Unfortunately, they didn’t have the inside open at first and they only use plastic glasses outside. I bought a shirt and some glasses to take home. Again, loved everything I tried. And retried the best ones. Excellent!

From there we followed KrisDi’s Polish coworker/friend’s advice and went to a Polish diner named Christina’s, which was great (particularly their beet soup). We also went to a nearby bakery and picked up some poppy seed cake (not as good as P Dubs’) and apple cake. Then back to the hotel.

One of these mornings, and it might have been the next one, KrisDi and I toted two large flat rate USPS boxes of beer, painstakingly packaged in the hotel room, to the post office to ship one to our house and the other to PoD’s. PoD had asked me to put together a box of IPAs for his uncle (who has provided Pliny the Elder many times) and if possible to get Unicorn Farts for his wife. This was a beer I had seen in several of the delis in Part I of the vacation, but then was completely missing despite a concerted effort to check at every deli we walked by the rest of the trip, so none of that was in the box, unfortunately.

Bagels for breakfast the next day at Bagels & Schmear (excellent). Some wandering. Surprisingly, we found local cheese place Beecher’s has a location out there. Went to the Union Square market. Subwayed back out to Brooklyn and visited the Talea brewery (it was OK). Wandered a bit there, and got pizza at Tony’s. Waited for Brooklyn Brewing to open.

Brooklyn Brewing was a good brewery to visit but I was deeply annoyed by them — not customer friendly. I wanted to get small pours of big beers because there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to try that was like 13% abv. But, most of them they only allowed to be purchased as a “sidecar” or something with a regular sized beer. So I bought more than I wanted to so I could try the things I wanted, and the staff were jerks about it. The place was cool and the high end beers were good, though the “standard” stuff is boring.

We went back to the hotel and dropped stuff off, then went out to a German place called Heidelberg for dinner. In particular, I was looking for schweinhaxe for dinner. They had it, and it was excellent. Afterward, we met with KrisDi’s friend Sahnj and her husband at a place called the Stag. I noticed at the very end that someone had ordered a Heady Topper, a white whale beer for me, but we were well done for the night.

That might have been the night we realized why the street noise was so loud in our room: The window was coming detached from the frame wasn’t fully connected to the wall. This may have also explained why the AC was working so hard and dripping so much condensation that the floor was wet (or rain was getting in). Maintenance came in the middle of the night and improved the situation. The hotel apologized profusely and offered to move us to the only available room, which was smaller than the one we were in. We deemed it not worthwhile.

We met Mr. and Mrs. Sahnj again for brunch the next day at a place called Cookshop. We were there too early, so we went to the nearby Chelsea Market and shopped around a little bit. We didn’t buy anything there, just looked around. After breakfast, we all went to Milk & Hops. I chatted with the staff there, and was a little puzzled by their mix of knowledge and ignorance of the beer world. The Sahnjes went their own separate way from their.

We went back to the Stag to get Heady Topper. Unfortunately, it was fairly old, and nowhere near as good as I remember from the previous two cans I have had. I don’t really understand why, but the server seemed to think it was a good idea to buy us shots, so we both had “picklebacks” — a shot of whiskey chased with a shot of pickle juice. We survived.

We had dinner at an Italian place named L’Angeletto, and then we went to the boat for the Pietasters. We remembered earplugs this time (I think I did permanent damage to my hearing last time), but forgot them in the hotel room, and got the last box off the shelf at a CVS on the way to the show.

Lucille is the boat. According to the stats on that page, the maximum standing capacity is 125 people. I don’t think we were close to that. I would guess there were maybe 80 people there including the band. I don’t know how the Pietasters can be making money on this. But, once again, it was several hours of just the Pietasters and a small crowd of super engaged fans. We skipped the buffet (yeah, they had a buffet!), I drank a couple JW Blacks and Bud Heavies (best available). It was so much fun, once again.

It was raining quite a bit when we got off the boat. We stopped at Mike’s for a slice of pizza and then went back to the hotel room to cool down with a fancy sour beer.

The next morning, we went to the Bluebell Cafe for breakfast, which was very good. We walked out to a couple places looking for NYC souvenirs for the kids and found a place run by a crusty old dude. KrisDi was trying to buy two clear blocks with 3D NYC scenes laser-etched inside them and two small ceramic mugs. At checkout, the guy decided we needed more stuff, and insisted KrisDi take a kitchen towel if she would use it (it was an apron), oh and she definitely needed these three post cards…and yes, of course, this pen….and how could we leave without taking this magnet? All at no additional charge. It was very strange and very cute.

We went back to the room and packed. We decided to keep the remainder of the Talisker and passed the Willett back and forth taking swigs and left it behind for housekeeping.

Afterward, we walked back to Good Beer NYC. We were slightly early, so we stopped in a nearby market and found Unicorn Farts! We bought a couple of those to stuff in my suitcase when we got back to the room. We got more food from the Morelos place.

We got a Lyft to the airport (long, expensive ride), and found scales to check our bags’ weights. With the addition of the Unicorn Farts, my bag was slightly overweight, so we moved a pair of jeans into KrisDi’s bag and we were golden. We ate some boring, extremely expensive food at a place in the airport. The flight home was fairly uneventful, except that it was super hot (like to the point where I didn’t feel well), and we took some weird zigzag over Montana / Idaho that didn’t make any sense.

The bag arrived without smelling delicious, and we Ubered home. Then work the next day.


Overall, I think a very successful trip. My friends and I agreed we shouldn’t wait forty years to do it again, but we should have gotten a place more downtown than suburb, although a three bedroom place in Manhattan would have been prohibitively expensive. I learned that Brooklyn is essentially a suburb, although there’s still a lot going on.

I had a great time drinking alone, visiting breweries and beer spots, trying new beer, and chatting with fellow beer nerds. But footwear is important. The shitty flip flops I bought went in the trash. I was developing a rash from the strap and I had some kind of bruise on the ball of my foot that took more than two weeks to heal.

KrisDi and I had a great time, even though we did very little “touristy” stuff. The hotel was shitty, but the location was good for us and we didn’t exactly hang out there. The Pietasters are awesome and as long as they keep doing this Rock the Boat thing, I want to make an effort to get out there. Probably if we’re going to be tourists out there, it would be better for us to be out there the whole time together (rather than me there for a week before she arrives), and maybe plan a couple specific things.

No regrets on my part, though.

I learned also that essentially there are no exaggerations about New York in movies and TV, except one: I never saw a single human being using their fire escape as a patio.

Posted by snaotheus


I do not know how your livers can survive this, I really don’t. Glad you had a good time, but I could’ve told you about the flip-flops. What possessed you to buy those anyway?

It was hot.

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