Well today was the big day. Marty Markowitz's second inaugural celebration. Hey, anytime I can score free food and drinks I am there. Plus I was actually honored for being a Brooklyn character. I was in some pretty good company too, company that ranged from a couple of sanitation workers who saved someone's life to a Muslim cab driver who returned a suitcase full of diamonds to a Hasidic jewelry dealer. But the affair didn't start until 6:00 P.M. and so I had time to stop in for a beer at a neat place, Thomas Biesel, in the neighborhood.
Thomas Biesel is located at 25 Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It has a small old wooden bar with a silver foot rail tucked into a corner of a small Viennese restaurant. The pork cheeks with caraway seeds, sauerkraut and sevietten knodel (dumplings) looked tasty. There was a silver T shaped beer station with five mysterious black handles. No domestic beers were being poured and there was no American Budweiser available. Just good stuff.
Bar Man Enjoying His Beer
There was a nice bar back of old wood, glass shelves and mirrors. Somewhat bulging pale orange tube shaped lights hang over the bar and milk glass old fashioned lights hang over the small dining area that have a few tables with white cloth tablecloths. There are a lot of metal signs hanging on the walls but they are all in German so I have no idea what they said. One was obviously for a beer though, Ottogringer Bier.
The walls were a combination of pale yellow and dark wood paneling. Blackboards and mirrors with dinner specials and there wine and beer selections also hang on the walls. This place advertises itself as a bistro bar with a beer garden but the beer garden is just a sidewalk seating area, open air in the summer and enclosed during the winter. The Brooklyn Opera House is right across the street and they do a good business before the performances. The Opera House across the street does add a bit to the Viennese atmosphere. Candles on the bar, the soft lights, the old world ambience all combine to give off a romantic aura. I made reservations to take the Mysterious Chinese Woman here for Valentine's day. You may recall that last year I missed it because I was getting sloshed on Margarita's at Radio Mexico.
After downing a delicious draft Gosser I headed over to the Brooklyn Technical High School for the big event.
The place was packed and fairly disorganized in terms of crowd control. A bit of bedlam with everyone trying to sign in. I got a VIP pass because I was being mentioned in Marty's speech so that meant I, along with a couple hundred other VIPs were squeezed into a narrow hall way that was made even narrower by tables of buffet food, small round tables, and, happily, a bar. Even though it was packed, and I do mean packed, I managed to check our coats, grab a couple of snacks, and a couple of glasses of decent red wine. Their was no hard liquor or beer, but a really nice selection of wines.
After noshing a bit I headed into the main event where I got to see Mayor Bloomberg swear in Marty. I have come to the conclusion that being short, Jewish, kind of cute, and funny are real assets when it comes to running for political office in New York.
The two State Senators, The Honorable Charles Schumer and The Honorable Hillary Clinton also made brief appearances. Schumer was the funny too. Hillary tried to be, but she just isn't naturally funny.
The Honorable Hillary Clinton and Borough President Marty
They had a lot of entertainment and Cousin Brucie, a Brooklyn native, although he has moved away, was the MC.
I must confess I left a bit early but got tied up in the hallway, which wasn't quite as crowded at this point, talking to people who were interested in my visits to a thousand bars. The buffet and bar were still going strong so I took advantage and had a couple more glasses of wine.
I needed to come down a bit after this event so I stopped at Hank's Saloon on the way home and had a beer and a shot of Maker's Mark. Well, I tried to have a shot but I got talkng to another customer and the bartender about drinks. When I mentioned that I liked Maker's Mark Manhattan's the bartender, you have to love her name, Mishelle Meow, said she made great Manhattans and took what was left of my shot, added more to it and whipped me up a quite good Manhattan. No bitters and pretty powerful, but it hit the spot.
Mishelle Meow Whipping Up A Mean Manhattan
The entertainment here wasn't quite the same as at the inaugural celebration though.
After all the excitement of the day I toddled off home quite satisfied with myself.