Thursday, August 16, 2007

Interesting Coincidences

I enjoy walking around my neighborhood, sometimes a very extended neighborhood, in the mornings. Got to stay in shape in case I decide to do something really stupid again. Yesterday I was going to head up to, well, who knows, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Red Hook? So many neighborhood names, you never really know where you are. But please, no BoCoCa. A friend said he and a partner were going to be opening a new bar on 12th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues so I thought I would take a peek.

I headed up, again, hard to know what street because its name keeps changing, Adams, Boerum Place, Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard depending upon where you are. Now here is an interesting question, if you drive into Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge, how far can you keep driving before you have to turn, and what do you encounter? The answer to the first part is: Not far. In fact after about six blocks the multi-lane, let's call it Brooklyn Boulevard, with a divider and flowers intersects with Atlantic Avenue. At that point it narrows down to a one-way street that ends a few blocks later at a "T" intersection. At the "T" you find:

Vinnie's Ironworks


You have to admit, it is somehow quintessentially Brooklyn. Particularly with the Virgin Mary shrine perched on top.

Now, coincidence number one. As I am taking a picture of Vinnie's a car stops and the guy asks me if I know how to get to 4th Avenue. I guess because I was taking pictures he thought I was a local. I asked him where on 4th Avenue he wanted to go and he said, drum roll please, 12th Street. What are the odds someone would ask me how to get exactly where I was going. And it isn't like I was going to someplace significant like Borough Hall or something. Anyway, I gave him instructions that turned out to be wrong (unless he drove the wrong way down a one-way street).

After a fairly healthy hike I reached my destination and spotted what I hope was not the bar my friend was talking about, unless he was going really retro.

Commonwealth Bar


Actually, it looked like it might get interesting late at night. I think maybe the place being built next door might have been it though.

New Bar, Maybe


This is definitely going to be a bar because I looked inside and that was the one thing that was already in place. I think it will be a fairly nice place too. Might give Commonwealth a run for the money.

On the way home I passed over the Gowanus Canal and have to kvetch once again. In almost any other city in the world this waterway would have nice restaurants, probably a marina or two, hotels and maybe condos. It empties into the ocean so it would be perfect for yachts and sail boats too. But, in New York it is lined with cement factories, vacant lots, and who knows what else. And after twenty years of hearing how the canal is going to be cleaned up and the surrounding land developed, it is largely unchanged. The pace of change in New York can be pathetically slow sometimes.

Looking South


Looking North



Okay, coincidence number two. It was a pretty long walk and it was getting hot so I thought about stopping in to a Deli and buying a beer or two to have when I got home. For some reason I decided not to and patted myself on the back for showing such self-restraint. About fifteen minutes after I got home though I got a buzz from my doorman telling me to come downstairs and pick up my beer. You will never guess what was waiting for me.

10 Liters Of Heineken In Their New DraughtKeg


It even came with a nifty insulated backpack just big enough to carry one of them around. Perfect for my morning walks.

A Heineken To Go, Please


It came with a card so I called the number to find out why I got it. Apparently it was sent by the same guy who sent me the Heineken Light Beer when it was first being introduced, as a promotional item. I guess the fact that I also post about the stuff keeps me on his list and I am not complaining.

Each of these DraughtKegs holds 5 liters and, supposedly, once you cool it for a minimum of 10 hours it will keep the beer fresh for up to 30 days. Now this seems kind of neat until you figure that once you pop a 5 liter keg, what are the odds it would last for 30 days? Still, they look like they would be nice for a picnic or a Jets tailgate party, or my morning walk. I will try one of them out at the next Jets game to see how they work and will report back.

Oh yeah, I had to have the doorman explain to the Mysterious Chinese Woman that they really were free and that I hadn't ordered them. I can't understand why she didn't just trust me on this.