Monday, September 08, 2008

Rockabilly Riot

Well, I had a riot anyway. Cha Cha's, rivaled only by Ruby's Bar & Grill as a contender for best dive bar on a beach, sponsored a Rockabilly festival out at Coney Island not too long ago. The location was Beer Island that I often, mistakenly, refer to as Beer Beach. Personally, I think Beer Beach sounds better. The alliteration and all.

Although Beer Island just has a small shack where you can get your beer, it offers up an amazing selection of them, domestic and imported.

More Than Meets The Eye

I grabbed a Brooklyn East India Pale Ale and made my way to an empty table up close to the bandstand. The bands hadn't started playing yet and the crowd was still sparse. The biggest problem was finding a table with an umbrella that actually opened. I guess, because it is late in the season, they aren't bothering to replace anything that is broken and just waiting to see if they will be back next year. I sure hope so, I really like this place.

Bar Man, Beer, Beach (or Island)

Soon the bands began and they were all pretty good, especially if you like this kind of music, which I do.

The singer from the group pictured above took his singing out onto the sand and after serenading the Mysterious Chinese Woman stayed to chat a bit.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman And Her Seranader

Bar Man really needs to take better notes because I don't remember the name of the group or this gentleman's name. The whole group was good and the saxophone player was outstanding. We did chat a bit though and I mentioned that I lived in Downtown Brooklyn and Hank's Saloon, that is not far from me, had Rockabilly music several nights a week. Wouldn't you know it, he said they would be playing there that evening. Small world.

Everyone had a great time and there was dancing in the sand by both the very young and the just young.

The Very Young

The Just Young

The group in the background of those pictures is, I believe, The Cocktail Shakers and they hail from Pittsburgh. Another really good group.

We had a fun time and the price was right. Because we got here before the music actually started admission was free. I think they were charging a whopping $5 after that. And they don't rip you to shreds for the beer either. I think just $5. They do have table service too and they have hot dogs, hamburgers, and some pretty decent barbecue.

We would have stayed longer but we were going to the Real Live Burlseque and Real Live Sideshow later and we wanted to stop at Footprints for a bite to eat beforehand. As we were heading to Footprints I passed what has to be about one of the worst ideas imaginable.

Would You Eat One?

Lord only knows how long the hot dogs in this machine have been there, but I suspect with Nathan's just down the block it doesn't turn over a lot of inventory.

The Only Place To Get A Hot Dog At Coney

I am not sure what the police were expecting, but they were out in force. And you don't want to mess with a mounted policeman and his horsie.

Which Way To The Merry-Go-Round, Officer?

I asked one of the policemen if they were expecting trouble or something and he said No, this was just usual crowd control procedure. Seemed like a bit of overkill to me, but, What do I know?. The crowds at Coney Island are only a quarter of what they were just two years ago. I don't know what they will be like next year after Astroland Amusement Park closes down. I am sure new rides will be brought in, but it just won't be the same. At least the Cyclone will remain. And Ruby's Bar & Grill will probably return. Cha Cha's is open year-round and I don't know if they are in the re-development footprint or not. Only time will tell.

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