Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bernie Day At citiField

Well, okay, it wasn't really Bernie Day, but my good friend Bernie Carpenter is an usher, although I don't think they call them that anymore, at citiFIELD and won an award for the way he makes the guests (that would be paying customers) feel welcome and at home.  Considering he was the only usher so honored it really was special. And he got four tickets to give to his friends and he got to watch the game himself instead of standing on his feet making guests feel welcome and at home. He told me some of his secrets about how he goes above and beyond, but I promised not to reveal them

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I got two of the tickets and our friends Bob and Loretta got the other two.  We were all supposed to meet at the big apple because I had the tickets.

The Big Apple Minus Bob And Loretta

Actually they had called earlier to say they couldn't make it so we weren't really hanging around waiting for them to show up. But we did get to the game early. Bernie said we must be in our seats by 6:30 PM so we wouldn't miss the award ceremony.  And we were.  Earlier than that, even. We didn't want to take any chances. But no problem, there was so much to do.

Batting Practice

Watching The Lights Come On

Preparing The Pitcher's Mound

Watering Third Base

Korean Drummers Drumming

But it was all worth it, because we did have very good seats, ones where you could actually see the whole field, unlike at Yankee Stadium.

Seats With A View

And You Could Even See The Scoreboard

But the wait was worth it, plus I had time to enjoy a Reuben Dog and a beer without fighting the crowds to get them.

And then, the moment we were all waiting for, Bernie getting his award.

Way To Go Bernie

That is him in the green shirt at the front of the line. And in case he is a bit hard to see, this should help.

A Beaming Bernie

And he should be proud. He hasn't been ushering all that long, just a couple of years, and to be singled out for recognition was quite an achievement. He also got a trip to the Yankees spring training camp in Florida as part of his award. Not bad at all.

And then, believe it or not, a game broke out.

A Swing And A Miss

And  because Bernie didn't have to work, he came up and sat with us to watch the game.

Bernie And You Know Who

Well, to be honest, we didn't stay for the whole game.  We left before the seventh inning stretch but I don't feel too badly about that. Our subway wasn't running for one reason or another so we ended up taking the Long Island Railroad back to Penn Station. No big deal, just a bit more of a walk to the train, but they didn't charge us. And we got home in time to see the Mets lose in extra innings. Three extra innings, in fact.

Just a reminder, this Sunday is the Atlantic Antic right here in Downtown Brooklyn. The best street fair in all of New York. I will be there and you will be able to find me in front of Pete's Waterfront Ale House from around 2:00 PM to about 4:00 PM listening to my friend Dimitri and The Black Coffee Blues Band. Great food, plenty of beer, and great music. What's not to like?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mini Bar Trek

I know, I know, my blogging has fallen off lately. I still have more on Russia, of course, but I will take a break and revert back to form with a few bars. One of my loyal followers says he doesn't like to hear about Mexico and Russia, he just likes the bar stuff. So here goes, but with limited pictures. I didn't have my camera but my friend Allen took a few with his iPhone.

Allen, the Yankee's fan, came up to see a few games last weekend, but he took Saturday off to hook up with me here in Brooklyn so we could go on a mini bar trek.  He brought along a few fellow Yankee fans and drinkers.

The Motley Crew Minus Allen

Allen, of course, was taking the pictures. Now this picture wasn't taken in our first bar, Waterfront Ale House. We looked much better when we first started. Certainly I did.

I got to Waterfront Ale House ahead of Allen's group. They got tied up in traffic but I was still on my first beer when they arrived. Gaid, the world's friendliest bartender, was on duty and was overjoyed to see us. I was willing to spend the afternoon here but the crowd grew restless after three or four beers.

They all wanted to go to Montero's but, alas, it was closed. And this place used to open up at eight in the morning. The bartender at the Roebling Inn said it only opens up at night now. I hope that isn't a sign that they are about to go out of business. I will check it out Sunday during the Atlantic Antic. If it isn't open for that it doesn't look good.

Well, as you might have guessed, our next stop was the Roebling Inn. A very nice bar and a relative newcomer to the neighborhood. Of course I am getting so old that places that have been here for twenty years seem like relative newcomers to me.  This is where Gaid usually goes to play darts after his shift is done so I bought a cider for him that he could collect when he showed up.

We passed by Floyd, Atlantic Chip Shop, and Last Exit, not because they aren't good bars, but because we did, kind of, have an agenda in mind. Brazen Head was on our agenda so we popped in there for a beer or two, I really don't remember anymore. Our ultimate, and what I thought was our next, destination was Hank's. But, on the way we passed by two8two and we decided to pop in there for a drink.


Now this is where I will get in trouble. The bartender her was very friendly and we chatted with her for quite awhile, but I forgot her name.

Our Friendly Bartender

Then we finally made our way to Hank's where we, or at least I, finished my day. Hanks was surprisingly fresh smelling and even the funky bathroom was clean. But the decor was unchanged. Because this place is so close to the new arena that is opening up to be the home of the Brooklyn Nets, and because this area of Atlantic Avenue in general is gentrifying, I worry that this place cannot last. It is a pity, because Montero's and Hank's are the only two dive bars in this stretch.

After we finished up here Allen's gang caught the subway and headed back into Manhattan where they had hotel rooms. They were going to stay over and catch the Yankee games on Sunday. Me, I caught the subway and headed home. I know, I could have walked, but the way I was walking it would have been twice as far as normal.

Well, that will have to do. Just isn't the same without more pictures. But it will be back to Russia next time. Or maybe the Mets game I am going to tonight, if something exciting happens.