Saturday, August 14, 2010

Black Outs

If the Jets don't sell out and a game is blacked out on television, does it get blacked out in New Jersey or in New York?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The first two pages in the New York Daily News sports section are about, not the Yankees, not the Mets, not the Jets, not the Giants, not even Tiger Woods.  It is about, hold your breath, Isiah Thomas.

And, in a shocking turn of events, it wasn't the NCAA, that bastion of morality and all things holy, except perhaps graduating athletes that read at about the 6th grade level and passing out greenies like they are candy and coaches that make millions.  But, then again, I graduated from the University of Minnesota and I couldn't make one out of ten free throws (wait, neither can Shaq).  It was the NBA that other upholder of all things moral (except for drinking, drugs, assualt and battery, imprisonment, you name it) that said this was just too much.

Hell, Isiah pushed K-Rod's arrest for assualt and battery against his father-in-law to to the second pages of the sports section (although it did make the front page right next to J. Lo's being rejected as an American Idol judge).

Too much Isiah, you have got to be kidding.

Nude female dwarf mud-wrestling is a step up from the Knicks, the NBA (King James with the "CHOSEN 1" tatoo across his back) and professional sports (how can I feed my family on just $12 million a year) in general.

Female dwarfs with a bikini wax are hot.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here We Go Again

And yet another egotistical professional athelete who has to be paid more than anyone else in his position.  Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has been offered $120 million over ten years, won't accept the offer because Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback for Oakland, will average $16.5 million over the next two years.

Meanwhile, a family of four attending a Jet's game and sitting in some of the cheaper seats at $120 a pop, paying $25 for parking, $8.75 for a beers, $6 for hot dogs, $5 for French fries can expect to drop about $600 to go to a game.  And that is before paying thousands for a PSL.

I am begining to hate professional sports.  Although I did just subscribe to Sports Illustrated so I could get a Vikings jacket.  Now, now my Jets fan buddies, I already have a couple of Jets jackets and I promise to only occasionally wear the Vikings jacket to torment you.

And the hundred or so Knicks tee-shirts I have (handed out for free back when I used to go to the games) are great for wearing to the gym and for dusting.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods after refusing to say he would accept a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup because he would play his way onto the team, has back-tracked.  Doesn't sound like he is quite so confident in himself anymore.

The only bright spot concerning "professional sports" is that Linda McMahon won the Connecticut GOP Senate primary yesterday.  Does anyone but me see a Palin/McMahon Presidential ticket in the future?

Monday, August 09, 2010

A Bright Day At Brighton Beach

Well, the day started out at Brighton Beach.  I had heard about a new "beer garden" right on the boardwalk so I decided to check it out before heading to a Cyclones game later in the evening.

Le Soleil Draft Barn

Beer garden might be a bit of a stretch, but it is a nice outdoor area for drinking beer.  It is the outdoor portion of Wintergarden, one of several Russian eateries along the boardwalk.  The interior is still Wintergarden, but one of the waitresses says that it will convert in the winter so the whole place will be Le Soleil Draft Barn.

They have a nice selection of beers.  I think they have about 120 different beers in bottles, mostly imported, and maybe a dozen or so on draft.

A Couple Of Cold Ones

I had a BrouCzech Lager and it really hit the spot.  It is brewed in Nova Paka, in the Czech Republic and the history of the brewery kind of goes back to the 13th century.  Kind of, because although beer was brewed in Nova Paka back then, that brewery is long gone, having burnt down several times over a 600 year period.  In 1871 a new brewery and malt house was built and that one is still brewing the beer.

The beer is 5% ABV and pours with a nice white head.  It is dark gold and has a pleasant malty smell with a  whiff of hops.  A good combination of the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.  The sweetness is what lingers on the palate.  It comes in a 23 ounce bottle and went for a very reasonable six bucks.

Enjoying My Cold One

The Mysterious Chinese Woman prefers the summer white beers and they had a good one, a St. Berardus Witbier.  This is a Belgium beer and, although it looked lighter, it was actually a bit stronger than mine, 5.5% ABV.

It was a cloudy yellow, kind of the color of straw.  It had a lemony spice smell to it and tasted the same.  Very refreshing and quite perfect for sitting almost on the beach.  It was a bit pricier than mine at nine bucks a bottle, but nothing is too good for the Mysterious Chinese Woman.  Just ask her.  And they served it in the appropriate tulip glass.

We sat there and enjoyed our beers while watching the little kids play with their toy trucks on the beach.

My Turn, My Turn

And you could just enjoy watching the people walk by.

Or, At Least, I Could

They also have very good food here.  Wintergarden always had, in my opinion, pretty good food, as do all of the Russian restaurants on this stretch of the boardwalk.  We had shrimp and mussels and they were simply delicious.  At $12 they weren't cheap, but well worth the price.

A Tasty Beer And Beach Treat

After finishing up our beers (I had two) we headed on down the boardwalk towards where the Cyclones would be playing.  I was somewhat happy to see that the new rides in the space formerly occupied by Astroland were doing well and looked nice.

The New Steeplechase Park

But, of course, I had Ruby's on my mind.

Best Beach Dive Bar In The World

The place just continues to get more run down because, with the uncertain lease status, the owners don't want to sink any money into fixing it up.  They are down to just one bathroom now, but at least it is fairly clean.  And for the price of my beer at Le Soleil Draft Barn, here you got a Sam Adams out of the bottle.  If you wanted a glass it would be plastic.

Hey, Sam Adams Is Good Too

I will be sad to see this place go, but I am afraid Ruby's days are numbered.  It does keep hanging on, though and, in my opinion, really does deserve a landmark status.  They just don't build them like this anymore.

My next stop was the Freak Bar, adjacent to a modern version of a freak show.  No more pinheads and bearded ladies, but you still have heavily tatooed fire eaters, sword swallowers and contortionists. 

The Freak Bar

They even have a small brewery next to the place but you can't tour it.  You can only buy souvenirs.

A Brewery Lurks Within

Now, in my opinion, Freak Bar is even more of a dive than Ruby's.  Kind of like something you might find in a relatives basement.  Minimal is the word.

A Bare Bones Bar

This stuff on top of the beer cooler is about the extent of their decorating.  But at least I know where that monkey from "Toy Story 3" ended up.

How Far The Mighty Do Fall

The only reason Freak Bar doesn't qualify as the world's best beach dive bar is that it isn't that close to the beach.  It is in that still kind of seedy area of Coney Island.  The parts that make Coney Island what it is today.

Just Off The Beach

Being A Blockhead, I Had The Blockhead

I shouldn't have ordered this one.  Not only is it a hefty 10% ABV, it is a heavy Russian stout type of beer and not really suitable for a day at the beach.  Although being in Freak Bar you don't really feel like you are anywhere near a beach.  It is more reminiscent of the East Village in Manhattan back in the good-old-days when it was dangerous.  Well, the East Village is still dangerous, but now it is because of the strollers banging you in the ankles, not because of the drug-dealers and casual muggings.

After finishing up my beer we headed over to Peggy O'Neill's for our pre-game party.

Party, Party, Party

They had the standard pre-game fair, the always popular cheeseburgers, beans and Budweiser.

A Bit Of A Pre-Game Nosh

And the Mysterious Chinese Woman was ready for a bit of a snack.

Move It Along, I'm Hungry

More Of A Hotdog Person

And then we went to the game.  It really is a nice looking ballpark.

The View From Our Seats

And the Cyclones beat the Muckdogs in extra innings so it was a perfect day.

Again, I want to say thanks to Sean Murphy of MurphGuide for inviting us and look forward to attending more of his events.  They are always a fun time.  If you are in the New York City area, you should make a point of checking it out to see what is going on.