—Saturday April 26th
The apartment, and roughly everyone in it, woke up around 10am. We all slowly got ready for the day and then, by around 11am, me, Steve, and Tom made our way into the city.
We got off at Marcy Ave and ended up at this bagel place that Tom knew about. Some of the bagels they had on their own were extravagant, like the bacon and cheddar bagel Steve ordered. However, there was also a large assortment of cream cheeses and combinations of breakfast sandwiches that looked delicious.
After finishing our food we made our way over to the Williamsburg Bridge where we decided to walk across rather than get back on the train and waste another swipe on our MetroCard.
Unfortunately, the side we entered on was supposed to be for bicycles only, so, along the way we were verbally berated by cyclists telling us we were on the wrong side. Eventually, at around the center of the bridge, there was an opportunity to cross over to the other side, so we did.
The rest of the way was smoother and we were entertained by a woman who’s dog had to bark at every cyclist that passed them. Finally, upon reaching the other side, we made our way into Manhattan in search of a sidewalk vender who supposedly sells really cool records. However, upon reaching the street he was supposed to be on, he wasn’t there. We then made our way out to a main drag and figured out a new game-plan. Tom suggested we check out this old bar he’d been talking about. We all agreed and so, we went there.
Enter McSorley’s Old Ale House, a 160-year-old (1854) bar with more character than any other old bar I’ve ever been to. Everything from the walls to the floors to the tables is made of splintery wood. The walls are covered in framed characters, newspaper articles, and photographs of things long gone. The floor is “mopped” the old fashion way, covered in saw dust to dry all the spilled beer. Behind the bar are a pair of handcuffs used by Houdini himself and hanging above it are wishbones left by soldiers who never came back to claim them.
Drinking is made real simple, light or dark the server asks, and then returns moments later with two mugs of whatever you chose. You don’t ask for two, but you get two anyway. McSorley’s is a relic of the past. Up until the 1970s women weren’t even allowed in. It’s a place lost in time in the ever-changing fabric of Manhattan. (I realize how cliche all of that was.)
While sitting and chatting with Tom and Steve, I overheard the gentleman sitting next to us talking about making porter and stout. Remembering I had my Field Notes in my pocket, I tapped the man on the shoulder and struck up a conversation. I showed him the notebook, and explained that FN did a set of special edition notebooks, Ales and Lagers. The one I had on me was the “stout” from the Ales 3-pack. The man was intrigued and it was cool to share an experience, if only a brief one, with a complete stranger.
After downing our beers we made our way to Kim’s Video & Music. They were having a “going out of business” sale and so we scoured the store looking for deals. I find, personally, whenever I’m in a record store with such a vast collection, that I don’t know where to begin. I’m quickly overwhelmed by the selection and instantly forget what I was looking for; if in fact I was looking for anything. So, I basically just wandered back and forth while Steve and Tom thumbed through the records until they were finally done.
After finishing at Kim’s, we made our way over to a somewhat nearby dumpling place. This place was great because it was cheap. Though I wasn’t hungry, I bought my dinner, eight dumpling’s for $2.50! The deal of a lifetime, especially for New York. After sitting, chatting and eating, or in my case, watching Steve and Tom eat, we hopped on the train and took it back to Brooklyn.
There we chilled from around 5-7. I watched some TV (anime that Alyssa and Antonio showed me) and organized some of my stuff. After that I went to the grocery store and bought beer for the night. When I got back I used Steve’s computer to write the outline for this and yesterday’s post. After that, Steve and Tom made hot dogs. Once we were all finished, me, Steve and Tom made our way back out into the night.
The first stop on the list was the Barcade. I had heard about this place from the guys back in October of 2012 and have wanted to go ever since. Though I’m not much of an arcade kind of guy -it wasn’t an interest or integral part of my life like it is for so many other males my age- it was still something I was interested in checking out. As it turned out, I was somewhat unimpressed.
However, there were several factors it had going against it that made me feel this way. 1) it had been hyped too much (by my own brain), 2) it was very crowded, 3) it was very hot, and 4) I was wearing too many layers so I had to juggle my phone, beer, sweatshirt and jacket while trying to hang out. After only playing one game of OutRun and watching the guys play a few other games, we decided to move on.
We stumbled through Brooklyn to some random bar so Steve could pee, then ended up at a place called Clem’s. There I shared with them the asterisk story I had been promising them the whole weekend long. Then, after one last round, we grabbed a cab and took it back to the apartment for a relatively early night.
Once home, me and Tom watched a little bit of the first episode of BBC America’s The Real History of Science Fiction until around 15 minutes in, Tom fell asleep. This worked out for the best because I was tired too and thus went to bed.