05 September 2005

no sleep in brooklyn

there's nothing as joyous as a long weekend, and i was lucky enough to have friday off as well. about a week ago i started my end-of-summer bender, which was to culminate yesterday in the atlantic avenue drinking triathlon...

obviously thursday was the raging
gazpacho night, so i was overjoyed at not having to get up on friday morning. there was much discussion about what to do with such a beautiful day, but in the end we decided on the red hook pool.

needless to say, floating around in a pool in the middle of brooklyn under the shadow of the BQE when it's spectacularly sunny and warm is one of the nicest feelings on this earth.

for reasons i shall never know, the pool closes from 3-4pm, so we decided to just walk around for an hour and return when it reopened...our ramblings unearthed the
columbia street esplanade, one of brooklyn's diamonds in the rough. a very strange place indeed, it extends out into the erie basin and affords fantastic views of sunset park, green-wood cemetery and park slope. we located a few familiar places and lamented not having cameras. the very end of the esplanade makes a right turn which directs the viewer toward staten island. there are views of downtown manhattan and other parts of red hook, but the williamsburgh bank building was the star, as it rose gloriously out of atlantic avenue against a super-sweet blue sky.

the breeze swept by us, carrying the aroma of the sea. we noted how much cleaner the water looked when it was even slightly distanced from the gowanus canal. although the esplanade lacks a certain "romantic" quality, there are about a gazillion benches along its brooklyn-facing side. i'm not sure if the total number of people to ever visit the esplanade could fill all these benches.

by the time we'd traversed the entirety of the esplanade and returned to the pool, we were no longer really interested in it. so we walked back, passing three of the most junked out kids i'd ever been in such close proximity with, and a chocolate factory at the north end of smith street. our plan to hit the taco bell was thwarted as it's now turned into a dunkin' donuts/pizza hut/taco bell; and only the
dunkin' donuts was operational.

saturday a friend's block was doing what blocks do best, having a block party. the hydrant was already opened when we showed up, and various grills were smoking.

by the end there were two bottles of wine in my stomach, along with various bits of charred flesh (all of which were scrumptious). some friendly neighbors had involved everyone in two (we liked it so much they played it again for us) rounds of the "cha cha slide" and we repaid them with other latin-ish dancing by white kids.

perhaps in a nod to the upcoming school year, we engaged in various "field day" games...'toss the water balloon', 'pass the orange' and 'run around drunk with an egg on a spoon'. there are fewer things as funny as two of your male friends grinding away at each other trying to move an orange up from their stomachs back to their necks. at least two of us were on the ground weeping with laughter.

and as things wound down someone, somehow, finally managed to get "willy wonka and the chocolate factory" projected onto my friend's house. so, under the three stars brooklyn allowed that night we sat, watching a movie on a friend's house; water from the fire hydrant still streaming down the street, cher still blasting from the house a few doors down.

and then, because it was on the way home, we went to buttermilk.

the triathlon started at 3. i awoke and discovered that we'd come home and watched Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and apparently i'd dumped popcorn all over the couch and managed to make scrambled eggs for three people. i very vaguely recollect all of this. although i do remember singing along with the "Hold On" scene in H&K and then trying to convince everyone that we needed to watch Tommy Boy because that scene is a clear rip off of the "Eres Tu" sing along.

regardless, i was pretty fucking hungover. luckily, i'd planned in advance for this type of thing, and had arranged to brunch at the chip shop on atlantic with a friend and fellow triathlete. there are few things that can attack and destroy a hangover like a fry up, but despite a valiant effort, my head continued to be fuzzy the remainder of the day.

the whole point of this trialthon thing is to drink all afternoon whilst participating in "skill-shot" games. although we all had vague ideas what a skill-shot game might be, no one was entirely sure. turned out that at bocce, they would place the pallino and we'd all sort of aim for it. (four balls each.) darts would be a game of 'baseball', in which you have three darts and you are encouraged to hit one number at a time (through nine innings), there were extra points awarded for those little red and green boxes. pool was a little different, they "racked 'em and cracked 'em" (anything that happened to go in worked in your favor, i think), and then we hit as many balls in as we could without missing. extra points were always available if you were willing to take a shot, and many of my brave teammates took quite a few shots. i, my liver cowering in fear, took none.

we started off at floyd for bocce. normally this is my strong suit, and the only event i'd even thought about hoping to be truly competitive in, but i managed to completely fuck it up. it was all good, though, because they had brooklyn pennant ale.

next was brazen head for darts. i've had amazing nights of darts here & there, but this was not to be one of them. i got 2 points, 1 for the 1 dart i threw in the right place and 1 for the blue moon belgian white beer i was drinking.

things were a bit confusing when i walked out of brazen head into the dazzling atlantic avenue sunlight-slightly hungover and slightly drunk. luckily, we had a tour guide taking us from bar to bar...he lead us to magnetic field, where my next loss would be at pool.

i think i got two in, maybe one. i don't really remember, because by the time we got to that point my brain had totally fallen asleep on me. every conversation i had became more and more confusing and difficult, as i simply could not process a single thought. i was having so much fun i couldn't think of leaving, but i was clearly in no state to talk to people.

despite my draining energy and social skills, somewhere during the playoff round (which i was so obviously not a part of), i snuck off to american apparel and purchased myself a pink ringer, because i was so fucking cold. and also pizza.

we decided to head back to floyd after it was all over and play more bocce. and drink more brooklyn pennant.

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