Monday, June 04, 2007

Dva Pivo Prosim

So at some time in the much more pleasant past, beer gardens abounded within the borders of the boroughs of New York ... but these days, these wondrous places have gone the way of the dodo. Well, not all of them. There is one left, and finding it was like finding the coelacanth. A gorgeous, tree shrouded football field sized area secluded it from the drab exterior of Astoria, a wonderland of picnic tables, kielbasa and burgers, happy, drunk new yorkers and most of all, pitchers and pitchers and pitchers of true Czech beer, as Lauren is happily demonstrating Can I tell you how long it has been since I had real Czech beer! And from a keg. I know Scooter is jealous just seeing the pictures. And they don't just have one czech beer, they have Pilsner Urquell, Krusovice (both cerny and svetle, dark and light for you non-czech speakers) and my favorite, Staropramen. Fantastic. For those of you who do not know, in the Czech republic, dark beer, which is sweeter, is often considered women's beer while the light beer, which is bitter and sometimes stronger, is for men. In my experience, most Czechs (both men and women) prefer the lighter beer, although there is obviously enough of a market to sustain the production of both types. Anyway, Aviva had been to the beer garden a week before and called me breathlessly on a Monday night around 930 babbling about this great place and how much I would like it. I should pay more attention to my girlfriend, shes smart. Because I loved the place as soon as walked in, even though we had to throw away the olives that we bought in the Greek market on the way and even though we had to stand in line (although not for very long, as later that day Kate and Phil were in line for around 45 minutes). Huge. Shaded and breezy, so cool even in the hot New York Summer. Full of picnic benches and boisterous, happy beer drinkers. Festive faces, smiles, pleasant rowdiness, the things you want at a general good time. The kids running around on stage, watching a German cartoon, the Mr. Softee truck parked shyly in the corer behind the gate, the smiles on the faces of guys and girls carrying two and three pitchers back to their tables .. these were a bonus. And when I got up to the front of the beer line, saw the true Czech taps ... heaven And the day went. Aviva and I got there at four and met Adam coming in. We grabbed a table, grabbed a pitcher of Staropramen, polished it off and quickly got another of Cerny Krusovice. After that one Adam and I were a bit loopy and Aviva was drunk, so we got a Kielbasa and fries and just hung out for a while. With another pitcher of course. At some point in the evening we started talking to Lauren and Diana, 2 cool girls who were sharing a table with us. This was excellent, particularly for Adam, as he hit things off very nicely with both girls, particularly Diana I think that this was as much due to Adams winning personality and tremendous flirtation skill as to his desperate need to talk to other people because Aviva and I were drunk and in love and he had been stuck alone with us and our PDA for several hours at that point. Both girls were a tad quiet at first, probably because we were loud and obnoxious, but soon they started drinking and joined in the rowdiness. More pitchers followed and Aviva allowed me to get her another beer, which put her far past her tolerance, much to the enjoyment of the rest of us. Soon Aviva, Lauren and Diana were all playing flip cup with the group at the next table while Adam and I hung out with some friends of his who showed up. At some point Kate and Phil showed up as well, as i mentioned, had to wait in line for a while. I made a very retarded attempt at convincing the door guy that Kate was my cousin, but it did not work and they got in after a while. It did not take them long to catch up, Phil especially demonstrated his rapid inebriation ability and the evening just kept getting more fun. Later on Aviva and I got a plate of goulash, with actual knedliky, or at least a good enough facsimile that I did not notice much difference in my inebriated state. Soon after this, I think Jess and Russell, showed up and the evening progressed. Eventually, after somewhere between 12 and 20 beers, we all left, passing Lauren and Diana on the way up the street, drunk and happy with Mr. Softee . Somehow, between the four of us Aviva, Phil, Kate and I managed to wander back to Aviva and Kate's place, picking up a three-wheeled bubie cart for Kate along the way and crashing hard when we got there (actually, I think we looked at pictures at talked and drank water, obviously not enough for me given my fantastic hangover ... the next morning was painful for me, but everyone else was fine ...I begin to feel old writing this ...

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