DJ Steve’s been putting me to shame these last few days with lengthy, thoughtful posts on Kanye West’s celebrity and Saturday Night Live’s mediocrity. Both great. I’ve been surfing, eating, and acting inappropriately around college students. I also embedded a Super Mario World YouTube video! Lame. But that was last week – a brand new one is upon us, and with it a golden Phelpsian opportunity to redeem myself in your eyes. Like the Fightin’ Phils, I’m all about comebacks. Before I set to work on my next failed New Yorker article, though, I’ve got to clear my head of everything that’s taken up residence these past few days. Brewfest. Palin. Fringe. Matthew McConaughey. Nothing coherent enough to warrant an individual post, but each part of that perfect fall potpourri blend. You know the drill.
1) 3rd Annual New York Brewfest
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever be admitted to bacchanal at the Olympic Village, but I may have found the next Happiest Place On Earth™ at South Street Seaport on Friday night. Collecting close to 100 breweries – mostly local, but some bigger brands, too – in one location, Brewfest is a beer lover’s heaven. From rich lagers to stouts, ales and ciders, every type of beer imaginable is on tap and supplemented with barbecue and live music. Plus free t-shirts and general rabble-rousing! Really, the place is like an oasis of drinking freedom. And for all! – straight-laced accountants mingled freely with teamsters on the lower Manhattan pier, united in the pursuit of taste and a healthy buzz. Really, the event brought tears to my eyes.
It’s not a frat party, either. I mean, yes – of course there are people who show up with the express purpose of blacking out. They exist in any alcoholic environment. More folks attend, though, because Brewfest is just so goddamn tasty. I had an awesome round of Belgian wheat beer from Cask & Belgian, a sample of Magic Hat’s (relatively) new, tangy Odd Notion and a series of rock solid taste tests from Great Divide. Flying Dog even gave us some hops! Brooklyn Brewery’s selection was not so impressive, but I can forgive them for the free banners they provided.
The best thing Brewfest provided, of course, was the beer five foot cut-out monk a friend – let’s call him Avi H. – decided to swipe from an unsuspecting vendor toward closing time. Thousands of people at this event, and I’m with the one who steals a wooden man of the cloth. DRINK RESPONSIBLY.
2) Sarah Palin’s Guide to Baby Names
I’d be remiss in my political duties if I didn’t point out this gem of a site that puts to rest the weeks-old question: if I were Sarah Palin’s child, what would she name me? Monikers from the lower 48 like “John” or “Charles” don’t hold much weight in the Last Frontier, especially when you’re staring down an angry caribou or fur trader. You need a leathery tough name like “Bristol” or “Track”, something real salt of the earth, if you want to survive. Not sure what works? David Harrington’s Name Generator can help! Input your given name (I chose “Henning Fog,” but you don’t have to) and the results appear in seconds; in no time you can start signing your letters “Mullet Troll Palin” and making hockey mom jokes. Success!
Part 2 on the make – see you sometime this afternoon!