So Melanie has taken up guitar which is basically the coolest thing ever, and on top of that: her guitar lessons are in Brooklyn.
Melanie as a guitar god.
Mel lives on the lower east side, and works in Brooklyn so the whole area is kind of her domain, I may have grown up in Manhattan but I’ve never ventured across the bridge. I’ve heard stories of raves, amazing food, and awesome vintage shopping, but I’ve never had a reason to leave my tiny island. When Mel texted me last Sunday to meet her after her guitar lesson in Williamsburg, I knew the time had come: The Hussies were headed to Brooklyn.
In case you haven’t read any of our other posts, I am severely direction impaired. I have a hard time navigating myself from West 43rd to East 43rd, and forget telling me to go “North East” or whatever. Needless to say, I was petrified about traveling outside my borough, but with my handy app “EmbarkNYC” I managed to make the 17 minute subway ride in one piece, and somehow even walk 4 blocks to where I was meeting Mel. We decided to stroll for a bit just to catch up and check out our surroundings, and we ended up at the water. There was an awesome flea market we caught the last twenty minutes of and I made a mental note to come back when I wanted to finally spruce up my room in my apartment (and had disposable income that wasn’t going to beer and other necessities, like hot pink lipstick).
As Mel and I stumbled in and out of antique shops and wandered past art galleries we both agreed that we wanted to soak up some sun and head somewhere with a patio for a drink. As our journey continued we came across a sign that said “FREE BBQ”…..UM, YES PLEASE. We knew we had hit the spot and we headed inside Macri Park
So usually when I think Barbeque I’m thinking ribs, BBQ chicken, or generally anything with BBQ sauce on it. However that was not the case. We each grabbed a $4 draft of Hoegaarden and were handed 2 pink tickets “for the BBQ”. We went out onto the patio and quickly learned that you were to give your ticket to the grill master and declare your choice of either “hotdog” or “hamburger”. Then there was a “toppings station” where you were able to select either lettuce, or onion. Wild times. Although I was kind of let down by this “free BBQ”, and wondered what Mayor Bloomburg would think about it, I quickly remembered I was very very poor and had no business turning down free food. Mel and I each grabbed a burger and took our seats out on the patio.
We laughed and gabbed and then something interesting happened: A woman missing two of her teeth, and a man who looked like a slightly more disheveled Mike Tyson happened upon the patio, and unmistakably eyed Melanie’s guitar. I decided to write off the glaring as an awkward moment until I came back from the bathroom and saw the toothless lady plucking away at Melanie’s guitar and Melanie looking like someone had just stabbed a puppy in front of her. I quietly sat back down as Melanie asked for her guitar back and gently laid it back into the case. I stared at her waiting for some sort of explanation as to what I just encountered and Melanie quietly whispered “She said she was a neurosurgeon…..” I couldn’t stop laughing I wouldn’t let this lady style my hair, let alone touch my brain.
We went back for another round of beers and after feeling a bit nervous about leaving Melanie’s guitar alone at the table, I went back for our two burgers, and as I got up to go to the grill Mike Tyson whispered to me “You a tall sugar eh?” I’ve never seen a tall sugar, nor heard of anyone seeing sugar that is extraordinarily tall, so I don’t know what exactly this meant but I’m assuming it was sexual in connotation due to his husky, hushed tone. I grabbed our un-Bloomberg approved meat and scurried back to the table. As I sat down, the toothless neurosurgeon was really feeling the music and decided to stand up and ballet/interpretive/jazzhands dance all around the patio. I am all for this type of behavior, let your freak flag fly, get down with ya bad self, but she was seriously freaking me out with the gum licking and guitar eyeing.
Mel and I decided that two rounds were enough for us, and once Mel had strapped her guitar securley to her back, we left. It was an experience, that’s for sure. I read the Yelp reviews and people seemed totally amped on this place, so I mean maybe we just hit a funky day. Did we meet tatted up Brooklyn hipster boys to go to underground rock shows with? No. Did we have a ridiculous story and narrowly escape the clutches of Mike Tyson and his brain surgeon side kick? I like to think so.
We walked back over the bridge and ended up having a beer on Melanie’s roof and just shooting the shit until the sun went down. I don’t know why, but it actually ended up being one of my favorite days in Manhattan so far. Looking over the city with a cold beer in my hand after an adventurously humorous day, I just felt like I was finally in the right place. A land of misfits, and that settled just fine with me.
*Side note: I fell extremely ill that evening and Melanie puked in the trashcan at work the next day and had to go home. I’m not saying it was the burgers, but take it as you will….
462 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
3pm-7pm Daily; $4 drafts, $3 well drinks, $6 beer & shot specials
NEARBY SUBWAY STOPS:
G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.
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