You can't sweat out . . .

The debut of Darius and crushing beers in the garden

In Jesse, the Rippers, and their contemporaries on April 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Because productive Saturdays are for wienies, a large group of my friends and I took a ride on the N train this past weekend to celebrate the beginning of summer (and my 26th birthday) with a visit to Astoria’s Bohemian Hall Beer Garden.  The day was gorgeous.  The Hall was packed.  Our livers were scared.

Immediately after stepping off the train for a rare appearance in Queens, there were signs that the gods were behind our mission.  Not only was it it 70 degrees out, but when we stopped to buy a pack of cards at a bodega next to the Hall, there was a 50 cent claw game outside with a stuffed prize bear just hanging out at the bottom of the receptacle.  Bonus bear!  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better start to the afternoon.

This visit marked my second time at Bohemian Hall Beer Garden, which according to its website (which is apparently down right now), is the last remaining Beer Garden in New York City, where there were once hundreds.  Please note I am capitalizing Beer Garden in accordance with the Law of Awesomeness.  It’s a feel good place where the pitchers are a very reasonably priced $15 – yielding 4 pints at under $4 each- and while lackluster service and long beer lines were the norm this Saturday, we chalked it up to the staff working out their beginning of the season kinks.

Among the hundreds of people in the garden was the semi-recognizable Lonny Ross of 30 Rock.  If you don’t believe me, check out the evidence (by evidence I mean a picture of two models we hired to make my party more attractive, with Ross in the background, barely visible.  Just follow where the model on the right is covertly pointing)

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I think he knows . . .

For the first hour and a half or so of our visit, Lonny Ross was the most recognizable person in the garden.  But that was soon to change with the sounding of a pipe and the appearance of a man in a kilt.  Straight from the highlands of Scotland (or Queens as his business card says), Darius marched into the garden with a clear goal in mind.  And that goal was to dominate.

And dominate he did, playing the holy hell out of “Happy Birthday” for yours truly before asking for requests.   I then learned that by requests he meant classic Scottish songs when he couldn’t play my request, “Baby Got Back.”  Darius, however, completely redeemed himself by playing the hell out of “Can’t Touch This.”

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Oh you didn't know? The 5th Beatle played the bagpipes

I’ve had some good birthday presents in my day, but I’m hard pressed to think of a better one than a personal bagpiper.  True, without his pipes he was just the awkward guy in a skirt trying to hit on one of our friends, but with the pipes he was a dream come true.

So thanks to all of you who came to Queens last Saturday, thanks to the fantastic friends who hired Darius (an idea that was the brainchild of the Chaz Bone), and thanks to Robert Goulet for just being you.

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  1. correction, the first day of summer is actually June 21st. Oh wait, thats my birthday.

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