I’m drinking my home state of Rhode Island’s classic tall boy can of Narragansett Beer with some of my artistic friends listening to a trombone player note Chet Baker’s “I Fall In Love Too Easily” at a little newly minted wine bar off North 6th with a shitty owner but stocked full of lithe raven haired dilettantes and super cool guy named Dylan, when I suddenly realize my entire life, truly, and at present, is a cliché.
Let’s do the Artist Cliché checklist for the evening.
Highly creative individuals dressed in monochromatic colors pontificating a range of topics regarding Art, a return trip from Berlin, what dates we’ll meet in Paris over the winter, how my novel is going, and when the musicians we’re drinking with are playing their next gig.
We are in a moody, candlelit, wine bar, with bottles lining the walls, matched with framed oil paintings of glassy eyed children and old men with gray beards.
An anorexic, but highly sexually enticing waitress with red painted lips and lots of clanging gypsy jewelry hanging from her wrists sarcastically serves us drinks.
Lovers making out in dark corners to the narcotic sounds of the trombone while a singer dressed like Cole Porter with the teeth of an Englishman (craggily) croons.
Two men, thoroughly older then the women who join them at their table, smile across at each other, talk of Henry Miller, what Old New York must have been like, and whether or not Rick Perry has a chance at winning 2012. The girls, twins no less, are both dressed wonderfully in completely different styles. One, who shows pictures of her recent Germanic adventures, has billowy blonde hair falling around her cherubic face smiling in the candlelight. The other, a short haired brunette with eyes like chocolate, listens to her sister fondly, her brown pools darting from conversation to conversation, taking in all in. More drinks are served and glasses clank in the night.
I’m waiting for Django Reinhart to walk in.
My friend, his moustache sharply curled above his lips like electric wire, brings out his ‘to do’ list. Most of the items are crossed off with black marker, but one thing remains on the list. I grab the piece of paper out of his hand.
“What’s left?” I ask.
“Oh, a mustard jar,” he says, quite plainly, “I need a new mustard jar.”
“Mustard jar?” I say, flatly.
We both get the joke and start laughing.
“These are Williamsburg problems,” I say, pounding my beer. “While the rest of the world starves, we have to worry about where in God’s green Earth can we buy our next mustard jar.”
There is a special place in hell for Americans. But it will probably be air-conditioned.
Moving onto another gut-wrenching, philosophical quandary:
Where will we brunch today?
Take a beautiful sunny Sunday, perfect Fall weather, not too hot, a little breeze, just waking up and shedding off that horrid hangover left from the 3 bottles of Prosecco consumed the night before; there is nothing better in the world than a fine, clean, happy brunch.
Now I’ve told you all exactly where not to go in the neighborhood a couple blogs ago ( Go here!):
But where are the finest places in Williamsburg to enjoy your brunching?
Here are the winners.
(North 8th and Berry)
I have never been out to a restaurant for a meal and left, 5.3 hours later, drunk as shit off champagne, fourteen shots of whiskey, fattened by a hot fudge sundae, spicy chicken wings, and the best 2 egg, potato, and Challah toast deal in the hood ($4.95, Hobo prices!). The place was around when William Taft was President for Christ’s Sake, so it’s got street cred. It’s unpretentious, completely warm and friendly even to degenerates like myself, always some kind of game on, and chalk full of cheap drinks.
Every worker there is A) a wonderful drinker, B) completely sexy, C) and tough as nails, ready to throw down and fight if they got too. I keep telling them there should be a Calendar for “Teddy’s Girls”, each month christened by a scantily dressed Teddy’s worker with their favorite alcoholic beverage of choice in hand. I’m ignored, and often times threatened with calls to the police.
Bonus Awesome: Wings that are actually good, air-conditioned through the summer, and jailbait hostesses to leer at.
(533 Grand Street, between Union and Lorimer)
In all my travels through this godforsaken, sinful neighborhood, the greatest treat a man or woman can find is a place that does not fuck up Hollandaise Sauce.
Like ass play, Hollandaise sauce is not to be taken lightly.
After testing over 25 restaurants for this dish, no one can actually pull this off like the decadent, rich, sweet flavor of Le Barricou’s Eggs Benedict. Top that off with amazing Parisian décor, relatively friendly staff (the male managers all seem like stoic hipster men wax statues), and fantastic music selection. Get their early, for this place is growing in stature. Best time is right before noon on the weekend, right before all of the uber-sheik elite arrive and fuck the whole experience by being themselves.
Bonus Awesome: Great oysters, a slim Polish bartender named Olga, and walls painted with that special Van Gogh yellow that just demands you get drunk on absinthe and sleep with prostitutes.
(146 Bedford Ave, between North 8th and 9th)
Bedford Avenue, as all of you know, has become the new Montparnasse of our modern era. Streets lined with the hip bourgeois, toting silly little dogs I want to punt across the street, and parades of poseurs and tourists, drug addicts and drunks, artists and provocateurs. All the restaurants that line this boulevard of cool are over-priced, over-crowded, and just a plain hassle to enjoy.
But there’s a little gem in its mist, and conveniently closed on weekends (Ha-Ha you fucking weekend warriors, it’s all mine!!!!!). Kasia’a Polish Diner. It is just as you’d expect. Simple, plain, awesome food. Great smoothies with real fruit (try the ginger-apple-orange mix, divine). I have brought more women here after a night of whiskey and sex the wonderfully kind Polish waitresses must think I’m running a brothel off 9th street. Just try it. Cheap food, great kielbasa, and nothing is organic, you pedantic health freaks! Just good food your depression era Grandmother would approve of.
Bonus Awesome: Ana and her smile, great little patio for watching the world go by on Bedford, and working man’s prices, out the door for under ten bucks full and ready for the day (or evening).
Stay Tuned for next Monday’s installment of “The Bartender Knows”
RHODE ISLAND's FINEST EXPORT (other then me)
YES, THIS IS PRESIDENT TAFT. LOVE THIS GUY!