Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Good friends we have, cross-dressing drinks, bridges after stormy weather

After the walk to the river, Mama and I headed down to Park Slope, to meet up with Fred and Emilia for the party at Commonwealth, just up the block from their place.

We were some of the first people at the party, and had a great time talking with Emilia's mom and Fred's parents--I missed Emilia's dad, who showed up a little later, but Jess got to catch up with him.

Commonwealth was a great place for hanging out, proved by the regulars who came in with their dog shortly after we arrived. They were so polite, they actually asked if they could come in. Hell, you're the regulars. Plus, you know, we hadn't reserved the bar or anything, although Fred's got enough friends that the place was overflowing and loud pretty soon.

Don got there before too long, and not long after he arrived, Natty Bumpo pulled up outside in his stylin' red Bugaboo, with his parents, Jon and Catherine. They weren't sure how Natty would do in such a loud, crowded joint, but he was a rock star, rolling through the crowd in style and holding court next to the jukebox at the back of the bar with the Aussie cattle dog, with whom Nat had some conversations.I'm so glad that they stayed. Don and I have kept in touch, but neither of us had heard from or seen Jon in the 20 years since leaving high school.

I found him recently through the Vespaway blog that he was writing for, and we've been infrequently e-mailing back and forth. When I read there that he was settling back into Brooklyn for the time being, I let him know that we were going to be around this weekend, so he came to meet us. While Don and Jon caught up, I talked more with Catherine and Natty, which was supercool--a highlight of my night. We'll have to get together again in a quieter place, perhaps after Baby Boy Bradstein is ready for a road trip, Nat can show him a thing or two while their parents hang out.

Natty Boy did leave, taking his parents back home, while the party rolled on, with a soundtrack provided by one of my favorite jukeboxes. Just check the selection.

Featuring all homespun CDs and a stool dedicated to jukebox junkies, this is a bar that has its priorities in order.

It also has its drinks mostly in order, serving up a nice clean martini and something they call an antioxidant martini--although we know if there's anything other than gin, a whiff of vermouth, and olives in the glass, that it's just a crossdresser--a mixed drink in a martini glass.

That said, this was one nice crossdresser. Pretty and red, it came with a lump of candied ginger on the rim. They went down dangerously fast and smooth. Someone commented that if he had one more that he'd never get cancer. I'm not so sure about their prophylactic efficacy, but they were easier on us than the stormy weather, which Don and I closed out the evening with.

Tall and moody, these were not so smooth or fast, which I suppose fits the name, although I was hoping for something as rich, powerful, and beautiful as Stormy Weather as sung by Judy Bell, the chanteuse of Palm Springs.

Ah well, it got us home--Don on the subway, me on foot.

Speaking of home, on Sunday, Mama went to prenatal yoga with Emilia--Mama's review: a must for expectant mamas--while Fred, Olivia, and I tried to reconstruct the party over brunch. After that, Mama, Olivia, and I headed home across the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.

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