Sarah did a splendid job of summing up our long day's activities from this past Saturday. I, for one, have been to New York City about a dozen times or so, and never spent much time outside of Manhattan.
This day's activities, however, saw us venture into Brooklyn during the afternoon, and Queens in the evening. And in both places, we visited spots that I felt should be elaborated upon somewhat, based on my utterly spectacular experiences at each.

Our drive from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn was nothing short of a nightmare, a blindingly frustrating experience that I should have known better than to attempt. Scenes from an old Simpsons episode breezed through my memory during the whole drive.
But to the victor go the spoils - and what marvelous spoils we found in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Museum lies on the Eastern Parkway at Washington Avenue, and just happens to be the second-largest museum in New York. This place came as an immediate shock to me in its tremendous size and gorgeous layout. Interior space was used in such a layout that it truly accentuated the impact of the works on display - really brought them out to shine.

The museum's collection included an impressive collection of ancient works from Egypt, China and Greece; paintings and sculptures that I've seen dozens of times in print; and a surprisingly extensive collection of eclectic modern art.
If you're in town, and you've never been, this place will steal your face right off your head. And if you can manage, try to drop in on the first Saturday of the month, when admission is free in the evenings.

Later in the day, when we'd returned to my friend Paul's house in Manhattan to meet up with Kelsey and Bill, Joey had made it very clear that he didn't want to sit around at someone's house and drink cheap beer out of a can. We can do that anywhere.
And ultimately, he was right. While my brain had been utterly fried by the terrible NYC traffic, there was no arguing with him that a trip to the new beer gardens in Queens was the best way we could be spending our time. So he briefly worked his powers of persuasion, and sent us all trekking toward the subway for Queens.
I get a little anxious about some bar experiences, I will admit. I've had far too many experiences in the past (primarily in Manayunk and West Chester, back near home) where the atmosphere in the place is just far too crowded, the people are too aggressive, the wait for a drink last ten minutes while you wait behind a sea of idiots in popped collars. Show me a bar filled with popped collars and I'll show you the back of my head as I walk out. Why pay for an atmosphere when it's nothing short of a terrible atmosphere?

Studio Square was not any of those places. This was nothing like any bar or drinking establishment I've ever visited. The place was wildly populated, yes, but with a tremendous amount of space to move, sit, stand or whatever else was on your agenda. The focus was on beer, with a delightful spread of imports and craft beers on tap. Once Joey handed me a giant stein of Stone IPA, there was no turning back for me.

The primary sitting area was open-air, making ample use of the newfound summer weather, with hundreds of people occupying numerous rows of picnic tables. We found a corner and kept it for all four or five hours that we stayed. We bought pitchers of beer to share among the five of us, which eventually gave way to an extra lining of food in the form of three different types of sausage - kielbasa, bratwurst and weisswurst. They had plenty of other selections, even sushi, but when in Rome...
This was our most expensive day yet, not so much because of overpriced drinks - they were reasonable - but for the fact that we just couldn't leave. It seemed like weeks we spent inside that glorious place, weeks that I only wish I could go back and revisit for but a moment.
As Sarah said, this place made us go directly to bed, and dream sweet dreams of the grown-up playground we'd discovered in Queens. I'd go back any day.


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