July 17th, 2008

This was the best Brooklyn DNO ever—okay, it was the first Brooklyn DNO ever, but it was still pretty happenin' nevertheless!

At Kevin's suggestion, we met out in the wilds of borough number one, Brooklyn. Actually, it was only one subway stop outside of Manhattan; psychologically, it might as well have been in the next state. One of the things that has always amazed me about New York City is its vastness. At 2.5 million people, Brooklyn alone has a population greater than some fifteen states! You could be born, go to college, get married, get a job, buy a house, retire—in short, spend your entire life—without ever leaving the borough. It's home to nearly one percent of the U.S. population.

Another impressive feature of New York City is the vastness of its infrastructure. When they build bridges here, they build 'em big! It is over a mile to walk from one end of the Manhattan Bridge to the other and the road deck sits more than thirteen stories above the East River. The overpass that connects the bridge anchorage to the supporting pylon looms over one neighborhood and gave it its name: DUMBO, which stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass." It consists of mostly light industrial loft buildings, many of which have been converted to living space. Once desolate and edgy, the neighborhood is now filled with trendy restaurants, boutiques and bars.

I arrived in DUMBO a bit early and waited for Jim and Kevin to join me. There's great people-watching to be had here. First stop: Superfine. The exterior was an unassuming brick corner block. The inside was smartly decorated. The bar in front of the large room had a pool table. The restaurant in the back of the room featured interesting cuisine (I had the house salad) and beautiful clientele. We were here for the BEER, though. I was immediately drawn to the pints of Blanche de Bruxelles on draft. This light wheat beer is perfect for the hottest day of the year (so far). Jim had a Czech lager and Kev opted for a red wine.

We were soon joined by "P" and David. Frankly, I was surprised to see "P", as he had previously vowed to never venture beyond Manhattan for a DNO! David was kind enough to show him the way. For the second round, four of us opted for the house specialty: the Dirty Blonde, which is a black-and-blond pint of Guinness floating over the Blanche de Bruxelles. This soon turned into a third round of dirty blondes all 'round. The bartender apparently botched one, because the waitress brought us a fifth beer that was one inch of blond and six of Guinness. A free beer! I love this country!!!

I went on a second date with Blanche. Though the scenery was captivating and the service attentive, we eventually motivated ourselves to settle up and move on. Just in time, too, as the conga player was just about to entertain the audience. Walking up Front Street, we were treated to a fine fireworks display in our honor (Watch the 609 KB video). Kevin bought kitty litter at the bodega (Why, Kev? Why??). [continues]

ArmCam™: Putting the "dumb" in DUMBO!

Jim and Kevin finally find the place

Jim and David hoist a couple of Dirty Blondes

Steve, "P", Jim and David suffering in the sweltering heat