The kick-off party to the Astoria Art Festival was last night. I attended the event at the Hellgate Social last night, but couldn’t stay long. Being that I was up since 6am, exhaustion took over. Anyway, for those curious, here’s a map of the entire fest.
Labor day weekend 2013, we decided to check out Gotham City Lounge. The bar was actually recommended to me over a year ago by a fellow Ridgewood neighbor. Since Ridgewood is next door to Bushwick, why not check it out?
Located right underneath the M subway line, Gotham City Lounge is a dive bar for all things superhero. When I say dive bar, I mean it as the highest compliment. Greeting us were the DC characters Superman and Batman.
Before allowed access, we had to ring the buzzer. I think this was due to more Bushwick being formerly known as a rough part of Brooklyn rather than a secret superhero hideout, but it can work either way.
Inside both the patrons and the bartender were really super friendly and nice. The bar’s clientele consisted of long time Bushwick locals, neighborhood artists to various hipsters moving into the area. Surrounded by collectable figures and original comicbook art, I ordered a suggested Dr. Freeze cocktail while Ben had a Red Bull. The drink menu was definitely heroic. Prices ranged from three bucks for a PBR to eight bucks for a comic book themed booze. Most of the drinks were five dollars.
At the bar we had a conversation with a female geek, who certainly knew her stuff. we discussed the upcoming New York Comic Con, and Harry Potter. Ben chatted with her about more of the superhero characters. I had to bow out of this one, since I was raised on more of stuff like Fantagraphic Books. A guy approached Ben cause he nailed the source of where one of the framed original comicbook page was from.
I took a few photos, but right before doing this blog post, I discovered this YouTube clip. I think it explains Gotham City Lounge much more better than I ever could.
If you’re in NYC, and want to check out this place for yourself, the address is 1293 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221. Just take the M subway line to Central Avenue. The lounge is just right underneath the train station. The perfect place after attending this year’s New York Comic Con.
Just letting everyone know that I’ll be part of the 2nd annual Astoria Art Festival. The festival will be from Friday, September 27th thru Sunday, October 6th 2013 in about twenty local venues from over thirty different artists. Details forthcoming, so stay tuned.
“Just the two of us Here on a blanket of love Writing love letters in the sand As long as there’s sand And as long as there’s the sea You’ll be my Coney Island baby” – Coney Island Baby, The Excellents. 1962
“Ahhh, but remember that the city is a funny place Something like a circus or a sewer And just remember different people have peculiar tastes…” Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed. 1975
What hasn’t been said about Coney Island? It’s been an urban escape for many generations of New Yorkers, and part of the Brooklyn folklore. My parents first took me to the rabbit land during the ’70s. Back then it was a gritty, diminished former shell of itself. There was Astroland, the Cyclone, Nathan’s, and your average amusement park rides. In my pre-teen ’80s years, my buddy found her first boyfriend. An Hispanic guy in his late teens or early twenties. While I was too busy trying to copy Boy George’s style, she ended up losing her virginity to him. Later on as the ’80s progressed, I more or less forgot about Coney. Except for one time me and my other friend cut school to visit Coney in the winter. It was dead, dead, dead, as some wretched hag made fun of my Siouxsie hairstyle.
Coney slowly started its resurgence during the late ’90s and early 2000s. First there was the Coney Island Freakshow. Later I discovered the Mermaid parade, and followed the celebrants to Ruby’s Bar and Grill. Then there was talk of property being brought, and rumors of assorted changes. Throughout all of this, memories continued to be created. Some fond ones: me, one of my oldest friends along with his girlfriend shucking down raw clams and beer one fond September night in 1998. Discovering an ex-boyfriend’s hidden racism when a young African American boy asked him for spare change in 2004. Seeing Squeeze, Joan Jett and assorted ’70s Disco acts for in concert for free last year. The list goes on.
For me no summer in NYC would be complete without at least one visit to Coney Island. Although I only managed to visit Coney twice, I could still spot some of the sandy magic. Like watching the 1980 film Fame on an inflated big screen while locals sat on the beach. The sun was going down, the ocean was to my left, and my cynical self was reminded of what dreams were made of. Sounds corny, no? Even when switching Astroland back to it’s original name of Luna Park, Shoot The Freak was replaced by a pricey tourist shop, and Applebee’s with its cruel shark tank, there’s always going to be the core gem which is Coney Island.