Could this be beer heaven?

We crawl through Hells Kitchen and down restaurant row. Although its cold outside, it’s not cold enough for us to see our breath. The glow of Christmas lights outside the boutique restaurants gives a sense of comfort, despite the holiday having gone. Onward, march.

Approaching 10th avenue there isn’t too much around except a vast Hess Station on the corner of 45th street. Taking up nearly a whole block, this immeasurable vicinity sticks out as awkwardly as your grandmother at a gay cabaret. But there is another defining characteristic to this street corner, The Pony Bar.

Stouts, hefeweizen, IPA…hops upon hops upon hops! Glorious days, I think to myself, this has to be the best place on earth. What makes this place so unique is that it serves only craft brews from across the US. That means you may try a Belgian ale or a delicious German wheat but its going to be grown domestically.

I feel like I’m on Family Feud when I scan the large board taking up the back wall behind the bar. Each listing depicts the brewery, beer, and alcohol content (ABV). No need to mention price because they’re all only $5. Try and find another steel like that in Manhattan. I dare ya.

I’m intrigued by the breweries and curious to learn more. Where is Goose Island and what’s their speciality? How about Sly Fox? I’m seeing a theme here that many brewers choose names from animals, uhum, Dog Fish Head.

I take notice of the clock on the wall. It’s permanently stalled at 4:20. I find it no coincidence then that their happy hour which earns patrons $1 off all drafts runs from 4:20-5:20 daily. I approach the bartender and ask for one of their large score sheets. This allows me to keep track of each beer I drink and give it a rating. Once I hit 100 I get a free t-shirt. Clearly obtaining this goal is my latest priority.

I now spend my days daydreaming about the next time I will be able to stop in the Pony Bar, grab a seat at one of their large picnic tables, and dabble with the thought of which beer will catch my fancy. For starters, I cannot get that Cappuccino Stout out of my mind!

New Years Eve in midtown Manhattan?

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. Year 3 in New York City. Makes me question myself and my whereabouts every time I contemplate how long I’ve been here.

Year 1: House party in Murray Hill. Ice luge, check. Penthouse, check. A bunch of people I know, check. A bunch a people I don’t want to know, check. Midnight tolls. I’m confused. I don’t like it much and wonder, although surrounded by those I love, kinda like, and want to hate, and do hate – is this forthcoming of a new year worth my efforts?

Year 2: Same penthouse. No ice luge. Same group of people I love. New group of people I hate. Still wonder why I’m here. Not satisfied with my only, or at least only semi-viable option being a replay of last year, only worse. I end up at a diner five minutes past the stroke of midnight. It’s empty. Service is slow. What can you expect? I’d hate me too if I had to serve burnt grilled cheese on New Years Eve in Midtown.

Year 3: I’m opting for something different. Can I truly leave New York without doing an all-inclusive open bar in midtown for too much of my hard earned money? I mean, I only drink beer so $135 open bar for a bunch of, well at least I hope something a bit tastier than Coors Lite drafts, but lets be serious folks, shitty drinks while wearing a fru fui outfit, mask, and a bitter cold on the
roof top – apparently a view of the fireworks, to freeze my ass of and shiver like there’s no tomorrow – is worth it.

I envision walking in, seeing a dark-haired and blue-eyed man give me “the look”. I’m still not even sure if I know what that means. They hand me my free bottle of champagne. A big guy, a magnum of the good stuff. Not the shitty mini bar type that is most likely what I’m going to get. So yea, I’ve got my sexy sequined skirt on. I even went the ten-fold to curly my hair. Still deciding if I’m in the mood to manipulate my toes in a “I’m ready to walk on the side-walk in my stockings” kind of heels, or just opt for the sneakers kind of mood, but we’ll see.

The forecast calls for snow, rain, and sleet. 28 degrees farenheit. Awesome.

Least to say, I have to do it once. Pay a shitload of money to stand in line. Hide out next to the entrance where the waiters exit to serve the handful of h’ourderves not sufficient enough to satisfy an over-filled bar. Drink my moneys worth of beer; not in the least that I could have gotten for $15 at my local, where I’m pretty sure the clientel will be a bit more my speed and can have a conversation other than Brittany or Tiger’s latest shananagins.

So wish me luck folks! I’m off to celebrate New Years Eve in Midtown! Oh boy!