Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/17/d273888569/htdocs/gvny/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php on line 210
Garden Variety New Yorker

Garden Variety New Yorker



Blogroll

Suds

Meta

Archives

Technorati Profile



Wedtoberfest 2.0 and Strawberry NieuwenWeiss

I ordered supplies for my next batches of beer.  It’s a little later than I planned to start my Oktoberfest, but it’ll still be ready when I return from the real Oktoberfest.  I tweaked the recipe slightly, hoping to improve it a little and make it a little more universally liked.

 

The second beer I’m going to make is a strawberry weissbier that I want to name for New York Mets outfield Kirk Nieuwenhuis.   I’m totally winging it on this recipe, but I think it’ll turn out pretty good.

June 6th, 2012 by Ceetar in baseball, Beer, life, Uncategorized
0 Comments  |  Read More >> 



First Mensiversary Gifts

It’s fun to celebrate marriage mensiversaries.  Rather than make note of it every year, we’ve decided to make note of it every month.   This isn’t that abnormal really, it’s just like having a regularly scheduled date night.  It’s an excuse to take time out to focus on your spouse and mark it in some way of celebration.  Nothing we do is hugely involved or deeply complicated.  We simply make a point to do something out of the ordinary or special to celebrate our marriage.  We try to do something different every month, but as the months mount it might be hard to keep that up.

 

Our first mensiversary snuck up on us pretty fast.  It’s actually what prompted us to celebrate.  I imagine noting the first month of marriage is something most couples notice, and we were no different.  Still basking in post-wedding bliss we decided it was a fun tradition to start.  Two weeks in Hawaii and Halloween being the first weekend we were back our first month was on us before we’d even really settled back to normal.  We decided to get fancy burgers from Bobby’s Burger Palace nearby in Paramus and decided the first mensiversary gift was gourmet hamburgers.

 

I’ve written about this before, but as time goes by I’m going to try to document every month’s moment.  Some are silly and some are born of convenience, but the purpose is always the same; recognize and remember our wonderful marriage.

May 22nd, 2012 by Ceetar in dinner, Food, life, marriage, mensiversary
0 Comments  |  Read More >> 



Fair Lawn Promenade Needs a Brewpub

Fair Lawn is getting something called the Fair Lawn Promenade along route 208.  This is right next to the gym, so I noticed recently when they started leveling out the ground and clearing the weeds.  It’s been empty lots for a long time.

 

The Fair Lawn Planning Board has approved the application for the “Fair Lawn Promenade,” a proposed mixed-use village on the Route 208 Northbound site of the former Kodak property.

 

My first thought: It needs a brewpub.   The signs mention retail and dining, so why not?  It profiles as a “upscale town center environment” and given the inclusion of some affordable two-bedroom apartments, it stands to reason that it will promote people just like me.  By that I mean couples in-between owning a house and graduating from college.  In my experience this is a demographic that appreciates real beer and would enjoy being able to get locally brewed beer a stone’s throw from home.

 

So why not a brewpub, preferably one with a beer garden, for us to enjoy?  There are already a bunch of apartments within walking distance, which is where I live, so it’d be a great place for a happy hour or watching a game.  It would create that nice city benefit of living within walking distance of a cool bar or restaurant while still living in the suburbs.

 

I saw brewpub even though a typical sports bar with a good beer selection would probably work too.  This particular area could use a microbrewery serving good food, because to my knowledge there isn’t one anywhere nearby.  Building from scratch could provide the ability to factor in a nice beer garden too, with long benches and trees.

 

Certainly if I had the capital to start up a business, I’d be all over this.

May 11th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, Breweries, dinner, Food, new jersey
0 Comments  |  Read More >> 



Craft Beer On Airplanes

I wrote here about catering halls being the ‘final frontier’ of craft beer.  I may have been wrong.   One such place was brought to my attention by it’s venture into craft beer; airplanes.

 

Airplanes are not typically places I’m looking to have a drink.  The pressure and altitude tends to bother me more than most, and I think alcohol would only make that worse.  Still, plenty of people like an adult beverage on a flight and it’s rare that you have any real options.  Jet Blue has changed that as they now offer Brooklyn Summer Ale aboard flights.  I think that’s awesome.  This is a change that seems to be a byproduct of the increase in canning of craft beer, and it’s a welcome one.

 

So I suggest that when you jet off to summer vacation you fly Jet Blue and have a Brooklyn Summer Ale.  The perfect way to start a trip.

May 4th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, life, travel
1 Comment  |  Read More >> 



A Sign Of Age

One sign of age is noting what teenagers these days would not get. You noticed these more and more as you get older I imagine. 

I was struck by a Met Life ad recently, in which Lucy from Peanuts suggested that insurance should be five cents to which the guy responded, not everything can be five cents.  I started to wonder if kids these days would get the reference.  Peanuts still runs in most newspapers, but who really gets newspapers anymore, and do kids read the funnies?  It seems like a timeless classic, but I was struck with the thought that it just might not be.  It wouldn’t be the first time. If you’re a teenager do you/did you get it without looking it up?  (Try “Lucy, Peanuts, five cents”) If you’ve got a teenage kid, ask them if they get it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iin3EVfN0Jc

 

April 12th, 2012 by Ceetar in life, Television and Movies, Uncategorized
1 Comment  |  Read More >> 



“Fancy” Beer for Simple Folk

A friend linked me to this article on askmen.com.   It reads like The Onion, and the tone is full of pretension that the author is trying to attribute to craft beer, but it’s presumably a serious post.  The author misses the days when beer was simple, bland, and cold.  He yearns for the days of simple working class people getting together over a couple of beers, and simply drinking them.  It amuses me that he goes on and on about working class beer but goes out of his way to use ‘fancy’ words like emetics, gullet and twee.

 

It’s an okay sentiment, if one I don’t agree with, to enjoy, even prefer, a beverage that is quaffable,  a cheap hobby, and gets you to that tipsy and relaxed state that many people enjoy whether from beer, wine, or cocktail.   What’s not okay is to suggest that his preference is both the real way to enjoy beer, and that it’s secretly what I want as well.  The idea that craft beer drinkers are hipsters drinking the beer solely to make a statement and stand out is not a new one, but it’s been steadily disproven with the growing market of not only craft beer, but of homebrewing.  There are lots of people out there making strange tasting beers in their own basements and consuming them themselves with no regard to what’s popular or trendy.  Many people have different taste buds, and enjoy the different tastes beer offers beyond a vaguely malty cold beverage.  One of the great things about beer is how many different types there are.

 

The writer of this article, one Patrick Smith, makes himself out to be the archetypal character in a marketing commercial.  He admits to being influenced by beer commercials well before being of legal age, he repeats the common marketed point of beer being better as cold as possible,and  he recites commercial taglines and insinuates that he believes them that it makes him cool to drink those beers.   Personally I think he’s stuck in a 1970s view of what’s manly.  I think, and maybe we’re not all keen with the labels in today’s society,  the typical manly man in today’s world is different than it was then, and they drink craft beer, but that’s a discussion that deserves it’s own post.

 

The more I think about it, what Mr. Smith is really missing is a time when he could be a “functional alcoholic” and be praised as a man for it.  Luckily we’ve progressed to a point where we recognize the desire to drink heavily after work, at ballgames, as a child, or at every gathering of men as symptoms of alcoholism.

 

March 16th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, Breweries, Uncategorized
3 Comments  |  Read More >> 



‘Upstate’ Noun May Be Confusing

I grew up on Long Island.  We often refer to Upstate when talking about anywhere from Buffalo to Plattsburg and in-between.  The southern border varies, as many people don’t consider the counties just north of the Bronx as Upstate.  Geographically, just about every location in New York is upstate from where I grew up on the south shore of Long Island.

 

I still use the term, but just recently it dawned on me that it’s not quite clear now that I live in New Jersey, and in the north part of the state at that.  Much like referring to Manhattan as “The City” can be confusing depending on location and context, referring to “Upstate” when you’re less than 10 miles from the northern border of your state doesn’t make a lot of sense.  For the first time when referring to the Finger Lakes area of New York, I had to use the phrase “Upstate New York” to clarify.  I was referring to the herd of white deer I used to see occasionally off route 96 between Seneca and Cayuga lake when travelling between Ithaca and Buffalo.

 

Do people in South Jersey ever refer to the northern parts of the state as Upstate?

March 6th, 2012 by Ceetar in long island, new jersey, new york
5 Comments  |  Read More >> 



The Worst Cirque Du Soleil Show Ever

Skip This ShowI foolishly bought tickets to Cirque Du Soleil’s Criss Angel Believe while in Las Vegas without reading any reviews.  I figured that the floor value of a Cirque show was going to be decent and that it would pair very nicely with magic and Criss Angel.

 

I was wrong.

 

First the stuff that didn’t belong at all; the crude and predictable poop jokes.   I can appreciate a good poop joke as much as the next guy when it’s appropriate, but that’s not what I was looking for in Believe.  The jokes themselves weren’t even clever, they were typical Beavis and Butthead “haha, #2..ahaha” stuff.

 

I suspect this was probably intended as some kind of comic relief in between illusion, but the acts were so bland and commonplace that it left you unfulfilled.  To follow that up with a crude joke is not entertainment.  Most of Angel’s tricks were the same stuff you can see in virtually any magic act on (or off) the Strip.  Whether that’s creating birds from air, predicting three things the audience is going to say on a piece of paper supposedly locked up before hand, or sawing someone in half.

 

If you’re thinking the show could’ve been saved by some high-flying Cirque Du Soleil acrobatic stunts, don’t hold your breath.  There was virtually none, and very little of what there was was above and beyond the theatrics you get in a normal magician’s act.  There are a couple of explosions/flashy effects and a monster or two that for some reason Criss Angel and company needs to fight.  That’s basically the extent of the Cirque involvement.

 

To make it worse Criss Angel spent a good amount of the eighty minutes promoting his own products.  He gave away a magic kit, he boasted about one of his Youtube videos, showed off his motorcycles, showed clips of Mindfreak and even begged the audience to tweet at him.   All in all it was a pretty disappointing show; take a hint and see Penn & Teller.

February 27th, 2012 by Ceetar in life
3 Comments  |  Read More >> 



Heightened Senses

Lately I’ve noticed that some of my senses seem to be heightened.  Not super-powers heightened (Not yet anyway, crossing my fingers there) but just picking up on things I normally don’t notice.  Specifically my sense of smell has picked up.  I’m now noticing the scents around me much clearer than I used to whether it’s a steeping cup of tea, or the aroma of my dinner.

 

I’m also seemingly noticing colors more sharply too.  I especially noticed this during Christmas, when the Christmas lights just seemed to be brighter and crisper.   I’m pretty sure my eyesight hasn’t actually gotten better, especially since over the past year I’ve noticed one or two of those random black floaters in my vision occasionally.

 

Hearing is another sense that I’m noticing has changed.  Particularly that I’m picking up on more nuance within things.  This can be as simple as a whirl of a print spool in the background, or background percussion on a music track.

 

Taste is the easy one.  Most peoples taste buds change, and I heard somewhere every seven or so years is common.  I’ve definitely gone from a very very picky eater as a kid to pretty much being able to find enjoyable food in just about any setting.

 

As I was not bitten by a radioactive spider or operated on by Dr. Strange, something else must be happening.  My theory is that it’s the experience of age giving me a broader appreciation of the world around me.  It’s not so much that I’ve gotten super powers, but that I appreciate the nuance and know to look for it.  I know there’s nice background tracks in good songs, that the overall color scheme and constrast in Christmas lights makes an enjoyable display.  I recognize and identify more scents as being specific to something else I enjoy, such as a cup of tea.   I take note of that scent, and that information, and use it to further my enjoyment rather than letting it passively go in one nostril and out the other so to speak.  Enough positive reinforcement in my brain associated with a smell, or a sound or image, makes me take a more active notice of that sense and think “Hey, I like this.”

February 3rd, 2012 by Ceetar in Food, life, Uncategorized
3 Comments  |  Read More >> 



Session Beers the new Craze? Brewing a Blonde

It seems session beers are becoming the newest craze in craft/home brewing.  Beers low in alcohol and less intense than imperial oatmeal stouts aged in alcohol barrels provide the ability to sit and enjoy a couple of beers without them hitting you like a ton of bricks.

 

My last beer was the tasty, but still toasty and dark, MADhouse Coco-Nutz.  So this time I’m going light, and making a Mexican Blonde.  it’ll be a simple blonde ale with blue agave syrup and Mt. Hood hops. It should be ready just in time for baseball season.

January 23rd, 2012 by Ceetar in baseball, Beer
0 Comments  |  Read More >> 



« Older Entries

Newer Entries »