Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Czech yourself before you wreck yourself

Two nights ago I had a dream that a foul-smelling homeless woman I saw in the Port Authority Bus Terminal crashed my family's tractor into our next-door-neighbor's car. My family has no tractor.

This is my brain.

Another blog post so soon after the previous? Has he lost his mind?

Clearly, I have. Also, the sad truth of it is that I have 8 pages to write for a class I'm taking on Monday, and this blog has become a way of procrastinating on that.

Did I say procrastinate? I meant warm-up exercise...

And so I decided to write a little summary of a fantastic place with much history that is within staggering distance of the Troll-house of myself and Oach.

The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria, NY (a warning, their website appears to be several decades old).

Go ahead, Google it or Bing it if you like. Yes, I said Bing it. No way that's going to catch on. I recommend people use Bing for its superior video search, but there's no competing with googlemaps for your real world needs.

Anyway, many of the recent online reviews of the Garden are getting to be rather lukewarm, and deservedly so. For some reason they've tried to implement table service, which (big breath)


I love you, Beer Garden, I really do. But relationships are built on honesty, and you need to hear this.

In the same league:

I told you, Brady. Never getting tired.

Anyway, the waiter service at the beer garden is the pits. The absolute worst. The very nature of the Beer Garden is chaotic, with people grabbing tables willy-nilly and shuffling about. Throwing a handful of waiters and busboys that don't speak English is not going to be an improvement.

Basically it took all the charm of the beer garden, and added cold food and insanely long waits.

"any sign of those curly fries?"

That being said, why the Hell would you go to a Beer Garden in search of something to eat?

Here's a few shots of a visit:

Oach: I give it thumbs down because of the slow waitresses!
Rev: I give it thumbs up, because I know they can't possibly outrun me!

We're smiling because we haven't started playing pitch yet.

For those of you not from Central New York, wikipedia has this to say:

Pitch (also known as Setback) is a card game played with a standard 52-card deck. It is a popular variation of All fours (also known as High-Low Jack) which may be played by three to seven players. Pitch involves bidding and trick-taking, and may include betting or gambling. There are many variations of Pitch. Most variations use slightly different scoring systems, allow teams, or make other changes. Variants seem to develop regionally, and their merits are hotly contested by players.

Basically one of my favorite card games. I once won several hundred Kool-Aid points off of Honus in a pitch game. Used them to buy a Kool-Aid man kite that remains one of my prized possessions.

Another fun card game is Circle of Death. Oach and I were playing once at the Beer Garden when we were both temporarily unemployed. One of us started the category "Episodes of What I Like About You."

%2522what i like about you%2522 cast Pictures, Images and Photos

Due to our uncanny ability to remember horrible television and the fact that we had nothing better to do every day at 3:00 than watch Amanda Bynes, we kept that category going for well over an hour.

Is there a German word for shameful boasting?

Anyway, here's a shot of the general atmosphere at the Beer Garden:

You may accuse me of poor photography, but this is exactly how I remember most evenings there.

Astoria's Czech Beer Garden: Come for the Beer, Stay Because That Girl You Thought Was Your Waitress Hasn't Been Back for an Hour, and She Made You Give Her Your Debit Card As Collateral.

catchy, huh?

The rest of you, if you take one thing away from this entire blog, let it be this: just drink the beer, which you get yourself from the bar, for the love of God.

A recent story comes to mind. The saga of the Dugan.

The first pleasant weekend of the year, Oach, myself and Oach's brother Ryan (of Songcamp fame) went out to enjoy the nice weather and drink outside.

This we did successfully. We decided to eat there as well, much to our chagrin. Several pitchers of cold beer and three plates of colder dinner later, we began growing restless.

So Pop quiz, hotshot:

What are three handsome, slightly inebriated men-about-town going to do?

Good guess if you said "watch the movie Speed and drink every time Keanu Reeves looks confused."

However, top scores and bonus points go to those of you who said "Wander to the Staples across 31st street and purchase a large piece of office furniture that requires assembly."

Bonus points because you would have to be really familiar with the Beer Garden and Astoria surrounding it, and also because you are clearly insane and possibly dangerous.


So after several minutes of trying out chairs and vigorous (read: loud) debate, I wandered off to find some rubber bands. Not finding any that were sufficiently "big ass," I found my way back to the furniture section.

Oach and Ryan had narrowed the field considerably. An argument ensued with Ryan promoting the high level of comfort of one model, and myself extolling the virtues of a more practical model in which one could do work without falling asleep.

In the end we chose neither of those, and Oach became the proud owner of a Dugan.

Comfort and Professionalism.

The new adventure was to get this monstrosity back to the Troll House [editor's note - this may confuse some of you. The apartment is under a bridge.]

Lacking any sort of wheels, with or without an engine attached, we had to carry the beast. Oach lugged the back part of it the entire way, which is fair, as it belonged to him. Ryan and I switched off carrying the front end until it was decided that we needed more beer and I was sent on a side quest.

"Hey, how's it going? I'm supposed to retrieve ye olde 12 Pack, so... I guess I just leave my gold pieces on the ground, then?"

Much swearing, sprinting and making of change later, the Dugan was safe at home. Next came the assembly.

Oh dear.

Confusion and Rage!

"More beer will help me romance this Dugan."

Here's one of Ryan and I watching Oach assemble the chair.


And now I know my apartment is haunted.

Damnation, this is way worse than dreams of crazy homeless women. Unless the ghost is causing the dreams.

Off to find an exorcist,


P.S. You'll be pleased to know that, once assembled, the Dugan is both professional and comfortable.


  1. Who the F is that knight in chainmail? The idea of him getting impatient over curly fries is hilarious. Everyone I work with now thinks i am insane for laughing out loud for apparently no reason. Good post.


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