Bottled Up

I spent a few more days with my brother and various family until it was time for him to fly back to base last sunday, now beer and travel was on my mind. I was dropped off at the train the night before in New Canaan headed to NYC, I waived goodbye to my family which included my brother.

Once in the city I hopped a subway and landed in Astoria where I walked directly to a bar called Sunswick, already there were the two girls I'd met in the very spot a couple weeks before, several others showed up shortly after. I paid for an good but overpriced beer and nursed it, I watched the Chargers beat the Colts in overtime.

The girls wondered about the possible fame of two guys sitting next to us, I wondered why. I talked with someone else about her journey in life, she liked travel and philosophy, at this point she was trying to infiltrate the yuppy scene to better understand it, successfully doing so with some law firm type job and weekly trips to the opera, her smile gently stretched from the past to the future. 

The rest of the week went as an Astoria week goes, a beer here, a shot of this or that, a trip to starbucks, even a couple beers at Doyles. In the midst of it I managed to lose the cord for my phone needed to charge it, and have since been without a working phone.

On Wednesday we made a run downtown to the beer spot and picked up a good selection, Alex met us there and picked out a few bottles as well, our stomachs were packed to the brim due to the classic Shake Shack trip beforehand, Double Shack burgers, cheese fries, and a concrete jungle. Mark, Sean and Carl played an open mic night at Waltz in Astoria that night along with a handful of other friends, the show went well, it was Carl's first time playing live. Tequila fell from shot glasses the rest of the night until my eyes were the only ones left open.

In the morning I awoke with beer on my mind, the day had come to bottle our brew. We'd sanitized the bottles the night before, we'd saved up about 50. We mixed our fermented beer with priming sugar and siphoned it into the bottles, tasting some along the way. Now there's 8 six-packs of our beer, plus a tequila bottle full, that'll be ready to drink in about 2 weeks.

Carl made great burgers and we relaxed, Alex came up eventually and we finished tasting what was left from our beer run, good IPAs and a few great dark beers, the two best of the night were the Unearthly IPA and Left Hand's Milk Stout. I grabbed my bag and with a last sip of Milk Stout and a handful of "see ya laters" I was out the door at 7pm on the nose looking to catch a 7:37 out of Grand Central.

The first subway passed just before I got to the station, waited for the next, then transferred at 59th and Lex and waited for the next subway, hopped it, the clock on the train said 7:34, once it stopped I was left me with about 2 minutes to get up from the subway platform to Grand Central to figure out what track to get to and get on the train, I made it up all the steps, down the lower steps to track 102A and on the train with bonus seconds to bask in.

A couple hours later I was at my folks place in Connecticut, my mom heated up an uneaten steak for me and put it on the table, the dog got to it while I was grabbing a beer from the garage so I went with a sandwich instead. After playing some Wii with my little brother I fell out and slept all night.

This morning I woke up easy and took a look at the route that I'm taking today, an easy 120 mile jump over to Rhode Island by thumb along I-95. Kayla lives there, I would have hitched back to NYC with her from Denver if not for a snowboarding accident she had a few days before the planned departure, she busted up her collar bone. I may have a cord for my phone now because of a Verizon discount and a mother who wants her son to be in telephonic reach. Depending on the flow of the next go I may opt to head north towards Portland, Maine with possible stops in Providence and Boston, but I'm counting on being in NYC again in a couple weeks in time for the popping of our home brew bottles. Cheers!