Rockin' the Long Beach City!
I love it when there is absolutely NO parking in town...
Sunday night brought more Labor Day Weekend hijinks as Methodical and I headed out to infamous Long Beach to catch up with his cousin Jeff, who has been renting a house there. A block party was mentioned as well as shags so we figured it would make for a good time.
Before I continue, a brief word on Long Beach...
Long Beach, NY was "the" seaside tourist attraction and upscale summer community before there was an Atlantic City, NJ or the Hamptons as we know it. So we're talking a place where grandpa and grandma went to for the summer from NYC to soak up the sun, play shuffle board, swim by day and pressed their luck at the casino, attended black tie parties by night. Basically, Long Beach had its "hayday" during the 50s and 60s. Long Beach has been made famous in many films more notably City By The Sea (starring Robert DeNiro) and The Godfather Part I (starring Al Pacino). During the 80s and 90s Long Beach saw a decline in both tourism and socio-economic appeal and this brought in crime, drugs, prostitution, you name it. Much of the old town "Pier" and boardwalk is a ghost town a la City By The Sea. It is now a place where the upper class and lower class are forced to co-mingle. Honestly, during the winter you wouldn't really want to hang around LBC, although during the summer there is fun to be had as the city fills up with visiting transients creating the scene.
In the last five to ten years Long Beach has been experiencing a quiet upswing spurred by the ridiculously booming real estate market of Long Island. Construction of multi-million dollar vacation homes has not ceased polka-dotting the landscape of predominantly pre-WWII vacation/converted year-round homes. With this recent insurgence of money into the city, the community has remained tight knit and remarkably clique-ish.
Things seem to take on a care free, spur of the moment feel when you are there at night. As soon as we arrived there was a house full of people all getting ready to kick off the evening with shots of Tequila. Yes, even though I have been off the sauce, I did have one shot. It was smooth but it didn't really do anything to loosen me up. I got loosened up once I was around some shags. Jeff had hooked up with a very cute girl earlier in the week and she came out that night to party with a friend from Manhattan. While Jeff's hook up was rather funny, bubbly and engaging, her friend was a real dry fish. Both Methodical and I tried to be a wingman for Jeff but to no avail. Amazingly, I managed about twenty minutes of conversation with them which reduced itself quickly to Jeff's hook up and myself talking while her friend looked around disinterested. Oh well, dose are da breaks! Jeff fell victim to a CBB. Happens to the best of us. LOL
After hitting a block party, then a house party we then set out to Minnesota's to break the monotony a bit. Minnesota's was dead! The only thing going on was a small private party and a bunch of sausage watching the Yankees-Oakland game. So of course, Methodical and I stop and watch the tail end of the game (Yankees won, YES!) and promptly head back to find Jeff. When we arrived at Jeff's crib we saw he was getting ready to "Knights." Not knowing what Kinghts was we were like "sure thing, dude!" Once we got there we realized what the place was.
"Knights" was the City of Long Beach's Knights of Columbus's Hall and Bar. But by the time we showed up there were no old dudes left just other 30-somethings chilling out and enjoying the cheap beer prices. Some a little too much, like these dudes:
Meet John Deere Man (center) and Paul (snuck in on right). These guys are your local LBCers. Blue collar guys make up the majority of the local cliques if you are not party of the trendier rich set. These guys were cool. I couldn't get too much out of John Deere Man because he was full of hops by the time we met, but Paul and I chatterboxed about the Knights of Columbus organization, the bar, Mets farm system and life. Paul was a pitcher in the Mets farm system until he suffered an eye socket injury that ended his career as a ball player. Paul is an actual member of the Knights of Columbus in LBC (as was my late Grandfather) so we had lots to talk about and in common. It was a funny end to the evening as we hung out at Knights and chatterboxed with all sorts of locals.
John Deere Man's catch phrases of the night: "You guys are fags, man! Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa! Shit." "You wanna bud, man?" "Where's Hollywood?!?" Note: Hollywood refers to a person we met that night.
Paul's catch phrase of the evening: "Man, the bank won't give me any more credit!" "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs and LOVIN' it, man!"
Far out, dude. You buying this round? Excellent. ;)