New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

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It's Tuesday and it's hot in the city. New York City must be the hottest place on earth right now, I'm sure of it. Take that, El Azizia, Libya!

Instead of my usual observations about the nutty people I saw on the subway this morning, I'd like to let all my readers--friends and friends I haven't yet met--know about my almost-annual Midsummer Night party, to be held on Friday, June 24, at one of the world's greatest bars, Spuyten Duyvil, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Jenn and I would be delighted to see you there, starting at, let's say 8-ish, and lasting until somebody comes up with bail money.

So, before I go any further, here are some important links:

Spuyten Duyvil

Review of Spuyten Duyvil on Free Williamsburg

I can't go into too much detail here, being at work and all, but here's why I like celebrating the summer solstice, which is also known as St. John's Day, or, in Latvian, Jani (pronounced Yan Nyee).

I had always known that Midsummer Night was an important holiday to Latvians, but until I lived in Latvia (from 1992-1994) I didn't realize what a big deal it was. I believe it was 1993 when I went out to the Latvian countryside with a group of people led by my friend Karlis Freibergs, the editor-in-chief of The Baltic Observer, which was an English-language newspaper I wrote for. (He's also the son of Latvia's current president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga.)

We had a wonderful time dancing around the bonfire, drinking special Jani beer, and eating special Jani cheese. We wore oak-leaf wreathes in our hair (Ozols=Oak) and stayed up all night. Since it's the longest night of the year, the sun barely set, dipping only briefly below the horizon after 11:00 p.m.

That was a great time, but a whole lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. Now I enjoy sharing the holiday, and what I know about it, with all my New York friends. Be a Pagan for the night, and have some fun.

We will likely be enjoying the beautiful back garden at Spuyten Duyvil (you may smoke there, those who smoke), so be sure to walk all the way through to the garden. I think it's an especially appropriate bar for the holiday, because they have beers that resemble Latvian beers (cask ales and a bewildering array of Belgians and the like) as well as fine hard and soft cheeses, charcuterie, olives, "phat beets," and more.

Trust me, you will love it, and we would love to see you there.

Spuyten Duyvil is very easy to find: just take the L train to the first stop in Brooklyn, which is Bedford Avenue, walk south to Metropolitan, (street numbers getting smaller) and turn left. Walk to 359 Metropolitan Avenue. It's right across the street from Black Betty, another very cool Williamsburg bar, and a good bet for late-night mackin', for those who mack.

Better still: next door to Black Betty is a car service called Metroline where you can get a cheap and fast ride home in a Towncar. There is also access to the G train at Metropolitan, for those who get G'd up.

Now I've really got to get moving, so to reiterate:

Please join me in celebrating the Summer Solstice
Friday, June 24, 2005
8:00 p.m. until whenever
Spuyten Duyvil
Probably in the garden out back
359 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Let me know if you are coming by posting a comment. No, you don't have to register with blogger to do it.

That's it for now. We really hope to see you there.

More fun links:

Jani info

more Jani info

2 Comments:

Blogger Jenn said...

I second all that. Spuyten Duyvil is an excellent place to celebrate the start of summer (hard to believe it hasn't officially started yet). We'd love to see you there.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

Makes me wish I lived near the city. It is really difficult to find anyone down here in the bible belt that has even heard the word Pagen, let alone know any of the rites.
Enjoy the holiday.

3:23 PM  

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