So we mark the end of a rather interesting summer with a whirlwind Labor Day Weekend.  What I thought would be a laid-back quiet holiday weekend with empty streets turned out to be a bustling affair, filled with all types of unusual activity...

FRIDAY NIGHT started out interestingly enough.  We hosted a Cancer Walk fundraiser for a waitress who works at Jackson Hole Restaurant next door.  The fundraiser was your typical affair, where you made a donation at the door, which entitled you to reduced-priced drink specials during the event.  This particular fundraiser had a different twist, however, in that we brought back MIKE the BINGO STUD from retirement to host Beer Bingo (a special request from the event hostess).  Everyone seemed to get into that and it helped put the fundraiser over the top.

By the time the fundraiser ended, the bar had picked up considerably and we found ourselves pretty busy- much busier than I expected for a holiday Friday.  And to add to the equation,  there was a TV show filming outside of our bar ("A Gifted Man"), which brought about a lot of foot traffic from curious onlookers as well as the occasional Teamsters crew members looking to do a quick drink in-between setting up scenes.  And if that wasn't enough, we started to see zombies returning from some day-long Electronica concert on Randall's Island- something called "The Electronic Zoo" or something like that.  So the sight of Teamsters members carrying around film equipment while stepping over passed out concert goers made for an interesting sight.   Definitely an "interesting" mix of people.

If that wasn't enough to get the night going, we also got a surprise visit from tennis pro JAMES BLAKE and his infamous J-BLOCK posse.  He usually pays us a visit during the US Open, usually after he loses a match.  It's the same M.O. each time they visit: The group walks in and immediately make their way towards the back of the bar.  He's usually in a sullen mood, having just lost his match (understandably so), so they'll hang out for a few cocktails, and by then, the loss is forgotten;  He's in a much better mood and the rest of the night becomes party, party, pants off, dance off.  Good times.

James Blake (blue cap) chatting up with a member of the J-Block Posse... 

By the time I left the bar, the place was abuzz with shiny, happy people, all having a good time.  I left early because I had to be back VERY EARLY the next morning to oversee some "work" that was being done at the bar (try 6am).  That kicked off what would be a very, very long......

SATURDAY, a day that had its own share of interesting moments.  After overseeing the project that started out very early in the A.M., I still had to open the bar for business.  So, working on very little sleep, I relied on the talents of Mr. Dunkin and his coffee to get me through.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting much by way of business, with the weather being so nice and it being the last "summer weekend".  But once again, I found myself being pleasantly surprised with what I got.

For starters, it was the official start of the college football season, so there were a lot of games on tap and lots of fans felling pumped up to watch their teams play.  That brought in some bodies.  Then we also got some folks heading to that damn Electric Zoo concert at Randall's Island in for a few pops (apparently there was a ferry running every few minutes from a pier a couple of blocks from the bar, which explained all of the strangely dressed folks walking by).  There were a couple of girls in particular who were at the bar waiting for friends to go to the concert with.  They didn't look like the multitude of freaks that were going to the concert- these chicks were actually pretty hot.  They were also very nice and fun to talk to, which helped pass the time away before the night shift crew arrived.

As we shifted to the nighttime portion of the evening, like Friday, the night got off to a slow start.  I began to think that this was finally the slow night I was expecting to see for the holiday weekend.  But once again, I found myself pleasantly surprised as the bar got busy, with an eclectic mix of tourists, concert freaks and locals looking to get out of the humid air.  And once again, we ended up with a fun night with no problems. By the end of the night, I found myself exhausted and feeling the beginning stages of a cold, which is something I didn't want.  I had plans on attending the Brazilian Day Festival and the last thing I needed was to be sick.  So while we ended the night on a higher-than-expected note...

SUNDAY brought me back down to earth as I woke up to a nasty cold complete with the scratchy throat.  I was bummed but determined to hit the Brazilian Day Festival, however, once I made my way outside, I got as far as the corner of the block when I realized this wasn't going to happen.  It was hot, muggy and I felt light-headed, so my Sunday was spent in bed, blazing a trail through DVR'd episodes of "Mad Men".

LABOR DAY finally brought the laid-back relaxed day I expected to see throughout the weekend.  And to be honest, I'm fine with that.  While there are folks here checking out the Miami/Maryland football game (and someone PLEASE explain to me what the deal is with the Maryland uniforms??), it's definitely a much more relaxed affair than what we experienced all weekend.  And a fitting way to call the Summer of 2011 a wrap.


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