This is the weekly feature in which I recommend the best things I did last weekend. This time I got an extra day, but mostly I spent it walking around saying, "Wow, there's so many parking spots! Look, there's like no cars, look at all those parking spots over there too!"
FOOD and DRINK: Friday night I went to Radegast Hall & Biergarden in Williamsburg--the German beer garden with a retractable roof (pictured). Or, it's supposedly retractable. It was sweltering in the beer garden half (the other half has a permanent ceiling, air conditioning, rustic tables and a sleek horseshoe bar twinkling with bottles), but they didn't retract anything. It was loud and hot. But beyond that, it was a great time. You can order your delicious German beer by the liter, and it comes in titanic glass steins that I needed both hands to lift to my mouth. Like you're in an ogre's house. There's a menu with fancier dishes, but the kielbasa, bratwurst and weiss wurst being cooked at the grill station in the back is what to get. They're all about $9, and they come with sauerkraut and either fries or slabs of bread. So good, so hot. So much sweating, so much yelling. Recommended, especially on cooler nights.
DRINK: There's no established "Brooklyn", as in the cocktail equivalent of a Manhattan, but one of the best versions I've had is at Brooklyn Social, on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens. Their Brooklyn has rye whiskey, orange brandy, bitters and an orange peel they light on fire ($9). Very, very recommended.
FOOD: I love the Vietnamese sandwich at Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches. Only $4.50. I recommend that tasty bargain. One location's in the East Village, the other on Atlantic Avenue.
TV PROGRAM: I started watching Mad Men, thanks to the hype it got in the New York Times Magazine the other week. (It's the Emmy-winning show about NYC ad men on Madison Ave in the '50s.) I've only seen three episodes, but it's not that great. I mean, it's good, and engaging, and I'll keep watching it, but it's nowhere near as good as, say, The Wire, The Sopranos, Lost or Friday Night Lights. There's no subtlety, everyone's a caricature, and they beat you over the head with it. OK, I get it, she's an unhappy housewife because making a perfect home can be boring sometimes. Too bad she's dull anyway. So, kind of recommended if you get On Demand, because all the first season's on there now.
Otherwise, this weekend was a lot of red wine and walking around, looking in amazement at all the parking spots.