|Saturday, 15 August 2009 (This is a Saturday)
Outerborough /NASS Joint Hash NASS #147
Hares: Gagin’ on the Llama and Assranger
Start: The Patriot: Church and Chambers
On In: Moonshine, somewhere in Red Hook by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel toll plaza
As the pack assembled in and outside The Patriot on a sunny, warm Saturday afternoon on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, there was a feeling of those long ago vibes of peace, love, music and whatnot. But as The Dude would say, “New shit has come to light.” Little did we know as we clogged the sidewalk and waited for Splat to give us the “directions” we would need to solve this trail that we would hear the phrase uttered “When I find that hare, I’m going to punch him in the mouth.” Yes, this particular hash turned out to be less like Woodstock and more like Altamont, or “Black Hawk Down. As it turns out, just like those Army Rangers we should have taken out night vision goggles and water. The better to see those invisible chalk marks.
Ultimately Splat elected to leave the beer- cooled comfort of The Patriot and the barmaid with huge tracts of land to give us the low-down. Three and you are on and there would be a beer check. Yeah, this was looking good. Then the news there would be on YBF# check. Huh? Yes it meant go back # number of marks to locate the true trail. Despite the late start, the temps and humidity were doing a tango into the high 80’s together, or so it seemed. In other words, hot and muggy. No real virgins, but a goodly number of first-timers to our hash, including one young Italian dude who spoke minimal English. This would not serve him well on the trail. Speaking of which, Splat checked the beads on his bracelet and pronounced it time to head out down Chambers to the east, where, he thought, the first trail mark awaited us. Off we went, and went and went. One block, no trail mark; next corner, no mark.
Back to The Patriot to check out the other directions. After many minutes of head scratching and irritation, someone found the trail. It had led to the foot of the Manhattan Bridge where the aforementioned YBF check was located. So, allowing for the initial confusion and lack of a trail marks for two blocks and the YBF, we all pretty much ended up on the true trail over the Brooklyn Bridge around the same time. Thankfully the bridge was packed with tourists and we had to r*n on the bike path over into Brooklyn., much to the delight of the cyclists. The trail resumed on Henry St. and into Carroll Gardens, where people like to take naps, because one guy screamed out that we should be quiet because “People are taking naps!!!” The trail zigged and zagged near Atlantic. We passed chalk marks for yard and stoop sales. We went past homes of napping people. Checks led to checks and more checks.
By this time we’d been out over an hour, and I felt like taking a nap, but the thought of that beer check spurred me on. Let me tell you, until you’ve popped the top of Modello on a dead end street next to the Gowanus Canal, you have not lived. And there was Assranger to see how we liked the trail. Someone (who looked an awful lot like me) bitched and moaned about the lack of marks at the start. That’s when the hare told us it was one more mile to the on-in, make sure you clean up the beer check, and was gone in a flash. The pack enjoyed the break and beverages before picking up the trail. Soon we saw a “Spoon Fed Marks” sign on the ground. Ouch! But true enough the trail (I’m guessing close to 8 miles) eventually led to the BN mark and the pack was soon inside the cool and cozy confines of the Moonshine. A great choice for an on-in. I mean their regular beer specials are reason enough to try and find this place (a bucket of PBRs for $5). So when the hash cash (a reasonable $5) ran out, we actually paid less for beer.
The hares quickly fired up a grill and got busy grillin’ out back. Hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, zucchini, and beer. Amazingly, everyone made it to the on-in, even the Italian dude who spoke almost no English. After a good long while, Splat convened the circle. I did not keep track of who was abused for what reason and how many times, but let me say the hares did multiple down-downs. Splat had his songbook open to the rarely sung pages. “I Used To Work In Chicago” was a big hit. The beer was so cheap it almost seemed like a sin (venial) to leave. The Moonshine is such a hidden gem because it is not easily accessible by any means but foot. So we either hoofed it to the F/G line, or a group of us found our way over to the Water Taxi by Ikea and enjoyed a great ride back into Manhattan.