Last week the owner of the Old Danceteria extended an invitation to celebrate the Oktoberfest at the Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City.
"Bring a friend. All the beer you can drink and bratwurst you can eat."
John had always been a gracious host and I decided to bring along Dirty Dave and Wasta Steve.
"New Jersey?" Dirty Dave traveled the world and the Garden State was not on his must-see list of destinations. "That's Bridge and Tunnel land."
I know." Jersey was two rivers away from the Fort Greene Observatory in Brooklyn and filled with Jerseyites. Few people from Brooklyn ever went to Jersey, but I was from Boston and John was offering us a fabulous Oktober fest.
"Free beer. Free sausages. An oom-pah band and your old boss will be happy to see you." Dirty Dave had worked for John as a doorman. They hadn't seen each other in years and I said, "It will be a good surprise for the both of you. Plus Wasta Steve will be with us."
"Okay, I'll go."
Wasta Steve needed little convincing. I had arranged seats at the opening night of this season's Saturday Night Live for his girlfriend and he was free for a Saturday night of drinking in Jersey.
That evening we met in Fort Greene and took the F train to join Dirty Dave in the West Village to complete the last leg of the journey on the PATH train from the West 9th Street.
The tunnel was warm with the last of summer. The passengers were no different than Manhattanites or the denizens of Brooklyn. We arrived at the Zeppelin Hall at 8. The bouncer waved in Dirty Dave and me, but checked Wasta Stave's ID. He was under 30. I texted John, who replied to meet him at the bar. The place was packed with clean-cut beer-drinkers. The three of us fit right in.
John joined us at the bar.
He greeted me with a hug.
Dirty Dave received a broad smile.
"What you want?" he asked Wasta Steve. John was the consummate host.
"Beer and brat." Wasta Steve was from Indian. His family was Polish. They loved the combo.
"Your wish is my command."
John served us himself.
We ate and drank to our hearts' delight.
John and Dirty Dave spoke of old times.
We left together and sped through the Holland Tunnel.
I crossed the East River on the Manhattan Bridge.
It had been a great Oktoberfest.
Even with all the bridges and tunnels.
Trinken, essen, und denn schlafen.
Ain't nothing better.