Archives For Brooklyn

It was a Sunday Funday for the books.

First stop: The World’s Most Famous Arena. I’ve been to countless Knicks games, Syracuse University basketball matchups, concerts and press opportunities at Madison Square Garden. But from my earliest visit (1998, WWE Summerslam) to this weekend, I had never attended a Rangers game.

On Friday night, I knew that was going to change as soon as I mentioned to my friend who is from Pittsburgh that the Penguins were playing the Blueshirts in Sunday matinee matchup. We purchased two tickets in 308 about 40 minutes before the puck dropped, and I raced down to MSG.

Section 308 is in an area that The Garden calls “The Lounges.” It’s like a suite, built for groups with inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages, but it isn’t enclosed by walls. It’s on the same level as the equally-new Chase Bridge and offers a nice view of the rink. We were behind the net that the Pens shot on twice, so we had a nice vantage point as Sidney Crosby banged home an empty-netter to seal a 5-3 victory for the bad guys.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


The assorted sandwiches and couple Bloody Marys did not slow me down; I headed back uptown, fit in a 4 mile run in Central Park and hopped back on StubHub. The Nets were home in Brooklyn against the Milwaukee Bucks. I really don’t care for either team but two former Syracuse stars, Tyler Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams, play on the Bucks. Not to mention, despite the countless events I have attended at Barclays Center including the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and a New York Islanders game, I had never been to see the Nets!

That changed as well.

My buddy and I scored lower sideline tickets for this game but what really stood out besides our nice view and the padded seats were the extra amenities. As part of our ticket, we had access to the “Happy Half-Hour,” which commences an hour before tip-off and wraps up 30 minutes before game time.


The special? Free domestic beer and wine in the Honda Club. Deal!

Our tickets also included a special pre-game buffet on the suite level and an all-access pass to the food vendors: we could buy anything we wanted from any stand. The cashier simply scanned our ticket and it was free.

Brooklyn played a good game but Barclays Center played a better host. The Nets fell to the Bucks; to be honest, I was a bit too full to notice.

A weird combination of events led to a string of nights out for me. In perhaps the most evident sign that a good time was had: the amount of photos I have from the weekend is scarce. But regardless, here are a few with context.

So when I signed off the air on Friday night, I headed to the East Village. There is a bar there that I’ve been wanting to have a drink at called Kelly’s. The pub positions itself as a “hockey bar” and specifically as a drinking establishment that supports the Buffalo Bills and Sabres along with the Chicago Bulls and Cubs.

Interesting mix, but I didn’t ask questions. The deep fryers stay on late, the Labatt Blue Light is cold and the Sabres were on a west coast trip – meaning the game didn’t start until 10:30p p.m.


Of course I showed up to support my team, and they even won! A great time along with a few chicken wings were had, and I’m looking forward to returning soon. Afterwards, I bounced around the East Village with a friend before making my way back uptown with a pit-stop at a go-to of mine, Jimmy’s Corner. It’s a dive bar in Times Square and it is fantastic.

It also wouldn’t be the last time I visited that spot over the weekend, although I did finally get to meet THE Jimmy.

On Saturday I made a rare appearance in Brooklyn. I ate thai food in Williamsburg with my old college roommate who I hadn’t seen in forever and his girlfriend who I hadn’t seen period. They have dated now for about two-and-a-half years but due to a number of circumstances, namely travel and schedule, I didn’t meet her until Saturday. She was lovely and it was great to catch up with both of them.

Then I literally walked around the corner from the restaurant to a house party my friend was having for her birthday. The plan? Stay for an hour or so, then head back to the East Village because the Sabres were still on the west coast.

What actually happened? I hailed a cab home around 4 a.m.

Sunday I made my way back to Brooklyn (who am I at this point?) to grab dinner with the birthday girl. We ate at this cozy little spot in Brooklyn Heights called Armando’s; the place has been around since the 20’s and Marilyn Monroe and some of the Dodgers were known to hang out there. We left the restaurant just as the Academy Awards were starting; the fine folks at OK! TV invited us to their viewing party in midtown at Refinery Rooftop, so we obliged.


That is the second and final picture that made its way to the Internet from my weekend. Although after the party I did have yet another opportunity to snap a picture in Jimmy’s Corner, but taking pictures in dive bars usually isn’t my style.