Today marks the first (of many, I hope) McLean Avenue Fall Festival. McLean Avenue runs along the Yonkers/Bronx border, and forms (along with Katonah Avenue in the Bronx) the main commercial drag of Woodlawn, a Bronx neighborhood that has "spilled over" to Southeast Yonkers. The two roads are, to put it waggishly, the "tavern district"- I live within reasonable walking distance of a dozen pubs. An old friend of mine from high school, a third generation local business owner (and the most solid of solid guys- still married to his high school sweetheart, employs a lot of neighborhood high-school and college kids), is one of the organizers of the event.
The City of Y______ is closing down McLean Avenue, and there will be two stages for live bands. A couple of local radio stations (including my favorite local commercial station) will be broadcasting. Heineken, which has its U.S. headquarters in nearby White Plains, NY, is a corporate sponsor (it's not my beer of choice by a long shot, but if some nubile lass dressed as a little Dutch girl wants to give me free Heiney's for promotional considerations, I won't say no).
I've worked a graveyard shift, but you can bet your sweet bippie that I'll be at the festival, even if I have to nap on a bench. I figure I'll iron my ears for a bit before hitting the festival, have a couple of beers, sample some of the culinary delights offered by the local eateries, shake my ass a bit, then get my sleep on before working the graveyard again. I want to see this event succeed, because I love, love, love being able to have a beer in the great outdoors when the sun is bright in the sky.
UPDATE: The street festival was a great success. The beer was flowing, the bands delivered the goods, and the local merchants were out in force. The local liquor store was giving out free samples of Jameson's whisky. The local restaurants were in high gear- I sampled some pork chicharrones and a pastellito from a new Dominican restaurant, and had a Scotch egg from the local butcher shop. What's not to like? My old friend who was involved in the organization of the event mentioned that this was "halfway to St Patrick's Day" and there was an effort to move the parade from the road by city hall to the main commercial strip in the "tavern district". Hopefully, this movement will have "legs", there are no pubs near the route of the official St Patrick's Day parade, so the attendees have to drive across town to socialize afterwards. It makes sense to move the parade (of course I'd say that- I live a five minute walk from the Avenue). Here's the unofficial theme song of the neighborhood: