One of my sons asked me the other day who drinks more beer, the Irish or the Germans. Being the product of a German mother and an Irish father makes me an authority in his eyes, I suppose. My best answer was it depends what month of the year it is – and October belongs to the Germans.
Yesterday was the 4th annual North Albany Oktoberfest which is an awesome block party orchestrated by Matt Baumgartner and an array of participants and volunteers. It was my first time attending (I worked Saturdays for years and was unavailable for carousing at noon) and I absolutely loved the scene! There was a constant stream of bands, games that involved diverse skills such as goal scoring and boot drinking, entertainers, a variety of traditional German foods and dirndls and lederhosen. Oh – and dachshund races! Ya vol!
I generally identify as more Irish than German, but place me at an event like this and I get all “danke” and “bitte” as the long forgotten language of my childhood floats around in my brain on a puddle of beer. My German efficiency reared its kopf during my volunteer shift as I placed wristbands on attendees, snapped photos for the Times Union SEEN gallery* and managed to sample some bier from Wolff’s, all while trying to stay reasonably warm and dry on a windy and damp October day. With the promise of a hot bath in a clean tub to follow, I managed to rise to the challenge and I am so glad I was able to be a klein part of a super fun day.
A couple of random observations from my afternoon…
- That wheat beer that Matt gave me was deliciously strong. One was definitely the right number for me.
- The Mac and cheese from Wolff’s was kick ass good. Perfect to warm a body up on a rather dank day.
- Matt’s new enterprise, Sciortino’s Pizzeria, looks awesome! The diner is sparkling clean and filled with
personal, family touches. I’m sure the Browns are thrilled to see their former space treated with such care and
attention. And the tomato pie and chocolate cake looks crazy good!
- The crowd was upbeat, fun and self controlled – a great combination of characteristics for any large event.
- The Irish and Germans must be equally smart to have both chosen 31 day long months to celebrate their
* My photos are mixed in with another freelancer’s, Diana Hawkins.