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17th Annual BRT (Brooklyn Reality Tour) Saturday June 11, 2016

17th Annual BRT (Brooklyn Reality Tour) Saturday June 11, 2016

Old Jan 7, 2016, 1:18 pm
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17th Annual BRT (Brooklyn Reality Tour) Saturday June 11, 2016

Announcement > TravelBloggerBuzz is sponsoring the L&B pizza dinner stop. He's buying all the pizza you can eat.
Thank you George. http://travelbloggerbuzz.com/

Seats are available.

Notes from last year...

The catchphrase of BRT this year was Janice, write it down. It started as a joke. Since I changed BRT this year, I planned a rough schedule for the day. I started with departure, then added the first stop, the second stop, and on and on. I also had to plan the day to be back at 46th street by 10:00. That meant I had to back things out. ie L&B for pizza at 6:00, the Promenade no later than 8:30.

To begin:

The bus was 15 minutes late. Our driver was Flo. That was a new first for us. She wasn't always paying attention, but then half of her mistakes were due to the tour guide giving her last minute instructions.
There was some traffic on 2nd Ave, but in spite of that, we arrived at Smorgasburg at 11:15 vs 11:00. Sort of on time, since she arrive late.

Everyone enjoyed the 45 minute stop last year, so I decided to make this a 90 minute lunch stop. It was one of those sunny, hot LA summer days. Strong sun. Some started back to the bus at 75 minutes.

From here we headed to Green-Wood Cemetery. We were denied entry since we were a tour. Oh well. I briefly talked about the cemetery. A few took photos of the entrance, and CMK managed to take a few additional pictures. Believe it or not, we were on time when we left. The denied entry saved 30 minutes.

We moved on to the Verrazano Bridge. We got off the bus for 10 minutes to view the bridge, and The Narrows (entry to NY Harbor ((Harbour)).

I kept telling Janice to write it down, referring to arrival/departure times. I wanted to review this to see how it matched up with my schedule, and revise plans for next year.

We headed to the Boardwalk in Coney Island. I usually herd riders, but this time I told them to be back on the bus in 45 minutes. When I finally made it to the Boardwalk, I saw just 2 regulars hanging out. Where'dya all go? Nathan's for a hot dog aka frank.

The Cyclone was closed. We saw that it was stuck, and the newspaper reported that on Sunday. From Coney Island, we headed to Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. As we drove along Brighton Beach Ave. Paula (a friend of Janice and Dan) was telling us about her mom and dads grocery store. It was her first visit back to the old neighborhood in 40 years. She would later send me an e mail that the tour brought a tear to her eye.

We headed to the Old Dutch Reformed Church, then onto my boyhood home.
A trip through Crown Heights, before heading to Starbucks (bathroom was closed for renovation) in the cool/hip Park Slope neighborhood.

We backtracked to L&B for pizza, then the bakery. We departed at 7:30 to arrive at the promenade at 8:00. The plan was to see Manhattan from the Brooklyn side at twilight. That's something we've never done. The lit up buildings at night are breathtaking. While this wasn't experienced due to timing, we had an unintended consequence >>> a brilliant sunset.

As we walked back to the bus, jackal aka www.autoslash.com greeted us with 2 pizzas from the very famous, and #1 pizza place in Brooklyn Di Fara's.
This was the Moment of BRT 16. Every tour has its moment.

We headed back to the city and arrived at 9:45pm.

Nice seeing the oldtimers again, including the 3 years in a row dinoscool3, mom, and dad.

Nice meeting the 6 new screen names too!! Can I expect to see you next year?

Last edited by dhammer53; May 2, 2016 at 11:37 am
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 1:18 pm
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Will you be joining in the fun? Seats are available.

So far: 20

CMK10 +1
boxo +1
dinoscool3 + 2
Mrp Alert

Paid = Bolded


GW McLintock
jrl767 +1

Last edited by dhammer53; Jun 4, 2016 at 5:17 am
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 1:19 pm
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Place saver.
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 1:23 pm
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Link to the 2015 BRT > http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/commu...13-2015-a.html
================================================== ================================================== =

17th Annual Brooklyn Reality Tour (BRT) June 11, 2016

Pick up location: Write it down

234 East 46 street. It's the same location as previous tours. This is between Second and Third Avenue on the east side. It's just down the block from Sparks Steakhouse.

Arrive 9:30 - 9:45. Doors close at 10:00. Departure immediately following.

I'll be PM'ing you my cell phone number prior to the tour. Rest assured that I will not be calling you if you're late. If you are running late, I'll give you directions to our first stop. Its happened before, and it will happen again. I did leave Catman, one of my oldest dearest FT friends, behind.

You'll need cash for pizza at L&B + bakery goodies + lunch at http://www.smorgasburg.com/ < extended lunch here, overlooking the eastside of midtown Manhattan.

Theme: 1968 meets 2016.

Theme: We're going to antie up some money to the Captain Jason Dahl Foundation. http://dahlfund.org/ Details to follow. This will be our 6th year. N.B. I finally met Catain Denny. He was very appreciative of our support. He told me our contribution is making a difference.

The first 16 Brooklyn Tours were sellouts. BRT 4 - 7 I rented an airport type shuttle van. Several years ago, we had a 50 passenger coach bus. We split the cost. This year, the cost will be $85 per person. The bus company raised the rates (again). A portion of your fee goes to the Captain Jason Dahl Foundation.

Paypal, or you can mail me a check to reserve your seat today. Please PM me for my e mail address.

FYI, Catman will once again host the SoupDo on Friday night. Soup Do 13: Friday June 10, 2016.

We'll have WineDo 9 on Sunday evening. I'll post a new thread when I have time.

Pick up 10:00 Saturday morning in the Grand Central Terminal neighborhood. Drop-off at 10:00pm. We have a tradition of departing ontime.

Besides touring Brooklyn (my home town), we eat, and eat, and eat. Can you say 'real' Brooklyn pizza? Can you say 'delicious' bakery goodies? Just ask any of the folks who have been on this tour. We drive. We tour. We eat.

If you're new to Flyertalk, the tour is a great way to make new friends.
At the end of the BRT tours 2 - 16, we went for dinner at an authentic Italian place in an authentic Italian neighborhood. Lots of jewelry showing. < part of this information is dated, but you get the idea.

Our pizza stop will set up back about $6.00 or ~5.49 euros, or ~4.11 GBP, or $8.57 AUD, or $8.45 CAD as of 7 January 2015.

The lunch/dinner will be open to everyone. If you're not on the Tour, you'll have to take the subway to the restaurant. It's about 40 minutes and $2.50 one way. Several years ago, we had a few hitch-hikers on the van back to Manhattan. Dinner will be at L&B Spumoni Gardens. http://www.spumonigardens.com/our-story

Start planning now. Springtime in New York is beautiful. Consider yourself invited.

If you've been on the tour before and want to go again, please sign up. Repeat riders welcomed and encouraged. There is no waitlist. Several riders are regulars. Thinking about bringing a friend or relative? No problem. Bring them.

Past tour highlights include:

2001...poor AnnaS having a cold.
2002...Lisamcgu making us stop for White castle hamburgers.
2003...mjm insisting on a Starbucks break. After I stopped laughing at him for thinking that Brooklyn would even have a Starbucks... we found one.
2004...gorging on food at marysunshine's house...and this was a snack!
2005...cawhite knocking on the door of my childhood home; while I ducked for cover. It was a priceless moment. Details towards the last page of the 2005 thread. Also, a Tony Soprano type sitting at the bar added some extra flavor to our experience.
2006...Our van squeezing past a doubleparked car on a side street. You can just imagine the typical Brooklyn swearing. Also, the tour getting its 15 minutes of fame on Cable television News 12 Brooklyn. Check it out http://news12.com/BK/topstories/article?id=175940# use name: dhammer53ft, password: flyertalk (may not work).
2007... When cawhites 'friend' Larry (the guy who always sits at the bar), checked us out!
2008... "I had no intention of stopping at my childhood home. As we approached, I told the driver to slow down, then stop. Seems the front door was wide open. I took this as a sign from above. I stopped the bus.
A couple of years back, cawhite knocked on the door. I ducked for cover. This year I was apprehensive as I approached. When I told the woman that she bought the house from my Mom, she said in typical Brooklyn fashion whats her name? When I responded, she had a big smile for me.
This may have been the moment on BRT 8. Every year, there's always one moment that's noteworthy".

2009... We were filmed throughout the day for a documentary. Maybe it'll even come out one of these days.
2011... the bus went MX (mechanical). 90 minute delay.
2012... Teena, from Teenas Bakery isn't exactly know for being customer friendly.

BRT 12 brought 24 customers to the store. Many of them bought black and white cookies (famous in New York City), rugelah, and lots of other assorted delicious bakery goodies. I think all she had available for sale was 6 black and whites. That wasn't enough for this crowd. After we were finished, we were hanging around outside enjoying our purchase. Teena comes running out yelling, DAN. I turn around and she tells me that next year I should call in advance and warn her that we're coming, so she can have enough black and whites ready. (Note) - Teena's closed on January 1, 2013.

BRT 13 cawhite had her picture taken with Larry at Fiorentinos.
2014 Democracy in Action.

So what's the moment in 2014? It's got to be the democratic vote we took on the bus after dinner. I told everyone we had a couple of choices, but limited time. Juniors took 2 1/2 hours vs the planned 2 hours I budgeted. That screwed up the schedule.

2015 , jackal who is www.autoslash.com brough 2 pizzas from the famous Fi fara's pizza in Brooklyn. You can google them. I wish that I could bring the tour here, but it's a small place, and 78 year old Dom makes pies on Dom time.


We rotate seats on the bus. Seat 1A is reserved for a couple of long time attendees (yes, that means you).
We make plenty of stops.

No talking miles and points when I'm (ahem) lecturing on Brooklyn.

It takes a certain type of person to put up with other Flyertalkers for an entire day. If you're looking for an excuse to visit NY (Brooklyn) in June, the dhammer53 Brooklyn Reality Tour is it.

Please post below if you're interested.

If you're interested in coming along, I need you to pm me your:

-Handle and real name.
-Hotel you're staying at, when available.
-Cell #

The 2014 thread here... 15th Annual BRT (Brooklyn Reality Tour) June 14, 2014

Note to new riders... I would suggest reading the 2015 thread in the OP to get a peak at what you can expect.

What's not included: Lunch, dinner, bakery goodies.
Other than that, your share is all-in.

No refunds, since we share the cost of the bus. If you can't make it, I'll try to find a replacement.

Backstory... the Brooklyn Reality Tour was named by our dear friend magic111 after he rode on BRT 1. Jim watches over us every year from 1A in the sky.

Are you in?

Last edited by dhammer53; May 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by dhammer53
... Are you in?
Yes! I'm in ...
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by dhammer53
Are you in?
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 3:08 pm
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You can put us down as a maybe for a 4th year in a row.

I'll be home from school so it should work out, depending on where I'm working for the summer.
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Old Jan 7, 2016, 4:33 pm
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I'm in with a +1 (working on a +2)

It's been too long!
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Old Jan 8, 2016, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by serfty
Yes! I'm in ...
Couldn't wait right.

Disclaimer - If for some reason the tour doesn't reach critical mass (enough to fill the 25 passenger van), I'll rent a 7 passenger vehicle). So, don't book your tickets to NYC unless you're confirmed. All of the above are confirmed.

Looking forward to seeing you guys again. Paypal information to follow next month.

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Old Jan 8, 2016, 11:23 am
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woo! put me down as a maybe again
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Old Jan 9, 2016, 12:49 am
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I'll probably be there.

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to do any in-person research on Green-Wood Cemetery, and I don't know if I will.
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Old Jan 9, 2016, 8:32 am
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I'll be there. It's six weeks from the bar exam but if I remember my math:

BRT > Bar Prep
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Old Jan 9, 2016, 7:27 pm
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Paws crossed for this one, too, usual deal, I'll come along if
not sold out.
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Old Jan 10, 2016, 12:59 pm
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FlyerBeek and +1 are in for the BRT and WineDo 9.0!

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Old Jan 10, 2016, 1:34 pm
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Count me in...

Looks like great fun, I'd like to join the group. Booked a flight and will send my detail by PM to our host...
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