Unfortunately, I was stupid enough to forget my camera, so I do not have awesome pictures from Katy and my adventure to Bear Mountain Oktoberfest! However, it was a very nice time, despite waking up at the butt-crack of dawn. We boarding a "cruise boat" (read: sightseeing ferry) at Pier 83 and headed up the Hudson River at 9am. It was a very enjoyable and mostly peaceful ride with a beautiful scenery of the beginnings of fall colors in New York. After two and half hours on the ferry, we docked at the foot of Bear Mountain and "hiked" up the "trail" to "the top" of the mountain. What really happened was we walked a paved foot path part way up the mountain.
Everyone kept telling us there was this steep trail to march up 15-20 minutes to the very top of the mountain that was almost closed off from being washed away in Friday's torrential rains. In reality there was a paved trail, completely free of debris, that took us 5 minutes to walk up. I do not call this a mountain trail, especially having just really hiked the Appalachian Trail. I kept hearing people say, "What a dirty trail! Look at all this dirt!" in disgusted voices and some women were wearing high heals and designer jeans with their expensive purses! All Katy and I could do was shake our heads in shame at the city folk's ignorance of what being in nature and enjoying a real Oktoberfest is all about. So sad.
However, the fest itself was wunderbar! A cute little lake park with an ovular roofed stone structure where the polka band played and the beer garden was set up. I had a bratwurst (I had forgotten what a knockwurst was and felt extreme shame and disappointment when I remembered how much more delicious the latter is) with sauerkraut and caramelized onions. Katy had some potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream and we shared a classic German potato salad. We each had two of the tremendously tasty Oktoberfest bier brewed from the famous Spaten München brewery. Oh how wonderful to taste the deliciousness of a true German beer!
We viewed some of the vendors set up around the site and I bought a new belt! I'm pretty sure the one I bought at the Army/Navy store for Gezer was snatched up by the Tel Aviv airport authority during my insane search when leaving Israel. So now I have a new replacement. :)
We also made a stunning discovery with some of the traditional German toys: They were selling "football noisemakers" that looked exactly like traditional Purim Graggers! During the Jewish holiday of Purim, Jews use "graggers" to drown out the name of Haman during the reading of the story of Esther. It was pretty crazy. It's always so interesting to me to see the similarities between Jewish/Ashkenazi customs and German customs. Another example is the potato pancake. We were served delicious kartaffelnpuffer (in German) with apple sauce and/or sour cream as a dipping option. Traditionally, latkes (Yiddish) are eaten during Hanukkah with either apple sauce or sour cream. IT'S THE SAME THING! I love seeing similarities between Jewish and non-Jewish customs.
Anyway, after a lovely afternoon of drinking, eating, and listening all things German, Katy and I returned to our abode exhausted and happy. It was a very nice day!