Bocce ball, classic hip hop, and Kublai Khan made the cold more tolerable this week. Snow flurries had us looking forward to crunching fresh snow but it brought on dreams of Art Basel in Miami where friends enjoyed the visuals and ridiculous nightlife by the beach.
I wouldn’t have guessed that Union Hall had two large bocce ball lanes in the middle of its main room. A bocce bar grows in Brooklyn, yo. Or that drunken bocce revelers would be so fun to people watch. My date worked himself up over a bocce girl’s outfit. “How stupid are her pants? Why would she wear black, high-waisted pants with a see-through, white shirt, I mean I don’t want to see her fat, sloppy outfit.” I thought her cleavage and black-framed glasses distracted enough from the pants but he wasn’t swayed. “I don’t want to see her boobs if she doesn’t know how to put an outfit together.”
High, tin ceilings and Depression-Era detailing made a lovely backdrop for the bocce (and outfit) battles. Downstairs two DJs on MacBooks played Kanye and MIA for hipsters who’d graduated to Park Slope. It was a great crowd with room to dance and roam the spacious old hall.
Two blocks away, Southpaw was hosting its monthly party The Rub. A long line waited it out in 25 degrees F to squeeze onto two floors of classic and fresh releases of hip hop music and dancehall. It stayed crowded until closing at 4:30am with no wallflowers, all Brooklyn and bouncing.
The NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art is doing its part to cover China as the new world empire. The Met’s Kublai Khan exhibit is a wealth of information on the myriad waves of migrant religions that shaped Buddhism during the Middle Ages. From Neo-Christian to Muslim and Hindu teachings that made their way into the Mongol mainstream, foreign influence affected everything from architecture to Buddhist ritual. A melting-pot view of Buddhism affecting history’s evolution via spiritual guidance that came down from Tibet is a lot more interesting than imagining huns and harpies as the forebears of the vast empire in the East.