and so begins a series of entries pertaining to that which is uniquely brooklyn. on the eve of a federal holiday honouring trade unions and grilled meat, i boarded a plane to one of the nation’s first capitals to reunite with a long-lost friend and close the chapter to a summer of rebuilding. i’d been to new york a couple of times before, but never with a local, much less a beautiful and talented food/lifestyle journalist whom i last saw over ten years ago…oh the possibilities! first things first, a stop at the clover club, gq’s #4 stronghold, for a relaxing, air-conditioned beverage (did i mention it was sweltering after a long trek around the borough?) my misogynistic viewpoints of female bartenders were tested here, and once again, i’d have to say that i wasn’t really convinced otherwise, but maybe because we were parked in a booth rather than the bar (let’s just blame it on the proximity quality quotient). when i asked for bartender’s choice with gin, i got a negroni….somewhat uninspiring for such a wide leeway, and a namesake ingredient much less. at least the crisps lifted my spirits, potato chips tossed in duck fat with a truffled crème fraîche. ahhh, brooklyn, brooklyn, take me in.