By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina
Every so often, two great ideas combine to form an even better one.
That’s what happened this past Saturday. Last fall, Vlad suggested we go to the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden for Oktoberfest. This was more than just a yen for drinking beer outdoors—Vlad is actually from the original Bohemia, and he enjoys discovering hidden flashes of the “old country” all the way here in NYC. (Another discovery is Hospoda, an eastside Czech restaurant, but that’s for another post.) Anyway, we didn’t make it last year, but the idea stayed on our list.
Bohemian Hall is in Astoria, Queens. It’s actually very near to where we live—as the crow flies. We can almost see it from our apartment. The problem is that between us and it flows the East River.
But, there is a bridge…
We paddle under it all the time. But I’ve been wanting to walk across the Triborough (now Robert F. Kennedy) Bridge for the past few months since my friend Marc mentioned it was possible. The Triborough Bridge was built for cars, with pedestrians a grudging afterthought. But is can be done—Marc lives in Astoria and regularly hikes across the bridge into Manhattan.
And looking at the map, talk about serendipity: It turns out Bohemian Hall is just a couple of blocks from the bridge’s pedestrian exit in Astoria.
What could be more perfect than a walk over the bridge culminating in a visit to the beer garden? To top it off, this weekend, for the beginning of Oktoberfest, Bohemian Hall was featuring authentic roast pig in addition to the usual sausage, sauerkraut, and beer. And the weather was absolutely perfect: A golden early-autumn day.