Last week I ventured to New York for a trip I had long planned and looked forward to for months. Those days could not have gone more wrong, just absolutely so horrible. No sleep for sixty hours, I didn’t eat. I flew home feeling as though my insides had been ripped, shredded.  Besides the whole not sleeping, not eating extravaganza, someone I completely trusted just, wow- killed me. So, there’s that. Good times.

However, that said, this is NOT a downer blog- no, I swear! Bear with me… there’s a bit of story telling.

So, here’s this California girl- doesn’t know a soul in the city, having honestly one of the most God-awful days ever and I walk past this nice, clean establishment. I was crying at the time, no- that’s NOT poetic license, I really was in tears, when I heard the blessed strains of Metallica. I took a phone call and walked a bit more. After the call, which quite honestly just made things worse, I stopped. Where was I going? I retraced my steps to Fawkner.

Then I went in. Now, while I am a confident, strong, independent… blah, blah, blah… woman… Come on, I don’t walk into bars alone. Especially when I know NO ONE. I’m more of a safety in numbers kind of gal. I mean, let’s face it, I’m five feet tall and maybe 120 lbs  soaking wet. A sassy attitude won’t hold off the bad guys. True story. Twisting me into a pretzel won’t make most men break a sweat. Back to the safety in numbers thing…

Erika_Fawkner

It was Sunday afternoon and the place was quiet. I ordered fries and a diet coke. After a bit the bartender and I started talking… cuz I am talkative and adore interesting people. And Michael hit the interesting ticket in a big way. Lived in Oregon, transplanted to Brooklyn, great taste in music, really awesome take on the latest generation- they’re raised on cell phones, he explained (he’s not wrong). Anyhow, eventually I told him my sad tale- I know, soooo cliche, the sympathetic bartender with a heart of gold, but while we’ve all heard the story, who’s ACTUALLY met one?

Me, that’s who.

So, Michael broke out his pen and started helping me salvage my trip, recommending rock and roll spots, changing the bar’s music on Spotify to heavy metal. I switched from diet coke to red wine- he helped me pick the Nero blend from Italy. The bar began to fill up and Michael introduced me to the two nice men two stools down, Dan and Chris.  In spite of myself, without even realizing it, at some point I looked around and realized that I was happy. It even lasted a few hours.

Michael eventually got to go to home- his shift ended, but Dan and Chris stayed. When Dan left, Chris made sure I made it to my hotel. Really grateful to all three of them. Usually I would have gotten contact info, tried to sell them a book :-), taken pictures, but I was in such a bad way I never even put that together. So… Michael, Dan, and Chris wherever you all may be- THANK YOU! It was a horrible weekend, it got worse, but my time with you was a bright spot and I won’t forget you or your kindness.

Kindness- see, New York and still, kind people.

Guys, so here’s the thing. You have no idea what the people around you are going through. Everyday for all of us is an opportunity to twist the knife or really lighten the load. Who do you want to be? The one who sends someone over the edge? Or the person that brings a ray of joy into someone’s darkest day? The holidays are the toughest time for anyone facing loss or disappointment. There is a huge opportunity to be truly awesome- TAKE IT! Be what you wish the world could be. Be it.

Those of you in the Brooklyn area- Fawkner is on Smith Street. I went back the next night just for one glass of wine and Keith, that evening’s bartender, was also lovely- clearly, there’s pattern here. I need to go on some online sites and write glowing reviews, but let’s start here. Great food, nice selection of beers, tasty wines, and most important- can NOT stress this enough, most important- a great staff! Make this a destination point. They are new to Brooklyn, but clearly set on creating a community.

Kindness. I dig it.

P.S. Always follow the Metallica. And they shall lead you home.

 

To hear the song that lured me into the best bar in Brooklyn click here.

 

“Nothing Else Matters”

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No nothing else matters

Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

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