Some parts of this country remain completely alien to me. The way you write the date? Weird. American supermarkets? I’ll never understand them. That plastic neon yellow stuff you put on burgers and claim is ‘cheese’? No thanks.
So every now and then it’s nice to get a little taste of home. Enter… the barn dance.
Every year when I was little, the Warrens would don our dungarees (red, white and blue – fittingly – in my case) and trot to my elementary school to dosey doe around the hay bales. It was an annual tradition and always so much fun.
Last week, when Ryan found out that the Kings County Distillery was hosting a barn dance, I jumped at the chance for a taste of nostalgia.
I’d also never been to the distillery, a small building at the entrance of the Navy Yards near Dumbo. Downstairs are the distilling rooms, while upstairs bears a large, unfinished space perfect for promenades and dosey does.
Each dance was outlined by NYC Barn Dance’s Dave Harvey and lasted about 15 minutes while a four-piece country band played. Although you had to partner up, there were plenty of people there on their own.
Ryan managed to snap this video (press play!):
Sadly, none of our group ever really knew what was going on… so there was a lot of improvising and bruised toes. But it was still just as fun as I remembered.
And a perk of going to a barn dance as a grown up? The booze.
The $13 for our tickets also covered whiskey tastings. A makeshift bar served up shots of the distillery’s finest moonshine, bourbon and chocolate whiskey. My favorite was the moonshine (simply because I’m not a whiskey drinker and it was the easiest to stomach) but the chocolate one was so interesting. It had a far stronger bitter chocolate flavor than I’d anticipated.
(You can see more about their products – which make pretty nifty gifts, I reckon – here.)
Unfortunately, it didn’t make the dancing any easier, and after a few more damaged toes – and plenty more laughs – we called it a night.
Still, we were buzzing about what a great event it was – a low key night out but still good solid fun. And for me, a mini taste of the Sussex countryside.
NYC Barn Dance hosts the evenings at irregular interviews all over the place. You can check out the calendar here. The next one is at Jalopy Theatre. You can also visit the distillery for informal tours every Saturday. For more info, see their website here.