There are few ways for the recently affianced to have a relevant and enriching stroll around Brooklyn, especially when the Sunday in question houses the Fifth Avenue Fair. It's probably fairer to call it the Fifth Avenue Fairs, with one for the gentrified slopers, the dads with ironic t-shirtage, and the curious purchasers of Thai street gristle, which lasts from Sterling to Third Street, and the other, Third to 16th, section, which had the silly string, counterfeit sheets and kebabs enlivening the sidewalk.
It was when emerging from the more earnest end of the fair that we stumbled upon the Grand Prospect Hall. Actually, stumbled upon is a tad disingenuous a way to put it, since we've been trying to check the Hall out for a while, but wanted to find the right opportunity. Once we had heard that the Hall was designed by the same chap as the Audubon Boathouse in Prospect Park, we had to take a gander.
So we are clad for an amble around the Slope in rather muggy weather, with Cutesome being somewhat more elegantly robed. But we shuffle up to the front entrance nonetheless, to be confronted by the most enormous shiny-faced yet healthy-looking Eastern European we have seen in a while. The humble drive kicked in, and we were inches away from fleeing, when we were waved inside, to be greeted by what we suppose was the owner, Michael Halkias, who briefly showed us around the first flooor.
The man's pretty up on his hiphop culture, saying that Eve and Foxy Brown were among the people that had used the Hall as a location. We just stared at him blankly, good little crackers that we are. But the Oak Room will be a servicable replacement now that the Plaza's Oak Room no longer exists, and the whole place has a faintly seedy, yet not unpleasant, air.
There was an old speakeasy bar, and a bunch of strangely hued baroque gildings, and plenty of flunkies. We're still not sure whether Mr. Halkias was a genuinely nice guy and talks to everyone (the voluminous press cuttings suggest so), or whether he scented that we were thinking of Event Planning, and Entertainment, and Ballroom Dancing, and Laughing Children. Whatever the reason, we will be back to rock the bar very soon. Just probably not on a nuptial tip.