Until I checked Instagram this morning, I hadn’t realized that Eagle Provisions in Park Slope was shutting down. I got the news via a photo posted by Rosie Schaap, and it affected me more than the all-too-familiar “this beloved business is calling it a day” narrative generally does. I spent a whole lot of time there for a few years running: a friend of mine once lived around the corner from it, and he and I did a podcast called Radio Free Brooklyn (long since defunct, with the archives similarly gone). It involved the two of us talking music of all kinds, from odd experimental pieces to grindcore to blues records to hip-hop. It’s the reason that I can now cite Impaled Northern Moonforest in conversations, for one thing.
It also proved essential to my education in the ways of craft beer. Long story short: we’d generally split a six-pack purchased from Eagle; we tried very hard to never pick the same beer twice, and at our peak, we were recording a show every week. That was a lot of beer, but it was also a lot of good beer, which made a huge difference. I haven’t been inside Eagle in a long time: most of the folks I knew who lived nearby have since moved elsewhere. And I realize that the lament of someone over something having vanished feels potentially hypocritical when they (i.e. me) haven’t patronized said establishment in a long time. Still, though: this is less about the loss of the place than the bittersweet feelings associated with a very particular time gone by, and all that emerged from it.
The beer was pretty amazing, too.