Thoughts on the 2006 Kentucky Derby:
1) I absolutely loved seeing Barbaro, a deserving horse if there ever was one, win the Derby. This colt is six for six in his lifetime, and his dominating 6 1/2 length win shows what a pro he really is. Plus, I had him across the board...He'll probably take the Preakness in two weeks and then who knows what will happen with the Belmont, the grueling 1 1/2 mile race that has taken out Triple Crown contenders for 4 of the past 5 years.
2) Derby parties are goddamn fun. I can't believe I was thinking about cancelling MY personal favorite Calyer Street tradition (beyond 36-hour fires, that is). I had a great cross-section of enthusiastic yet horse-ignorant friends getting into Derby, including the annual casualties of unwise folk becoming disasters on WAY too many juleps. Derby always means getting drunk and sober about three times over Derby Day, for them juleps sneak up and try to kill you. Remember, nothing says Derby like stumbling drunks and fake Irish accents! The special guest appearance of "Pat from Ohio" for the weekend added to the fun (and a cleaner house).
UPDATE 5/25/06: These photos of the warehouses that caught on fire, and their interiors, at the Greenpoint Terminal Market are pretty great.