After weeks of anticipation, I, along with most other revelers, left the Great GoogaMooga tired, hot, thirsty and slightly less hungry than when I arrived. If I haven’t adequately explained how excited I was for GoogaMooga, let me reiterate – this was supposed to be the culmination of everything I love about Brooklyn! Well-crafted, artisanal food, good music, beer, and a nice patch of green grass on which to enjoy it. Alas, this weekend missed the mark. Entirely.
Now, I know that a free food festival in Prospect Park is bound to attract a crowd. But as soon as we walked in on Saturday, we were faced with huge lines spanning across the park. Two friends left us in just twenty minutes. In order to get a beer, we first had to wait on line to get our I.D.’s checked. Then wait on another line to put cash on a “Googamoula” card. Then find our way to bar and actually buy the drinks. We asked one person how long he had been waiting, and he admitted it took one hour and forty-five minutes just to get his I.D. checked! We quickly decided that drinks were unnecessary and went in search of food.
We settled on pizza from Roberta’s. We are big fans of Roberta’s work. No one does pizza quite like her. The Margarita is a true classic. And we tried a “Bee Sting,” with mozzarella, sopressata and this amazing honey-chili sauce that totally made up for the forty-five minute wait.
We lost our final friend soon after and Charlie and I did one more lap around the festival. By 4:00 pm, I saw that some vendors were already running out of food, with another 4 hours still to go! With our thirst getting the best of us, we braved a half hour line to get a bottle of aloe-flavored water and headed for the exit. Yes, it tastes as strange as it sounds.
I wanted so much to like GoogaMooga. It has the potential to be a great festival where people can eat, drink and actually listen to the music (we never even stopped once to listen to a band since we were so preoccupied with lines!). But it was so disorganized and poorly executed that we left exhausted and disappointed.