A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 16, 2009
Beer Summit

Winston Churchill spoke in February 1950 about a “parley at the summit.” A “summit meeting” would come to mean a high-level meeting, such as one involving the president or prime minsters of two or more countries.

On July 22, 2009, U.S. president Barack Obama answered a question at a press conference about Cambridge (MA) police sergeant James Crowley’s arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., at Gates’s home on July 16th. The police had been responding to a 911 call about a possible break-in; Gates (whose home it was) belligerently attacked the police who wanted to question him. Obama stated that the police “acted stupidly” in arresting Gates.

On July 24, 2009, Obama invited both Gates and Crowley over for beers at the White House. The “beer summit” took place on July 30th. Similar names, such as a “soda summit,” were quickly coined. In November 2009, a proposed meeting over coffee between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was dubbed a “coffee summit.”

“Beer summit” can also mean a “beer festival” where beers from around the world compete or are offered for sale. A Boston Beer Summit has taken place since 1999.


Wikipedia: Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy
On July 16, 2009, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by a local police officer responding to a 911 caller’s report of men breaking and entering the residence. The arrest initiated a series of events that unfolded under the spotlight of the international news media.

The arrest occurred just after Gates returned home to Cambridge after taking a trip to China. Gates found the front door to his home jammed shut and with the help of his driver tried to force it open. A local witness reported their activity to the police as a potential burglary in progress. Accounts regarding the ensuing confrontation differ, but Gates was arrested by the responding officer, Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley, and charged with disorderly conduct. On July 21, the charges against Gates were dropped. The arrest generated a national debate about whether or not it represented an example of racial profiling by police.

On July 22, President Barack Obama commented on the incident, criticizing the arrest and the response by the police. Law enforcement organizations and members objected to Obama’s comments and criticized his handling of the issue. In the aftermath, Obama stated that he regretted his comments exacerbated the situation, and hoped that the situation could become a “teachable moment”.

On July 24, Obama invited both parties to the White House to discuss the issue over beers, and on July 30, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden joined Crowley and Gates in a private, cordial meeting in a courtyard near the White House Rose Garden; this became known colloquially as the “Beer Summit”.

Urban Dictionary
Beer summit
July 29, 2009 Urban Word of the Day
The meeting of President Obama and any parties for which an injustice has occurred. This meeting must take place in the White House and be broadcast throughout the media.
Professor Gates and James Crowley invited to the White House for a beer summit to make amends for the misunderstanding.
by ka59 Jul 27, 2009

Beer Summit
The real Beer Summit is a beer sampling event that has been taking place in Boston since 1999. There are now 3-4 events per year, seasonally- including winter, spring, and fall shows (they take the summer off).
These events (except the OctoberFest) have 60+ brewers represented and 250+ beers. More
I’ve been going to the Beer Summit for years, it’s about time the rest of the world caught on.
by beersummit.com Jul 29, 2009

(Oxford English Dictionary)
summit, n.
The highest level, spec. with reference to politics and international relations; also ellipt. for summit conference, meeting, etc., sense 4 below.
1950 W. S. CHURCHILL in Times 15 Feb. 4/2 It is not easy to see how things could be worsened by a parley at the summit, if such a thing were possible.
1955 Newsweek 11 Apr. 44/1 Only if the Big Four Foreign Ministers reached ‘a substantial measure of agreement’ would a further conference be convened—at the summit.
1957 P. FRANK Seven Days to Never i. 33 We haven’t knuckled under, not at the Summit or anywhere else, and..the alliance stands.
1958 Listener 14 Aug. 220/2 Then came the Czestochowa raid; the decision for this must have been taken at the summit.

Boston.com
BEER SUMMIT IS NIRVANA FOR FRIENDS OF THE FOAM
Published on May 8, 2002
Author(s):  Jonathan Bloom, Globe Correspondent
Beer aficionados are in for a treat Saturday, as the second annual Boston Beer Summit convenes at The Castle in the South End. Discerning tasters can sample more than 200 beers from 50 brewers.

We’re not just talking about any old bottle of suds here. Given rumors that Sam Adams may bring its $100-per-bottle “Utopia II” beer, the event is generating quite a buzz.

Boston Beer bars
Friday, April 3, 2009
10th Annual Boston Beer Summit
It’s that time of year again; the weather is warming up, patios are beginning to open, and the Beer Summit is set to host another one of its festivals. This year marks the 10th annual Boston Beer Summit...not sure if they are doing anything special for it, but the brewer line-up looks pretty impressive so far.

ABC News
White House Beer Summit May Be on Tap Soon for President and Guests
Gates, Police Officer Expected to Meet Obama Over Beers at White House; Controversy Inspires Hope for New Conversations About Race

By ALICE GOMSTYN
July 26, 2009
As Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley prepare for beers with President Obama, some hope the toasting at the White House will be just the start of new, long-needed conversations about race in this country.

New York (NY) Times
In New York, It Takes More Than Beer to End Feuds
By MANNY FERNANDEZ
Published: July 31, 2009
It is easier, it seems, to get a Harvard professor and the police officer who arrested him to sit down for a beer at the White House than it is to get two New Yorkers to make peace at the corner bar.

In the spirit of the “beer summit,” in which a feud between the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police was smoothed out somewhat at the White House on Thursday, some notable New Yorkers were asked if they would be willing to do likewise, to try to resolve their differences with their rivals by sitting down for drinks.

Boston (MA) Herald
Culinary calendar
By Kerry J. Byrne
Friday, November 6, 2009
The Boston Beer Summit’s 2009 Harvest Fest features 200 seasonal beers from more than 50 local, domestic and international brewers; 12:30 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m.; $40. The Castle at Park Plaza, 130 Columbus Ave.; beersummit.com.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, November 16, 2009 • Permalink