It’s embarrassing to admit, but I rarely make the teensiest of efforts to visit my buddies in Brooklyn. My stomping ground is the East Village, a land of excess in nightlife possibilities. Just when I was feeling particularly guilty about my Manhattanite laziness, news of Union Hall opening its doors just around the corner from some friends in Park Slope inspired me to go the distance. “Where were all these people drinking last week?” I asked as we edged our way in to take over a free nook lined with old sofas, bookshelves, and a fireplace. Not even a week old and the bar was packed. We ordered a round of what turned out to be generous and well-priced cocktails ($7 to $8) and surveyed the place. The upstairs library-themed space has two boccie courts, space for live music, and ample seating for both couples and groups. Along the right side of the building, the outdoor patio is removed from any street traffic on Union, a thoughtful bonus you almost never get at a bar in my nabe. Eventually I made it downstairs to the intimate basement lounge area with pleasant low lighting and taxidermy behind glass to find this room filled with even more imbibers. Something told me these folks were not adventurers from across the river as I was, here for the novelty of a new locale. Hopefully, my friends won’t get sick of me always suggesting we go out in Brooklyn.