'TIS THE SEASON...
Thursday, December 27, 2001
Boy do I suffer during the holidays. It''s tough enough, living day to day, trying to narrow the endless desert between my thoughts about life as conceivable and life as it exists. At Christmas time, when idealistic thinking and behavior is more socially acceptable and almost encouraged, the battle within my soul threatens to tear me apart.
On the one hand I embrace the untamed, naïve, wild and pure thoughts of equality, fairness and kindness for everyone. And love. On the other, I defend against the marauding forces of cold rationalization and rewarding of abominable, immoral, loveless behavior by leaders throughout our communities and world.
My only consolation now and always is the hope that the life-force requires opposite and equal energies to exist, and that life will always equalize itself regardless of humans'' continued attempts at destabilizing it.
I think I might be skipping the New Year''s merriment this year and opting instead for a more somber celebration, one more in line with our current social conditions.
SUMMER IN WINTER...One place that is taking the bull by the horns and attempting to inject some life into life is Indian Summer, behind the Doubletree Hotel in Monterey. Blessed with the nicest patio around, Himanshu and Pritti Sharma, owners of the restaurant, have instituted an aggressive campaign to turn the patio into a happening cocktail-and-appetizer scene.
Himanshu worked up a really exciting appetizer and cocktail menu that features the best of all worlds. Items like Eggplant Dip with Naan Strips, Chicken Tikka Quesadilla, Tandoori Chicken Wings, Vegetable Samosas and Masala Peanuts are just a handful of the imaginative and sense-stimulating snacks The Patio at Indian Summer will be serving to go along with a complete and varied cocktail menu. It''s about time someone elevated the hackneyed appetizer lists that appear everywhere and added a little flair to them.
In addition, The Patio at Indian Summer will feature more upscale music outside to complement its traditional Indian music inside the restaurant. Now you have a really fascinating choice to either hang out on The Patio for cocktails, upbeat music and apps or bop inside for a beautiful Indian dinner in an authentic atmosphere.
Also, The Patio will be offering all kinds of specials everyday (it''s open Tuesday through Sunday) including adjusted drink pricing and music request nights. Plus, hospitality industry employees and students will receive discounts every day.
LOOKING FOR MR. GOOD BAR...As long as I''m on the subject of improved places to hang out, have a couple of drinks, some snacks, and enjoy some decent, varied music at good volume, let me say that I haven''t really found such place yet. Obviously, The Patio may be on the way. Other than that, most cocktail bars almost get it on some aspects, always falling short of creating the proper ambiance for adults who like to go out and enjoy themselves.
I was recently speaking to two of our local US Postal Service mail carriers, Lydia Kucharen and Kim Jenott. I happened to run into them at Knuckles, the sports bar at The Hyatt, while watching a few football games.
The conversation somehow turned to places to go and they both lamented the lack of anyplace to go in Pacific Grove. Said Kim, "there are people in their 40s who would like to have a place to go for piano music or jazz, kind of like a Mission Ranch in PG." Lydia added, "where do you go, what do you do...we''re too young for the Thunderbird Singles."
Sweet Thing and I did happen upon The Safari Club, which is the bar inside the Bay Park Hotel on the corner near Del Monte Center as you come off the ramp from Route 1 North. It''s got a cute little bar, a bunch of comfortable cocktail tables, a big screen TV, free snacks every day at cocktail hour, a sharp, happening bar chick in Patsi, and a world of potential. With some decent tunes or maybe a good jukebox, it could be a hot spot. Happy New Year.
-Raymond Napolitano (firstname.lastname@example.org)