Thursday, January 9, 2003
Happy New Year. Even though these words are seeping into your deep gray tissue now, I am writing them on NEW YEAR''S DAY, 2003. I spent both The Eve and The Day at home with Sweet Thing, enjoying the magical serenity of sharing with each other, without the encumberment (that might not be a word) of extensive social interaction. For me, notwithstanding the odd time when I decided to go out and make an ass of myself, New Year''s Eve has either meant working in some joint trying to ensure others'' happiness, or hiding out at home avoiding the madness altogether.
I''ve logged enough New Year''s Eve trench time on both sides of the fence and rocked enough humans'' lives to have formulated a few theories (what a surprise) about the whole idea. Simply stated, don''t wait until the end of the year to drink CHAMPAGNE-it is the most interesting and delightful beverage on Earth, pairs with more foods than any other wine and is the most fun, sexy, cerebral and sensory. Don''t be a dork, pop the cork.
Usually, the big deal New Year''s Eve event that you plan to go to is hackneyed, redundant and boring, rife (I hate that word, it''s hackneyed, redundant and boring) with artificially inseminated pseudo excitement marching time to dilapidated drumbeats of disintegrating dreariness. Do things spontaneously. Allow your inner guidance system to direct you to the correct method and place of joy, regardless of how absurd it turns out to be.
Go out more often throughout the year as if it were NEW YEAR''S EVE. Don''t wait until the whole world is dressing up-do it on A TUESDAY IN FEBRUARY, or any other day of any other month. Rent a limo with a couple of couples and do the whole town on an off night-you can probably get a rate, and you''ll definitely be looked at lik e big deal, because you will be. That''s about it.
Thanks for putting up with my rantings the last two issues. I like what BOB MASSARO, owner of TERRANOVA FINE WINES in Monterey and Maestro of the MONTEREY WINE FESTIVAL told me about my column from December 26: "Well written, but much too heavy. We only have about 70 years or so in this life so just forget about it and have a good time." Except for his projection on life expectancy, I''d say he''s right on with the advice. Thanks Bob.
NEW FOR COFFEE...Here''s a little advice: Try CHOCOLATTE, down in the shopping center near the Country Club Gate in PG, the one with the Albertson''s. Sweet Thing stumbled upon it and her first impression was; "It was rich looking, a classy little place with a feeling of substance-could be a cool place. Then I looked at the menu, they have it on boards in front of you. Part of me wished like they were offering sandwiches because it looked like they would do a great job. Overall a good feel. It offers chocolates, non-alcoholic drinks-coffee drinks, teas, chai-a few desserts, but more focused on coffee and chocolates." Listen to Sweet Thing, check it out. ChocoLatte, 646-1063.
Another cute little place for coffee and homemade coffee accompaniments is BUON GIORNO BAKERY AND CAFe on Junipero between Fifth and Sixth in CARMEL. It was formerly that cute little jazz restaurant that was a bit too esoteric for this small a market. It''s a great space with an outdoor patio and a nice feel. The people are real friendly and leave you feeling relaxed and comforted, ready to face the day. Check it out, Buon Giorno, 624-0221.
MEAT AND POTATOES...The drumbeats about OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE coming to the DEL MONTE CENTER in Monterey are getting louder. I am really torn about that one since Outback is a behemoth with 780 units around the world, in addition to 120 Carabba''s Italian Grills, 16 Flemings Prime Steakhouses, 13 Bonefish Grills, 1 Lee Roy Selmon''s and 14 Roy''s (yes ROY YAMAGUCHI signed with Outback a few years back to open 150 Roys worldwide over a ten-year span). I''m afraid that the instant popularity of a place like Outback would exterminate more than a few local independents. This is gonna be an interesting winter.
-Write Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org