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UPDATE: August 27, 2014: Subway Inn wins another stay of eviction. Maybe they will find a stone big enough? More updates to follow!

 

The Subway Inn; dive bar, landmark, home of the $6 draft, is closing.

Maybe I’m too hasty. The last word isn’t out yet. But there are some David and Goliath fights where it’s impossible for David to find a stone big enough to bring Goliath down. And the fight between a New York City real estate developer and a tenant is one of those.

Bummer.

The Subway Inn brings people of all stripes together. Regulars mix with tourists who mix with 20-somethings looking for a bargain. Stepping across the threshold turns strangers into friends.

My friends gathered there. We showed up late night and early evening (though I never made it at 10:00 AM when the bar opens) and after a formal function or two. I remember my flouncy, blue velvet dress against a red upholstered booth, rhinestone earrings glittering in the bar light and waiters in white coats bringing bottled beer and stepping out-of-the-way when a good song got us up dancing.

And the story-telling was excellent. A regular, tucked into the bar was happy to make room for me and tell me about his days delivering beer. He once dropped a keg right through the floor of the Subway Inn. He meant to heave it on the bar but the keg skidded by the bar top, gained momentum and crashed through the bar floor to lodge its edge in the actual subway platform below. He said it took years for the city to make a repair so “6 Train” riders had to step over the dent as they got on and off the train.

The Subway Inn is a time capsule. It appears as if nothing has changed since the bar opened in 1937. Not a single speck of dust has been disturbed in 77 years and now a wrecking ball is going to take care of clean-up.

Change is inevitable and often hard. Even when we’ll be better off for it, change can throw us off. The thing is, there’s no part of me – not even a teensy part, which can see how this will make New York City a better, more vibrant or more interesting place to live. And what’s happening to the Subway Inn is happening to independent shops all over the city. Landlords can get higher rent from chain stores and earn more money if they raze the old and replace it with luxury living opportunities.

If big names like Bobby Flay can’t win the rent wars (Mesa Grill is closed) what chance do the little guys have? Pearl Paint, after 50 years, is gone. Bowlmor, the oldest alley in the city and where I celebrated my 30th birthday, is closed as are all the businesses in that building. Luxury condos are moving in.

Union Square Café, a Danny Meyer restaurant, is on its way out and Chat ‘N Chew, where my friends and I have done exactly as the name requests, is gone. (There are more, lots more. Don’t even get me started on the book stores and newsstands. If you’re interested, check out Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, which chronicles the goings around town.)

The Subway Inn and independent places like it, make the fabric of New York City. They might not always contribute the finest thread to the tapestry but they’re the part of the pattern that makes you look twice. They’re the zing of interest, the beat of the street, the thing that makes you smile even if you don’t quite know why.

And they’re melting away as rent inflates and we march toward the sameness of big chain stores, banks, luxury buildings and super high-end restaurants with menus and prices that all look the same.

We are bleaching the tapestry of the city. We are turning New York beige.

I need a great drink and food to make myself feel better. Unfortunately, The Marrow (Bank St, NYC) didn’t sooth my nerves. Instead, my visit reinforced my worry that newer isn’t better.

A fair and balanced review requires several visits so let me admit straight off: My review will never be fair and balanced. My snarky tone could be the result of low blood sugar since the staff cleared and tossed my full plate before I could eat my fill and my request to wrap it fell on deaf ears. The Marrow might make the best pork chop in the entire world but I will never, ever know.

The margarita was “juicy” and out of balance. But it was a hot day so the citrus and ice was refreshing and Vitamin C is a good thing – keeps scurvy at bay.

Some advice if you decide to go: First, eat fast and don’t be afraid to slap any hand that makes a grab for your plate. And second, plan your outfit around the wallpaper. Yes, I said wallpaper. It’s so busy, it clashed with patron’s shirts. Between the fussy walls and beat up floors and booths, the vibe at The Marrow is confusing – something between eating at Versailles or in your Grandfather’s basement in Queens. 

Not beige but still a bummer.

Refreshing Scurvy Cure at The Marrow

Refreshing “Juicy” Scurvy Cure (Margarita) at The Marrow

 

 

 

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Yes, it’s true, I went to see Les Misérables this past weekend. While I was watching the show, I dreamed it was forty minutes shorter. But besides dreaming of a longer attention span, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about dreams and why some are achievable and some seem out of reach.

In 6th Grade, my friends and I volunteered to clean the attic over our friend Kristin’s parent’s garage so we could have a clubhouse. We pushed and swallowed years of dust to carve out a meeting space. As much as an attic can, it sparkled when we finished.

We never met.

I don’t recall why we needed a clubhouse. Maybe Kristin’s parents just wanted their garage cleaned and knew they could trick us into doing it. Or maybe we had a mission in mind but doomed ourselves with lack of planning. But for whatever reason, we dreamt small and didn’t make it.

That same year, my 6th Grade class went on a trip to Washington D.C. and Gettysburg. I remember very little of the trip except for a light up board to illustrate troop movement during the battle of Gettysburg and a night in a hotel room signing choir songs in four-part harmony with my roommates. The light up board was educational. The singing was magical.

My spirit soared with the high notes; our bond grew with the harmony. We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” like no four tweens in a hotel room ever had. I saw big things in our future (including solos for me but I was willing to share the spotlight). Next stop: Carnegie Hall. All we had to do is practice, practice, practice.

I was still dreaming BIG the next day, until a doubter brought me down. We arrived home and as we lumbered off the bus, a classmate sniped something like, “Hey, I hear you’re going on tour.”  A friend, our soprano, jumped to my defense! She said I didn’t mean it. She said everyone knows the idea of a singing group is just a joke.

I felt stripped bare, as if I’d ridden the bus home naked and everyone noticed the moment I stepped on the sidewalk. And, I thought, I wasn’t joking.

Before I let this story tug too hard on your heart, you need to know I have precious little musical aptitude. Years of piano lessons yielded one single, shaky performance of “Cockles And Muscles” and I hated every moment of practice. I didn’t go to a performing arts school and I wasn’t paying my dues in sweat or dancing my feet to bloody stumps. I doubt my friends had begun to consider their future and I’ve learned that it’s often easier to doubt than believe.

Around the same time my singing career crashed and burned on the sidewalk, I also wanted to be a hairdresser, a Supreme Court Justice, a dancer, an actor, a teacher and a large animal vet. Those are just the ones I remember.

The hairdresser dream came out of a day at the public pool. I styled my friend Tracy’s hair during the car ride home and Tracy’s mom said it looked so good that she didn’t want her to wash the chlorine out since doing so would ruin her do. Had scissors been in play that day, her mother would have taken a very different tone.

Dreams, it seems, are tricky business.

One magic moment can set your dream machine in motion and one harsh word can break it apart.

So how do parents know how to nurture children’s dreams? And how do dreamers know which dreams to follow and which to let go?

I’m mentoring a 14-year old girl and I see that she, like most 14-year-old kids, has trouble looking past the next big moment. She likes to dance. She wants to be a pediatrician but she doesn’t like science and she doesn’t intend to live away from her parents even for a second.  I think back to some of my dreams and what became of them and I wonder how I can influence my mentee to dream well and dream BIG.

I’ve noticed that practice often trumps natural ability. I overcame middle to poor athletic ability to be a starter on my high school soccer team and score a soccer scholarship to college. I did that even though I’m likely to trip over a crack in the sidewalk and I often don’t know my right from my left. But sports were a constant in my life and I was willing to put in the work to be a part of it. I was willing to pay my dues in sweat.

I want my mentee to know that dreams are in her grasp and maybe she can tell the fake ones from the real ones by deciding which she is willing to work for. The things she loves enough and has enough drive to sweat for might be the real deal.  And if she is willing to open it up to the light of day, make her intention clear and let people know what her dream is, then she is brave and wonderful and on the right path.

So I’m proud of her because she decided she wants to play volleyball so she goes to open gym after school to practice so she can try out for the team next year. She gets mad at herself when she makes a bad play and that makes her want to practice more. The dream to play volleyball was laying right in front of her. She picked it up and she’s going for it.

I’m grateful to her for reminding me of lessons long forgotten.

I have a dream that I sweat for on occasion. I pick it up and put it down. I take it for a walk in the sunshine and then drop it back in the closet. But it’s been with me my whole life. Even when I abandon it, it doesn’t leave me. And unlike the dream of being a singing star, I can practice, practice, practice and make this one come true.

I dream the dream of writing a novel. It is my intention to get it done. I also dream the dream of getting this novel published. That one is a little less in my control but I’m going for that too. I’ll keep you posted.

If you’re dreaming of good food, drink and fun, please check out The Lion (NYC).  The Lion made lots of dreams come true when I went with The Independent Panel of Judges for an extended brunch. Everything was perfect – including that they forgot to put chicken in the Chicken Pot Pie. When we told the waiter we expected Chicken Pot Pie to have chicken in it, he pointed out that we were at a restaurant called The Lion and there aren’t any lions…. He then dreamed a dream that he could make us forget the kitchen’s “oops.”  He did an excellent job.

Please go and when you do, try the Chicken Pot Pie. I’m not joking. Even chicken-less, it was pretty good.

And if you dream of margaritas – order one! It was tasty and they don’t skimp on the tequila!

Margarita at The Lion. They didn't forget the tequila!

Margarita at The Lion. They didn’t forget the tequila!

 

 

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There are a billion reasons to travel.

I won’t list all billion here because my blog is not the cause of anyone’s eyestrain! I want you to use your eyes for very important things – like booking a trip to Iceland. Pronto!

Really.

Iceland is the kind of place that imagination and research can’t do justice. When I read up on Iceland, I learned the Gulf Stream moderates the temperature so the island’s northern location doesn’t mean sub-zero misery. But I had no clue what it was like to spend an afternoon in a sun-hail-rain-snow-sun-storm. I didn’t know that going up a few feet, really just a few feet, could change the world from dry to snow-covered and stormy. Without making the trip, I wouldn’t have learned that the weather is changeable and brutal and beautiful and works to form not only the character of the landscape but of the people.  As we walked the streets of Reykjavik, sun smiling on our faces and hail biting our cheeks, our guide told us that “… Iceland doesn’t have weather, it has examples of weather.”  He also told us that there isn’t any bad weather, just bad clothing. (My damp, loose weave wool mittens that begged the wind and rain to turn my hands blue proved his point.)

These people can really roll with change … except when they can’t.

If you live in Iceland, 50% of the calories you consume are imported.  That must take some planning. While the geo-thermal power is impressive and gives heat and electricity to the majority of the country, it doesn’t make it cheaper or easier to buy a car or a camera or any of the other goods and services that come cheap and easy to someone living someplace other than Iceland. Lots more planning!

So go to Iceland! Expect the people to be lovely and happy to see you. And expect a quick “No” if you ask for something that strays outside the norm. (In our case, it was a late-night bottle of wine in the hotel bar and the need for a detour around a snow-closed road that caused a reflexive “No” but we worked it out.)

And when you’re there, order a margarita (or two). You’ll enjoy them because the food and cocktail scene in Reykjavik is alive and well.  Eat a lot of lamb and fish and absolutely have dinner at Dill and Grill Market (both in Reykjavik). Dill has a tasting menu with wine paring and is an experience you’ll never forget. Grill Market has amazing food served in a very cool space. I had “Red Fish.” It was described as a very ugly, angry fish that can make you sick if you come in contact with it while it’s alive. But they promised me that when they cook it, they get the ugly out and it’s delicious. And it was.

If only we had another few nights in Iceland I feel sure we’d have seen the one thing we missed: Northern Lights. For now, I have to settle for pictures on the Internet. But I feel pretty sure I’ll be back someday so I have another chance.

Thanks for reading – If you go, you should also expect to be blown away by the landscape. I hope you enjoy my pictures!

 

I think what I liked best is that the people seem to have their priorities straight!

And they have a sense of humor! Reykjavik is full of street and public art.

And the landscape is like nothing you’ve ever seen.

And finally, one of my favorite signs ever!

Do you think Iceland is used to dealing with silly tourists?

Do you think Iceland is used to dealing with silly tourists?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I joined because everyone is doing it.

And when I say “everyone” I mean over 600,000,000 people have signed on to Twitter.  On average, 58 million tweets are sent each day – that’s about 9,100/second. (Data Source)

That means about 8% of the world’s population is on Twitter and they’re very, very busy tweeting.  

I was still a doubter.  140 characters to get a message across, counting spaces, is a recipe for confusion or at least bad grammar.  I’m more of a long form communication kind of girl.  I couldn’t imagine what I’d tweet or how I’d fit tweeting into my day.  But it was time.  My job demands some social media ability.  And, as you all know, I am a world-famous margarita drinker with lots of things to say and 600,000,000 people can’t have it all wrong….

My Twitter take-off was rough. 

Sometimes I’d come up with what seemed to me, an award-winning tweet and it would fall flat.  Or, better yet, I’d simply forget to tweet it.  Maybe I’d get one good tweet out and then forget to log on for a month.  I quickly figured out that you have to either Tweet something that people wish they’d said or give them information they need but I couldn’t seem to do either.

And then I made a few Twitter friends.

@WarrenBobrow1@Create_Daily@MacCocktail were kind enough to follow me, chat with me and throw in a few favorites and retweets.  And slowly I gave a little more energy to Twitter and Twitter gave a little more back … and the magic emerged!

22 reasons why Twitter is awesome:

1. Trending in Twitter at the same time on the same day was #CleavageAppreciationDay and #WaysToGetSlapped

2. My job revolves around marketing to consumers and social media is the hot topic in the industry so I don’t have to hide my computer screen when I tweet at work.

3. I am now the social media expert at my company.

4. I get to make up words.

5. Bunches of other people have already made up words like “Narcissitwit” or “Tweep” and I can use these words or not.

6. Twitter is a good model for real life relationships, minus the “real life” part.  Concepts suggesting you treat people as you’d like to be treated play out quickly on Twitter  – pay attention, be polite, be supportive and it will come back to you.

7. I get to chat with people I’ve never met and who in the normal path of my day, I never would meet.

8. I root for the people I’ve come to know and they root for me. When @foodista tweeted my blog post about Anticuchos to their entire following,  @WarrenBobrow1 wrote to congratulate me.    @MacCocktail told his twitterverse I’m funny enough to follow and many have participated in my Twitter polls, sharing opinions on what Big Bird was drinking when the was the subject of a political hit to what Congress was drinking when they decided to shut down. 

9. When someone favorites one of my tweets, retweets or replies to me, I feel special and amazed that in all the noise, they found me.  It’s sort of like finding the people who want to sit with you in the cafeteria on your first day in a new school.

10. And things take off! I have no idea why, but this week, my January 29th “THANK YOU” to @HolidayBakerMan for sharing that chocolate is just like salad caught on and was retweeted and favorited over and over and over.  It was like watching the cherries line up on a slot machine and I was rewarded for recognizing @HolidayBakerMan’s humor.

11.  Shrinking a long thought into 140 characters is like doing a puzzle so by tweeting, I’m warding off Alzheimer’s.

12. I know that #hashtag jokes have #JumpedTheShark but it still makes me #LOL

13. Chris Christie and other scandals, on Twitter, are gifts that keeps on giving. Twitter is where I first saw the New Yorker cover of Chris Christie playing in traffic. It’s where I read the feelings of rabid supporters and detractors.  And generally put me in the know about all things Bridgegate … or Beibergate … and I know Twitter will come through on the next scandal.

14. Twitter (and social media) helped breathe life into the Arab Spring.  Even if you never tweet ever in your life, you must think that’s pretty cool.

15. When I post a blog on Twitter, people actually click and read (Thank you!)

16. Twitter is a great equalizer. Anyone can influence anyone.

17. My Klout score is 47, putting me in the top 30% of all social media users.  I’m an influencer (as I should be) in “Beer, Spirits, Entertainment, Cocktails and Wine.” I have no idea how Klout works but I’m inclined to believe them since these stats make it seem like I know what I’m doing

18. My Twitter persona has an excellent life, is carefree and often very drunk.

19. Every time I get a follower, I’m thrilled. Really. I consider it a compliment and an achievement. (So here’s where I say, “Follow me!” @margagogo)

20. The downside of taking my following personally is that I’m bummed when someone unfollows me but that just makes me try harder.

21. There is no ad stalking on Twitter so when I log in, I’m not met with a banner offering “fun and flirty plus size fashions” or a picture of the area rug I clicked on six months ago.

22. I learned, on Twitter, about the first frozen margarita maker! (Thank you @TrueBlueNectar)

And here is where my Ode to Twitter ends.  To all my readers, followers, clickers and tweeters and friends, THANK YOU!

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At the end of each year, my friends pick a theme for the year to come.

Finding a few words to set a tone for the days ahead is tricky business.  Add in the wish to balance humor with momentum and the need to come up with a single idea that will gain mass acceptance and you get an idea of the care that goes into each theme choice.

Despite our best efforts, some have been more successful than others.

The Year of The Hard Body:  We gave ourselves latitude on this one. We could meet the goal by improving personal fitness or by dating a hot guy who already had a hard body.  This was a spectacular failure on both counts.

The Year of Amore:  I think this was the year I dated a guy with a cheese phobia. Amore? Not quite.

The Year of Giving:  What I gave must have been brain cells because I really don’t remember how we followed through on the theme’s intention.  I do recall an attempt to be giving of spirit.  I gave a second, third and fourth chance to the guy I was dating and as a result, I have the distinction of being broken up with four times in four months.

The Year of the Bitch:  This might have been an over-correction after The Year of Giving.

The Year of No Fear:  Awesome because it rhymes, this theme was about going after dreams.  I wrote a novel.  I didn’t get it published before the theme expired so fear set in. Maybe this theme should be renewed.

The Year of Fun:  It had been a while since we had a contagious giggle. You know, when it’s hard to say the exact funny thing that sets the laughter in motion but it starts to roll and if you stop, you can’t look your friends in the eye without starting again. We had so much fun in this year that I decided to replay it because the next year was …

The Year of Yes:  I’ve come to believe all those childhood promises:  Ask and ye shall receive; You reap what you sow; I’m rubber and you’re glue ….  So it felt reckless for “yes” to be the standard for the year.  There are a lot of things that nobody should say yes to and there’s no need to invite them around.  So I went rogue and repeated our most successful theme, The Year of Fun.

The Year of Adventure:  We defined “Adventure” as anything new.  Anytime we were on the fence about a plan and wondered if we should bother with the first date or the museum exhibition or the out of the blue plans with new friends, we said, “Well, it is the year of adventure!” And we went. We also went to Turkey and Greece (and for the record, I was able to get excellent margaritas in both countries.)

This year is The Year of Well and Good.  This suggests balance and every past theme rolls into this one.  We need to be giving and bitchy, have fun and adventure, be fit in body and mind and be all around good citizens. I think we’re off to a good start. I’m mentoring a 14-year old through IMentor and if all goes well, I will mentor her straight into college. We are lending our effort to Cycle for Survival to raise money for research into cures for “rare” cancers.  Because Cycle for Survival requires getting on a bike, I’ve finally started to exercise.  And, we’ve booked a trip to Iceland with hopes of seeing the Aurora Borealis.

And the year has only begun!

My adventure to find the perfect margarita continues.

I checked out Park Kitchen. It’s brand new in the lobby of newly renovated Park Central Hotel (NYC).  The space is graciously designed though it’s impossible to forget, even for a moment, that you’re in the middle of a hotel lobby.

I didn’t have much hope for the margarita since lobby bars, even in New York City, often disappoint.  When my drink appeared, the bright yellow hue made me think I was looking at high-end mix abuse.

Park Kitchen Marg - Well & Good!

Park Kitchen Marg – Well & Good!

But it was good and strong.  The flavors well-balanced and the tequila was the clear star.

I left feeling both well and good.

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WordPress sent me a wrap up for 2013.

Wordpress

The report has animated fireworks graphics that shoot sparks to represent blog action. For those of you who follow my blog, you understand my WordPress fireworks are small but mighty and maybe closer to a small town July 4th festival and not the Macy’s fireworks extravaganza.

I wrote 12 posts last year, had over 1,200 views and uploaded 61 pictures.

What the cold data doesn’t show is how much heart, soul and liver I pour into each post.

The post I’m most proud of, and possibly the best thing I will ever write is Notice to Elected “Helpers” Everywhere.   The post that gets the most consistent traffic is 8 Cringe-worthy Pick-Up Lines. The worldwide search rate for pick-up lines that cause cringing might explain why the marriage rate is dropping.  Naked In The Shallow End cracks me up and I feel quite clever when I do Twitter polls. The latest is in Dear Congress, Have Another Drink!

Writing isn’t easy. Or maybe it would be easy if I wrote more often but I seem to have a problem with the first rule of writing: Ass in Chair!

Some of my distractions are more legitimate than others. 12 hours of high-stress work is like putting my brain in the dryer on high heat. My Muse comes out wrinkled and stained, covered in my dried and crusted creative juices. I might enjoy a drink after a long day and my liver is a team player, up-for-anything organ. My heart and soul are higher maintenance.

And my head turns for shiny things like travel or shopping or watching Episodes or taking a nap or going to the gym (Ha! Kidding! I don’t go to the gym!)

Writing is like exercising – the more you do, the better you feel when you do it. Sometimes, the words just flow no matter how undisciplined I’ve been. I suppose that’s the exercise equivalent to being a weekend warrior.  Notice to Elected “Helpers” Everywhere flowed, and like the 40-year old sedentary dad who plays football with his High School friends once a year on Thanksgiving, I felt energized in the moment and then sore for days.

For a while, I was writing a lot and my Muse was fit enough to do the creative writing version of a Triple Salchow (take a moment to appreciate the Olympic reference – and spelling. Who knew?).  I don’t write well at home, since my apartment is full of shiny things, so I carry my laptop to bars and bakeries with good drinks or cupcakes and most important, good writing vibes.  Eventually I rewarded myself with the purchase of a MacBook Air.  I’ve recently started carrying my laptop around again in hopes of recapturing my writing mojo.  I rarely open it.  I just carry it.  I’m thinking of investing in a first generation, 10-pound laptop from 1990 so I at least get exercise benefit.

While I haven’t been a prolific blogger, I assure you that when it comes to research, I’m on it.  In 2013, I drank margaritas in at least six states and two foreign countries.  I ordered margaritas in Irish bars, Italian eateries and friend’s kitchens.  I expanded the margagogo team adding a Brooklyn Editor and I launched a recruitment program for future margagogo leaders.  My five and eight year-old nieces show great promise.

I would tell you I resolve to blog more in 2014 but I can’t tell you about my New Year’s Resolutions until April.  If I’m still with them by then, they’re resolutions and not passing thoughts.  I can tell you that I’m looking forward to a 2014 full of fireworks – both inside my blog and out.  And I hope your year is full of fireworks too!

Happy New Year!

Stay tuned for more margagogo – chocolate & churros, great things about Twitter, lemons of life …

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Not being Santa Claus frees me up to do lots of stuff.

I’m not responsible for delivering gifts to the 1.9 billion children of the world.  Be thankful for that.  Logistics isn’t in my wheelhouse.

The Santa Operations Center at NORAD reports that Santa had an on-time departure.  He’s following his usual route, starting in the South Pacific, hitting New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Asia, Africa, Europe, followed by North America and South America.  At the time of writing this post, Santa is about to deliver to Kenya. NORAD says they aren’t responsible for planning Santa’s route – they just track him!  Which is good for NORAD because that frees their staff up for other things too.

Here are 5 things I’ve done with the free time I have (from not being Santa):

1. Travel to Seattle.  I made my way to Seattle to spend the holiday with margagogo’s Marketing Director and North West Correspondent, as well as margagogo’s two biggest non-margarita drinking fans and margagogo’s future Investigative Reporter and Managing Editor. (Tracking how people move around so gifts can be delivered properly must be time-consuming and a giant pain in Santa’s tuchas.)

2. Win all Tickle Fights.  Since the future margagogo employees are only 8 and 5, I can still take em. Size and a team approach makes my future standing in tickle fights uncertain. My nieces are getting bigger and getting organized.

3. Manage Amazing Feats of Athletic Prowess.  Ice skating and rock wall climbing topped off with cartwheels are what it takes to keep up with the margagogo team. I made it to the top of the rock wall (in the children’s section), never left the ice till skating ended and after years of considering my body a no cartwheel zone, managed impressive cartwheel form. Christmas is an endurance event for everyone. I’m a little tired now so I can’t imagine how Santa feels when he parks his sleigh back at the North Pole on the 26th.  He is an endurance champion. But as crafty as he is about getting down chimneys, I’m certain he can’t pull off cartwheels.

4. Eat and Eat More.  Evidence indicates that Santa makes this a priority and everyone celebrating is doing the same.  So I won’t dwell on food. I’ll just say that I’m stuffed full and can’t imagine eating again at least until dinner.  Thank goodness I only have to wait a few hours.

5. Drink Margaritas.  Santa needs to be sober but since I’m not driving a sleigh tonight, sobriety isn’t a priority for me.  My future Managing Editor and I invented the song “The 10 Margaritas of Christmas” and I’m ashamed to say that actual events don’t live up to the lyrics.  But, I did manage to taste test at three different venues:

La Catrina.  Seattle, WA. Nothing says “Christmas” like a mural with a skeleton.  And nothing says “Christmas” to me like a pint-sized margarita that’s actually good. What a gift!  So if you’re in Seattle, check out La Catrina. It’s in Georgetown – a hip and gritty neighborhood. (For you East-Coasters, it reminds me of Hoboken of ten years ago.)

The Whale Wins.  Seattle, WA. I made a mistake by not asking them where the name came from but going here was a genius idea (credit to my Marketing Director).  They’re serious about their drinks and take great pride in the mixing.  And the bartender was happy to share his margarita secret – Dry Curaçao instead of Triple Sec or Cointreau to give the drink zip without syrup sweetness.  It worked.  I had two.  If you go to the Whale Wins, make a reservation or go at lunch.  I hear they get quite a crowd.

The Big Picture. Possibly the best place in Seattle, WA.  It’s a theatre and a bar.  A bar and a theatre.  If you give them your seat number they will deliver drinks to you as often as you direct.  They too serve a margarita in a pint glass (scary sign) and they too pull it off!  And they’re serious about their mixing.  They also serve popcorn in champagne buckets and give out Hershey’s Kisses with the tickets.  I love this place.

The Big Picture

Merry Christmas!  I hope not being Santa gives all of you time to focus on the important stuff too.

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