Fernando Friday

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“You’re never a loser until you quit trying.” —Mike Ditka

 

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KNO Night

I thought it was apropos to book my birthday vacation while snowed in by Juno. #40 on the birthday list is…go to the Bahamas. Yes! This will be my second Caribbean vacation and I am psyched.

So KNO night. KNO night was my first triple-header A–Z bar night. Thanks to Abby and Melissa for being game. Our first stop was Nubar.

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It’s a cozy little place. I tried a local brew, Newburyport Green Head IPA, and enjoyed it. Loved the cute glass too.

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Next we headed to Orinoco for dinner. I’ve passed it many times and never noticed it, since it is down a little alleyway.

 

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It was my first time trying Venezuelan cuisine, so I knocked off a birthday list item too. I tried arepas and fell in love with them. Cornmeal and cheese…what’s not to love.

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I tried Estrella, a Spanish beer. It was a nice, basic lager.

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After we finished our lovely dinner, we hit Kennedy’s on the Square for an after-dinner beer. The decor consisted of many images of JFK, which oddly made me feel at home. Having lived on the street of his birthplace for the past five years, I feel a strange kinship to him and his family.

Anyhoo, I had a nice nightcap: a Stowaway IPA. Two of my oldest Boston friends and I toasted to a productive night. Now I only have seven letters left! It’s getting tough now: E, L, Q, U, V, X, Y. Suggestions are more than welcome…

Copper, Silver, and Gold

I made two rings last weekend at Stonybrook Fine Arts.

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Our instructor Sophia walked through the whole process for us first. The class size was eight, which was a good number for the space. All in all, it took us a little under three hours to make two rings.

In short, there was blowtorch wielding, hammering, stamping, molding with pliers, measuring and more measuring, sawing, more blowtorch wielding, and more hammering.

Sophia and her assistant, Eve, took care of the tricky parts: soldering the ends together and polishing. This is Kevin the polisher.

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Sophia went around and polished the rings that we were wearing too; it was sweet. I left the workshop with a new appreciation for all of my jewelry.

When I returned home that evening, I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, which is #74 on AFI’s Top 100 List.

I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

THIS MOVIE IS 90 YEARS OLD.

This is the second of his movies that I’ve watched. I watched City Lights (#76 on the AFI list) a year or two ago. I remember enjoying it, but I don’t remember feeling this level of enthrallment. One of my favorite scenes was his dance of the rolls. I vaguely remember seeing a brief clip of it before. But the whole dance is just plain wonderful. The split at the end!

Now I am ready to watch every film he ever made. Do you have a favorite Chaplin film?

 

 

 

 

Drinking and Gathering

Here’s the latest installment of my A–Z bar quest.

A few nights ago, some friends and I went to two bars with verbs for names. Yes!

We started at Drink. It’s in the basement of an office building.

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Drink is known for its cocktails. There is no cocktail menu; you tell the waiter/waitress what type of cocktail you like, and the bartenders come up with something. A friend had recommended a whiskey drink, so I tried that.

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It was good, but I stuck to one because I had a long night ahead. We ordered heirloom carrots, arancini, and fries to split. Everything was great. It’s a popular place; I arrived at 5:20 and there were no seats left. And when we left around 7:00, there was a line of people waiting to enter.

Our next destination was Gather.

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It’s another winner. The atmosphere was laidback and friendly. There were no seats at the bar at first, but within 15 minutes, some spots opened up. We loved the decor:

 

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The bar’s location is in the Innovation District, so this is a play on “bright ideas.”

I tried Wormtown’s Be Hoppy IPA because my friend noted that Wormtown is a brewery in nearby Worcester. It was hoppy, which made me happy.

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Only 10 bars left…still at a loss re: bar names that start with X and Y…

 

MLK Day 2015

As MLK Day approaches, I feel mournful and ashamed—ashamed of my country. Almost 50 years have passed since MLK’s assassination, and we still haven’t grasped the concept that Black Lives Matter?

I can picture him sitting in heaven’s cafeteria with Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, etc. They are all shaking their heads and muttering to each other, “What the f***k are these people doing to each other?”

But from this shame rises a glimmer of hope. The hope that someday everyone will believe that everyone’s lives matter. OK, a lot of people will believe that everyone’s lives matter. I think that volunteering and being of service to others is a step in the right direction. When you help people who need help, you bear witness to their humanity, to your common humanity. When you just help, period, you are making an important difference and seeing the world through a different lens.

So take part in the MLK Day of Service if you have free time on Monday. Or volunteer at some other point during the month. Volunteermatch and Points of Light are good places to start looking for opportunities.

Here are some MLK quotes to kick you in the behind:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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