What I Learned This Week: #83

Monday, December 24 – Sunday, December 30

The Week in Mid-Week Christmas/New Year’s: The day of the week Christmas and New Year’s fall on creates a unique challenge each year. The Tuesday ‘official’ holidays have left a lot of people discombobulated over marking the days of the week.

A visualization of people’s brains’ grappling with the holiday schedule this year.

The Week in Christmas Culture: I grabbed some Chinese food on Christmas Eve at China Kitchen in Clifton. The restaurant came under new ownership and was completely renovated a few years ago, but I still have memories of it as one of the dirtiest restaurants I ever ate at. I called it dirty Chinese. Well, it has totally cleaned up it’s act and I find the food a little more homey and less American than other Chinese restaurants. They use both dark and white chicken pieces which turns many people off but I think the flavor is richer. They also use more baby corn than other Chinese restaurants, and nobody can argue with that!

The Week in Movies: I saw Roma on Christmas Eve, a beautifully shot, moody, Mexican art film…certainly not the movie one would expect to be the best reviewed movie (by critics) of the year. But it is.

Popcorn at the movies. Only 5 people in my 1:10 showing. I always hope to not drop a kernel and never achieve the goal.

The Week in Russian Novels: I’m reading Anna Karenina on my Kindle. While I read actual books, Kindle editions are much easier to deal with while eating out. For lunch read the book with a Ballast Point Seasonal Spruce Tip IPA and I thought I was clever for drinking a winter beer while reading about cold Mother Russia. Then I grabbed dinner to go at Lucious Q and while waiting, I pulled out my Kindle and sipped on a Russian Imperial Ale. That is a strong beer, maybe good for the Russian theme, but not great for reading and retaining.

The Week in Compliments: At Vera Cruz for dinner a couple in their late 20’s/early 30’s sat next to me at the bar. It was their first trip to the restaurant and they were impressed by every single drink or morsel of food put before them. About every 2 minutes the woman would eat a bite of food and proclaim, “This restaurant is the truth.” Well alright!

The Week In Cheap: On Thursday me and a large group of friends walked into a relative new downtown bar, Aster, which cute-si-ly refers to itself as a Social Sippery. They have one of the most pretentious menus I’ve seen in Cincinnati chock full of herbs and things I could not identify. The exposed ceiling bar is housed in a small space on the 3rd floor of a building that simply looks out over 4th street.

When we walked in, there was obviously a family oriented bridal event going on. The bride was there in a white dress. A man who was clearly her intended was nearby. There was catered food set out on a buffet. We thought maybe we missed the sign that said “private party” but the bartender assured us the family had only reserved 75% of the bar and we were welcome. So, we watched the couple have a dance – Elvis’ I Can’t Help Falling in Love – and we tried to be quiet during the groom’s meandering toast to his bride. We toasted them, of course. I would love to know the story of why they didn’t reserve the entire room.

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