Monday, February 28 – Sunday, March 6, 2022
The Week in Renewal: My birthday was this week, and more than New Year’s, my birthday is my reset day. If I’m going to make a change, say, trying to shed some pandemic pounds, that starts after my birthday week. Yes, I celebrate the whole week. Why not? I can’t possibly squeeze the thrill of completing another year into a single day! And, though I don’t always take off from work on my birthday, I have done so during both of my pandemic birthdays, and I’ve actually found it to be therapeutic. Maybe I’ll take my birthday off every year.
The Week in Dining: I ate out all week like I didn’t even own a kitchen. Highlights –
Monday: Bolognese Night at Nicola’s, a Monday night neighborhood tradition for years. I went by myself because no one I know wants to go out on Monday night. Not that asked anyone. Sometimes, actually, a lot of the time, I prefer to sit by myself with my book. It was a great kickoff to the week.
Tuesday: Seafood Posole at Mita’s. I’ve been obsessed with posole over the last several weeks. Mita’s is always excellent…chef Jose Salazar is nominated for a James Beard Award this year, and the posole was no exception. I’ll have to redouble my efforts.
Wednesday: Octopus, Squash Gnocchi, Fatoush Salad and Beef Short Ribs at Abigail Street where the menu is made up of Mediterranean small plates. Abigail Street has the tenderest octopus I’ve ever eaten. My dining pal had never eaten it before so it was great to be there when she tried it for the first time and set her expectations so high! She doesn’t even know.
Thursday: A killer Charcuterie Board (the “Mother Board”) and Smoked Duck at Bouquet, a farm to table restaurant just across the river. Sharing a board of food is something I’ve missed. It’s so handsy and not pandemic friendly. In other words, awesome. The smoked duck and barley was also outstanding.
Friday: A random brat, at a random Bock Fest party. It was perfect. Not every meal has to worthy of a magazine spread!
The Week in Bock: Speaking of Bock Fest, back in 2020, Bock Fest was the very last event I (and many of my neighbors) attended before the COVID shutdown. I remember how clever I was drinking Corona beer…a joke That. Did. Not. Age. Well.
In 2022, Bock Fest essentially marked the return to life (mostly) as we knew it. There were a couple changes. The traditional main venue closed during the height of COVID with no plans of reopening. But Bock Fest cannot be held down. The main venue was moved to tents, the parade and the 5K went on, and a new Sausage Queen was crowned. The entire event was both fun and reassuring!
The Week in Art: Speaking of reassuring, one of my birthday gifts to myself was to return to the Art Museum. They’ve been re-opened for months, but I didn’t want to go until I could visit without wearing a mask. That restriction was lifted this week, and off I went.
It took me a little bit to regain my ability to navigate the exhibits (I still missed a couple of my favorites), but every time I came around the corner and saw something familiar it was like running into an old friend. I’ve always been especially enamored by the very large paintings on the second floor, especially Ophelia by Benjamin West, a painting as big as one of the walls in my apartment. When I got to it, I might have actually said out loud, “There you are.” LOL! While I was looking at it, some teenaged kids came into the room and one of them hesitated for just a second before exclaiming, “Whoa!” Yep. I’m glad the Art Museum is back in my life!
The Week in Looking Forward: On Saturday it was 75 degrees and sunny. Buds and spring’s first flowers are poking out and spring is in the air. For the summer, I’m hired to work concessions at the Reds stadium when (optimistically) the owners and players come to an agreement and they actually play ball. That should be a fun part time gig with new skills and new people. Also, yes, I’m going to try to shed 5 pounds (God, being an adult is so disheartening sometimes!). But I also bought season tickets to the opera and laid out a series of others shows I plan to see. I’m not planned all the way out until my next birthday, but I’m off to a running start!