December 11, 2018

Watch Me Nay Nay at Seattle Magazine

Chinatown-International District bar Dynasty RoomHello dancing friends! Recently, I went down with some pals to a rad bar in Seattle called the Dynasty Room (interestingly, it’s in a building set to be demolished, so get there while you can), and had a drink called Watch Me Nay Nay, a drink created by bar manager Michael Chu and Morgan Marchant. It was delish (and had things like mescal and rose’), and then I got to write about it for the sweet Seattle magazine. And now you can read about it! Everyone wins when you check out my Watch Me Nay Nay article now.

December 4, 2018

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

Baby, it’s cold outside. But my recent pieces on the Seattle magazine blog will warm you right up – because they’re about bars, and drinks, and spirits, and such, all of which are the warming-est things in the world, outside of a good dog, that is. So, what are you waiting for? Warm up with these:

 

November 20, 2018

Cocktail Talk: Shoot the Piano Player

Image result for shoot the piano player bookWow, I haven’t had a lot of David Goodis on here (I think just one Goodis post) – which is a shame, cause I love his work. Maybe it’s just too downbeat? Maybe when they drink it feels almost, oh, the opposite of the jolly drinking I tend to applaud? Maybe it’s just bad timing? – nearly all of his characters have a lot of bad timing. But he (though not as revered here in the U.S. as he should be, or maybe not as well-known is a better way to put it, as his devotees are devoted, and I say U.S. cause he’s bigger in France, where most of his books have been made into movies, and where the only scant biography of him has been published) is a subtle master of pacing and language, and an obvious master of writing about the down and out and the nowhere to go and the last chance has already faded into the past, the back alleys and longshores and shabby bars that become nearly family for those who inhabit their shady, scruffy, barstools to nowhere. Shoot The Piano Player may be his best-known book, or at least one with Dark Passage the other, as it was made into a movie by François Truffaut, and it’s a worthy read unless you’re looking for some sort-of peppy ending. Lots of it centers around a bar, Harriet’s Hut. Not the nicest place, but a popular joint, as the below description tells us.

At the bar the Friday night crowd was jammed three-and-four-deep. Most of the drinkers wore work pants and heavy-soled work shoes. Some were very old, sitting in groups at the tables, their hair white and their faces wrinkled. But their hands didn’t tremble as they lifted beer mugs and shot glasses. They could still lift a drink as well as any Hut regular, and they held their alcohol with a certain straight-seated dignity that gave them the appearance of venerable elders at a town meeting.

Shoot the Piano Player, David Goodis

November 6, 2018

A Rose in the Fall at Seattle Magazine

Recently (in the full scope of time) got to go down to a newish bar in Seattle, called Black Cat, and I loved it, with its amazing metal-album-cover mural, friendly staff, fun and tasty drinks, and owner Dustin Haarstad, who makes a swell cocktail and is a darn friendly fellow himself. While there, I had a fantastic Calvados-based cocktail called A Rose in the Fall, and then (because I have a nice guardian angel) I got to write about the drink and the spot for the smiley Seattle magazine. You should go read all about A Rose in the Fall, and visit Black Cat, too. You’ll be happy, I’ll be happy, they’ll be happy, and the world needs more happy.

October 16, 2018

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

The seasons are changing, but one thing remains: I’ve been lucky enough to keep writing about swell Seattle bars and such for the super Seattle Magazine. In case you’ve missed any (and I’m sure you haven’t, but just in case), below is a trio of charmers that will have you hopping out to local spots – if you live in Seattle, of course. If you don’t, come visit:

 

 

October 9, 2018

Cocktail Talk: The Black Angel, Part II

Image result for the black angel woolrichBe sure to delve into our first Black Angel Cocktail Talk post, to dig into more about why I like Cornell Woolrich, and what you’ll be in for when you (as you should) read his books and short stories. He doesn’t have a lot of cocktailing always (though I’ve had some past Cornell Cocktail Talks), but in The Black Angel, I found one of my favorite bar descriptions – I love a good bar description – as well as the earlier post (which, funny enough, takes place in the bar being described). I want to go to this bar:

“That’s it, then” he said. “Now I’ll tell you where. I know a little room, a midget cocktail bar, just around the corner from the Ritz. Can’t miss it. It’s called the Blues-Chaser. And it’s like that, really. There’s never too much of a crowd there, and that way we won’t have to run too much interference. We have a date now, don’t forget.” “All right, we have a date.”
. . .
The place itself was intimate, confidence-inspiring, made to order for just such a rendezvous as ours. A regular postage stamp of a cocktail lounge; I’d never yet been in one as small. Heavily carpeted and hushed, but hushed in a relaxing, cozy way, not depressingly hushed. It was a little gem of a place, and I wonder now if it’s still there.

–Cornell Woolrich, The Black Angel

October 2, 2018

Cocktail Talk: The Black Angel

Image result for the black angel woolrichI have a fair amount of books by Cornell Woolrich (writer of Rear Window and many other memorable noir-y numbers, though criminally under-read and under-known today, and also a fella who had a not-very-peppy life, for being a big seller, to say the least), and go through phases where he’s a favorite – well, maybe he always is, but I have to be in the right mood, if that makes sense, or ready for the right mood. His books are very edge-of-your-seat in a way that’s all his own. Not the breakneck pace of some, not the catchy lines and characters of others, but his leads are always in a depressing, serious, jam of some sort (I’m underselling with “jam”), and slowly, with the tension every-increasing, trying to find a way out. Take The Black Angel. The lead lady has a husband, who’s been cheating and who is on death row for the death of his mistress, but our wonderful lead believe he’s innocent and so goes through a serious of super harrowing sort-of undercover escapades to try and find the real murderer – and it gets more nerve-wracking and ultimately depressing from there. But the atmospherics and language are all amazing. And there are some really good bar scenes, too, including the below, about cocktails and dating:

“There’s no good reason for getting stuck, really. It’s the simplest thing in the world. You see the thing through past the cocktails. I meant, a cocktail will get you through practically anything, anyway. If it’s the face that bothers you you’ve got an olive to look at instead. Then with the soup, you step outside a second to buy a pack of cigarettes. You pick some brand you’re dammed sure they won’t be able to bring to your table, in case there happens to be a ciggie girl in the place.”

–Cornell Woolrich, The Black Angel

August 21, 2018

Seattle Magazine Cocktail Catch Up

You know, there’s nothing better than a good summer read. With a good summer drink. And with that, I’m hoping you’ve been keeping up to date on my latest pieces for the super Seattle Magazine? Well, if you haven’t, don’t sweat it, I have links to a few recent favs for you below. They’ll make your summer even finer.

 

 

Rathbun on Film