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Winning Winter

January 8, 2018

Today starts the second week of winter.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that the Capital Region had crazy sub zero weather in December. I know because I had to set up a heater for my heater. But technically, December isn’t winter. December is part of “the locking”.

I’ve spoken of this in the past. It’s not my idea. It comes from Kurt Vonnegut in Cat’s Cradle. And he writes about how the seasons in this part of the world need to be redefined. Fall is easy. It’s September and October. It’s gorgeous. But in November and December, the earth gets ready for freezing up into a solid and icy mass. This is the locking. January and February mark the months of winter. It’s bitter, biting, and hostile to all forms of life. It’s so cold that before spring can arrive, the ground must go through two months of unlocking in March and April. Then we get two months of spring and two months of summer.

The good news is that there are only seven more weeks of winter.

Everyone has different strategies for dealing with the extreme cold, piercing winds, and snowy landscapes. Mine involve eating. Obviously. So what do you do when the weather outside seems to want to make you die a slow, terrible death?

You go out anyway. Otherwise, winter wins.

Sure, there is a case to be made for hunkering down in your basement with your buddies and a few cases of beer. Certainly, I’m not advising anyone to give up the joys of cooking some of those long simmered stocks, stews, and braises. And there is nothing at all wrong with a night of board games by the fire with the family.

But you can’t let weather be an excuse to stay home.

On Saturday morning, facing wind chills that reportedly made Albany feel like it was twenty degrees below zero, I went out for dim sum brunch. And it was fantastic. Then later that night, I went out again for sauerbraten with friends. CT spent hours cooking an old family recipe that he had been preparing for days. His apartment smelled fantastic.

Thankfully, I wasn’t going to let a little hypothermia get in my way. Actually, I wore more layers on Saturday than I have in recent memory. I can’t recall the last time I put on long johns. Man, those things are cozy.

There is too much to do for weather to get in the way.

Later today I’m off to SHU with Burnt My Fingers for some fiery Szechuan food. Actually, it’s an open invitation. If you want in on that action, don’t be shy. All the details are here. Just make sure to RSVP at the link, and bring cash in small denominations.

The two of us eat with strangers all the time. It’s more fun than you might think.

Tuesday is the kickoff of the Nine Pin 26er Challenge reboot. I can’t miss the first night of that. Sure, I already have my 26er card from the inaugural run. But now I’m going for silver. And yes, I do realize that in a couple more years it will probably mean I will have to go for the gold. Ugh. This is the price for being a sucker for marketing.

Wednesday I have a date to check out Great Flats Brewing for the first time ever. It kills me that I haven’t made it out to the relatively new Schenectady brewery. I hear good things about their stout, which is great, because this is definitely stout weather.

Friday night, we are having people over, but I wish I could go to the first Storytime Time of 2018 at MopCo in Schenectady. Friday nights are just so hard to get out.

Saturday of course is free game, so I’m off to Saratoga Springs for Hattie’s 18th Annual Mardi Gras Soiree! For some reason I missed it last year, but this year Yelp is one of the sponsors, and I’m looking forward to partying the night away with some of my fellow Yelp Elites. Man, that’s a fun night full of Jasper’s delicious food and some great tunes, for the benefit of a good cause. I am thrilled to be a part of it.

It was equally thrilling to be invited by DocSconz to attend the grand unveiling of his new venture. That means on Thursday it’s back up to Saratoga Springs for the first night of the Rascal + Thorn Dinner Series featuring Chef Brad Kilgore. Some folks are going on Friday. But if you miss those two nights, you’ll have to buy a ticket to Miami to get a taste of these gorgeous dishes.

Let’s not forget the Schenectady Soup Stroll on Saturday, January 27. I’ll be one of the official judges for that, and I’ll even have some Yelp Life fingerless gloves to give away on the stroll. One needs access to one’s fingertips in order to take pictures of all the soup on the stroll.

That’s a lot of eating. And I’m not going to let a little cold weather get in the way.

Now, the savvy among you may have been going through the above, and noticed that there’s no mention of the FLB winter tour. It’s true. But the Tour de NY Style Pizza Slice is still on. It’s even scheduled. Technically, it’s not going to be in winter. But it is coming before spring.

Yep, that’s right. I’m going to save it for the unlocking. For those who want to mark their calendars, it’s going to be on March 17. So maybe, just maybe, I can find a way of making this a walking tour of Schenectady. We will see as the date gets closer.

For now, I need to get ready for that deeply warming lunch. Maybe I’ll see you there.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. addiesdad permalink
    January 8, 2018 12:30 pm

    A Tour de Pizza on St. Patrick’s Day? In Schenectady? Are you prepared to meet the potentially inebriated competitors for those lovely slices? I’m Union College students will be out in force…

    • -R. permalink
      January 8, 2018 1:57 pm

      Agreed. You need to reschedule this. I would have attended, but if it’s held on St. Patrick’s day, there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that I’d go. I fu**ing hate St. Patrick’s day.

  2. January 8, 2018 2:30 pm

    Tour de NY Style Pizza Slice? What are the locations? Because in over 3 years in the area I’ve yet to find anything even close to comparable to what I’m used to.

  3. January 9, 2018 10:16 pm

    I don’t think St. Patricks day will be an issue. The tour will be at slice shops, in the early afternoon. Not the bars. Not later at night. It’s a complete non-issue in my opinion, frankly.

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