Ian Pike 10 a.m., Dec. 9
"Carol, call me!" my thursday travelogue
Could've called it my Thursday travels ...but thought travelogue sounded more important and whats more important than my day . Like everything ! But to satisfy my urge to satisfy my expressive side ( yes I meant to say satisfy twice ) I could not bear the thought of not sharing my Thursday with someone ...and at the very least I am sharing this with myself which admittedly can get confusing...ramble ramble on buddy boy .
I worked early am and had the rest of the day off but had a big day in front of me on Friday so I was going to take it easy - right ? Maybe .
To be true to my bad blogging self I stopped at the Donut Factory on 30th and went a bit crazy ...ordered a maple bar ( instead of glazed twist ) with my small coffee . There's a sense of joy in selecting a donut and also some fun/discovery in learning a donuts name as opposed to just pointing and saying I want one of those . The donut server must possess some type of behind the counter sixth sense to know what you are pointing at ...and witnessing someone ordering a dozen random donuts is exhausting .
Got my coffee and donut fix out of the way and it really has become a fix. Is fix an extinct term for addiction ? I just prefer to say ...need my fix as opposed to feed my addiction which doesn't sound too appetizing does it ? Well moving on my bicycle I ventured over to North Park library where I got my news fix . On this day it was the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times magazine which was exactly 100 pages ...have to admit that alone intrigues me.
Loaded with all sorts of east coast related financial information and some fashion updates I was ready for some lunch . For me there's nothing better than pizza and to satisfy my pizza fix I was off to Sicilian Thing . Today it was a thick slice of cheese . Don't go oh boring because its really a testament to the skills of the pizza maker when you get to munch on a great slice of cheese pizza . And I had a beer ...
With time on my hands ...things can go many directions . For some reason and completely unsure why but stopped in at the Red Fox Room which is next to the Lafayette Hotel. First thing I noticed upon entering is that its really really dark . A bartenders voice greeted me but I could barely see her .After my eyes adjusted I ordered a bottle of Stella Artois . Some patrons eating lunch on the restaurant side but no one at the bar which is a historic bar meaning parts of it are very old. Carol an attractive woman stops in and sits at the bar . She has the same initial experiance that I had with the darkness factor . She opts for a Stella Artois...good choice . Her reason for stopping in ...she had a headache ( beer helps) and being drawn to a place not knowing what to expect from that place. If you have seen the outside of the Red Fox Room you HAVE had to wonder what the place is like inside. A sense of adventure beckons... and there's lots of those type of places around these parts.
Carol and I chatted it up a bit and I bought her a Stella. She unfortunately had to leave after that one. I stayed on for a couple more. Feeling fine after four Stellas and letting anyone within earshot know my grandmothers name is Stella I concluded that I was not quite done drinking . I exited the Red Fox and boldly ventured across El Cajon Blvd ( eschewing the cross walk ) to Gillys .
First thing to know is that Gillys is a dive bar which doesn't mean its a crap hole not at all. . Second thing... I love dive bars and I also love bartenders which my friends say thats because they serve me beer . I wont argue with that and this place has fabulous bartenders...dare I try to mention all of them ? Hopefully this includes all of them or at the very least the ones that have served me ... John,Amber,Kate,Theresa,Michelle,Tadis,Frankie and the owner Martin doesn't bartend but comes in and drinks here - often .Plus I cannot overlook costume wearing Sonya the karaoke girl extraordinaire. Another thing that distinguishes Gillys from others for me is the customers ... especially the regulars but even those just stopping in for the first time are very friendly, talkative and a lot of fun. I guess you could classify me as a semi-regular and one of the reasons I don't go more often is I have a hard time leaving !
One of my most memorable nights at Gillys was when I closed the place on a Christmas eve which turned out to be one entertaining evening.
On that night I remember buying a round for the bar and also doing a shot with Santa .Playing an untold number of songs on the juke box all the while enjoying myself in my -purchased earlier in the day - NP blue baseball hat. It's quite possible that I spoke to everyone in the bar that night... telling my other yuletide revelers that partying on Christmas eve is a lot more memorable than partying on New Years eve . And finally bicycling home wishing (yelling) Merry Christmas to every passing car !
The next day at the family Christmas gathering ...I realized that my Christmas present had come just a little bit earlier than everybody elses... thank you Santa !