December 23, 2010 - 3 people came in to get wine.
December 23, 2011 - 10 people came in to get wine.
December 31, 2010 - 8 people came in to get wine.
December 31, 2011 - 1 person has been in to get wine.
While The Cave continues to defy patterns, there was much more Cave traffic from Thanksgiving through New Year this year, minus today (but the week has been busy). Ten people in one day? That's just crazy.
I continue to be fortunate to have not only the greatest job but to have here some of the most decent humans I've ever met.
Other 2011 highlights.
Favorite holiday story. This is Los Angeles but contrary to what you may suspect, only one in ten persons in LA works in "the business." Let's just say The Cave has its share of interesting and notable guests. One gentleman came in recently, he is not in often, we exchange the usual pleasantries. "I have to get some wine for a friend of mine," he starts. "The only time he talks to me is around the holidays because he wants wine. What a pain in the ass." Then he disappeared into the cellar. This was right before the holidays were in full swing, and I thought, this is going to be a great Christmas!
Runner Up: Christmas Eve Day, J. comes in swearing and puffing and sighing. "It took me almost half an hour to get from the (freeway) exit to here!" Which is indeed awful. I'd been out earlier that day, on my bicycle, and it was just really horrible, the people-in-cars, tired and desperate and maniacal and completely dangerous. The stores are impossible, there's no where to park, the streets are clogged. We both got going on this, a rapid-fire exchange on the horror, the horror. J. took a brief break to reconsider his holiday cheer, but in the end it was agreed: we really just wanted it to be over.
Favorite non-holiday story. Okay, so, basically: S. has an affinity for, well, many good wines, I'm sure, but there is one we've been talking about, a particular Italian wine of specific vintage. So, it's like up there with the holy grail. He's at a get-together, it's all wine drinkers, good cooks, good food, wines, a grill, like that. Someone has brought this particular wine to the proceedings, the very one S. covets, but only one bottle, and there are a lot of people, so everyone gets a little bit. A good taste. S.'s precious portion is at his place setting, in a glass, but before he gets to it he leaves the table to tend to some other thing. While he's gone, in the wandering conversations that happen at these things, another gentleman temporarily takes S's place to chat with someone. While there, he very casually and nonchalantly helps himself to S.'s precious, coveted glass of wine. S. returns, it is gone. Or the guy is holding the (empty) glass or something, but it's gone. I'm laughing my you know what off, and S. concludes with the fact that he said nothing. That is serious self control, but I'd have paid close to a lot to have seen the look on his face.
The wines I remembered.
The beer I still think about. (I don't like the blonde sours as a drinking beer, but I'm really intrugued by them as an idea and experience.) I tasted one even better than this, but I have no idea what it was.
Worst beer ever. (This isn't really fair, because the beer was infected and tasted like antiseptic. The worst beer ever, intact and tasting like it was supposed to taste, remains this stuff.) (Hated it!)
Best eggs: Annabelle's.
Favorite non-holiday madness. It's a tie. Having The Cave as part of the Glendale History ride is just an honor, plain and simple. A great building full of quirk and character, to be able to show it off is a privilege.
The other madness is when The People of Beer descend on the Cave for their beer trades, also, ultimately, a celebration of this place and its roots as a Social Room-With-A-Secret.
Since starting this post, five more people have come and gone. Yes, it's been quite a lively holiday season. Tomorrow we get to hibernate. Cheers.