Archive for December 31, 2010

Wedgwood Broiler

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

I wasn’t sure I would be up to going out for New Year’s Eve dinner tonight. When my initial cold symptoms set in Tuesday night, I wasn’t too concerned. We went ahead Wednesday with our Bainbridge Island outing. But by the time I headed off to my office yesterday, I was starting to drag, and last night I had a low fever.

Today was more of the same — congestion, lots of coughing, a slight fever. But I had to eat, and I didn’t want Gail to be stuck in all evening. So I got dressed and around 7:30 we headed off to dinner.

Where to go? We weren’t really sure. The last three years, we had early New Year’s Eve dinners at The Attic Alehouse & Eatery, our local pub and long-time Madison Park institution. But we’ve been boycotting The Attic since last spring, for reasons I needn’t go into here. For the four years before that, we had New Year’s Eve dinner at our one-time local steakhouse, the Wedgwood Broiler. We moved away from Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood 17 years ago, but I still like to head up there occasionally. We never went to the Broiler on New Year’s Eve in the years we lived up that way. However, we found our way to it nine years ago on our way north to a New Year’s Eve party in Lake Forest Park, a suburb north of Seattle, with Wedgwood being about the halfway point between our house and the party. Thus began the tradition.

It seems I’m the only fan of the Broiler. Joel never understood why we would go. Gail regularly points out that there are better steakhouses around — and closer too — including one just a bit south of us on Lake Washington, next door to the Thai restaurant Sabai that I wrote about last week. But, it’s a tradition of sorts, and it brings back memories. I always think of Gail’s dad when we eat there. It’s his kind of place, and he would surely have joined us tonight if he were available.

Off to Wedgwood we went, and into the Broiler. We got there around 7:40, a little past its peak, another benefit of going. It was quiet, which is what I needed tonight, and it’s the one place we frequent where I’m likely to be among the youngest diners, which adds to the fun. The bar, I gather, is a pretty lively place. That’s where the young people go. The restaurant, not so much.

I have to admit, their steak isn’t the greatest. That must be what Gail and Joel have been trying to tell me. Still, you can’t beat the atmosphere.

After we ate, as always, we headed a few more blocks north to see our old neighborhood. And then we took a leisurely route home, past more neighborhoods that we drove through daily years ago.

I think next year we’ll try someplace new.

Categories: Holidays, Restaurants

Just the Game, Please

December 31, 2010 1 comment

UW's Victor Aiyewa hits Nebraska's Rex Burkhead to force a fumble

[Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times]

I’m not that big a fan of University of Washington football. After all, I despise college football on principle, so how can I care how our team does? But, last night’s Holiday Bowl game was our first bowl appearance since losing in the 2002 Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve, so after finishing my Bainbridge outing post, I turned on the TV late in the game’s first quarter.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were up 7-0. However, I was soon annoyed that ESPN thought the game they were in the midst of broadcasting wasn’t as important as the game over at ESPN2. Time after time, the coverage would be interrupted so we could be updated on developments in Palo Alto, where Stanford’s women’s basketball team was leading the University of Connecticut with just minutes to play.

You probably know that UConn has won its last 90 games in a row. The big sporting news a couple of weeks ago was their 88th victory, tying the great UCLA men’s basketball teams of the early 1970s for consecutive victories, and then their 89th, breaking UCLA’s record. Stanford, meanwhile, had its own streak going, having won their last 51 home games. One of those streaks would be coming to an end.

As long as ESPN was going to keep telling me the basketball news, it seemed simpler just to change over to ESPN2 and watch the UConn-Stanford itself, which I did. Time and again, UConn would come down the court down 6 and miss in their effort to cut the lead to just 4. Or 3. Maya Moore, their star and the best player in women’s college basketball, kept missing shots, as apparently she had done all evening. Stanford would push the lead up to 8, UConn, would get it back to 6, but they couldn’t seem to do any better than that.

Or maybe I missed something, because as it turned out, I couldn’t watch the basketball game continuously. It was bad enough that ESPN kept interrupting football to tell us about the basketball game. But worse, ESPN2 took advantage of every break in the basketball action to turn the camera on one of our nation’s most glamorous war criminals. It wasn’t good enough to stick to the basketball, to focus on a game that was setting up to be the biggest one of the regular-season in years. No, we had to watch Stanford professor (and former provost) Condoleezza Rice cheering her school on.

Why, ESPN? Why did we have to have her shoved in our faces? Did her presence make the game more important? You already dominate sports coverage in this country. Are you aspiring to dominate in the category of fawning over former National Security Advisors and Secretaries of State who led us into or prolonged wars based on lies? What about Henry Kissinger? Couldn’t you get him on screen too? Maybe you could have paid him and flown him in last night so he could sit with his fellow war criminal.

It seems that Stanford held on to win. UConn got into the standard end-of-game cycle of fouling in order to get the ball back and Stanford was thereby able to increase its lead, winning by a final score that I never did catch. Ah, it was 71-59. I did switch back after the game ended, only to be forced to get one last look at Condaleezza, standing up, cheering, and swaying to the music being played in Maples Arena.

I returned to ESPN for good and was relieved that they allowed us to focus on the football game, with no further interruptions. A good thing. We won, 19-7. Over Nebraska. But that’s another story. I’ll stop here.

Categories: Media, Sports, Torture