Sunlit Water

January 1, 2012

My New Year’s Eve

Filed under: Personal — by teofilo @ 10:03 pm

I figured there was likely to be a lot going on downtown, so I set out in that direction around 8 pm.  As I was walking over I saw fireworks, which turned out to be the tail end of a family-friendly show sponsored by the IBEW in Town Square Park.  It was over when I got there, but there were still a bunch of families with small kids playing in the snow and on the ice sculptures they had set up.  Town Square Park is also where Occupy Anchorage is, and they were there too.  They’re down to a single tent and a small card table, with only three or four people there at a time, but they were mingling with the crowd.  Nobody seems to mind them much, which is probably reflective of the relatively good economy in Alaska limiting their appeal and hence any perception that they might be a serious threat to the powers that be.

There were a bunch of food trucks and booths around the perimeter of the park, but they already being taken down by the time I got there.  I stopped by one that was still open and got a reindeer hot dog, which seemed seasonally appropriate.  It was okay; it basically just tasted like a regular hot dog, but a high-quality one.  Reindeer sausage is a big thing here, especially in more touristy contexts, and I take it there are many types of which this was just one.

After the hot dog I headed over to a nearby bar, paid the $10 cover, and sat down at the only unoccupied table.  I suspect it was unoccupied because it was right next to the window, which was not particularly well insulated, so sitting there was pretty cold.  The low ended up being around zero, and while it was a few degrees warmer when I first got to the bar, that’s still not very warm.  It was fine, though.

After I’d been there a few minutes and had ordered a beer, three people showed up and asked if I was reserving the table for anyone.  I said I wasn’t, and they asked if they could sit with me.  I said yes, and they settled in.  They had a bunch of friends coming, so as nearby tables came available they would snag them too.  It was a nice group.  Most of them were from the Interior, and many were Native.  That’s a demographic I haven’t had much interaction with so far, so it was interesting hanging out with them.  They were about my age, too, which was nice.  I don’t really have much in common with them otherwise, but they were fun to spend New Year’s with.

They decided I looked like Blake Shelton and proceeded to call me that for the rest of the night.  I hadn’t even heard of him before, but once they showed me pictures of him (they basically all had smartphones) I had to agree that there was a certain resemblance.  At one point he even appeared on TV, performing at some New Year’s event in LA, and this caused much hilarity among our group.

At midnight there was a champagne toast, and I left and went home shortly afterward.  All in all it was one of the more successful New Year’s Eves I’ve had in recent years, so that was nice.

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