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Drinking with Santa

Hello Enthusiasts –

Today’s post is about winter in Los Angeles. And how it actually kind of sucks. Or, more accurately, winter *days* kind of suck – because when the weather hits 70 degrees in December or January, well, that’s why we live here. But when winter DOES hit, the weather doesn’t get frosty and fun – it gets wet and miserable. We don’t know how to drive in it, and unless you trek up to the mountains for some snow, there’s no real upside except washing the crap out of the air.

That being said, why do we reject winter-like activities so out of hand? We just hunker down and give up, waiting for it to be over. Which brings me to the not one, but two ice rinks in Downtown – one at Pershing Square and one at LA Live. Ask most people if they’ve gone ice skating downtown – especially if they don’t have kids – and they’ll look at you sideways, smirk, and say something like “nooooo … it’s not exactly Central Park, is it?” And no, it’s not. It’s small, the ice isn’t that great, and it’s manufactured.

But so what? Ask a New Yorker if they’re going to the Jersey Shore during the summer, they don’t look at you and say “well, it’s not exactly Malibu, is it?” Of course it’s not – and they don’t expect it to be. It’s humid, the beaches are usually small, and it’s not like they can surf or anything. They just make the most of what they have, and enjoy it for what it is.

Which leads me to this past Saturday, when the missus and I accepted an invitation to go to a winter party thrown by the Edison. They rented out the Pershing Square rink, gave out cider and hot chocolate, and let us take a few spins around the ice rink. Everybody got scarves, took pictures with Santa and his missus, listened to the Christmas music, tried to stay upright on the ice, and generally soaked in the atmosphere. Then, it was off to the Edison for a taste of the special Edison Blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon, which included a hot toddy, a woman singing just for the group of us, and, for good measure, Santa hanging out with us having a few drinks of his own. It was just a great Christmas evening, with an LA flair to it.

No, the ice wasn’t great. No, it wasn’t frosty and chilly. The light was a little too bright. The rink was small. But so what? How often do you get to ice skate outdoors in LA? Even if it’s not an actual party, you can make your own. Now that Downtown has so many options, make a night of it: Maybe grab an early dinner at Bottega Louie, walk over to Pershing Square, do a little skating, and grab a nightcap at the Biltmore, listening to their carolers and admiring their huge (and real) Christmas tree.

Welcome to winter, Angelenos. Make the most of it.

Happy travels.