Monday, April 11, 2005

This Game, and then the Fireworks

It was a lovely, long weekend down in San Diego visiting the in-laws (who are so terrific I might have married Amy just to be their son-in-law). A couple of highlights and one enduring confusion with the "culture" I live in:

  • If you're looking for good food in the Gaslamp/near Petco, do try Chive Restaurant. Don't let its billing of "cuisine moderne" scare you off. It does re-invent well; take the calamari as an example, fried, sure, but mixed in with a zingy peanut sauce, crisp cole slaw and mango for that fruit/pepper pot twist. And it just nails the right notes with a martini with house-stuffed olives with gorgonzola and with a beef tenderloin that the kitchen loves tender, indeed. Even "kinda" rice pudding is brilliant--a layer of rice pudding, not too mushy, with some white chocolate and then creme brulee over the top, providing all the cream and crunch such a dish needs.

  • Got to see my first game of the season, Pirates v. Padres. Not caring too much about either team I was able to just enjoy the game for game's sake, and root root root for the home team. Oliver Perez can throw, but on that night he couldn't pitch--over-relied on his fastball early, then couldn't hit spots when he needed to. At least he made the Padres feel better about trading him.

  • Xavier Nady almost hit for the cycle with one of the weirder triples you might see, as the player who scored on it almost got thrown out at home while Nady eased into third. Plus, baseball needs more names like Xavier Nady.

  • Petco is a good "new-old" ballpark, but it still isn't whatever they want to call the park in San Francisco. Dowtown SD isn't SF Bay. The Western Metal Supply Building is really the only cool touch. Still, great sightlines from the Toyota Terrace seats (they better be for $55 per--thanks, Larry!).

  • After the game the Padres offered a quick but scintillating fireworks show (even if I can't watch and listen to one without thinking "shock and awe" and grow a bit depressed). During it they featured a medley of city and downtown songs, and while Lovin' Spoonful and Petula Clark are just fine, they also had to drag in Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" (perhaps why Christie Brinkley left him? "you wrote this lame ass song for me--I'm out here, Joel") and, of course, "We Built this City," with that synth riff that more or less is everything bad about the 1980s. The good news? It's really hard to hear even blasted music over lots of exploding gunpowder.


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