The folks at WordPress were kind enough to remind me that yesterday, May 14th, was the one year anniversary of my blog. Wow! When I started the blog, I just wanted an online notebook where I could record the first drinks I was clumsily mixing up in my kitchen. Never did I imagine a year later, the site had become a pretty big part of my life, a growing vehicle for my writing, social media, home mixing, and nightlife activities. Looking back on this year of boozy blogging, I thought of five key takeaways:
People are fun. This blog’s most positive impact is that it forced ol’introverted me to actually go out and meet people. The thrill of discovering some delicious concoction or beautiful bar and writing about it changed me from a committed homebody to one of Uber’s better customers. Thanks to the blog, I’ve befriended some amazingly talented and creative people who love to drink. And that’s just a great combination. Over the next year, I’ll work harder to reach out and interact with my readers. And drink with them, that too.
I’m down with this creative economy thing. One thing I’ve really grown to appreciate about the DC cocktail scene is that there is no “rule book,” just daring and creative folks working really, really hard to discover and hone new flavors. These don’t always work out, but I’ve just been blown away by the ingenuity of the bartenders I meet; to observe folks unburdened by rules and tradition pour their energies into something that can be enjoyed by all is extremely uplifting. And those are just the drinks – I think the amazing architecture, art, and aesthetic I’ve observed in many bars has left more of a mark on me than the cocktails they serve.
Drink everything. I’ll be honest, I don’t love 75% of the cocktails I try. I’m still having trouble getting along with rye, bitter drinks, and smokier flavors. Sometime I’ll look at a cocktail list and cringe when I spy some ingredient that tests my constitution. But I never shy away from at least trying them. And I think that’s important, as learning about what you don’t like enhances your palette and gets your mind working on ways to improve or building alternate mixes. And, if I just stuck with the drinks I liked, this would be a pretty boring blog 🙂
DC has got it going on. This is embarrassing for me to admit, but I’ve resided in the DC-area for over a decade, but only had a DC address for a very short period. My increasingly frequent trips into the city on the hunt for cocktail magic has opened my eyes to the burgeoning energy and vibrancy of the city. I’ve gotten to hang out in neighborhoods of which I’d only heard of before, and learned to love them. It’s dawned on me that I’m lucky enough to live in a special place, and perhaps I should consider taking that big leap and crossing the Potomac for my next move.
Just write baby. After years of office work and living a mind-numbing suburban existence, I had forgotten what a joy writing can be. The desire to keep this blog fresh with new content has renewed my love affair with the written word, and I find myself typing out new entries, book reviews, thoughts, or short stories on a much more frequent basis than I did a year prior. Now, what I write isn’t special, but that’s not the point – that daily exercise of your writing brain is what counts.