Sean Beckwith: Getting back into the swing of things
Getting back out there usually is reserved for when friends, traumatized by a breakup, re-enter the dating world. I like Mikey from “Swingers” as much as the next person, which is not that much.
Living life almost post-pandemic, like dating, is only going to be successful if you attack the bunny like a bear with these big claws. You’re so money and you don’t even know it because your jokes don’t slap via Zoom like they do delivered with full, in-person physicality.
If you’re still trying to get over that stay-at-home-induced agoraphobia, let me be the Trent to your Mikey and give you a glimpse — and get you back to — almost normal life.
I half imagined Isis would be packed during the opening weekend of “Black Widow” to the point that I bought Sunday matinee tickets online ahead of time. When I did that thing that you do when you walk into a theater and peer around the corner to see where everyone is situated, we were met with empty seats.
That’s the first and only time I’ve ever had a theater to myself, and I felt like I should’ve pushed the envelope more. I cracked my beers without the pre-crack then muted crack you normally utilize to avoid disturbing those around you or get caught by one of the 15 teenaged employees who could give a shit about enforcing theater rules. Could we have gotten away with more? Sure, but I didn’t know what I was getting into. Now you do, though.
So, go to the movies now before the timidity subsides, and bring your vape pens, flasks and everything in between. Just don’t make out during “Schindler’s List.” It’s taboo regardless of if your parents’ friends ID you.
(Tweet-length review of “Black Widow”: It was wonderful to revisit to MCU in its natural state of tight storytelling woven with humor, heart and loads of action.)
God forbid I ever have friends come to town over Fourth of July Weekend again. Trying to get a reservation week of required 57 phone calls, three text threads and innumerable let downs. The level of excitement waned as the search for the Holy Table stretched into day three or four.
Thankfully, Aspen has enough sushi options that we were able to get a 9:15 resi. Despite the Spain-esque start time, I was still optimistic because usually that late seating is subdued, with wait staff and customer alike committed to a “We know it’s late, so let’s get you fed, drunk and out of here in a timely manner” experience.
While the service was exactly that, I think the club music turnt to 11 was more responsible for the speedy service than anything else. Usually, sushi is more subdued, with subtle yet delicious flavors.
It was kind of difficult to parse those when there’s a laser light show complete with color-changing candles, neon-green ice, smoke machine or a plastic tree with your sashimi and fiesta rolls.
If you want an actual enjoyable dining experience, book far in advance or go downvalley. (In no way am I saying don’t frequent Aspen restaurants; I’m just saying even local service industry people will understand if you opt out of Aspen’s restaurant scene over a holiday weekend.)
I’ve been out here — and had to work Thursdays — long enough to get a slight tinge of nostalgia from free concerts at Snowmass. That, and the crowd hasn’t changed. Families are still the prevailing demo, with kids let loose while the parents socialize and treat the band as ambiance.
The Thursday crowd is immune to call and response, so don’t feel bad when you get a smattering of applause after asking, “How’s everybody feeling tonight?!” The best show I ever saw there was Chali 2na, who did a bunch of Gang Starr covers because it was right after Guru died.
That last sentence might as well have been Mandarin for most of you, and it definitely is for whoever books those shows. Basically, what I’m saying is if no one is even paying attention to the band, why not try a little hip-hop?
The highlight of the show by far was realizing I knew a crew manning (and wo-manning) one of the beer tents. There was a time when spotting a local, generous barkeep buddy was a regular occurrence and not akin to finding El Dorado.
“Hey, remember when X used to Y at Z and hook us up with so many Ns? Yeah, that was awesome.” (Enter friend’s name for X; cook, serve or bartender for Y; restaurant or bar for Z; and shots, apps, pizzas, beers, etc. for N.)
But that’s kind of what this summer has felt like: A rediscovery of fun and our past selves before the pandemic made us all shut-ins and afraid of the world. Sorry, that’s more Ron Livingston than Vince Vaughn.
That said, go forth and find your version of a beautiful baby, because you’ve wallowed at home drinking orange juice and eating salami by the tube for too long.
Sean Beckwith also strongly recommends getting vaccinated before getting back out there. Email him at email@example.com.