Thursday, February 3, 2011
a day at the races
In all of our years consuming American culture by the bucketload, K. and I had never been to the horsetrack. We have good friends, the Admiral and the Trumpeter, who go to Santa Anita fairly often, and when the track sent them a mailer for a food truck festival, they proposed that we join them and finally get our racetrack on.
If you ever get the opportunity, don't go on food-truck festival day. Leaving aside all the snide things one might say about the hipster fad for dining à la roach coach, the infield was utterly mobbed. Tahrir Square at high noon is less crowded than the Santa Anita infield was on saturday. The offerings looked good (cupcakes! bacon! all your hipster faves!), but the lines, if straightened out, probably stretched to Monrovia. We waited about an hour for a delicious dosa at the Ommm Good dosa truck (split beween the four of us), and then we bailed and hit the grandstand for hot dogs.
But I wasn't there for the food (or the beer, which in the grandstand was limited to yellow and yellower). No, I was there to play the ponies! And to people-watch, but mainly to play the ponies. It was great fun, although kinda intimidating at first, given the centuries of tradition that have built up around horse-racing. I was glad we had experts for chaperones. (The Admiral is serious enough that he follows races going on at tracks in NY and Florida.)
In the end, I placed a whole bunch of weenie $2 show bets on horses I liked the names of, and I walked away with a whole $2 more than I entered with. K. ended up down a few bucks, I think. A good time was had by all.
Next up, as predicted by Marx (Groucho, that is): A night at the opera! Yes, our own Repertory Opera Company is staging Gounod's Roméo et Juliette the next three saturdays, at 2pm at the First Christian Church (where they performed Carmen). Will I see you there?