Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shaken, not stirred

I was driving north on I-5 through Portland just before Christmas when I tried to point out the famous "Martini Glass" light display to my kiddos (whose only experience with that cocktail is the knowledge that it "tastes yucky!" according to the Boy).

But I couldn't spot it.

In my biased and cynical opinion this thing is something of a treasure. The story is that the big martini glass was originally constructed by a homeowner's kid in the West Hills some time in the Seventies, when getting plowed on Christmas Eve was still looked on as a risque Rat-Packesque sort of jest.

At some point in the Nineties (I think) the owner placed the red-ring-and-slash around it either as a reaction to criticism or a personal statement of anti-drinking sanctimony I blame on that MADD-infested era.

But I liked the whole magilla as a deliciously juniper-scented antidote to the usual Christmas kitsch and was a trifle disappointed that it seemed to be gone this year. Like so much adult and iconoclastic (as opposed to simply adult and rude; the difference between the respective works of Ambrose Bierce or Mark Twain, say, and Adam Sandler) it seemed to be just another victim of our general incomplexity.

And it was especially disappointing given that our West Hills are to Portland what Grosse Pointe is to Detroit or Scarsdale is to New York; a rookery for our plutocratic overlords. From there they may literally look down upon the rest of us. Old Portland tales claim that in the early years these aristos would even use their position to toss their garbage down upon their lessers dwelling below them (although I lend no credence to the claim that what reached the valley floor was not further discarded but eaten).

If anyone had a Reason to Toast the Season it would seem to be our own local oligarchs; if the 1% can't sip a martini and advertise that fact then perhaps the Great Recession is indeed bleaker than even I took it for.

No fear; it turns out that the glass isn't gone; it is merely taking a year off whilst the homeowner retools his pricey hillside pied-a-terre.
"The glass's huge metal frame remains firmly in place, and Hall said he plans to keep it that way by requiring in the deed that the glass be lighted at the holidays."
Calloo, callay, oh frabjous day! Let our gin-infused joy be unconfined!

It's good to hear that at least one of our elites is still fighting the good fight against the War on Christmas. Prosit!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

The comparison of Ambrose Bierce or Mark Twain to Adam Sandler is a fantastic, albeit sad, statement on our non-complexity today.

Glad the martini glass continues ... cocktails are getting big again. Your "Pink Martini" may have led the revival :)