Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hoboken Hope

The wife and I decided to take a little trip across the river to Hoboken, New Jersey. This is the town that gave us Frank Sinatra. It is a great place to go bar-hopping and that is what I did.

402) Oddfellows

Right across from the Path Station is this funky New Orleans style bar on 80 River Street. The bar is in the shape of a check-mark. The short side angles off from a large window over-looking the New Jersey Transit Bus Terminal (and the Path Station). A fairly standard set-up behind the bar exceptf for the stuff hanging or sitting all over the place. Madi Gras beads and masks, rubber alligators, brass instruments, and a dreaded swamp elephant. Some of the larger brass instruments have women's legs sticking out of them. A beautiful Italian marble-like ceiling with old-style overhead fans. An old wooden floor. A back room with a couple of pool tables and a good-sized dining room with pictures of Madi Gras scenes on the walls. The walls were primarily brick and there was a large molding on top with a lot of license plates nailed to it. Curling was being televised on three televisions, so that kind of broke the New Orleans mood a bit.

I had a Boddington's.

403) Texas Arizona

Next door at 76 River Street is Texas Arizona. It has the same style ceiling as the place next door so I assume someone remodeled the whole building and then leased out the two bar areas. The bar is copper-topped with a light wood front and a black ledge for your foot. The bar isn't straight, but has a couple of jogs in it. There is a wooden armrest in front of the copper top. The bar chairs are wood with a nice cherry finish to them. Two fabric covered lamps hang from the ceiling. There were eight television sets in the room with the bar and another couple in the smaller dining area off to the side. Mostly tile floors but with one wood area and a raised area in the back with a number of tables that has a wooden floor as well. There is outside seating on the sidewalk and large windows behind the bar let you order and receive your drinks out there without having to come inside.

I had a Tanqueray and Tonic.

404) Hobson's Choice

A corner bar with large windows with venetian blinds on 77 Hudson Street. A good sized wooden bar with a wooden foot rest and wooden bar chairs. A set of mirror backed wood cabinets sit on top of dark green shelves and coolers. There are at least half a dozen televisions and a pool table. Three banks of green and white glass shaded lights hang over the bar. A high tin ceiling painted kind of a gold/mustard color. The wall behind the bar is brick but the others are dark green. Dark green pillers set on high wooden bases run down the center of the room and are docorated with Christmas lights. A wooden parrot clutching a Corona sits on a perch hanging from the ceiling.

I had a Tanqueray and Tonic.

405) Scotland Yard

Now this place, on 77 Hudson, had a real authentic New Orleans jazz club feel to it. It is a dark, narrow place about seven steps down from street level. A fairly low, but ornate ceiling. A red brick floor and dark brown painted brick walls. Dark wood paneling goes about halfway up the walls and there is a narrow ledge on top just large enough to set down a drink. The bar is an odly shaped angular affair with a center island. It has a wooden top and a wood paneled front. A ledge for your foot and a brass rail around the top of the bar that is held in place by brass lion-heads. Televisions and shelves with bottles sit on the center island. White glass-shaded lights hang above the bar and the rest of the place as well. Through a narrow passage you can enter another small room with another bar. There was a three-piece group playing decent music and the small crowd was rocking. They had a large selection of bottled beers.

I had a draft Franzishaner Weissbier.

406) Green Rock

I didn't have to stroll to far too hit this place on 70 Hudson. It is a fairly narrow place with a nice old wooden bar with the traditional brass rail. Eleven beers on draft but a pretty mundane selection. Three very large mirrors are behind the bar set in a very large ornate dark wood frame. A pea-soup green tiled ceiling and wooden floors. Mirrors behind the wooden bar-chairs as well. Lots of television sets showing the Mets/Marlins game. The walls are a combination of brick and pale green. Tables in the back and an in-use dart board. Overhead fans and large, clear lightbulbs with small metal shades on top hung over the bar.

I had a Tanqueray and Tonic.

407) Louise and Jerry's

Another step-down type of bar on 329 Washington Street. Very narrow place with an L shaped polished wood bar. Tile floors with a little white, red, and black octogon pattern. White Christmas lights hung above the burgandy painted walls above knotty-pine paneling. There was a pool table in the back. The ceiling looked like a gun-metal grey ceramic replica of an old tin ceiling. Behind the bar were mirrors and nice sparkly, mirrored lights.

I had a draft Bass Ale.

Well, I will certainly be hitting Hoboken again. Lot's of bars in a small area makes this like shooting fish in a barrel. I hit six bars and that didn't include where we had dinner (it was a B.Y.O.B. place so we brought a bottle of white wine). This made 407 for the year and 593 left to go. Which means only 92 more until May 14th at, what looks like, a party at The Gate.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Second At Last

Finally, I made it all the way to 2nd Avenue and actually hit three bars in a single block.

398) Telephone Bar and Grill

Just look for the three, red London style telephone booths at 149 2nd Avenue and you have found the Telephone Bar and Grill. There are green marble-topped tables and chairs outside as well. Enter the doors and walk down six brick steps and you are in the bar itself. The bar is a bit of a strange concoction. It looks one end of a wooden bar had been cut off and then white marble bar with a black marble top inserted as an extender. The walls are brick, the floor is wood and the ceiling is tin. There are mirrors behind the bar and a pretty standard set-up of tiered shelves holding bottles. Coolers with sliding glass doors under the shelves hold the beer and wine. There are two nice purple and what looks like lucite lights mounted behind the bar at each end.

Behind the barstools are two tall, narrow wooden tables with white marble tops. Bar stools are parked under the tables. A plush, wine-colored settee lines two walls. Tables sit in front of it and chairs sit on the other side of the tables. There is a row of tables down the middle of the room seperated by mauve colored pillers that support a beam that looks like it has been covered in tin. A lot of white Christmas lights decorate the place. There is one large, art-deco style light hanging from the ceiling. There is a fairly large back room.

I had a draft Young's Special London Ale.

399) Ryan's Irish Pub

Just next door is this very dark Irish bar. It is dark despite having fairly large windows in front on a sunny day. The bar is black with a brass foot rail, the bar-chairs are black with black cushions, all of the stools and tables in the place are black, the bricks on the wall are painted black, and the ceiling is black. What isn't black is dark wood or a deep-rose paint. Over the bar are interesting metal and glass lamps hanging from chains that give off a dim light. A long sword, an elaborately decorated leather bellows, and a brass bed-warmer decorate the wall above the mirror behind the bar. What, exactly, the connection is between these items is a bit beyond me. Other memorabilia sits on narrow shelves high on the walls. There is a mirror on the black brick wall flanked by two brass lamps mounted on the wall.

I had a Dewar's and Soda

400) Ame Russe

And, just two doors down is this interesting place. A marble topped bar that somehow looks like it would be more at home in an ice-cream parlor. A large metal affair supporting three glass cone-like beakers that hold yellow, green, and red fluids make you start thinking more along the lines of a high-school chemistry laboratory. Glass shelves in front of a mirror with a lovely wooden frame hold glass bottles, beakers, and jugs of various sizes, colors, and shapes that contain who knows what in differently colored liquids makes you think more along the lines of a mad-scientist's laboratory. All of this is either infused or infusing vodka.

There is a brick wall behind the bar but a white-tile wall behind the bar-stools adds to the ice-cream parlor (or mad scientist's lab) look. A shelf above the front windows hold a collection of old seltzer bottles. Menus and drink specials are written in colored markers on the mirrors on the tiled wall. Plush tan-backed benches line one with with tables and chairs in front of them. A couple of interesting statues are mounted on the wall behind the bar. Nice ceramic looking molding around the top of the walls and a tan-tiled floor. The beer taps are mounted in a different looking silver affair mounted on the bar.

I had a draft Spatan Optimator and then, because it was two for one, a Spatan Premium Lager.

401) Corner Billiards and Bar

On the corner of 4th and 11th street is this cavernous place just down a few steps from street level. There is a large zinc bar with wooden bar-stools. Nice hanging lights above the bar. Standard set-up of glass shelves in front of mirrors behind the bar. One large-screened television in the bar area showing a Lakers/Sacramento game. There is also a little area with tables under rose-colored lights hanging from the ceiling. The rest of the place is pure pool hall. Think "The Hustler." Mostly college kids now and a large Asian following.

I had a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale.

Passed the 400 mark and am well positioned to hit my 500th on schedule. Dont forget to let me know your thoughts on wear that will be. The Gate is still the favorite and it looks like it will be at about 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, May 14th.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Birthdays At Joseph's

A bit of a breather today as I went to only one place and that was to celebrate the birthdays of a couple of friends of mine. Prior to sitting down for dinner in the separate dinning room we all had cocktails at the bar.

397) Joseph's

Located at 3 Hanover Square in the financial district in downtown Manhattan is this downstair bar and restaurant. The bar is dimly light, but not dark. It usually is doing a good business with regulars that work in the area. Of course I almost always get here in the early evening so I am not sure what it is like the rest of the time. I have been here for lunch and they seem to do a good business then as well. It is kind of a regular meeting place whenever this group of my friends gets together. The drinks are generous (to a fault, sometimes) and the food, Northern Itallian, is very good indeed. They had very large bowls of mixed nuts on the bar that seemed to be a big hit, at least until nothing was left but the walnuts.

You enter by going down a narrow flight of stairs that enters into what appears to be a fairly narrow bar. Actually, this room is fairly narrow. The bar is a nice polished wood with a brass foot rail. Behind the bar are glass mirror backed shelves holding the bottles. Above the bar is a candy-cane striped plastic-tube light, for decorative purposes only. The whole place has a nice, soft glow to it. The wall at the opposite side of the bar and closest to the door has mirrors and at the other end curtained windows that would, if the curtains were pulled, look out into the fairly large dining area. There are doors to the dining area at either end of that wall.

I had a Marker's Mark Manhattan, very well made. The bartender usually makes a bit more than a full glass and then tops your glass off with the excess after you have taken a few sips. One of my favorite places to have cocktails with friends.

Just the one bar for the day bringing the yearly total to 397 with 603 left to go. I really am going to try to make it to Second Avenue tommorow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Thrown Out Trying For Second

Well, it must not be my fate to get to Second Avenue this week. This time I had really planned on going but there was some sort of a problem with the subway I was going to take. Thanks to the lovely speaker system they have, nobody knew just what the problem was, but the train was taken out of service and we were shunted over to another line. That one went up the west side and 2nd is on the east side. I got off at 12th and headed east but only got as far as University Place.

394) Cedar Tavern

The quintessential old New York bar, kind of. It actually moved to its current location, on University Place between 10th and 11th, in 1963, from a spot a few blocks away. In its old location such notable artists as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Robert Motherwell hung out there. Apparently Jack Kerouac got kicked out of the place, supposedly for urinating in an ashtray. No ashtrays these days so who knows what he might have done.

There is a long wooden bar with a plain wooden top but an ornate front. It has a brass foot-rail and a wooden rail running around the top of the bar for your arms. A very elaborate set of shelves and cabinets grace the back of the bar. A large mirror sits back in a mirrored arch with stained-glass at the top that is lit from above. An antique cash register that is still in use sits on the shelf under the mirror and there is a stained-glass shaded light that hangs directly above it. The top panels of several of the cabinets are also stained glass. There is a lot of track lighting but also several wagon-wheel type light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Nice square stained-glass shaded lights hang over booths and tables along a wall that is yellow brick with dark wood paneling that goes up about half way. There is a small stained-glass skylight and some overhead fans that hang from what looks like a dark-brown painted tin ceiling. Photographs of old New York hang on the walls.

I had a draft Boddington's.

395) Reservoir

Another old-looking bar just a block away on University Place between 10th and 11th. A nice selection of draft beers are served from taps on a nice wooden bar with a brass rail. Two large mirrors are behind the bar with a wide paneled space between them. A big boar's head wearing a tan Drill Instructor type of hat and a red kerchief hangs on the wall. A large fish tank behind the bar looks like it is well overdue for a cleaning. The large sucker-type fish hanging on the side of the tank looked happy enough, but I am not too sure about the few smaller fish swimming about. Nice stained-glass shaded lights hang over the bar. Tiered shelves in front of the mirror hold a large liquor supply. Four television sets were showing the Marlins/Phillies game to a largely disinterested crowd. A red-felt covered pool table sits not far from the bar. High round tables with bar stools sit in the front and square tables with red tablecloths covered with white paper sit in the back, accompanied by chairs. A few overhead fans hang from the ceiling.

I had a draft Red Hook IPA.

396) Cafe Spice

Almost next door on the corner of University Place and 11th is this fairly new Indian restaurant and bar. The bar is a decent sized half rectangular affair with a silver metallic finish and a tan formica front. It has a narrow silver foot-rail. The nine bar-chairs have woven fabric seats, some tan, some green, some red. Yellow mirror backed shelves behind the bar hold the liquor supply. Niches set in the pale yellow wall are painted in various bright colors and hold jars of spices and some primative spice grinding implements. Track lighting illuminates these niches. One section of the wall in the back is brick and has Indian cooking implements hanging on it. The very back wall is open to the kitchen. A lot of little tables and chairs and four, brightly painted, semi-private booths built into one wall. The floor is nicely tiled. The ceiling above the bar area is pea-soup green with inset spot lighting. The rest of the ceiing is white.

This was my last bar of the day so I treated myself to a Maker's Mark Manhattan.

A kind of a relaxing day but the three bars brought my total for the year to 396 with only 604 left to go. I am having diner with friends tomorrow so I will probably just hit the bar in the restaurant before sitting down to eat.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

From Second To Third

It was a nice sunny day so I was going to take a stroll down Second Avenue. When I got to Third I spotted a bar and one thing led to another so I never did make it to Second. Tomorrow, for sure.

389) Bar None

This is the place that caught my eye as I was walking along 12th Street towards Second. If is on Third between 12th and 13th and the sign just popped out at me. An old beat-up wooden bar with names and graffiti carved into the front wooden armrest. A black ledge for your foot. Nice dark-wood bar-chairs with padded black seats. Mirror backed glass shelves hold the liquor. A nice selection of beers on draft. Jaegermeister being chilled for shots, I inwardly shudder. A couple of cement sculptures hang on two of the mirrors. The woodwork surrounding the mirrors is quite ornate. Plush sofas by the windows in front and wrap-awound padded booths along the side wall with mirrors above them. Nice old wooden floors. Three TVs, only two were turned on and the two other patrons and the bartender were watching a Clint Eastwood movied. Kind of a funky black-stucco ceiling.

I had a draft Blue Moon.

390) Nevada Smith's

A very dark place that is very big on soccer. It is at 74 Third, almost at 11th. The place is kept dark to better show the games on their seven televisions. Three different games were playing while I was there. Mirror backd tiered shelving behind the bar holds the liquor. Four upturned glass shaded lamps are mounted in the spaces between the mirrors. Dim orangeish track lighting above the bar and five larger glass shaded lights above the rest of the place. There is track lighting above the back wall and a few more lamps similar to the ones behind the bar. They are all fairly dim. Somebody was hanging a huge, mostly blue, Chelsea Football Club, New York Blues banner. This place was packed, unusual for a week-day afternoon.

I had a draft Pilsner Urquell.

391) Uno Chicago Bar and Grill

A decemt sized pizza joint and bar on Third, across the street and down a block from Nevada Smith's, between 10th and 11th. The bar itself is a nice old wooden one with a black ledge for your feet. Nice dark-wood bar-chairs. Glass shelves behind the bar for bottles and glasses. A couple of televisions. Peanuts in bowls on the bar, kind of hit the spot, perhaps a bit too well. I had to have the bartender take them away. The walls have dark-wood paneling up about half-way and then brick above. Some red, white, and black padded booths sit by the front window. Large white shaded lights hang above the bar and overhead fans hang from the ceiling which is patterned tile painted to look like zinc. A lot of tables with brown and tan checks fill up the floor space. Numerous black and white photographs and old advertising grace the walls. A scaled down Statue of Liberty sits in the dining area that is seperated from the bar by wooden and glass dividers. A narrow window with wood framed panes hangs from the ceiling.

I had a draft Uno Amber, not too bad either.

392) St. Marks Ale House

A fairly dark place on St. Marks (8th Street renamed) and just off 3rd. A decent selection of draft beers dispensed from either brass or ceramic fixtures. A nice sized wood bar with a top that looks newer than its base. It does have the traditional brass rail. Wood bar-chairs with black padded seats. Smaller versions of the bar-chairs sit around wooden tables that sit in front of benches lining the wooden walls. A lot of televisions are mounted on the walls along with various black and white photos of old New York. Some sports memorabilia and old advertising posters fill out most of the remaining space. The bathroom doors are graced with large pictures of Marilyn Monroe (women's) and James Dean (men's). The one brick wall has a picture of monks quaffing beer. The ceiling over the bar area is dark tin and there are recessed lights behind the bar.

I had a draft Anchor Steam Beer.

393) San Marcos

Just down St. Marks a bit is this narrow, but very deep place that widens out in the back where there is a pool table. A wavey metallic ceramic topped bar with a blue cement front and a black ledge for your foot. They have a decent selection of draft beers. Black bar-chairs with black seats. Wood paneling behind the bar and a large mirror. A large plaster cactus decorated with green Christmas lights sits on one side of the mirror. A large steer skull hangs in the center of the mirror and three smaller skulls decorated with Indian designs hang above the mirror. The brick wall behind the bar is decorated with Mexican sombrerros, half of an Indian motorcycle gas tank, and ceramic iquanas, cacti, and red peppers. Hanging over the bar are nice lights with tube like glass shades in a variety of colors that kind of bulged in the center.

I had a Brooklyn Lager and, because it was two for one, I managed to get a frozen margarita instead of a second beer.

Knocked of five more today and am up to 393 for the year with 617 left to go. I hope to hit 400 on Friday which will put me on schedule for hitting number 500 on May 14th.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Manhattans in Manhattan

Serious note to myself, stick with beer or mixed drinks. Manhattans are not appropriate quest drinks considering how big they make them in this town. I hit the five bars I was aiming to hit, but just barely.

There is a little almost triangular block that has two very different bars on it. The base of the block is West 13th. The cut-off top is West 14th. The sides are Hudson and 9th Avenue. If you go south another block 9th Avenue angles to the east and becomes Greenwich Street, not to be confused with Greenwich Avenue. Also, be on the look-out for Little West 12th, a two-and-a-half block stretch that is kind of an extension of West 12th, except West 12th stops at Greenwich Avenue. Confused yet, try walking around in this area.

Anyway, I digress.

383) The Barbeque Pit

At the fat, or West 13th end is The Barbeque Pit. This is one of the old places that are still left in this neighborhood, kind of the border between Greenwich Village and The Meatpacking District, that is going upscale. This place takes up the whole width of the block but the door is on the 9th Avenue side. There are two rooms with a pool table and a fooseball table in the back room with a few tables and chairs and a television. The short hallway between the two rooms have a couple of large black-and-white photographs of hanging meat. Yummy.

The bar is an old wooden affair that has seen better days but fits in perfectly. The barstools are plain metal with black vinyl seats. There is all kind of interesting stuff on the walls including some very large fish. One is flourescent green and the silver one behind the bar is chugging a Budweiser. There are also numerous boars-heads mounted on the wall. A few hunting knives and an old pistol and rifle are mounted behind the bar. A lot of police patches behind the bar as well. There is a large metal-lined wooden ice-chest filled with ice and beer. A tiered shelf above the chest hold the liquor. Above that shelf is a narrow shelf draped with red pepper-lights and a string of plastic pig-lights. There are a few bottles on the shelf as well as some ceramic pigs, two of whom are doing it doggy-style. There is also a television mounted on the wall at one end of the bar.

Windows line the three sides of the place that are on the street but large flags hang from the top of most of them so the place is suitably dark. A pleasant enough place and a bit of a welcome change from all of the newer "hipper" places that have opened up recently.

I had a Red Hook ESB Amber Ale.

384) Venta

At the other end of this block, and at the other end of the spectrum, is this upscale bar and restaurant. The bar has an opaque lucite top lit from underneath with soft-purple lights. The front of the bar is black except for a panel around the bottom that is also lucite and lit the same way as the bar. The back of the bar is lit with soft-purple lights as well. There are also three waist-high dividers that seperate the bar area from the fairly elegant, triangular dining area and these divider are black and purple-lit lucite as well.

There are floor-to-ceiling windows on the two long sides that have light-green gauze-like curtains that were pulled back so the place was well lit. There are numerous white cube lights mounted in a regular pattern on the ceiling. There are large tiles on the floor around the bar and wooden flooring in the dining area. A nice outdoor sitting area is on Hudson, which is cobble-stoned at this point.

I had a gin and tonic, very well made.

385) Gaslight Lounge

Walking in here is like stepping back in time and into someone's parlor. A definite early 1940's feel. It is located on 9th and West 14th. A long wooden bar with a ledge for your foot. Plain wooden bar-stools. Wood paneling on the wall behind the bar with tiered shelves holding the liquor. Three nicely framed mirrors hang behind the bar along with two carriage lanterns with red bulbs. A minature London, or old New York, style street lamp sits on one end of the bar and an old living room lamp sits on the other end. Two walls have floor to ceiling windows with lace curtains framed by wine-red velvet-like drapes. The remaining wall is kind of a distressed pea-sou[ green and has a small coal stove. Two black and white portrait-like photos of an elderly man and a woman hang on either side of a large mirror with a fancy frame.

There a lots of plush old-fashioned chairs and sofas with end tables. There are nice old wooden floors, but they should really clean off the gum. I am not sure what this place used to be before it became a bar, but I have never seen so much old gum on the floor of a place before. There were nice over-head fans with lights.

I had a well-made Maker's Mark Manhattan.

386) Markt

A most interesting place on the corner of West 14th and 9th. A very long bar, but broken into three sections. One section has oysters on ice and a rack for glasses. The tops of the bars are a rust-and-white marble with a decoratative tin-like edging. There is a thick brass rail, but it is about six inches from the top of the bar and sticks out about two inches. I have no idea what function this serves. There is a ledge with a black and tan pattern for you to rest your foot. The bar-stools are wood with patterned wood stained tops with silver studs all around. The back of the bar looks like an old pharmacist shop with banks of small wooden drawers and shelves. Hanging over the bar are white globe lights that look like they could have been hanging in an old school-room somewhere. Wood framed windows on two sides and lots of built in bench style seating. Nice wood floors with no gum. There were some large sprays of purple flowers placed here and there.

I had a draft Julius Echter Hefe-weissbier.

387) Old Homestead

This place has been around since 1868, believe it or not. They serve a $40 hamburger and I once ordered their $100 Kobe steak and sent it back because it was tough. I thought it was a one-off experience but the New York Times reviewed this place and had the same opinion of the Kobe steak. Their other steaks are good, and the prices are typical for a New York steakhouse, very high. The must be doing something right though to have lasted this long in what used to be a not very desirable location. Just look for the big cow on the awning as you mosey down 9th avenue and you cant miss it. It is located at 56 9th Avenue, between 14th and 15th.

It has a nice white-marble topped bar and dome shaped stained-glass lights hang over it. The bar has a padded leather front to it and there were lit candles sitting on top. The bar-stools had green and gold brocaded seats. Over all there is a lot of dark wood and it pretty much has a typical steakhouse look to it. I prefer Sparks, but that is just a personal opinion. The best steak is still probably the one they serve at Peter Luger's.

I had another Maker's Mark Manhattan, excellently made.

388) Art Bar

I really was just going to go home after my last manhattan but I passed by this place, on 8th Avenue between Horatio and Jane, and felt like a plain old beer, and the use of a restroom. As you would expect, there is a lot of art hanging on the walls. Also a fireplace and a back room with couches and drapes. The couches looked very inviting. This is supposed to be a gay bar, but seeing as how I was the only one in the place I wouldn't know, although I do kind of like myself. Last year the Free Press rated it as the best gay hangout in town. It also got rated best people-watching bar and bar with the best bathroom wisdom.

My had was fuzzy so I just used their very interesting bathroom and sucked down a beer.

I had a draft Jenlain.

Staggering my way to the half-way mark (don't forget to let me know your ideas, right now it looks like it will be at The Gate) at 388 with 612 left to go.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

500 Bar Celebration

Just a reminder to give me your feed-back about where a good place might be to get together to celebrate hitting my 500th bar. I am planning on doing this on Saturday, May 14th. So far The Gate in Prospect Park seems to be the favorite. The owner of Duff's, in Williamsburg, has also extended an invitation. His place doesn't open until 6:00 P.M. however. On the plus side, he has said that he would set us up with a few free drinks. The link below provides more information about Duff's

Please post a comment or send me an email with your ideas. A final selection will be made at least a week in advance and I will, of course, post it and try to email everyone for whom I have an address.