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Monday, 19 November 2012

Tonight I was walking home after a Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony, and imagine, my path took me right to my favourite bar.

I often have to explain to people why Sasha's at the Sheraton is my favourite bar.  It's not glitzy.  It's not trendy but it has charm. There are only 5 bar stools, the d├ęcor is comfy blue leather and polished wood and there's not a sparkly thing, other than the glasses, in the whole place.  This is where context comes into play.

In this bar, I've sat with my daughters, with my husband, with friends and with people I haven't met, but who look interesting and had some of the most amazing discussions:  confessions, surprises, rants, tall tales, expressions of love and of annoyance, and just chats with the bartender.  There are several bartenders of course, depending on the time and the day, but all of them are charming, and none of them ever interrupts if I'm just drinking wine and reading my book.  There is a wonderful server with whom I've exchanged earrings and compliments and who always makes me think of one of my sisters-in-law---the one who could always, always make me laugh.  All of them make me feel welcome and mildly interesting, which is kind of a comfortable way to feel.

Another reason I love this bar is that it's situated in a hotel with a superior gift shop, and by superior I mean eclectic and tasteful and bold and full of chocolate.  I usually buy myself a decadent yet modest chocolate thing to take into the bar with me, but only after I've pored over the rings and earrings and scarves and painted boots and chokingly cute baby stuff and fantastic creams in exotic scents and the unique and surprisingly affordable bags.  Sometimes I buy flowers from their smallish but beautiful stock.

Today, I bought a small bag of funkychunky pretzels, drizzled with caramel, 3 kinds of chocolate and pecans.  Yes, I know I should have told you to sit down first.  I had intended to have a glass of wine, but having bought earrings and pretzels, I realized a cappuccino seemed more appropriate.  My friend Ricardo made a beautiful drink with layers of milky coffee, espresso and whipped cream and when he gave it to me, he asked about my daughter and when her baby will be born, and when he saw my bag of pretzels, offered me a bowl.  Can you see why this is my favourite bar?

So, when in Ottawa, hie you down to Sasha's.  I'll buy you one of these (but not from 2010):