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“a woman walks into a bar…” with Tess Vigeland

on 28/10/13 at 11:02 am

a woman walks into a bar..., BoozeBlog


Tess took another leap and now travels without a net! She lives in Bangkok, Thailand and writes often about her experiences plus the added value of her terrific photographs. You can follow her on Facebook

Who do you call when you want to hang out with someone über interesting, someone who’s taking life by the horns and forging paths unknown, someone who I shared hallways with when I worked at a local public radio station? It didn’t take me long to come up with my pal, Tess Vigeland, to fit the bill. Anyone who has listened to public radio, lo, these many years, has heard Tess’s familiar voice on Marketplace Morning Report. And when she moved on, we got seduced by that dulcet, yet authoritative, voice and followed her to Marketplace Money. Tess has moved on once again, left Marketplace without a safety net, and landed in the unexpected role of inspirational speaker when she made a kickass speech at the World Domination Summit this past July. Hey, world domination…cool.tess_038-1

Tess and I meet at the Blind Donkey, a terrific whisky bar, in Pasadena. “Hey, Tess, great to see you!” Tess has also just come back from Chicago where she gave the keynote speech and emceed for the Edison Talks at Chicago Ideas Week. Hey, what have you done lately, slacka?!

So, what kind of booze floats Tess’s boat? I don’t have to wait long to find out as the bartender breezes by to take our order, “I’m usually a Jameson 12 year gal…”.  Yes! A whisky girl. Unbelievably, the whisky bar doesn’t have it, “What?!” But the bartender comes back with something new to try, The Tyrconnell County Louth, Ireland • 10 year port cask finished Irish whiskey • 92 proof. Tess gets it with a big round ice cube, tastes it and LOVES it! Declares this may be her new whisky. I have a Rosemary’s Baby made with Anchor Junipero Gin, Lemon, Rosemary Syrup & Peychaud’s Bitters…a lovely refreshing cocktail. IMG_3339

We schmooze about, well, everything…public radio, gossip, new beginnings, booze, the Red Sox (she’s a fan)…time’s flying and pretty soon it’s time for another drink. This time Tess goes for the cocktail menu and orders a California Sour made with Bernheim Original, Lemon, Pinot Noir splashed on top to make a very pretty drink.pinot I order the Southern Tartan made with Bulleit Rye, Peychaud’s bitters, Lemon Rind, Ardbeg 10 rinse. That Ardbeg rinse totally rocks this drink.

A tap on my shoulder. Who’s there but Ryan Sweeney, owner of several groovy craft beer bars around town, stops by for a quick chat and an update about more bars that he’s about to open. Turns out Ryan is also part owner of the very bar we’re in. He is everywhere and a very nice human being.

It’s getting late and a third drink, well, not tonight. Which reminds me of Dorothy Parker’s famous ditty:
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”
Those were the days!

Having had plenty of laughs, we wrap it up as the clock ticks away and it’s time to move on. Ryan’s engaged in a serious interview so I wave my goodbye. It’s been great to catch up with Tess, and you can too…just follow these links:

The Blind Donkey
53 E. Union Street
Pasadena, CA
Mon – Fri: 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Sat – Sun: 1:00 pm – 2:00 am