December 27 – Ruby Slipper

Dizzying Drops

While most of the world knows of the big ball dropping in New York’s Times Square, every New Year’s Eve, other places have their own tradition… and some of them are quite wacky. Let’s take a look at the oddest items that are used to help ring in the New Year!

#5: Show Low, Arizona – 2 of Clubs

According to legend, the city of Show Low earned its name when two men who hated each other decided to draw cards to see who had to leave the town (not the most riveting loser leaves matches ever devised) with one stating “If you show low, you win!” The winner drew a 2 of Clubs, thus spawning a city’s moniker, as well as the object they drop December 31st at midnight.

marriage-cards

#4: Plymouth, Wisconsin – Cheese Wedge

It’s no surprise that the people of Wisconsin are big into cheese. Hell, they wear wedges on their heads to football games and take no offense in someone calling them “cheeseheads”. On New Year’s Eve, the fine folks of Plymouth take things to a whole new level (literally!) as they drop an 80-pound decorated cheese wedge from 100-feet in a salute to the dairy industry. Mrs. Sip will be there one year, with crackers and carving knife in hand!

#3: Lebanon, Pennsylvania – Bologna

Pennsylvania is home to the most item drops across the United States and this is the oddest item among them, a 12-foot long, 150-pound slab of bologna. It’s all for a good cause, however, as the bologna is given to local food banks and animal shelters, following the event. If you could somehow combine the cheese in Wisconsin with the bologna is Pennsylvania, you’d have a nice charcuterie plate in the making.

Balogna Cat

#2: Brasstown, North Carolina – Live Possum

This one doesn’t sound so crazy until you realize that they use a live possum, put inside a Plexiglas pyramid. Held at the Clay’s Corner convenience store, the possum is carefully lowered before being fed and released. The event has drawn the ire of PETA and other animal rights activists, but locals love it and the store owners get all the proper permits. A similar event takes place in Tallapoosa, Georgia, although using a stuffed possum. Or, perhaps, the possum has just been playing dead all along!

#1: Key West, Florida – Ruby Slipper

I know what you’re probably thinking: What’s so odd about a ruby slipper being dropped? Did I mention that there’s a drag queen named Sushi (played by Gary Marion) in that stiletto? This event takes place at the 801 Bourbon Street Pub, while other Key West bars have their own drops, including a conch shell and a pirate wench, which sounds a little more up the Sip Advisor’s alley!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Ruby Slipper

Ruby Slipper Shot

In addition to the weirder items, all sorts of fruits are dropped across the U.S., including oranges, apples, peaches, watermelon balls, cherries, strawberries, huckleberries, pears, and grapes. What will they think of next!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Given our subject is about things dropping and it’s Super Saturday Shot Day, why not do a drop shot… and no, I’m not talking about the tennis variety! Coincidentally, there’s a drop shot called Ruby Slipper, going perfectly with this article’s chart topper. I’m okay with drop shots, but find them a little messy. This one tastes pretty good and the colours are neat, so it gets my recommendation.

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August 1 – New York Cocktail

New York Minute

Today we continue our hurried travels around New York City. There’s much more to do, so let’s get right down to it: Live from New York, it’s Sip Advisor Live!

Go to the Statue of Liberty

The iconic symbol of freedom and hope with the start of a new life, this statute is what many immigrants were greeted with when arriving from overseas to New York at Ellis Island to be processed into the country. It has remained a national treasure, gracing everything from sports jerseys to American coins. The French should be commended for such a nice gift.

Statue-of-Liberty

Eat at Famous Restaurants

New York is home to a number of world-renowned eateries, in varying ranges of price and style. There’s Katz’s Deli, ‘21’ Club, Café Noir, Lanza’s, Lenny’s Pizza, and Sardi’s (famous for the caricatures of countless celebrities, which adorn the walls of this joint), all of which have appeared in numerous movies and TV shows.

Do a TV Tour of the City

So many popular shows were filmed in New York: Seinfeld, Sex in the City, Friends, How I Met Your Mother. Many of the locations highlighted in these series are incorporated into tours, allowing fans to reminisce about their favourite moments and characters. The Sex and the City tour even includes Cosmopolitan cocktails!

Attend Madison Square Garden

While we enjoyed a baseball game at Yankee Stadium yesterday, today we scout out New York’s other sports options. Whether it’s hockey with the Rangers, basketball with the Knicks or professional wrestling (MSG has long been considered WWE’s ‘home turf’), there’s much to choose from. Notable concerts have also taken place at the site, including six sold out dates for Led Zeppelin on their 1977 tour!

New York Rangers

See a Concert/Comedy Show

With so many famous venues (Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, etc.) you’re bound to stumble upon a great show and perhaps even see some entertainers before they hit the big time. In the comedy realm, I’ve heard the Upright Citizens Brigade is a popular attraction. The troupe has launched the careers of Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz, among others.

Have Some Fun at Coney Island

If Coney Island is anything similar to the Santa Monica Pier, then I know Mrs. Sip and I will have a good time. Carnivals along the water provide ample opportunity for fun, amazing eats, and booze. You might even get to participate in the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating competition, although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Visit Times Square

Home to one of the biggest New Year’s Eve bashes every year, Times Square is a sight to behold even when it’s not packed with millions of people waiting for the big ball to drop. Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable amongst a crowd of that size, so I’ll go on a normal day when it’s still infested with travelers gawking at all the cool signs, restaurants, stores, and other entertainment.

chuckys times square

Hmmm… starting to regret going to Times Square!

Ride the Subway System

You’ve not truly visited New York until you’ve hopped aboard its underground trains. Hopefully you don’t have to deal with a Taking of Pelham 123 hostage situation or post-apocalyptic warfare, as depicted in The Warriors. Fingers crossed you only have to encounter some homeless people, a thug or two, and the occasional wafting smell of urine.

Take a Stroll through Central Park

The option of a horse drawn carriage through the park also exists, but a leisurely stroll around the massive grounds would suffice. Dedicating some time to visiting the Central Park Zoo would also be a priority. It’s crazy how much activity is going on in this park. Perhaps you’d even get to experience the “real” Harlem shake and get mugged!

Drink #213: New York Cocktail

Aug 1

  • 2 oz Canadian Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • 1 tsp of Grenadine
  • Garnish with Apple Slice

Sadly, New York is not in our immediate plans, despite my constant insistence on doing an east coast holiday. Feel free to start a letter writing campaign on my behalf to get Mrs. Sip to change her mind!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
I find it slightly odd that the New York Cocktail specifically requires a ‘Canadian’ Whiskey, but I guess the American hub isn’t too far away from the Canadian border. I don’t understand why recipes always overvalue Lemon and Lime Juice measurements. It makes these juices stand out too strong and the cocktail becomes too tart. Once the drink diluted a little, it was decent, but not worthy of repeat servings.