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Letter from the Editor: Come On, Get Happy

Senior editor Archana Ram dishes on the December issue of San Diego Magazine


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Mogwai cocktail from Madison on Park

It wasn’t a 90-degree Thanksgiving night or the omnipresence of flip-flops. What culture-shocked me (and my routine) most after moving from New York City to San Diego in 2013 was how much San Diegans optimize the daylight hours. They surf before work, hit the farmers’ markets as soon as—and sometimes earlier than—they open, and hit the bars while the sun is still out. It took some adjustment, but I quickly shifted my schedule. Goodbye, 10 p.m. dinners and going to bars at midnight. Hello, day drinking.

That’s why this month’s happy hours cover story was so fun to put together. San Diego is made for happy hour, with its perpetually perfect climate, abundant outdoor dining, cold craft beers, and thriving cocktail scene. But that’s just the start. Happy hour is wallet friendly. There are special menu items. It’s a way to squeeze in a night out without the huge time commitment. For our editor-in-chief, Erin Meanley Glenny—who’s out on maternity leave and now has three kids at home—I’m sure that’s the case. Well, that and her love of white wine.

For me, happy hour is a way to kick back after work. I’m guilty of running through life at warp speed. So instead of dashing home to make dinner or navigating traffic to rush to spin class, sitting down to happy hour allows me to slow down, eat well (on the cheap!), and catch up with friends. My dog often comes along, too.

But this isn’t your average bar roundup. In the feature, we poll bartenders for their favorite happy hour spots, ask a marketing professor why our brains are hard-wired to seek deals, and settle the question of whether it’s safe to eat those bar nuts. Plus, Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer shares three handy bar crawl maps. Go forth and drink! If nothing else, the holiday season and its stresses practically mandate it.

To get you even more in the spirit, our annual gift guide showcases 70 locally sourced products for the home, for the men and women in your life, and your little ones. There’s everything from stylish cotton candy ($5) to a slick stereo console ($3,000), with plenty of price points in between. And this month’s home feature is as much a guide to festive entertaining as it is eye candy. Designer Jennifer Van Galder shares her advice so you can prep your home decor for the barrage of visitors to come. Included in her tips? A recipe for a holiday-inspired version of the Cape Cod cocktail.

Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Archana Ram, Senior Editor
archana@sdmag.com archanapramarchanapram

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