Getting the flavor of...
Hollywood’s sci-fi watering hole
Los Angeles finally has “a safe haven for geeks,” said Eric Vilas-Boas in Thrillist.com. Pull up a bar stool on any given night at the Star Wars– themed Scum & Villainy Cantina, and you’re likely to find yourself seated next to patrons dressed as Jedis, storm troopers, and Sith lords. Modeled on the oddball-filled saloon that appears in the first Star Wars film—there’s even a “droid detector” at the entrance—the windowless watering hole hosts sci-fi trivia nights, intense lightsaber duels, and laser blaster faceoffs between smugglers and bounty hunters. “All in good fun, of course.” But the patrons make the experience, and they’re not all Star Wars obsessives. Fans of Star Trek, the ’80s sitcom Alf, and Marvel’s superheroes are all regulars, too. “I actually love it when Trekkies come in,” says bar owner J.C. Reifenberg. “They play along better than anybody. They walk around with their data pads out and they scan all the customers.”
Kentucky’s thoroughbred circuit
“I’m as giddy as a teenager at her first concert, waiting to catch a glimpse of her rock-star crush,” said Patti Nickell in the Chicago Tribune. And when my hero trots out of his stall to greet his fans, he is “just as handsome and regal as I knew he would be.” American Pharaoh, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, has retired from racing to the stallion barn at Ashford Stud Farm, just outside Lexington. Ashford is one of 37 farms and equine attractions that are members of Horse Country Inc. (visithorsecountry.com), an organization that lets the public get a close-up look at the Bluegrass Region’s signature industry. Some participating farms, like Calumet, which has produced eight Kentucky Derby winners, are “mindboggling in their grandeur.” Others are more boutique operations. At the 920-acre Pin Oak Stud, staffers told us how they teach their 35 mares good manners. “We were even permitted to stroke the most docile horses on their velvety noses.” ■