[MA-SOC] Maui Tacos vs. Zaro - one attendee's opinion

Oneirophile at aol.com Oneirophile at aol.com
Tue Jul 29 16:30:30 EDT 2008

I guess I'm biased because of my preference for Maui Tacos, but I have to  
say that Ralph-san makes some good points:
*  "Beware-- that [free venue] could very easily change when they see the 
space and  time we take up in practice."
Ralph's instincts may be right on target here.  My husband Richard, a  
published poet who participates in various poetry groups' readings around  the City, 
has told me that these cafes often pull a bait-and-switch of  exactly that 
sort.  They agree to host a group's poetry readings for free,  even waiving a 
minimum for food, and for awhile everything is fine.  Then  when they see that 
the readings are well-attended and take up an increasing  amount of space -- 
and that many attendees don't necessarily order food there --  they suddenly hit 
the poetry group with a venue fee AND a minimum order  requirement.  Richard 
says it's happened before, more than once.  So,  as Ralph says.... beware.
* "Sincerely, I haven't seen a difference in attendance  between summer and 
winter.  We get a boost after any major anime local  event where we plug the 
club, such as the December NY Anime Con or the June  AnimeNext, but that 
subsides in a few months whether it's warm or cold.  I  personally don't find the 
temperature at Maui a big deal, but I'm more  temperature tolerant than most."
I too haven't noticed any drop in attendance at Maui Tacos during the  winter 
months.... in fact, if memory serves me, attendance seems somewhat lower  in 
the summer because people go on vacation, hit the beaches, etc.  I  personally 
am LESS temperature tolerant than most, and I've done my share of  kvetching 
about the cold at MT, but when all is said and done it really doesn't  spoil 
my enjoyment of the screenings.  I wear a sweater under my coat,  order a hot 
cocoa instead of soda, and splash a little extra chipotle salsa on  my food to 
get the blood circulating.  Sure, I'd like it to be warmer  there, but as far 
as I'm concerned it's a reasonable trade-off.
Besides -- other than the old saw about warm air rising -- what guarantee  do 
we have that it will be any warmer at Zaro's?  Fuel being as expensive  as it 
is nowadays, we may have the same problem there.
*  "Yeah, we do have a long-standing relationship with Maui, and that does 
count  for something."

Again, I speak only for myself, but I'm very fond of the  Maui Tacos staff.  
Manager Christine is a sweetie, she always says hello  when I see her there, 
and she's even asked me how my son is doing (although he  hadn't come to a 
screening with me for years).  And I'm sorry to hear  that Angela-san had a bad 
experience with the staff inadvertently  sending back her order, but I assume 
that was an isolated incident (every  restaurant makes mistakes sometimes).  
Most of the time they are very  considerate about bringing orders downstairs 
while we're watching.... and  let's face it, they don't HAVE to do that, but they 
do.  I appreciate  that.
* "I prefer a darker environment for watching big screen,  even with a strong 
So do I.  Whether at home, in a theater, or at a  screening, only a bare 
minimum of lighting is required for convenience and  safety.  Anything more than 
that, IMHO, interferes with the viewer's  visual concentration and focus.... 
especially when there are subtitles to  read..
* "I've actually discussed this with Christine, the manager  at Maui, and 
she's been very tolerant of outside food, including letting us hold  a pizza 
party one day without any in-store food bought.  If anything, I've  discouraged 
the practice more than Maui has."
I remember that pizza party!  And as I recall, the MT  staff had absolutely 
no problem with it.  I've walked in there with big,  very visible drinks from 
Starbuck's, and nobody behind the counter said a  word.  I also remember 
Disa-san bringing in a big box of her yummy homemade  muffins for us, other members 
distributing chocolate, and me passing around  different kinds of Pocky.  In 
none of those cases did we have to hide it  from the staff.
"Theoretically we could always go up to the bar upstairs at Maui,  but people 
rarely do that.  I don't know why."
I  personally have gone upstairs, or even outside (e.g., to Starbuck's), at 
times  when I really wasn't interested in a particular series being shown at 
MT.   I would simply leave a book or an article of clothing to save my seat, and 
came  back with no problem.  I've also chatted with other members upstairs -- 
at  the salsa bar, on line, etc.  Going to the MT bar is an option too, as  
Ralph suggested.  We're not tied to our seats at either venue, and the  seats 
on the other side of the mezzanine at Zaro's might be fully occupied by  other 
patrons at times, so as far as I'm concerned the convenience (or lack  
thereof) is about equal for both venues.
At any  rate, I don't want to belabor the issue so I won't post to this 
thread anymore  -- unless it magically morphs into, say, a debate about the 
comparative  adorableness of Giant Squid vs. Colossal Squid.  ^_^
Ja mata,
+ + + + + + +  + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
("Bidden or not bidden, God is present")
+ + + + + + + + + + + + +  + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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