The Seattle Seahawks' Sea Gals visited downtown's Hotel 1000 last Friday night to meet up with a special guest: Santa. Santa was in from the north pole, while the Gals had apparently traveled from 1967: They wore blue velvet minidresses trimmed in white faux fur (accenting a slit up the left thigh) with matching hats, rhinestone collars, and white go-go boots over hosiery in the unmistakable shade of Hooter's Tan. (Who decreed the Official Sexy Color for Legs to be this orangey brown that matches the actual skin of no one on earth?)
Outside, the hotel's edifice emitted realistic flurries of fake snow, while the Gals and ol' man Claus posed for photographs in Studio 1000. Studio 1000 is the small lounge off the hotel's lobby; its primary feature is an oval tabletop fireplace with gas jets giving forth flame in what appears to be a bed of onyx crumbles. This ring of fire is warm and mesmerizing, but you don't want to set your drink too close to it. "I wish we could take it with us!" a Gal squeaked as they were marched outside (with Santa in his toasty red suit) onto the freezing sidewalk to drum up photo business. (Some of the proceeds from photo purchases went to Art with Heart, a local youth art-therapy nonprofit, as part of Hotel 1000's "12 Days of Comfort, Joy & Cheer," which features weird events like this all December long.)
The cheerleaders and Santa then promenaded through BOKA, aka Bold Original Kitchen Artistry, aka Hotel 1000's restaurant and bar on the other side of the lobby. It was packed with people thanking god it was Friday with happy hour–priced cups of good cheer. (Former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni visited BOKA's happy hour with a Seattle Times writer this past fall, finding the food middling and the atmosphere to be a "jumble of mixed signals." Agreed—but with half-off food and cheap drinks, it's a fun middling jumble.) The fat, jolly man of the season was cheer-led through the place, with the Gals shaking special sparkly holiday pom-poms. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" one man catcalled over the din. The Gals smiled and shook onward.
The photo-taking remained slow going. Two women were much more interested in their BOKA burgers with truffled French fries, while another group tried without foreseeable success to exhaust the subject of Tiger Woods ("One time is forgivable, but come on!" "I know, right?" "I KNOW!"). Free shortbread cookies and hot apple cider went untouched, while on the sideboard next to them, a miniature motorized Ferris wheel gave elf dolls an unending ride. Santa, who looked suspiciously unwrinkly under his beard, denied that he was a Seahawk in disguise (but then who wouldn't?).
Hotel 1000, 1000 First Ave, 957-1000