This marked the second weekend in a row that we’ve hosted people from outside the city. Last weekend it was friends of the family and their significant others – all in their twenties – in town for the Auburn game. This weekend really started Wednesday night with the arrival of my brother, who was joined by his daughter on Friday. We’ll skip a weekend before hosting my father and uncle for Thanksgiving.
I’m always self-conscious about the city when these guests arrive. They know that I continuously extol the virtues of the city and they want to see for themselves what it’s like. It’s a challenge when, as we’ve done these weekends, the guests are a teenager, a group in their twenties, and one each people in their forties, seventies and eighties. The toughest for me was when I had a blend of all of the above with a skew toward the upper range.
The round of guests, I think, got a good sample of what we have to offer. I mentioned last week that we took Urban Brother to the newly opened Icon Restaurant on Wednesday night, followed by Chris Padgett at Preservation Pub and Flow Tribe at Barleys. Thursday we dropped a load of money at The Tree and Vine and Coldstream Market and walked around a good bit. That night we ate at home, but caught a very nice show at Preservation Pub featuring Jodie Manross, Laith Keilany and Russell Tanenbaum. Laith’s performance of a middle-eastern song featuring instrumental looping and primal vocals was a standout.
Friday night we had a great time with something I’ll tell you about in a separate post and followed that up with a late, very good, dinner at Cru Bistro.
Saturday morning, of course, brought the Market Square Farmers’ Market. We had a very nice brunch at the French Market where we spotted a wedding party. Just around the corner were people fresh from a color run. The Christmas trees are up and Urban Girl insisted that I take a picture of the one on Krutch Park. On Market Square a nutcracker busker has emerged for the season and seemed to be doing pretty well. His movements had an uncanny resemblance to those of the Purple Guy. I’m just saying. We also had fun with the sculptures in Krutch Park.
The Peanut Shop had a big thing going, with a bean toss on the square (in which Urban Niece won a bag of peanuts) and Santa and Mrs. Claus inside the store along with face-painting and other activities. The store was packed, but Urban Girl managed to get a little private audience with Santa. She used her moment to ask him a burning question, “How do you get into houses like mine with no chimney?” Fortunately his answer matched her mother’s and involved a magic key. She also asked him, “Could I ride on your sleigh sometime?” He explained it moves too fast and even he only rides it once a year. She seemed disappointed, but satisfied.
Another busker on the square caught our attention and our party had conflicting feelings. Emisushine, who looks to be less than ten years old, is backed by a man on drums and another on bass while she plays mandolin and sings country songs. The ambivalence comes with the make-up and big hair which reminded us of the beauty pageants for children. She’s quite talented and has learned to have a bit of stage presence. She has her own booking agent and management. You can find her here if you’d like to see her perform.
Once again, I felt the city showed its good side and everyone had a good time. It wasn’t perfect, of course. I’d rather not have my guests panhandled, particularly by the same person repeatedly. The sidewalks were also more covered with dog deposits than normal, I thought. Still, a fun time was had by all – especially Friday night – and I’ll get you that story as soon as I can sort through the thousand or so photographs.