What you are looking at today are a few of the spots I stopped along the way on Friday night. Crowds seemed oddly sparse, though some of the places I stopped had very big crowds. I’m not including everything from Friday night in this article because some of it had a unifying theme I want to dig into a little deeper in a later post.
I stopped into The Village, a business which you’ll remember I profiled a few weeks ago. Beth Meadows had her art on display and it will continue through the month. I enjoyed talking with her as our paths intersected once again. You can stop by and view her work for the rest of the month.
Across the street in the UT Downtown Gallery, the work of Louis Chan was on display. Massive photographs of personal belongings document the assimilation or lack of assimilation of Chinese-Americans as Mr. Chan documents cramped New York City apartments and other spaces. The three year project, “My Home,” will be on display for the remainder of the month of November and is well worth your time to seek out. I hope to return when the gallery is less crowded.
I also visited the open house at 119 S. Central. The building includes Oli Bea, which I profiled last week, and an upstairs apartment that is currently for lease. Oli Bea was packed and a old time band played while incredible food was served from the just-completed counter. The fried chicken and the biscuits were amazing. I’m telling you, this place is going to be dangerous for me and anyone who loves breakfast food but wants to continue fitting into their pants.
Upstairs, the apartment is lovely. The massive arched windows overlooking Central street are beautiful, as are the dual fireplaces in one of the rooms. The deck off the back offers a nice private space and it’s all move-in ready. Terri and Paul Karlsson from The Tree and Vine and CitiFid-o were on hand and serving the wine while building owner Nancy Voith worked the room. She told me she can’t go to bed at night until she gets my email notification (subscribe to the right of this article if you’d like email notifications), which generally goes out just after mid-night. She may be bleary-eyed today because this one didn’t get finished until after 2:00 AM. Sorry, Nancy.
I also got to meet Hali Maltsberger who made the art for one of the main walls in the unit. Nancy told her she wanted “Where’s Waldo? meets the Old City,” and Hali designed an intricate work that incorporates icons of the neighborhood with little winks from her own life, such as her cats which are sprinkled about and her signature which is incorporated cleverly in a street sign.
I walked past the Public House as I traveled about and couldn’t help but notice how warm and convivial it looked from the outside. Photographing interior spaces from the outside is something I’d like to do more of.
A big part of my weekend was spent at the Scruffy City Comedy Festival and, while I’m not your best comedy audience member, i have to say I had a great time. I particularly fell in love with the often intelligent comedy of Tim Northern. I saw him twice – once as a headliner of the festival on Friday night at Scruffy City Hall and again on Sunday night at Preservation Pub where he said he was recording his third CD. I’ve learned his routine, so ask me next time you see me and I’ll give you a sample.
Another space I visited as a part of the Comedy Festival was the Jack Cellar under Sky Bar. I’ve walked through it before and liked it. It worked very well as a performance space. But I rarely see people down there most nights as I walk around town. To me it screams out to be a blues and/or jazz bar. We don’t have one and I’m thinking it would be pretty spectacular to have the blues snaking its way out of that downstairs space and onto Gay Street on a Friday and/or Saturday night.
The festival was great and I hope you’ll consider attending next year if you missed this year. Matt Ward does a great job keeping comedy alive and vibrant in the city. I’ll have more on the other parts of my Friday night later in the week (maybe tomorrow).