Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Rope

People  people prefer problems that are familiar to solutions that are not. Go back to the latter part of last week and that story about the Downtown Pop-Up Cafes. The only thing more amazing than the idea were the comments it provoked. You can be trying to help a sick patient, or you can be standing on the oxygen hose-in both cases, you're in the room but it's what you do while you're there that makes the difference.

As the gossip that masquerades as gospel would have it, nothing ever goes on in Norwich. And if you doubt that, just ask around because that's what everyone will tell you, so it must be true. We've built all kinds of buildings all over downtown and we may not be done with that approach yet, but in between all the destruction and the construction, it's that silly old private sector and those arts and entertainment people who  just keep on keeping on.

Today and tomorrow (actually through the weekend), are the perfect times to watch the crowds and follow them to see where they lead. Starting today, weather permitting as has been the case all summer. There's a Farmers' Market in Howard T. Brown Park and while there's a nutritional advantage to fresh fruits and vegetables, they taste better. And weather permitting, from ten through two this afternoon you can get fresh from the farm produce at good prices that supports local family farms.

And if you're not sold on 'glow from within' as its own reward, then bring or buy your lunch from one of the restaurants two hops and a skip from the waterfront and enjoy the view of the Harbor while polishing off a sandwich and an espresso.

If you can manage the extra time away from your job or your family make sure you have enough lunch to last you until six o'clock when, as happens every Wednesday that doesn't have bad weather, it's Rock the Docks with terrific live local music acts, like the Jay Dempsey Band tonight. You'll be in good company with great food, sparkling beverages and good friends who haven't heard there's nothing going on in Norwich because hundreds of people show up and dance like nobody's watching while having themselves a fine time.  

And speaking of music and parks, this time at Senator Thomas Dodd Stadium in the Norwich Business Park, tomorrow night at six when The Roys kick off  the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival, celebrating its 17th anniversary and its first one in Norwich.

Calling themselves "the music of the mountains in the heart of the city', Podunk offers local, regional and nationally known artists in concert and more than just live performances with "Early Bird Workshops,"  "Songwriting Master Seminars," "Kids Academy," and for those whose boot heels like to wander, on-site camping. If like me, your idea of roughing it is a hotel with low thread count sheets, there will plenty of out of state guests doing that as well.

Gates open tomorrow afternoon at five with performers like Kathy Mattea and The Spinney Brothers and a dozen other acts through Sunday evening. Of course, you can save yourself the time and trouble of having a good time by remembering that nothing is ever going on in Norwich which I think is a terrific idea because that just means more fun for the rest of us.          
-bill kenny 

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