Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hot Fun in the Summertime

As much fun as last weekend was, between the CT Tigers' home stand, the Harbor Fireworks on the Fifth and the street-corner get-togethers in many of the Norwich neighborhoods, we are actually only now getting into the thick of the summer season. 

With some luck, we'll have had a bit of a break from the summer heat but weather does what weather does and enjoy ourselves sometimes in spite and other times because of it. Starting today, Wednesday's isn't just for a certain spaghetti in South Boston anymore. 

Norwich will be jammed and slammed with things to do starting today and every Wednesday until almost Labor Day. And in terms of goings on, why not look at this summer's calendar as a road map of where we should be heading as a city year round rather than as souvenir book of where we were when summer is done.  

But first two riddles. What has eyes but can't see? A potato. What has ears but can't listen? An ear of corn. I was a comedic sensation in second grade with that material but jokes are my way of reminding you that the first of the weekly Norwich Downtown Farmer's Markets at Howard T. Brown Park starts this morning at ten with fresh to you vegetables and fruit as well as artisan handicrafts.

We've had the 'there's no place to park in downtown' discussion before and it's not true. There's free parking at both the Intermodal Transportation Center or the Main Street Garage and they're each less than a five minute walk from the market in Brown Park, so if you're not intending to walk into downtown, please park your excuse for why you're not here with the car when you do get here. 

At the Farmer's Market you can buy lunch from the vendors (some assembly required), and grab a bench seat facing the Harbor or you can bag your fresh produce to take home later and stop at one of the restaurants dotting downtown. That's especially attractive if it's very hot or if the skies are threatening. 

While you're downtown, you can stop in at the Otis Library and check out their growing inventory of e-books and even an e-book reader if you're so inclined-and yes, they have 'real' books and magazines for check out as well. 

Actually, the books at Otis come with a discussion group later in the afternoon back at Brown Park at five, followed by the kick-off of the 2013 Rock the Docks season, starring Eight to the Bar. There are places to get refreshments, both adult sparkling beverages and softer fare for us kids as well as hot and cold eats. And even more of the Chelsea District eateries will have full kitchen menus if you decide to make an evening of it. 

This kind of activity in downtown and across the city should be our new standard and not a special occasion. The only folks I ever hear complain about 'there's nothing to do in Norwich' are the people I never see at any of the events we do have in Norwich. Yeah, we are the reason why we can't have nice things in Norwich-because we are unable to see them when we do. 

If you attended any of last summer's Rock the Docks show or nibbled on even one carrot from a local farmer, you know we had a great mix of local folks as well as guests from across the area. We all had great times and the only complaint was there wasn't enough time. I can fix that: leave your watch at home and enjoy yourself. 
-bill kenny 

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