July 11, 2008
I certainly made the correct call yesterday in coming to Appleton for music.
I got in and scored a room at this huge, historic Victorian home a block from the main downtown drag. The room also has the Emergency Exit for the floor, which means I can open it to the screen door, open the windows and be in Nirvana with the wonderful breeze.
I have found the coffee shop that I could live in – Brewed Awakening. It has wonderful looking baked products, quiche, healthy salads and panini’s, cool music, outside seating in front and in back, great stuffed chairs…they even sell gelato AND they have Nutella as a flavor!! They even have a liquor license.
There are 2 raised window display areas, one each side of the entrance door. Each with a great stuffed chair and neat table. So, I sat “on display” and ate my artichoke and cheese panini!
After my late lunch/early dinner, I walked over to Houdini Park, where there is a free concert starting at 5.30. It looked like it was going to start raining, and as I walked into the park a lady yelled “ok everyone…I’m calling it!” She called the outside music due to rain, which means it would take place in the designated inside venue, which this week just happens to be the same venue I was planning on listening to music at later.
The venue was packed. The band was fun. When they took a break, I hopped on the free trolley that they have on Thursday nites [and the weekend] that takes you around various parts of town.
This town too was built along Fox River, and is a logging/paper mill town. Some of the old mills have been refurbished into apartments. The lady driving the trolley said they were very nice, but expensive. Unsure what her version of expensive means.
After the trolley tour, I went back to listen to the second set by the band.
After that there was a band “from New York City” next. Watching them set up, it was a very motley group of people – they didn’t look like they would be in the same band at all. I spoke to the woman, and she said they are 4 singer songwriters from Brooklyn, who are sharing a backing band, and traveling around together. I asked her what type of music they play, and she says: alt country and Alejandro Escovedo is their God. GASP!! I am so psyched!
Just moments before that, I was talking to 2 guys who seem to listen to a lot of music – bigger acts. They asked me what kind of music I like, and I said alt country/Americana/singer songwriter. They asked me to name someone, and I said Alejandro. They had no idea what I was talking about [besides singer songwriter].
So, I was keyed up.
When the first guy sang just 2 lines, I could see their [2 guys] faces light up and they asked me to write down names of other artists who play this kind of music.
They weren’t as good as I had hoped they would be, but it was nice to hear the kind of music that I like. I did buy 3 cds, cuz it seemed that they were in need of $10 [a pop] more than I.
And the band that I originally came to town to see…which started at 12.30, wasn’t all that good…I didn’t like their sound and I think the lead singer was strung out. Mind you, IF I liked their sound, I wouldn’t care so much if he was strung out. Ha.
So, all in all, a wonderful music evening.
I decided to stay another day, and have been basically lazy pretty much all day today. Hanging out for lunch, hanging out at the coffee shop, walking around, going to the library… I will soon get on my bike and explore more than I already have.
They claim that the first electric house [via hydro electricity] is here.
Appleton is smoke free!
Bus fare is free to the library.
Last nite when I was talking to those 2 guys…when I leaned in closer to talk to this one guy, between him and I was this heater that was blowing hot air. Strange, since the rest of the place had a/c. After a while he went to the men’s room and when he came back, our configuration of 3 changed, and then…so did that heater. Each time I leaned it I got a blast of heat. I then realized that it’s him!! He is radiating heat like you wouldn’t believe it. He said “ya…in the summer their king size bed isn’t big enuf for his wife to escape his heat.” I can only imagine.
Heater man said that the craziest people in the state live in Fond du Lac and Sheboygan. He said that if there is a crazy story about someone doing something “stupid” that it is usually someone from one of those 2 cities. From now on, when I read “News of the Weird” stories/articles, I will look for those 2 cities.
Houdini was raised here. All over town they have plaques telling tidbits about him and his family. I’m going to his museum tomorrow.
There is a plaque re Andy Jimos, who had a hat cleaning business on the main street for 65 years…from 1927 to 1982, when he passed. My, how times have changed.
Am off to cycle. I’ll go listen to music tonite, but my expectations are low…I’ll be going to a pizza place.
Tomorrow I head for Osh Kosh [B’Gosh] and Fond du Lac. 2 places that I have yet to find anyone in this state who thinks I should visit. However, I can’t leave WI without going to these places. Heater man from last nite is from Fond du Lac, and even he was adamant that I NOT go. Oh well.