"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

July 18, 2010

Minneapolis Aquatennial Block Party

Note: I'm not normally this whiny. I swear. For the most part, it was enjoyable. Except the last paragraph. That sucked horribly.

The Minneapolis Aquatennial is a multi-day festival held by the city of Minneapolis every summer. There's various events all around town; milk-carton boat races, wakesurfing championships*, a tennis championship, events at museums, and more. On Friday, I decided to check out the Aquatennial Block Party downtown. Though a few events happen before the Block Party, it's the official start of the Aquatennial.
*I have no idea what wakesurfing is and I have zero desire to Google it.

I jumped on a bus and landed at the block party around six. There wasn't much to it. A large stage was set in one corner of a parking lot across from the Central Library and a few food vendors were set up selling pronto pups, ice cream, BBQ items, beer, etc. One of the opening bands was playing a gentle pop rock song. After walking through the crowd and people-watching for a few minutes, I thought, 'This is boring,' and decided to walk around downtown for a bit.

Fountain near Hennepin Avenue and Washington Avenue

I walked around looking at the various buildings. Which is absolutely boring to most people. I just really, really like cities, particularly downtown areas with their mixture of modern skyscrapers and older historic buildings.

Minneapolis City Hall
I ended up at the plaza between the courthouse and Minneapolis City Hall and went back to people watching, this time concentrating on those waiting for the Hiawatha Light Rail. There were a few scattered office workers going home for the day and a large group of people wearing Minnesota Twins shirts.

Hiawatha Light Rail passing through

I got bored again. (I do that easily. Obviously.) I hadn't been to this particular area of town in years and went over to look closer at the fountain.

'Oh, hey! It's like an infinity pool. I never knew that!' I thought.

Maybe they changed it in recent years? I don't know.

The water falls over the edge...

into this
I headed back to the block party. 'Still boring,' I thought but decided to stick around. I knew that a free concert by Night Ranger was coming later. Now, understand, I'm not a Night Ranger fan. I knew one song of theirs. "Sister Christian" (which I like) but I had no idea what the rest of their music sounded like. But, it was free and I had nothing better to do. I passed the rest of the time by geeking out and playing sudoku on my cell phone while the second opening band played country music in the background. (Ick. I'm not insulting country music fans or the band but, personally, ick.)

After what seemed like forever (Sudoku isn't that enthralling.) and an overpriced but excellent ice cream sundae later, the band started playing.

Oh noes! They were, basically, 80's (or maybe 70's) hard rock. I really don't like this genre. When I do like hard rock, it's always punk or has a heavy punk or industrial influence. Night Ranger weren't bad musicians. If you are a fan of that genre, they're probably one of the best. I don't know why I stayed but I did.

About halfway through, as the scent of alcohol became more and more overpowering and a good portion of the crowd got drunker, I took notice of the couple in front of me. They were in their 40's. The woman was slender with a blonde Kate Gosselin haircut and dressed in a pantsuit. The man was thin, balding, and dressed in a polo and slacks. Everything about them screamed white, middle-class, suburbia. And they were dancing. Badly. Like it was 1978 again and they were reliving their high school years.

'Zomg,' I thought. 'They're gonna stop soon, right? Right?!?'

They didn't. They got their slightly less drunk friends to join in. I ran away to another part of the crowd next to a dour-looking woman who stood straight as a board throughout*. She wouldn't do that.

*Honestly? I might have worn the same pose/expression as her.

Eventually, the concert ended. I went home, got on Twitter, and discovered....Hole played First Avenue that night. I screamed silently to myself. Courtney Love's my favorite female singer/musician and I went to a Night Ranger concert instead.

I've gotta check the concert schedules on City Pages more often.

1 comment:

Tokyo Biker Mommy said...

So sad you missed Hole but what a fantastic twist ending to your story. :)