Saturday, November 03, 2007

Broad Avenue Art Walk

For weeks, we had been anticipating the 4th annual Overton Park Hayride sponsored by Park Friends. We had been to the three previous ones, and had no intention of missing this one.

However, when I happened to notice on Friday afternoon that there was also going to be an art walk on Broad Avenue, I was torn. But then, of course, I quickly made a plan to both see the art and take a hayride with the monkeys. When Warren notified me that he would be home early, I anticipated smooth sailing.

After a quick dinner at home, Warren made some hot chocolate for the hayride, I bundled the monkeys up, and we set out. As I started strapping the monkeys in their car seats, he looked at me and said, "We can't drive to Broad Avenue!"

"Are you sure?" I asked, looking at all the traffic along Sam Cooper.

"Come on," he said. "Maybe we'll drive to the Hayride."

"Okay, you're right," I said. This whole evening was about supporting our neighborhood and embracing it.

Now let me just stop right here and say that prior to actually walking to Broad Avenue, I had envisioned a handful of small galleries that we would simply pop in and out of. I had no idea that there were eleven stops on the walk or that each one of them would be incredible and worthy of at least a good 30-45 minutes of gawking!

When we went into West Memorials in what used to be the old post office, I was speechless. It was like being in New York, or at least South Main! Heh.

In addition to a sampling of their gorgeous headstones (yes, I picked mine out) and their private collection of art, there was an amazing cheese platter that the monkeys wasted no time attacking. Jiro ate the biggest hunk of brie I have ever seen!

Our next stop, Metalworks, was by far the best. There was a live demonstration going on and plenty of cool metal sculptures to visually feast on. And more cheese...and cookies.

We ran into several people who had kids with them, none quite as young as ours, and it made me not feel like too much of a freak for dragging the monkeys along. They were actually behaving pretty well and we were all having a good time, but I was on guard. I started feeling like I used to when we went out to eat. I wasn't quite sure if we were going to make it to the end, and I hadn't done anything to prepare them for the experience. (i.e. no ground rules, etc.) Plus, they were still flying high from the 2 days of unlimited Halloween candy eating that I had allowed them.

I was very excited to finally visit Materials Gallery and had every intention of introducing myself to Hamlet Dobbins (and inviting him to my imaginary party), but the monkeys were restless and I chickened out.

By the time we got to The Cove (formerly The Beer Joint), and they embraced the darkness, they became fully jacked up. The Cove isn't actually open yet, but you wouldn't have known it! It was packed and they were serving beer...and pork rinds!

The Cove is also where we started running into friends who had smartly gotten a babysitter for the evening. I felt a sinking in my stomach and retreated to the padded cell in my mind. Nothing I did made a dent in the antics, and the monkeys were soon balls to the wall!

In the end we had to abort the art walk, cancel the hayride, and go to bed early. It was very sad and I blamed myself.

I really want to be able to take the monkeys to art openings (and art walks!) without feeling like a pariah. Next time, assuming there is one, I will do better to prepare them and maybe do a little more scouting. Suggestions greatly appreciated.

Worse case scenario, I will start another blog:


My point is: Broad Avenue is really becoming the art district it is striving to be. I mean, WOW. Check it out sometime.

1 comment:

gatesofmemphis said...

Did you take them into Archicast? Cool being surrounded by molds and casts from 150 years of sculpture and architecture.

It reminded me of the puppet shop from "Fanny and Alexander".

It would have blown my mind when I was a kid. Just like it did the other night.

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