The folks who bought the Grand Theatre are bringing new energy and creativity to downtown Salem.
Thank you, members of the Meduri family! I thoroughly enjoyed the Enlightened Theatrics block party you put on today, using a closed-off block of High Street in front of the theatre.
Ah, these barricades were a beautiful sight. I hope we see more of them.
Downtown Salem would benefit from more two-way, two-lane streets instead of the one-way, three-lane streets that make it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the Historic Area.
Closing off streets for special events like this one shows residents the benefits of using them more for people rather than cars. Please make this a regular happening, Enlightened Theatrics/Grand Theatre.
However, I was able to drink a Gilgamesh Brewing Mamba beer and enjoy food from local downtown eateries. Wild Pear, Ventis, Kitchen on Court Street, and Rafns all had booths. Kudos to the restaurant staff who served block party'ers from 2 to 7 on an unusually hot Salem day.
These ladies were right in style for the block party, since Enlightened Theatrics currently is putting on a production of Hair, the musical. My wife and I have tickets for next Wednesday.
Having gone to college in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1966 to 1971 (OK, it was San Jose State, not Berkeley), I'm looking forward to having some Age of Aquarius flashbacks stimulated in my brain. Guess I'll learn how long the half-life of psychedelic "radiation" is.
Trixy and the Nasties, a Portland band, entertained the crowd from 5:30 to 7:00. Their style: "A collective influence of Motown, Stax, Proto-funk, Soul, and Jazz wrapped up into a deliciously nasty sound."
Well, even though I don't know what Stax or Proto-funk means, I liked the sound!
After playing for an hour or so in the heat, Trixy begged for some cold beers for the band. These women came to their rescue. Salemians are compassionate.
This group of dancers got their Stax and Proto-funk on in a conga-line fashion near the end of the show. I think most of them were associated with Enlightened Theatrics. They looked theatrical. Enlightened too? Sure.
Inspired, Laurel and I danced during the last Trixy and the Nasties song. I'm mildly get-up-and-dance phobic in situations like this, being used to partner ballroom dancing rather than free style solo dancing. But, hey, I survived. Even had fun.
Admittedly, that was partly the beer talking.
I enjoyed seeing the lawn in front of the Marion County Courthouse being used for something other than a place to walk past.
I've been to the Courthouse many times. Until today I've never seen anyone sitting on the grass and enjoying the shade under the trees. Like so many supposedly "public" spaces in downtown Salem, members of the public usually aren't much in evidence.
Events like this one show that downtown Salem, which already is a great place to visit, has a lot of untapped potential. Much creativity, energy, and enthusiasm waits to be released.
Again, many thanks to Enlightened Theatrics for putting on the block party and showing us what is possible.