It sounds so simple I just got to go
I never really been so I don't really know
Guess I'll have to go now
We knew what Punx Phil would have to say yesterday; this isn't Florida so there are, of course, six more weeks of winter (not) to look forward to. Cabin fever has replaced swine flu as the Disease of the Week... Time to cure that by making plans and getting some outbound movement happening. A couple of years ago, feeling the same way, we decided to go to Atlantic City on Valentine's Day, through the worst frozen ice storm in quite a while. We scraped sizeable portions of the car's underside off getting over the frozen mound at the end of the driveway, dodged sliding tractor trailers on the Turnpike, and got socked into a snow hill quite solidly at a rest stop when I couldn't see the signage which was covered in snow and slush. We got there, many hours later, and the Borgata was lively and warm. The car didn't look so good, though.
You don't have to brave the Interstate or the Turnpike to go exploring. The local musicians, performers and artists are coming to a boil, it seems, especially with the annual Millenium Music Conference about two weeks away -- hundreds of events at venues all over, including New Cumberland's The Local Beat. This weekend, if the next snowstorm is as mild as last night's, we can go see Memphis Charlie at Carlisle's version of Richmond's Penny Lane Pub, the Market Cross. I wonder if drummer Jack will be playing much this summer, or mostly recovering from sunburn from days on his speedy boat...
This coming Valentine's day weekend, I hope we'll have enough sense to stay local and finally go to the new Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (HMAC), pictured above, a surprisingly successful labor of love and the investment of much money. A couple of intensely creative guys from New York had done well and decided to build their dream arts center here, of all places. The very old Police Athletic League building downtown had been vacant for decades, and while it may not look like much in the picture, imagine it roofless, unpainted, with the right side windowless and scorched by fire. It even has an indoor pool from the days when it was the Y! When they partially opened with Open Mic nights on Wednesdays, it was such a hit that other established places had a terrible time attracting their usual audiences. What made it work was the stage -- I hear it's very well done (the musicians know right away if it works or not), with pro sound and lighting. While people in the state and national capitols with law degrees and hotshot staffs can't get anything done that even slightly resembles common sense, progress or good governance, the brothas and sistas in humble Harrisburg and in Richmond are doing it with talent and energy.