Tuesday, July 20, 2010

another night of music

Skyscrapers in the background, we sat on the rooftop of an old building in downtown Minneapolis.  The perpetual breeze generated by the tall building tunnels blew my hair across my face and strands got stuck in my sunglasses.  A cold beer sat next to me on the metal table, sweat dripping down it's smooth glass sides, an orange slice floating languidly in the foam.

The happy hum of the other rooftop diners buzzed in the background.  Servers circulated, reviving thirsty patrons and delivering trays of food-shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, and of course, fish and chips.  (Please note the accordian player in the background, it was the Bastille Day celebration!  Also note the couple enjoying his music, there will be more on them later....)

Anticipation built as the clock approached 6 pm.  Lawn bowling had been suspended for the night (they take it very seriously here, and have leagues and tournaments all summer long "Don't be a tosser, roll your bowls!") so eager music lovers could spread their blankets on a coverted spot near the outdoor stage. 

We were at Brits Pub, on a near perfect summer evening.  Laughter filled the air, as summer loving Minnesotans filled themselves up with sun, and the smell of barbeque, and clean blue skies with whip cream clouds gently floating through.  Graham Parker was performing, his guitar and harmonica drifting on the breeze, all the way to those sitting on the furthest reaches of his melodies.

Mike had staked out a spot close to the stage, he has been a fan for years and this date had been on his calendar for months.  Being a casual fan, I was still ensconced at our table, feet up and enjoying a comfortable chair.  It was shady, and I was perfectly happy enjoying this concert from a distance.

The waitress happily brought me some Burnt Creme.  It's the British version of Creme Brulee, and is a perfect companion to a cold glass of Blue Moon.  Who knew?  Remember the people at the table next to ours?  I made friends with them, they were in town from Atlanta, and kindly guarded my table while I ventured into the pub in search of restrooms. 

We ended up having a long conversation, they told me of all they had done while visiting Minnesota for the very first time.  We talked gardening, they are planting in February while we dare to put things in the ground in April if we are brave.  And of course, we talked about snow, which seemed such a strange topic on this spectacularly perfect July summer night, here in Minnesota.

The inside of Brits is charming, and dark, and full of character (and characters!)  I can't wait to come here on a cold winter night and snuggle in to a dark corner, and tuck into some shepherd's pie and a pint.

The concert was done by 8, and as we walked down Nicollet mall, taking in the view, we came across this pub wagon.  You can work your beer off while you are drinking it!

Now this is something we will definitely have to plan for, with a group of friends, on another fine summer evening.  Or perhaps it would be more fun in the fall, around Oktoberfest time, when we can bundle up in sweaters and enjoy the crisp autumn air. 

But for now, we shall just continue to enjoy all that summer in the cities has to offer.  Have you had a favorite summer night yet?

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