A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Culture and Cocktails: Mardi Gras

I've been attending the "Culture and Cocktails" events monthly at the Springfield Museums. October was Oktoberfest at the Wood Museum of Springfield History, November was Sushi and Sake at the George Walter Vincent Smith, January was a Science Carnival at the Science Museum, and February was Wine and Chocolate at the Museum of Fine Arts.
So we've come full circle, and yesterday's event was at the Wood Museum again. Springfield's newest museum has got a great foyer, designed beautifully by our own Steven Jablonski for just this sort of event. You can eat, drink, view the displays, bump into lots of friends, and then walk around and see the entire museum--all for $5.
In October, local brewers had stations all around for dispensing information and samples--lots of samples. The Student Prince and Fort Restaurant dished out red cabbage and sausages at one end of the room. Mountains of Liptauer cheese spread, crackers, and assorted other cheeses were available as palate-cleansers between beers. In the back room, homebrewers were hosting a competition. When you got tired of the microbrews, you could wander over, sample the homebrews, and vote for your favorite. You could learn about Highland Brewing Company (Dr. Suess's family's business, which once stood on State Street where MassMutual is now). Or you could visit Storrowton's booth, where costumed reenactors were explaining how hard cider was made back in the day (and offering samples). I don't even like beer, and I wobbled home. Imagine if I'd been trying harder!
This month, the theme was Mardi Gras. The bar was cash, but there was loads of Cajun food, loads of beads, and music by The Primate Fiasco, a band whose music eludes labels but is sometimes called "psychedelic Dixieland." I had heard them outdoors next to a fire-breathing dragon a couple of years ago at one of Richard Richardson's over-the-top parties. Different vibe, both great times.

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