When the sounds of live music emanating from Maryland Plaza drew us out on Saturday afternoon, we learned that the occasion was a birthday celebration for “Keith,” whose name we knew only from the handmade sign carried by one of the guests.
Happily, Keith (in blue shirt, above) and each of the party-goers at the gathering were properly masked and socially distanced while the Red and Black Brass Band entertained invited guests and passersby who stopped to join in the festivities, all masked and socially distant as well.
It was a clever idea for an upbeat celebration in these strange times. The stark contrast between this scene and what Maryland Plaza would have looked like on any spring Saturday in prior years is striking, but in 2020 nothing seems strange anymore. Happy Birthday Keith.
Getting back to the blog on a Monday morning is always easier when pictures tell most of the story. This is the happy situation I find myself in with photographs and a couple of videos I took at Friday night's Local Social event. No matter how many times I cover this event, I always find something unexpected to share.
The vivacious fortune teller, above, who promised to deliver only funny predictions, was located at Euclid and Maryland Avenues, above. The Landolfi Quartet on World Chess Hall of Fame's patio, above.
Musicians Mark Pagano and Aaron Mansfield, left, and artist Marcus Curtis, right outside Wolfgang's Pet Stop. Irie Sun singer Jessie Phillips and guitarist Connor Low performed on Maryland Plaza.
When this photo was taken, the Wonder Wheelers, above, were gearing up for a performance around the Maryland Plaza fountain. The performers learned their circus tricks attending Circus Kaput's classes at COCA.
From left, Amy Howell Mittelstadt, President of the Central West End Association, Eric Hamblett, the new Marketing & Communication Specialist for the (CWE North CID) Community Improvement District, Kate Haher, Executive Director of the CWE North CID, which sponsors Local Social events, and Frances Thompson, CWE Event Producer, were photographed at Bar Louie Friday evening.
CWEnder Bill McGowan and son Walter waiting for Balloon Twist artist to complete Elmo outside Left Bank Books. The artist's ladybug balloon bracelet was my favorite souvenir from the evening. Comedy juggling duo Brothers Kaputnik photographed with CWEnder Joan Falk and her granddaughter. West End Word Art Critic Dickson Beall is barely visible behind the performer, right.
Artists Henry Ptasiewicz, above, and Jennifer Hayes (not photographed) were stationed outside The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson.
Though most people were walking around the neighborhood, a pedicab ride was an option,
as was a unicycle
and for The City's Finest, bicycles.
Don't miss the final Local Social of the 2014 season scheduled for Friday September 12.
A text arrived from Frances Thompson, a stellar player behind the neighborhood's Local Socials (sponsored by the Community Improvement District), at 6:20 p.m. last Friday – "flash mob by the fountain at 6:50 p.m. tonight. 75 Ambassadors of Harmony singing Stars and Stripes."
More people than usual were hanging around the fountain enjoying the sounds of a fabulous vocalist, Erin McGrath Reike. And there was excitement in the air as those of us "in the know" waited to see how the Flashmob would happen. Passersby stopped and drivers slowed their cars as they sensed something was about to happen. And it did…watch it here.
Thanks to Ambassadors of Harmony President Michael Rubin and Vice President Todd Johnson, both residents of the CWE, for bringing the group to the neighborhood. And thank you to Frances Thompson and Katie O'Connor for sending the video. Now the pressure's on to top this Flashmob event at the next Local Social Friday, July 11.