Monday, July 18, 2011

Off the Beaten Path -Let's Keep it That Way

Joe's old high school buddy, and my Tucson pool buddy were in town this weekend.  We all ran each other ragged from Wrigley Field to Navy Pier and most spots in-between.  We didn't waste their time on an actual Cubs game - we high tailed it to Bernie's for the post game madness.  I'll save that adventure for another time. All I can say is: " Thank you, CTA for those marvelous 3 day passes. "  Public transportation rocks. $10. beer at Millennium Park does not.

Having Joe's buddy here reminded me of a road trip we took with him in Arizona this Spring. What a contrast to the trip we took him on this weekend.  On our way home from Bisbee, Arizona
he took us to a bar in Benson, AZ. - population about 4,000- and so off the beaten path that you have to know about it to get there - I'm not sharing how to get there (even if I could remember) as I don't want to encourage would- be tourists.  It would wreck the ambiance at this joint.  It's called the Arena Bar - so named as it is adjacent to the arena where the Benson rodeo is held and its liquor license allows the consumption of alcohol anywhere on the 9.7 acre property which includes the bar and party room and bleachers around the arena - fully equipped for roping, riding and tying.

No $10. beers here.  $2.50 looked like the highest price.  I didn't ask for a Cosmo - and even if they might have known how to make one, I doubt it would have cost $14.  Lots of local characters and the house dog - even though the sign on the door clearly  states "No dogs allowed".  Everybody in what looked like a work hard/play hard crowd was friendly, even though it  was obvious that we (especially me with my camera) were outsiders.  One of the old timers named John asked me to take his picture -which I did.  He gave me his address so I could mail it to him-which I did. Haven't heard back, but it didn't come back in the mail - so I assumed he got it.

 The place probably looks the way it did back in the 60s - very old and a bit weary, a place where everybody knows everybody and is probably the best action in town.  I want to go back someday and see if Cowboy John is still hanging out and if the dog is still roaming from customer to customer for a pat on the head.  Somehow I think they will be.   I hope tourists won't.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fashion Review from the Gold Coast Art Fair

All right, stop laughing.  The same lady who is still wearing button -down collars, madras shorts and Keds is going to give a review of fashion?  Well I am.  After walking around the Gold Coast Art Fair - and you need both days to cover it properly- I decided to rest.  I sat down, deliciously cooling Sangria in hand and pulled out my camera. 
I was  expecting the usual hot weather attire - too much skin and flab and strappy sandals.  What a surprise.  The whole rest of the world may already know this.  Skirts are back.  I'd estimate that 2 out of 3 women who came down my private runway wore one.

 I positioned myself across from the frozen yogurt stand so I could get shots without showing faces.  I'm so jealous of the women young and old and every color of the rainbow who looked cool and comfortable in their skirts and dresses.  It brought back the memories of dresses I owned when I could still wear spaghetti straps and cool skirts flowing out from a tiny waist.   They were a good defense in the New Jersey humidity and later in the Arizona dry heat.
This is one of my favorites from the "show".

The Art Fair itself was wonderful, in spite of the heat.  The Grant Park venue keeps it contained and there is no need to close streets to traffic.  I hope they will continue to have it there - even though it is technically not in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

In addition to the skirts and dresses, I saw lots of feminine lacy stuff that looked equally cool in both senses of the word.  A word to the men- what's with all the pockets?