Sunday, June 12, 2011

Plans that "don't work out."

David and I wanted to listen to some local music last night and saw some advertised in both the local papers, the Bend Bulletin and the Source Weekly, at Bend's PoetHouse Art in downtown, so we went there but found that the papers had mis-advertised and there was no music. Bummer. But the two artists there (PoetHouse Art is an art studio and workshop space) were so nice and helpful - they pulled over a laptop and searched and found another local musician playing at The Silver Moon. So, we thanked them and went on our way. Meanwhile, Dan joins us (thinking that the original musician is playing at PoetHouse) so we decide to get a walk in and wander on down to The Silver Moon.

Silver Moon is kind of on the outskirts of downtown area and we were feeling like it might not be where we want to be because of the street being kind of dark and that area of town looking less "cool" than the downtown area. But then we noticed that there were no Harley's outside the bar, only bicycles parked right out front. OK, well, this is Bend, we say to each other, and go into what looks like a rather funky bar (no offense intended Silver Moon folks).

What we found was that The Silver Moon is yet another brewery among Bend's dozen or so. The music hadn't started yet but the guys spotted the pool table, thought it'd be fun to play a round or two, so we decided to hang out until the music started. Our waitress was really sweet and had a great sense of humor about her and also really fun energy. So, we sat down and ordered some brews on tap. Great beers! We got curious about the food, so we asked to see a menu. Surprise! This place was not a "dive" at all. Maybe a little funky looking around the edges but definitely totally cool. There were vegan and vegetarian appetizers and entrees, homemade pizza, great looking salads, and, of course, the burgers. The guys played a couple rounds of pool then came back when the music got started. Lief James was the musician/songwriter. Strong acoustic guitar with a singing and musical style that reminded me of Bruce Springsteen a bit. He had good energy and we were having fun. So, we ordered a pizza. Delicious! Wow! Who knew? Well, apparently, the locals. Because the place started getting packed with a cross demographic of locals all having a good time.

We thought, "OK, this was fun, now it's time to go on home." We left and started walking to our cars when we spotted THE DUMPLING GUYS. These are local guys who make the best dumplings in the world and sell them on the street corner (of Bond and Minnesota) from a food cart. Of course, they have vegan dumplings, homemade sausage dumplings, south-of-the-border style dumplings, and more. And they are soooo good. So, we stop and have a dumpling. Yum.

There were some young musicians setting up so we asked them if they're going to play and they told us (in a very friendly and open, welcoming way) that they are celebrating the Dump City Dumpling's 1-year anniversary with some free music. They started to play and we were surprised at how really very good they were. (I say this because they looked like they must have been high school age.) Their band (I think they said it was called New Side Jazz Quartet but don't hold me to that) consisted of trap drums, sax, keyboard and base. We listened  and started to chatting with some other folks hanging around and had a great time.

We were struck by how everyone was so nice and open and into chatting and just having a good time. Shouldn't this be normal? Why isn't every place like this? I guess we just haven't been used to it, so it struck us as strikingly unusual.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening, didn't have to spend a lot of money, and it was all healthy (beer is good for you - it's a medical fact, you can look it up) and it was all in good fun. Babies and little kids hanging out with teens and young adults with middle-aged and some of us older farts - all enjoying one another's company.

Now, David and I could have just gotten bummed out about not being able to hear the musician we'd planned on but we went with the flow and it was better than we had imagined. Good idea. Just sharing it. Gotta go. There's a hiking trail calling. Later.

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