Friday, May 04, 2007

Art to the Avenue

Last night was the kick-off of the annual artsfest in Greenwich, when all the stores stay open late and the center of Town turns into a big block party. Many of the stores also serve potables and comestibles (that's food and drink to you lowbrows) along with generous servings of the handiwork of local artists. As is nearly always the case, the weather was glorious, and helped to ensure a large turnout.

As usual, your scribe wandered down one side of the Avenue, and then back up the other. Thus his first potable was Terry Betteridge's always-estimable champagne, served with homemade quiche and pecan tarts and various other goodies. Then it was on to Vineyard Vines, where a bottle of Amstel Light was offered as a chaser. A story-teller on the patio in front of St. Mary's was seeking children to help her out in her narratives, but for the moment wasn't having much luck. The bummer of the evening was Saks, which last year had most excellent culinary delights prepared by Jean-Louis, washed down with premium vodka offerings; this year, however, somebody goofed, and the place was food- and drinkless. Typical chain store behavior - totally ignoring the local customs and festivals.

Another bummer was Simon Pearce, which has always had some of its very fine trademark wines on offer. Not so this year. When your scribe inquired as to why, he was told that last year some people had over-imbibed, and gone and spoiled it for the rest of us.

Richards was quieter than usual. In past years the GHS band has provided music, which sounded very well inside the large open atrium. The capacious store has been the venue for many charitable and social functions, including a recent "roast" of Shep and Ian Murray, the founders of Vineyard Vines. The Mitchell family have done so much for the community that one concluded that maybe they were giving themselves a well-deserved rest this year.

Across the street Georgia Tetradis was hosting a group of dance fans at Beam & Barre. Street performances were taking place in front of The Gap, with an overflow crowd standing well into the street. A band was playing at the Senior/Arts Center. And by the time your scribe returned to St. Mary's, a passel of youngsters were actively helping the story-teller in her endeavors.

Much as he would have liked to linger and expand his coverage, your reporter had to saddle up and ride out to a dinner party. Thus this entry is more of an overview than might otherwise have been the case. As always, kudos to Frank Juliano and the Greenwich Arts Council for their efforts in putting on this wonderful festival, which after ten years is now a firmly-established Town tradition. Floreant artes!


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