RS21 and Audubon Hobnobbery

Last Friday, the 30th of May, was a big day.  There was quite a bit of action going on around town, and I was out to claim a modest piece of it, even if that piece consisted of events which overlapped each other.

The opening of RS21 at the Maitland Art Center was that evening from 6 to 8, showcasing work from such installation artists as Andrew White, Brigan Gresh, Doug Rhodehamel and Martha Lent among many others.  Also, from 6 pm until 8 pm, Audubon Park Garden District was having its thing known as “That Friday Thing.”  This month was a Beer Tasting with promises of hot dogs and pretzels.  Clark, my roommate, is an avid fan of beer, hot dogs and pretzels, so he was the one who acquired the small flyer for this event and affixed it to our fridge.

Oh boy.  Two events, one evening.  Can Doreen make it to both?!

The answer: Yes… for the most part.

After getting home from work, I kinda fancied up and drove over to the RS21 opening at the Maitland Art Center.  It was my first time being at the center, so I was quite lucky I was able to find it without getting lost, considering I forgot to consult with the Google before departing from my house.  The entry fee was five bucks, which gave me access to the interior-exterior, or rather, the courtyard which was soon to be the nucleus of the hobnobbing, but at the time I got there, was an open area with a food table set out and the little bar table slowly  being set up.

I wandered around a bit, taking in the rather charming environment that makes up the Maitland Art Center, and then came upon an unexpected sight:

Doug’s work is the only work I have photos of because it was outside.  I didn’t take photographs of the other installation work inside the meandering rooms of the art center, as my camera is completely crap and wouldn’t have taken a decent picture even if Man Ray was holding the damn thing.  By the by, did you know Man Ray and I share a birthday?  Just thought I’d mention it.

Also thought I’d mention that the food at the event was amazing!  Seriously, I went back for seconds, or maybe even thirds.  Delicious veggie quesadilla triangles coupled with delectable dips, little goat cheese tartlets and a super-tasty raspberry thing were just amazing.  My gosh, just thinking about it all makes me want to eat again.  I don’t know who the caterers were, but I hope they continue to cater the shows I happen to go to.  Delish!

If you’d like a far better account of what went on opening night at RS21, have a look at this article from the Winter Park Examiner.  The show will be running until the 13th of July, so you have the whole month to go and peep in a peephole, speak into a microphone, or trod clumsily over a clay animal.  For a full list of artists, have a look at the Facebook RS21 event posting.

On to the Beer Tasting…

Audubon Park Garden District is a relatively recent entity, at least to me, although the organisation makes sense.  There are some pretty awesome businesses along Corrine, some of whom I hadn’t visited prior to the Beer Tasting, so the event was quite successful in getting new people coming into stores.  Although I don’t really see myself getting anything from the bridal store (ever), Sweet Boutique seems like a wonderful place for cute dresses–although if I were to buy any more clothes, I think Marie or Clark would have me in a headlock. Even if those bodies in the stores getting swigs of beer don’t ever visit again, should later conversation bring up a query of where to get some good fishing equipment, Orlando Outfitters would be brought up, or something along those lines.

Clark and I arrived on the Audubon scene late at a bit past 7 o’clock, thanks to my previous engagement at the RS21 opening, which didn’t leave us much time for the beer scavenger hunt we were to embark on.  Yes, beer scavenger hunt.  Our tickets for the event consisted of a map of the Garden District along with a list of participating stores, bars, restaurants and cafes where we would receive beer tastings and a signature from the proprietor, shop assistant or whomever on duty.  Get all the signatures, and you get a free draft beer at Big Daddy’s or Redlight Redlight.  Score, right?

Well, not exactly.  Due our belated entry into the tasting and to some dilly-dallying in Park Ave CDs, where Redlight representative extraordinaire Teege was pouring out the tastiness and the regular cast of characters in Park Ave were being their usual brand of awesome, Clark and I were unable to complete our beer cards prior to some of the businesses closing for the day.  Also, the hot dogs much promised to Clark were sadly sold out by the time he stood in line for them.  As Clark helplessly watched a woman walk away with the last FOUR hot dogs, and I tutted at the closed status of three businesses, we both walked away from the event slightly disappointed.  An event such as this shouldn’t be only two hours long, especially when the point is to entice potential shoppers to poke around one’s wares and perhaps enjoy a sandwich or slice of pizza while on the walk.  Even people who had been there since 6 o’clock were a little disgruntled because they had spent too much time in one store or another, or finding out that, hey, there’s signatures they could gather for more beer, as one group had belatedly realised.  After noticing ourselves that we had only twenty minutes to get a whole gang of signatures from places scattered along Corrine, I was beginning to pop into these shops, barely stopping to give an appreciative nod at the products for sale, before running out again to the next shop on the list.  I didn’t have time to even finish my beer tastes before bustling into the next store.

Boo for that.

But still, there was fun to be had, whether poking around Park Ave CDs with beer in hand or noshing on warm pretzels at Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux.  Nyam, nyam.  Clark and I eventually met up with Joe and Fran at Big Daddy’s, where we hung out before I drifted over to Stardust, which was really busy that night thanks to the walk and also because of the Critical Mass group, along with the regulars whom I see there every day… because I go there every day.  Afterwards, it was back home before going out (yet again) to Peacock Room.  Friday night was a busy night.  I hope I won’t have to repeat that type of “power hobnobbery” anytime soon.

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