Downtown Friday night

Date night. Here’s what we did. Tucson Firefighters’ chili cook-off at Presidio Park in front of City Hall. A carnival atmosphere where you buy tickets to go around and get tiny cups of the hot stuff. None of it was very good and there were too many people, mostly young folks drinking beer. Another Tucson eating event to cross off my list.

There are more weekend festivals here than anywhere; great weather is a contributing factor. We’ve got Tucson Meet Yourself with ethnic entertainment and food — Dan calls it “Tucson Eat Yourself.” Culinary, blues and folk festival are all coming up.

Certainly my favorite is the Tucson Book Festival, which will take place on the University of Arizona campus March 12-13. More than 80,000 people attended in March, with the book fest only its second year.

Festivals, shmestivals. You can look those up on any Tucson website. Tonight we walked up and down Congress Street. I wanted to see all the buildings destined for hippening up. And we peeked into the new Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, which looked very much like SoHo in New York City, doors open to the street.

We shared a beer at the Shanty, an old 4th Avenue bar that Dan says looks exactly the same as the last time he went there in 1988. I’ve heard that it’s the place to talk politics with the regulars sitting at the bars. Crossed it off my list.

Not much of a night out. Now I’m tired after a full day’s work, riding my bike both ways, a total of around 10 miles.

We saw new faces tonight, regular people trying to have fun at the end of the week. Nothing newsworthy, but somehow after all the drama of the past few days, refreshing.

Good night.

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