Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Town Monday: Tornadoes, Tunes and Margaritas

Sorry for the late My Town Monday post. I had a meeting in downtown Fort Worth yesterday in the 35-story Bank One building, famous for being hit by a tornado in the spring storms of 2000. Here's a photo of the damage:

The building has since been rebuilt, with swanky condos on the upper floors. Our financial advisor has offices on the third floor of the building, and when I asked him if that makes him nervous, with the whole tornado thing, he said no. Which is the kind of bravery I like in a CPA.

The Fort Worth Arts Festival was last weekend, and we trundled downtown to see what was shaking in all that is artsy fartsy. Heavy rains and hail ruined the Thursday events, but Friday was gorgeous so the crowds showed up in baby-strolling, flip-flop wearing throngs. Our main purpose was to see the phenomenal Ruthie Foster, a blues/folk singer with some serious pipes. She's from Texas and is in my top three of the Texas trinity: Lyle, Willie and Ruthie. She's incredible live, and in an explosive one-hour set on the main Sundance Square stage, she did not disappoint.Neither did the stage-side revellers who'd apparently been enjoying...art...all day long. Our favorite was a little woman in a red sweater whose toe-tapping and hip shaking made Elaine Benes look Ginger Rogers. In honor of her enthusiastic response to the tunes, we called her Tiny Dancer.

The only downside to the evening? A margarita. Live music, balmy spring night, an outdoor setting--what could be better, right? Wrong. They do that coupon thing so you can't keep track of how much things costs--which totally works--and this supposedly happy concoction was purchased for a whopping 14 coupons, which equals, I think, about fifteen hundred dollars. Salted rim, on the rocks, just like I like it. But it was undrinkable. I mean, total swill. Like the bottom of a melted lemon-lime snowcone bad. The booth was called "Margaritas on the Rocks" (no I'm not kidding), so heads up for any future festival-goers. I'm sure my experience was an anomaly to other booths serving up tasty treats, and I won't let it taint an otherwise great evening on the town. In fact, Kern had some sort of chicken skewer that elevated festival food to an entirely new level.

Next year I'll remember to save my adult-beverage moolah for trusted establishments: like Joe T Garcia's which serves up the best margaritas anywhere.

Frozen concoctions or on the rocks? What's your favorite festival food?

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Blogger Leigh Russell said...

flip-flop wearing throngs - I misread that first time round... the juxtaposition of wearing and throngs I think... ! I had a strange mental image for a second.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

I caught that too, and almost changed it, but I like the visual double-play.

Because I think a good percentage of the throng might have been sporting a, well, you know.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Josephine Damian said...

I had a serious case of PTSD after a hurricane destroyed my town. I had panic attacks every time a storm came in and the trees swayed in the wind like they did that day.

Time passed and I got over it, but I'll bet that CPA guy thinks about diving under his desk when those windows rattle. He might niot be a cavalier as he says.

I got that the kids were wearing flip flops/thongs on their feet - and did not get the other image.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Travis Erwin said...

Of course I got the other thing image, but really I didn't mind. ;)

And my overall opinion is that the margarita quality isn't what it used to be. That's why i prefer to smuggle in a bottle of rum in my boot (it's the pirate in me coming out) during such events. Then I can add it to my own Coke which only costs nine or ten coupons.

6:06 AM  
Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

For a moment I thought those tornado pics were pics after katrina of downtown New Orleans.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Kern said...

Britta failed to mention her disappointing tamales as well. She is right, it was undoubtedly the worst margarita ever. I couldn't even drink it, and I have finished some BAD margaritas. I even tried, without luck, to return it. Let's talk about the chicken. Chan's Chicken Grill is what the tent said. Two Asian guys were behind a huge charcoal grill with literally hundreds of Chicken skewers, satay style, sizzling over the fire. They were basted in a Thai style chili/garlic/peanut sauce. It was the best fair type food I have ever had. I will look for them from now on. I hope they are at the State Fair in October, I don't want to wait until next April!

12:50 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Wife said...

On the rocks for me, only with a healthy helping of taste. The chicken sounds yummy.

Still laughing about my first read of flip-flop wearing throngs. I kept thinking, "How in the hell did those thongs get those flip-flops on?"

1:04 PM  
Blogger "Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

So glad you got to see Ruthie! I was so sad that my retreat coincided with her concert.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Mathilda said...

Calvin U. (where FFW was held) had the most amazing veggie bagel and a Hazelnut/Macadamia Nut latte which was fantastic!

Ideas on what I should where to thesis defense? I want to look "writerly" "professional" and "chic", though not necessarily in that order.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Mathilda said...

*wear* that is.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Lana Gramlich said...

Sounds like you had a good time, bad margarita aside. The picture of the broken windows reminds me of downtown New Orleans after Katrina.
I'm a bit of a sucker for the frozen-style drink, but not for everything, of course. Ironically I had a dream in which I was making (non-alcoholic) frozen style drinks recently.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Josephine, my mother is the same way. She's lived through three tornadoes--one of which hit Houston when I was a girl. Whenever the warnings went off we'd have to spend the rest of the day huddled in a 3x3 bathroom with a cooler of water and a battery operated radio. The worst damage our house had was a tree that fell on our patio furniture. Scary, but for a child, pretty exciting.

Travis, you ARE a pirate! Odd to imagine a pirate purchasing coupons, however.

Charles, it's true...damage looks like damage. Althought the aftermath here in 2000 paled in comparison to Katrina.

Kern, I didn't mention the tamales because I didn't want to look like a picky festival goer. But, for the record, tamales should NOT have green vegetables and nuts in them.

Cheers for on-the-rocks, Anti-Wife. The thong/throng imagery made me laugh too. When we were kids, we used to call flip-flops thongs. Anyone else remember that? As in, "When we go to Six Flags I'll wear my Izod polo, Gloria Vanderbuilt cutoffs, and thongs."

Bluebonnet, I wondered if we might bump into each other. Sounds like you had a great time at your retreat.

Mathilda, for your thesis defense: wear a black shirt (it's authorly and will disguise coffee stains), dark rinse jeans that aren't too tight (to hide bloating brought on by nervous water-retention), and flats (good for running to the nearest bakery for post-thesis carbfest.) Clean, simple hair swept away from your face, and a hint of red lipstick, just to show 'em you ain't scared.

Lana, it was a good time. Interesting on the frozen-drink dream. Maybe it means you're whipping up creative ideas to share.

9:28 AM  
Blogger WordVixen said...

*sigh* The best d*mn egg rolls ever. The Ephrata street fair used to have this little egg roll stand on the edge of the fair. I literally would walk the mile from my parent's house to this stand, buy a few egg rolls and a thing of fries at Fink's, and then walk home again.

Two years after they left the fair, so did I. I haven't been back since, and I've never found egg rolls remotely of that caliber anywhere else.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Bookfraud said...

sorry about the bad margarita experience -- bad alcohol can destroy anybody's night.

frozen drinks -- feh. it's just not right.

but meat on a stick -- now that's about right. whether it's chicken, corn dogs, or kebobs. that's the perfect festival food.

4:15 PM  
Blogger *Tyler* said...

Alcohol... where do I start? Last week, I thought about blogging on this very topic. I even opened my laptop, but came to my senses as best I could after a 5 hour happy hour. Maybe it should be called happy hours???

Let's see... I am not a fan of any frozen drink, but I like beer - MANY different kinds of beer. I LOVE red wine. My favorite is Merlot, but a good Cab can't be beat. I like a cold glass of Chardonnay on a hot day. And then there's Yucka, otherwise known as Yumma at my house. Yucka is a yummy concoction of limeade, vodka and sprite. A dear friend (whose parents owned Seagrams of Texas for 20+ years) introduced Dale and me to this marvelous, tasty treat. And you can't go wrong with a twisted-lime gin and tonic either.

Is it wrong that I could spend hours on this topic?

6:50 PM  
Blogger Middle Ditch said...

At times we get those twister things here too. Not as bad as where you are though, but pretty frightening.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Britta Coleman said...

Wordvixen, I've never eaten egg rolls at a festival before, but I'm taking your word for it. Anything that'll make a person walk a mile to eat it has got to be good.

Bookfraud, way to give it up for meat on a stick. I LOVE corndogs! A couple years ago we went to the State Fair of Texas and I bought one at 10:30 in the morning. Slathered it with mustard and ate it over a trash can, like a grackle. I have no pride.

Tyler, it would only be wrong if you don't post a more specific recipe for Yucka/Yumma.

Hi Middle Ditch, welcome to the blog. Yes, we're known for our tornadoes, which I think adds to our resilient charm.

9:17 AM  

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