First Night

Happy New Years, folks!  Anne and I went to First Night on New Years Eve.  We have been doing this for a few years now, so you might remmenber me blogging about it in the past.  It is held in Grand Center, Saint Louis’ theater district and features multiple venues times multiple acts per venue, which equals lots and lots of song and dance.  We had a good time.  The pictures above show and the bullets below describe what we saw there.
  • The Fox Theater is there every night and not just on First Night, but the blocked off street in front of this theater serves as the focal point for the separate activities that occur on First Night.
  • Like the Fox, Jazz at the Bistro is a regular attraction at Grand Center.  Anne got this shot, because her picture caught the blinking blue notes lit.
  • Sand sculptor and Saint Louis native, Dan Blecher, carved a 15 ton piece called, Fantasea.  This year’s First Night had an under-the-sea theme.  It is amazing that it survived the day’s earlier storms.
  • Justin Kredible is another Saint Louis native.  You might have seen him on Rachael Ray’s Cupcake Wars, on the Food Network, or maybe not.  He describes himself as a magician, but only cooler.  His best line was, “Folks, growing up in Saint Louis, I always wanted to perform at the Fox.  Look at me now.  I’m only a block away.”
  • In keeping with the undersea theme, King Neptune was there to wash away any of your regrets from 2010.
  • This blue man on stilts is a regular street performer at Grand Center, so it was no surprise to see him out on First Night.
  • The two-man act called Buckets and Tap Shoes performed at the Scottish Rite Temple.  Their mix of percussive rhythm, tap dancing, fancy lights and comedy wowed the crowd.
  • Across the street, another two-man act, The Reventones, performed a classical guitar duet on the altar of Saint Francis Xavier College Church, at Saint Louis University.  They made beautiful music inside a beautiful church.
  • Jeff the Juggler used fire to attract his audience.
  • These luminous jellyfish balloons dotted the streets on First Night.  The wind picked up and caused one of these balloons to upstage Jeff the Juggler.  Later, Anne helped one of the jellyfish wranglers wrestle his catch to the ground in the freshening breeze.
  • The highlight of the evening was Kim Massie, an R&B singer extraordinaire.  Anne and I listened and danced to her music for two hours.  She played the ballroom at the Sheldon, which is located on the fourth floor.  Afterwards, while walking home, I quipped with Anne that the reason they had put the ballroom on the top floor was for nights like these.  That way when the singer blows the roof off of the house, there are still three more good floors.
  • Oh yea, there were fireworks too.  This is another of Anne’s shots.  Her little Canon does the fireworks mode better than mine.

Earlier, on Friday morning, I was replacing one of my car’s headlight bulbs, when the tornado sirens went off.  I was standing there, hunched over, head under the hood and butt sticking out into the street, when a SUV roared by up the street past me.  It sounded like the proverbial freight train and scared the heck out of me.  I thought that the tornado was already upon me.  The next hour was spent flipping between different TV stations trying to get the latest weather news.  It was a serious storm as the aftermath news coverage amply documented, but for us, it turned into sort of a non-event.  The front passed with just rain and a little lightning.  We missed out on all of the fun like, 70 MPH straight-line winds; golf ball sized hail and of course tornadoes, although there was plenty of this kind of action happening around town.

2 thoughts on “First Night

  1. And while we were listening to frequent tornado sirens and watching the meteorologists and their multi-colored radar displays, I kept thinking, I am so-o happy that we rode our bicycles the day before and not now with impending thunderstorms and tornadoes!


  2. We saw pictures in the paper this morning, and wondered how close they were to you.
    I replaced our front light a week ago – but you can’t just replace the bulb ($200 later). But it is the first in 6 years, so ……. we’ll just bite the bullet as the gas prices soar.

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