Local

Rochester Fringe Week on The Number Kevin!

The most wonderful time of the year (for Rochester) is here: the 3rd annual Rochester Fringe Festival. Ahh, I’m so excited.

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Spiegeltent, Cirque Du Fringe, Circus Orange, Jay Pharaoh, local theater, local music–over 300 performances!

The best part is that I get to go to all of it. I’m pleased to announce that, this year, The Number Kevin is one of the official bloggers for the Fringe! Yes, I just referred to myself in the third person. Things are going to get weird. Trust me.

So stay tuned! All this week, and a few days more, I’ll be posting everything Fringe. Where to go, what to do, who stole what show, what events are happening from the University of Rochester as well as other colleges, and, finally, who has the best beer.

Quick Snaps for Last Night

Fringe officially kicked off last night with the Mardi Gras themed, wow-inducing Cique Du Fringe at the amazing Spiegeltent. (Excuse the grainy pics, my phone can not give the Spiegeltent justice. See it for yourself. It is a one of a kind atmosphere).

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After the Spiegeltent show, some friends and I happened upon Eastman students playing jazz at Press Coffee. I don’t know who these hep cats we’re, but they were slaying it. (more…)

The Intern Whoop: Taking a Local Day Pt. 2

Last year, I discovered newness inside my town and wrote a blog detailing this adventure: Local businesses and new people; I got outside—it was great. Check out, “Taking a Local Day” HERE.

Part Duex

On the first of the year, my wife and I moved from snowy Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho to sunny San Luis Obispo, California. I grew up here in SLO county, well south county, I guess.

Despite my history here, everything seemed new; the mountains had never looked greener and skies had never been bluer. The local troves held new names and faces, while their sidewalks ferried fresh bodies to and fro.

We were in a land of newness and I was bound to explore it.

Then we got jobs. Well, I got an internship and she got a job.

Makin’ Copies

My internship so far has been ideal. There isn’t much grunt work, and I’m treated as an employee with as much to say as anyone else. Though yesterday, I made copies for five hours.

Five hours. I can still smell it. The copies.

In the middle of my copying madness, I was given a quick job to distribute a notice to all the local businesses in our strip regarding a meeting of some sort.

I welcomed the break.

Makin’ Discoveries

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There were twelve of these notices to hand out. I peeked outside, “there’s twelve shops here?”

For over two months I’ve worked here. Besides the coffee shop, I had no idea who my neighbors were.

“There’s twelve shops?” I repeated.

So once again, I ventured out; I took a local day. Shaking hands, I discovered business owners, employees and their products.

One shop offered full car-audio installation, with a contract for city police vehicles (two were inside). Another shop sold used baby clothes, and right next to it, golf gear. Further down, I met some kids working in a skateboarding warehouse who specialized in online sales; further down, there was a Muay Thai kick boxing ring.

Like us, they were all just trying to make their mark and tell their story. Before yesterday, they didn’t exist. At least not to me.

Reminded

It’s terrible, our bubbles. We hide inside and shut out the world—sometimes on purpose, most times unknowingly. Like a horse race, we focus on the goal and miss the uniqueness that surrounds it, even if the goal is just a parking spot.

Culture is a beautiful thing. Sometimes, embracing it is as simple as walking outside.

Any good stories of meeting your neighbors? What else can we do to break our daily routines? Are all routines bad? I’d love some feedback.

Record Store Day

It’s April 16th, you know what that means! Happy Record Store Day!

The music shops don’t open for another couple hours, but in many ways, I feel like I went to the best vinyl shop in town last night, my grandparents.

My grandparents just moved up from California, and as it turns out, my grandfather was an avid record buyer back when. I’m talking 4 or 5 boxes of LPs, 45s, and 78s. I almost cried it was so beautiful.  (more…)

Taking a Local Day

How formulaic do our lives become? It’s both good and bad, I suppose. We take vacations from the norm, only to get sick of the vacation and return to our norm.

I heard this statistic the other night and I can’t get it out of my brain:

96% of all Americans spend, on average, their whole lives indoors.

Upon hearing this, I wanted to run outside and skip through a field of daisies; I don’t even like daisies. I wanted to dig a garden, walk to work, and ride a hot air balloon around the country with a monkey named Charlie.

I decided that I needed to prove this statistic wrong.

So the next day, I went on vacation in my own town.

Extraordinarily, I was free from work and school. After an invitation, I made my way down to Doma Coffee and partook in my first ever “cupping.” The perplexities of smelling, breathing, and tasting coffee for hours on end was unusually delightful. For the first time in my life, being a “sipper” actually came in handy.

I learned how to pick fragrances out of coffee like apples, leather, chocolate, and “corn flakes.” I got to know the Doma guys a little better too. We talked about current coffee markets, espresso machines, and good beer. It was great.

After overstaying my welcome, I traveled back downtown to The Long Ear, a local record store (yes kids, those still exist). I traded some CDs in hopes of stocking up store credit for the upcoming Record Store Day. While there, I searched through the vinyl bin and “smoozed” a bit with the staff.

I was reminded me of the hours I’d kill at Boo Boo Record’s in Grover Beach, CA (RIP), where I’d search endlessly through the used CD bin and sticker bucket. Oh the days of my youth…

After The Long Ear, I went back home, recorded some music, waited for my wife to get home and then did a little shopping at my work, Pilgrims Market.

As the day grew late, I reflected upon my day. It was unique and more than usual. There were two things that made it different:

*I made time for myself

*Every business I entered was locally owned

So take from that what you will. Do you feel that you need a break from the norm? Take a local day for yourself and discover what your town has to offer.

Stay out of Albertsons, keep away from Wal-Mart, and for God sakes avoid McDonalds. Corporations and franchises exist only to capitalize off of consumer’s fear of the unknown. It’s funny, but the more I stay out of these businesses, the more I seem to enjoy the area I live in.

Try supporting only local shops for an entire day; take a walk and get outside. Maybe, you wont even need a vacation after all.

My goal this spring and summer is to get outside more, shop locally, and continue to discover my town. Why else would I live here?