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Friday, August 21, 2009

Thing 158: Ft. Reno

It turns out, I am really terrible at blogging in August. I've never been particularly good at it, looking back over the last two years, but it seems that this August has been especially hard for me to get it together. Blame it on my entirely new life, or just blame it on humidity and general laziness, but it is time to stop thinking about blogging and start putting fingers to keyboard. Let's go!

It with great embarrassment that I report to you that I went to my first Ft. Reno outdoor concert three weeks ago and have been sitting on the experience since then. So selfish of me! Because it was a really fun experience!!

How have I avoided Ft. Reno until now, you wonder? Well, I'm not really sure. Part of it is that I thought it was really hard to get to. And part of it was that I was pretty sure my jeans weren't skinny enough. But I'm happy to report back that Ft. Reno is but two blocks from the Tenley Town metro, and also that, while heavy on the hipster crowd, its actually just a really welcoming, happy, communal neighborhood event.

I attended Ft. Reno's final concert of the summer back on July 30th, when Grendel Babies, Casper Bangs, and Title Tracks performed. The bands were...fine. I don't know, the music wasn't really my taste (I lean more towards Mos Def), but people seemed to really enjoy it. Title Tracks in particular seemed to have a devoted following who made an impromptu dance floor in front of the stage during the set. And even if the music wasn't really my cup of tea, I can certainly appreciate any venue that focuses on local talent and lets local bands to their thing.

But for me, the fun was really in the atmosphere -- the setting and the people and the night sky and the company. Just as Screen on the Green has almost nothing to do with what movie is being shown and everything to do with sweating on the mall and drinking boxed wine, atmosphere is everything at Ft. Reno. This is clearly a place for neighbors to come out of their stuffy homes on a summer night and mingle in the open air. Families brought their children and babies, couples brought their dogs, everyone sat out on blankets and shared food and watched the sky darken behind the Fort's turrets. I was invited by some Fort Reno regulars, and we enjoyed the night air while sharing olives and cheese and off-brand Oreos.

I will definitely go back (I am simply a sucker for a picnic, though this is no secret), and am looking forward to adding the annual concert series into my summer rotation next year.