Friday, June 19, 2009
Fridays After Five on the Downtown Mall
There are lots of fun things to do in and around Charlottesville. One of the fun places to hang out is the Downtown Mall. You can get to it by hopping onto one of the Free Trolleys that runs through grounds. It's a pedestrian shopping area with lots of artsy shops and boutiques and a few arts theaters/galleries. It also has a wide selection of restaurants and coffee shops and has a movie theater. A cool thing about it is that, at one end, it has a 42 foot chalkboard for anyone and everyone to write on.
At this same end is the Charlottesville Pavilion which is a concert venue. Some past performers include Jason Mraz, Alanis Morisette, Smashing Pumpkins, Willie Nelson, Modest Mouse, Switchfoot, Lynard Skynard, Bruce Hornsby, BB King ... the list goes on. On Fridays in the summer, they have a FREE concert series called "Fridays After Five" where they invite some lesser-known bands to come perform from 5:30-8:30pm.
On a Friday a couple of weeks ago, I went downtown with a couple of friends to experience Fridays After Five. I like to say that I like all kinds of music, but I really just wasn't feeling this blue grass band that was performing this particular Friday. So after sitting and trying to get into the music for a good 15 minutes, my friends and I decided to get some dinner. We decided to go Downtown Thai where we sipped on Thai iced tea and ate pad thai. We followed that up with gelato from Splendora's. It started raining, so we took up shelter under a store awning nearby. Let me just say, the Downtown Mall is people-watching at its best. We sat there for a couple of hours watching schools of high school students, college students, and townies (and dogs where applicable) walk by. Then as we were leaving, we decided to check out the new Urban Outfitters store that just opened a few weeks ago, and we spent a couple hours downstairs looking at the interesting books they keep in stock. The Downtown Mall's the kind of place where you can go to relax whether you have set plans as to what you're going to do or you just feel like getting out for awhile.