Friday, December 9, 2016

Music Week

I have had the good fortune to visit some incredible places known for their music. I've seen Broadway shows in The Big Apple, strolled Memphis' historic Beale Street, and listened to the sounds of Frenchman Street in New Orleans. During the first week of December, I experienced a flurry of hometown harmony.

The first opportunity was actually enjoyed by my wife. To start every week, Flood City Cafe has Music Mondays. A local artist performs from noon to 1 as lunch goers have at it. My wife survived a hectic Monday morning in the office and arrived for some lunch therapy. Some singing and a buffalo chicken sandwich had a calming effect. She did not sing; only listened. The sandwich was all hers. Flood City Cafe continues to create a fun and soothing vibe, even for a pregnant, working woman. 

On Tuesday, the shops on Diamond Boulevard had an event featuring an ambitious piano player. Across from the Stackhouse Park entrance in Westmont, there is a cluster of small businesses. Inside Paprika Rose, an antique and collectibles store, was a pianoman from Fairmont, West Virginia. His story and positive attitude was something to be admired. This fellow packs a mini-van with a full-size piano and hits the road. The shop owners treated guests to wine, cheese, and desserts and had just enough space for Matt to take a seat behind his strawberry red piano.

As Matt played, my wife and I zig-zagged our way through Paprika Rose. It is welcoming to see small business owners scheduling special events. I made an impulse buy - Blessed Dad wrist cuff. Listening to the blues, I thought about my growing family and the Johnstown community I am proud to call home.

On Thursday, we had a table of eight at the Grande Halle on Broad Street. Cambria City remains an important part of Johnstown history and the city's future. This religious building was transformed in 2012 into a celebratory event space. Six local musicians known as SongWorks played a series of Christmas tunes for a crowd estimated around 100 people. That crowd was roped into a sing-a-long about halfway through the performance. It was a silly and satisfying night of music.

There is a certain melody to this time of year. I appreciate those who can hold a tune and share their talents. My singing will stay in the shower and group sing-a-longs.

I plan on staying in Johnstown and hope to hear, see, and experience more people providing cheer, regardless of the season.

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