This weekend was so great. So, so great. So great that I’m not even that bitter that I don’t have off of work today like seemingly everyone else.
As I mentioned on Friday, we were going to be attending the VIA festival. I was worried that we were going to be too tired to rally for all of the events, but it turned out that we had almost non-stop fun for nearly three days.
I was late to the dance workshop at the Shadow Lounge on Friday because I had to take the bus over after work. Even though I left my office a few minutes early, the bus was late and I wandered in when there was only under an hour left. But I got to see the husband, the baby, and the sister-in-law, who was in town for the festival, work on their footwork.
I joined in for a bit and felt pretty confident about my new dance skills until Manny, one of the guys leading the workshop, came into the center of the floor to demonstrate what footwork looks like when done well and at full speed.
It was, um, humbling.
We hit up Buffalo Blues for (a somewhat disappointing) dinner before heading back out to see a pop-up arcade. This was a raw, storefront space that had been taken over by Babycastles. The baby got a huge kick out of it and it was cool to see people creating their own video games right then and there. The baby lamented that I don’t let him play games like Call of Duty and such. I consider myself very liberal in what I expose him to via media (read: if you’ve written an indignant blog post about parents taking their kid to an R-rated movie, I was probably the object of your outrage), but there are a few things that I’m just not comfortable with, and some of the first-person shooter games creep me out. When he’s still kind of little and sweet, I just can’t take watching him pretend to be a hardcore assassin. But the pop-up arcade was inspiring because he got to see people making fun games that weren’t whatever is most heavily marketed. Got a fun idea for a game? Make it! Don’t wait for someone to sell it to you.
I could tell that the baby was really happy to be out doing stuff like this with us. He’s intrigued by the fact that we regularly go out to hear music and stay out very late and I hope that his desire to someday do that with us remains intact until he is old enough to do so. In the meantime, he was off to spend the night at my mother-in-law’s house. As we put him in the car, he very sweetly called out to us, “Have fun at VIA!” Ugh, he’s amazing. And the VIA folks need to make that into a commercial.
The musical acts that night were going to be in the old PNC Bank in East Liberty. Zuzuka Ponderosa was great, but we were all pretty unimpressed with SSION. Things reached some kind of weirdness apex when none other than Girl Talk took the stage wearing a Steelers uniform. He played some noise for about 10 minutes tops while some seizure-inducing strobe lights kept up. People in masks handed out and threw Arby’s roast beef sandwiches to the crowd before a confetti blast went out. It was bizarre.
Tiger & Woods got us interested again, though, and Spinn and Rashad took things to a frantic level of fun. I was completely drenched in sweat from dancing so hard. We headed over to the after party to hear Santiago Salazar. We were dancing until 4:30 in the morning. When we finally left, the temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees and it had started to rain. So Pittsburgh. So lovely.
The next night was the highly anticipated performance by Moodymann, who is one of our favorites from Detroit. Nearly all of our friends were out, which made it that much more special.
Moodymann played hot and sexy and fun house music and displayed his legendarily bizarre personality, taking the opportunity to talk briefly about the Steelers and hand out cups of Hennessy to the crowd.
He was sitting over near the door when things were wrapping up and I had to go and tell him how much fun I’d had during his set. He appreciated my tshirt, which was from the roller rink in Detroit where he throws a skating party during the festival there. While he chatted with the sister-in-law, I talked to his daughter, who was one of the sweetest girls ever.
One more after party, before we dragged our selves back home at the relatively reasonable hour of 3:30.
Something to add to your list of universal truths? Pizza, even a weird hipster Domino’s pizza, tastes amazing at that hour.
I love that I danced my butt off to musicians from all over the world in old banks and odd little speakeasy-type places and then found myself chomping on nachos at a Steelers game less than 12 hours later.
Pittsburgh is just so weird and wonderful.