Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Terrific Saturday in Ventura

It’s raining today, but yesterday was a beautiful day – a great day to do great Ventura things. I missed the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market because of our special City Council workshop at the Marriott, but I did have two terrific experiences later on in the day that reinforced for me what a great place Ventura is to live.

In the afternoon Allison and I went up to Grant Park to watch “The Rocknockers” at work. In case you haven’t paid attention to this, it’s a terrific and mostly volunteer effort by the Serra Cross Conservancy and the New Mexico-based Stone Foundation to build dry stone (no mortar) walls along the stairs leading down to the Serra Cross. This “Japanese Dry Stone Walling Workshop” had about 30 participants, and it’s a precursor to the Stone Foundation’s annual International Stonework Symposium, which is being held here in Ventura beginning on Tuesday. The rocknocking has been fascinating to watch; and the resulting walls are a beautiful addition to Grant Park. You might want to go up and take a look – and also stop by Anacapa Brewing on Monday night, where the stone masons will be hanging out and enjoying the Rocknockers Ale created by Anacapa just for this occasion.

In the evening we headed over to Zoey’s fo catch the I-Heart tour, which was making a stop in Ventura. I love folk and acoustic music, and we have a fabulous – if occasionally underpublicized – folk music scene here in Ventura. Under the leadership of Steve and Polly Hoganson, Zoey’s has become the epicenter of this music scene. You can head up there almost any night of the week and hear fabulous folk music. The musicians from L.A. just love coming up – as we saw last night, when Arrica Rose and several other female artists did a great job of performing authentic, heartfelt original folk music. I-Heart is a nonprofit created by Arrica and a few other female musicians in L.A. to raise money for charitable causes, and last night’s money (for the wonderful I-Heart calendar among other things) went for relief to the victims of the tragic earthquake in Haiti.

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