What to do when your Happy Bubble bursts
February 26, 2006 - 21:05.
I learned a lesson today: always call before you show up at a small, out-of-the-way art gallery, even when they advertise an exhibit. The place might be locked and dark. This is the downside of being adventuresome—like Geraldo Rivera finding nothing but cobwebs in the alleged secret vault of Al Capone, you sometimes wind up at a dead end, forced to apologize for hyping up the mission and then wasting everybody’s time….
On the air yesterday, I declared today (Sunday, February 26) to be Happy Bubble Sunday, a name I invented for a fun-filled afternoon. My group of friends coming from the rock opera My Green Eyes at Judson Church (which was, in fact, sold out as I reported), along with any listeners who dared, were to meet at Stevens Square Center for the Arts for the last hour of an advertised exhibit called The Happy Show, featuring the cheerful work of seven visual artists, including Keiko Yagishita, whose sweet “Above the Clouds” print of a boxer pup was featured in promotional materials. I thought it fitting that after such levity, we should all enjoy some bubble tea. (I learned to love the stuff in China. Slurping pea-sized tapioca pearls through big, fat straws from frothy drinks is fun!) Thus, Happy Bubble.
However, when co-pointwoman Jill Nicholson and I arrived at Stevens Square, we found it shuttered. Naturally we went next door to Third Avenue Market to see if the proprietors knew anything. They didn’t—but they’d seen a group of women just before us who were equally confused. (Sincere apologies to any who were led astray by my well-meaning but not well-executed plan.)
At least we can look forward to The Tea Garden, I thought, although I’d never been there either. I was getting the munchies and dreaming of a mango and ginger tea concoction with all those chewy bubbles at the bottom. During the drive, I called the rest of the group, and Jill called home. “Why are you going to the Tea Garden?” her teenage daughter asked, adding, “That’s where my friends and I hang out.” We decided to check it out anyway, and sure enough, every table was filled with young sprouts doing homework on their laptops. We picked through a pile of postcards touting CD release parties and gallery openings, then bailed.
More rounds of phone calls. By now we were seriously hungry, and everyone else had gone home, so Jill and I headed for a place we knew we’d find both great food and like-minded adults: Café Barbette.
We were greeted at the door by the aroma of salty pommes frites. It took us all of 90 seconds to put in our order for those, along with squat little cans of Wittekerke Belgian white beer (much like Blue Moon) with lemon slices. Waddling out after spicy tomato and squash stew poured over a mound of Israeli couscous (bubbles!), I had to admit that happiness was mine after all. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we’d shared dining space with eye candy Bill Summerville, GM of La Belle Vie (whose date we didn’t interrupt, although we were tempted), and with a gorgeous specimen whom we might have invited to our table, had we been more alert. Puts a girl in a good mood, nevertheless! (As did the kind young mechanic at Steve’s Tire & Auto at 46th and Nicollet who replaced my burned-out headlight and filled my tires with air at 15 minutes ‘til closing time on my way home tonight.)
So all is well. When life bursts your bubble, blow another one, I guess. But…you have my word, dear readers/listeners, that next time I invite you to see art, I will make sure the art is there for us to see!*
*Rest assured I’ve e-mailed Stevens Square Center for the Arts to ask what happened, and I’ll let you know how they reply.