What To Do With the Rest of Your Spring

By on 20 April, 2016 in City Living, Fun with 1 Comment

We’re past the midway point of April, and although there was a nice chill in the air this morning, we all know that the Death Heat™ is looming, turning a potentially lovely Alabama spring into a horrific science experiment. At that point, we will all either panic and scramble for air conditioning or trudge through the coagulating air, wondering if society could function on a fully nocturnal schedule. But we aren’t there yet! And there are lots of cool things in this area to do!

“Yes,” you may say, wallowing in the pessimism of the previous paragraph. “But I’m just too busy to actually do any of the items on these periodically-produced Midtown Montgomery Living events calendars.”

No problem! That’s why we are pairing each suggestion with an additional suggestion of something that you might be able to do without! After all, time is a finite resource, and each activity trades off with something else … and it’s going to be that way until you feel the shadowy stillness of the grave. So here are some fun things that you might enjoy doing in the next couple of weeks:

What to do: You don’t have a lot of time to prepare for this one, but the Alabama Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, April 23. We don’t go every year, because sometimes we’re out of town. But every time we go, it’s pretty fun, especially if there are particular authors that you’re looking forward to hearing. Obviously, book lovers are feeling a little heartbroken that this year’s festival won’t have books from Capitol Book and News, but the festival should be a great chance to meet other bibliophiles, hear from some tremendously talented writers, and pick up some beach (or hammock) reading. Oh, and it’s free!

What NOT to do: Cut your grass. Look, if you’re on the brink of getting a weed abatement citation from the city, maybe you need to do some mowing. But if you’ve just got a few weeds sticking up, they can wait until later. Ignore the stares of your bored neighbors, who are just working in the yard to flee the misery of the people inside their houses. The grass is going to grow back anyway, so ease up and find something better to do.

What to do: The Flimp Festival is Saturday, May 7. It’s a great excuse to get out to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. If you’re like us, you may have very particular taste in art, and it’s good to check the museum’s website to see what exhibitions pique your interest. For us, we’d like to see the surrealism exhibit that runs through June 5. With kids running around outside the museum, plus pets and music and the lovely grounds of the Blount Cultural Park, this is one of those cool events that shouldn’t slip off your radar.

What NOT to do: Stream TV shows. Whether you use Netflix, Hulu, or just have a backlog on your DVR, don’t spend some of the best days of the year holed up on your couch. There are too many unique things to do in our city to spend all of your time drinking from the firehose of “content” that is available at the touch of a button. Are there a million good movies that we haven’t seen? Yes. Are there a ton of TV shows that we’re tempted to binge watch? Yes. Do we often feel out of touch when people are asking us if we have seen their favorite shows? Sure. But we’ve got to resist the temptation to be constant passive consumers of the tidal wave of entertainment that is available 24 hours a day.

What to do: Go to Jasmine Hill. It’s only open Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from Noon to 5. So, plan your calendar accordingly. This is the kind of place where you can do some drawing or painting, or just take some beautiful photos for your social media profiles. Your friends will be envious that you get to be around such beauty. And you might even appreciate the meditation and silence amid nature’s beauty. If you get really inspired, you might also plan a roadtrip down near Mobile to Bellingrath Gardens, which has also been on our to-do list.

What NOT to do: Freak out about college football. Look, we love college football. Love it! We are season ticket holders with one of the best football teams in the country. We watched part of A-Day, and have at least a vague sense of what’s going on with the (slightly gross) high school recruiting scene. But if your plans for the spring involve commenting on message boards and calling into talk shows to talk about depth charts, you need to find some new hobbies. I know, I know, this is obviously blasphemy to say. But sometimes, real talk is required. College football is not a 12-month sport. If you have been spotted arguing with someone about a game that will be played by “amateurs” in October, it might be time to take a look at your level of investment in other social institutions. If you simply must read something about college football, read this story about an amoeba that eats your eyeball. It’ll give you nightmares for years.

What to do: Go see some Shakespeare. If you’ve been reading MML for any amount of time, you’re probably familiar with our editorial preferences. We’re partial to The Bard, and not likely to go see a musical targeted at children, or a play about NASCAR. But we absolutely will try to see both of the two Shakespeare plays that are running at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival through the first week of May. A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs through May 8 and A Comedy of Errors through May 7. The works of William Shakespeare have enduring power, not because he’s some kind of canonical status symbol (although there is that), but because they still have the power to move hearts by invoking universal human themes. ASF rarely disappoints when putting on actual Shakespeare. For ticket info: 334-271-5353.

What NOT to do: Freak out about the presidential election. This is sort of like the college football thing mentioned above. We’re in an echo chamber. We’re overdosed with information. You probably already know who you are voting for. Consuming the so-called “analysis” of various events can certainly be as addictive as any drama-filled soap opera. But the election is in November, and Alabama has already voted in its primary. Your opinions between now and then are not likely to influence the eventual outcome. The pundits are not journalists. Nothing you learn from the news about the presidential election will help you in your daily life in any meaningful way. That said, you get a pass for watching the GOP convention in June. If Cleveland burns, you’ll want to be paying attention.

What to do: Go to the Fitzgerald Museum Gala & Silent Auction. We’ve never been, but it looks like a lot of fun. The museum’s 22nd annual gala is a costume-party fundraiser dedicated to helping preserve one of the last homes of Montgomery’s own Zelda Sayre and her husband, the internationally-acclaimed author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Eat, drink, and Jitterbug to live music by the Lo-Fi Loungers. You may discover an heirloom at the sumptuous Silent Auction, stroll the grounds, or peruse the Museum. There will be a special performance by the Montgomery Ballet! This event will be held on Saturday, April 30, 7-10 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Museum 919 Felder Ave. It’s expensive, but it’s a fund-raiser for a good cause. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased online, by mail, in person at the Museum, or over the phone (334-264-4222).

What NOT to do: Play games on your phone. You know you do it. You may be doing it while you’re reading this post. If you add up the amount of time you’ve spent trying to “unlock that level,” you’d be so very embarrassed. It’s okay to kill a little time here and there, but if you’re missing any of the great events on this list because you are tap, tap, tapping on your phone, you’ve got some issues. Put the phone down. Your family and friends miss you.

What to do: Go see movies at The Capri. We went to the Grand (soft) Re-Opening after all of the renovations, and we saw The Maltese Falcon, which one of us had never seen before. The work inside the theater isn’t 100 percent complete, but we were so happy to again have access to the best independent theater in the State of Alabama. It’s a cheesy cliche, but there really was something kind of special when the lights dimmed and the curtains parted and the title credits began to roll. I know we said to take a break from Netflix up above, but it’s great to be sitting in a crowd of respectful folks and watch some top flight cinema. A little popcorn, maybe a beer, something provocative on the screen. Perfect.

What NOT to do: Exercise. I know, I know. You’re probably saying that our city needs more exercise, not less. And certainly, if you’re sitting in a chair all day, you probably do need to do some stuff to get your heart rate up. But you can do that by hiking at a state park. You don’t need to go to the gym. And if you’re one of those people doing the hard core programs like P90x or CrossFit, we’re looking askance at you. Do you really need all of those muscles? I guess you probably do if you are going to win a prize at your Muddy Mud Run, which are nearly as puzzling as those races where people throw brightly-colored powders and dyes at the runners. Look, get a basic amount of fitness. Don’t be obese. But if you are stirring powders into every meal, we’re curious about what you’re trying to prove.

What to do: Go see some live music. Your musical tastes may vary, but we’ll share a bit of what we’re excited about. If you’re looking for something free, you can’t beat Sunday afternoons at the Cloverdale Bottom Park for the Cloverdale-Idlewild Spring Concert Series. It’s a chatty, social environment, where children are milling about and folks may be as likely to be throwing a Frisbee to a dog as they are listening to the music. But it’s really a ton of fun, and a great excuse to drink a beer, hear some tunes, and meet some great folks.

If lawn chairs aren’t your scene, go see some of the many, many shows that have been booked at our favorite live music venue, The Sanctuary. We’re particularly excited about a thing called Space Church, which is April 29 from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. It has a bunch of bands and a bunch of art and for more information about it, click here. And a reference to Space Church is as good an excuse as any to remind you that you also should to to the Planetarium. It’s super cool!

What NOT to do: There could be a long list of things that you shouldn’t do. But, hey, it’s your life. We could say, “Don’t build experimental spaceships in your back yard,” but maybe you have the skills to do that safely and your spaceship would be really great. We could say, “Don’t go on a binge of drinking those weird drugs they sell in gas stations,” but who are we to judge what you do with your body? And sure, it’s ironic to take that stance after all that has been said above. Come to think of it, maybe you should just sit on the couch and do some online shopping for things you don’t need.

Other stuff you can do: Go camping! Visit one of our state’s many beautiful and under-funded state parks! Attend the Southern Makers event on April 30. Free Comic Book Day is May 7 (and there are some really, really good comics being published right now). Go see a Biscuits baseball game. Leave a comment on your favorite Montgomery-themed blog.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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  1. Daniel says:

    Wonderful ideas, beautifully written! What a shame I don’t live in the Montgomery area 🙂

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