Monday, August 24, 2009

Going to the Movies

So, I wanted to see a movie last weekend. This is actually quite an event for me. I might see two movies a year. I'm just not a big movie person. But, I had heard good reviews of the movie (500) Days of Summer. said it was playing at Santiam 11 on Lancaster, so off we went to the movies. I must say, every time I go to a movie, I am shocked at how expensive it is. And then, the food prices!! Good lord, I can't pay that kind of money for popcorn! Fortunately, I wasn't hungry since we went to dinner beforehand at the Ram. (I love their patio and their Amber Ale Chicken Burger, but that's a whole different post!)

When we get inside the theater I am surprised to find that there is a whole row of pre-teen boys behind us. Uhhhh...this is a PG-13 movie, but it is a romantic comedy drama and not exactly meant for kids. Technically they stayed through the whole movie, except for the 18 billion times they got up to go get refills or something!! Now I remember why I rarely go to the movies and when I do, I prefer to go to the evening shows at Northern Lights that are over 21 only.

So, if you want to know about the movie, I'll give you my opinion. Remember it did get quite good reviews. I just didn't find it very satisfying. Slightly depressing, a little contrived, and overall a disappointment for me. I'm sure that many people will find it interesting. It is basically a romance gone wrong, but from the guy's point of view. It does make some interesting points, but altogether I just felt like I've seen too much of that kind of stuff in real life to make it an interesting movie for me. It mostly made me sad to see that kind of self-delusion portrayed as romantic. Okay, so now you know about my cynical side. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Salem Creative Pub Crawl = FUN

Have you ever gone downtown Salem on a Friday night only to see empty streets and half-full bars and restaurants. Everyone who has been in Salem for some time has probably experienced that at some point. But this was not the case last night.

This is the second month that there has been a pub crawl downtown on the third Friday of the month. And let me tell you it has turned into a major event. It seemed like it was almost twice as big as last month, although it's hard to tell with all the people milling around and coming and going. Although there is a map and an order to the event, lots of people go off on their own and do the route their own way. It was so fun to catch up with some of the people from last month, have some drinks, some laughs, some food specials, and support our local businesses.

The group is a big mix of people, ages, styles, etc, so if you are inclined to come along next month, don't worry that you won't fit in. You can come for as many or as few of the pubs as you want and you can even choose to stay at one the entire night if you find that you really like it. You can come for the drinks or the friends or the food specials, or you can just come for the people watching.

Most of all, the pub crawl is about getting out and doing something quirky and fun in Salem. It's about meeting other people from Salem and building a community of people that support the downtown businesses.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Look What Happened at Summer in the City

I am not going to review Summer in the City in downtown Salem since it has been done much better here and here and here, by other illustrious Salem bloggers. I will only say that I personally decided not to pay the rather exorbinant fee for what I consider a very new and quite unknown festival, but I did stop outside the fences for a bite to eat. As I stopped to listen to a few minutes of Curtis Salgado's performance on Sunday evening, I ran into this man enjoying the music.

Notice he's outside the fence, but he had PLENTY of room to dance! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Roxxy's New Vibe

Well, folks, there's a new dance club in town. I, for one, was very sad to hear that the new Roxxy would not continue with the great music that Lefty's did, but apparently it's hard to pack the house when you are booking bands, so they decided to try the dance club routine.

The great news? Comedy nights are still twice a month on Thursdays and the food is still pretty decent for a club/bar. They aren't packing the house yet, but I think that's because people don't know about them. Saturday there was an article about clubbing in Salem in the Statesman which should help get the word out.

Friday night I went out with some friends for some music and dancing and we decided to check it out. It had nice atmosphere, great music (some old, some new, mostly pop/hip-hop/R&B, and all quite loud!), and great service. It will be good to see if the service continues to be so good as they get busier, but for the most part, it seemed well-run. A lot of the same employees who used to run Moonbaker were part of the show, so they should know what they're doing.

I felt the prices were pretty low to average for drinks in Salem. We didn't order any food on Friday night because it was late and we had gone out to dinner earlier. I ordered wine, another friend ordered a beer, and another two friends had cocktails. Everyone was happy with their drinks, even me, and I know better than to order wine in a dance club. I actually asked the waitress only to bring me the wine if the bottle hadn't been open for days and she laughed and said they used small, one serving bottles. :)

There were only a few other people there throughout the night as well as some that came and went after short stays. It certainly wasn't packed, but it looked like the word might be getting out. I'm sure it will start filling up soon.

While we were there, they mentioned that they had a Happy Hour from 7-9 pm every night where everything in the house is half-price. Wow! I decided to try it out on Saturday night with a couple other friends. We showed up a little after 7 pm and asked if that was still the deal. Sure enough. So we ordered drinks and some Roxxy Fries with cheese and bacon topping. Mmmm. :)

The fries were a huge portion, the drinks were strong, but not overpowering (well-mixed) and the server was friendly and prompt. Our entire bill came up to $12 at the end of our snack. Happy Hour indeed! I did notice that this happy hour was not advertised. I do wonder if it is just temporary to get people introduced to the new place. At any rate, it was very good, the music wasn't too loud to talk (as it had been the night before after 10) and the atmosphere was fun. I would definitely go back to try their pizza.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Late Night Dessert in Salem??

I was talking to a friend this evening who was going to take her little sister, who is turning 19, out for coffee and dessert later tonight. They were looking for a place to get dessert and it was getting close to 8:30. We had some serious trouble coming up with places that had dessert that were not bars or chain restaurants. We thought of La Capitale, but the bar is the only part open late. Word of Mouth closes at 9 and I'm not even sure they do desserts. Little Cannoli and Queen of Tarts close around 5. The one place I did come up with was Napolean's but apparently her little sister had been there for dinner and didn't want to go back. So, we finally came up with Bentley's which is open until 10 and has Konditerei cheesecake. So that's where they ended up going.

Does anyone know of any other good, late-night, dessert places that I missed on this list? The other problem in this situation was the fact that she is underage, so bars were out for them. I was struggling to come up with anything other than Applebee's and Red Robin. Surely, we can do better than that around here!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

More Sushi in Salem

I'm very excited about the news of a new sushi restaurant coming to downtown Salem. It's called Sushi Mania and it should be located near La Capitale on High St. I'm not sure when it's opening, but I can't wait to try it out.

Of course, I still love Fuji Ricetime and Sushi Kyo, but I just think that Salem has been lacking in options for sushi. Sometimes those places are busy, or out of the way, or whatever and it will be nice to have another sushi option in downtown Salem. I certainly don't think that it is going to hurt the business of the other restaurants although it is very close to Fuji Ricetime. I have heard it is going to be a conveyor belt style restaurant, more similar to the Sushi Kyo out off Lancaster. That's a totally different atmosphere than Ricetime, so I can't see it being any real competition. Maybe Salem could actually start a Sushi District and have tons of sushi options in close range!
Hey, if it works for flower districts and fashion disctricts, why not sushi?

Anyway, I think we are long overdue for more sushi options around here, and sushi isn't getting less popular. At least according to my unscientific polls using the highly technical skill of counting how long the waits are for a table in a sushi restaurant.

If anyone know any more info about this place and it's opening date, please let me know.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer In the City 2009

After heading out to The Bite this weekend, I started thinking about festivals in Salem. Summer in the City is just around the corner! I remember Summer in the City being all about the sidewalk sales when I was a kid. I don't even know if there was music or drinks, probably because I was too young to enjoy such things. I just remember making a day of the shopping with my mom and my sisters where we would buy all our back-to-school clothes.

But what I do know, is that last year Summer in the City was rejuvinated, and it was a hit! I love that fact that they close the streets down for this event and bring out the music and booze. :) This year there will be a cover charge to get into some areas of the event, but I think if you make a day of it, it would be well worth the cost.

Last year, the highlights for me were the Casey's Cafe grilling delicious burgers in their outdoor kitchen, the wine-tasting, the music, and running into old friends. I'm excited to see what this year holds!