Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gist Street Readings

Pittsburgh definitely has a cool ass bohemian/writer scene. Last night was probably the best $3 evening money could buy. I went to the Gist Street reading series to hear Professor Faith and Tim Seibles read. It was such an amazing experience! The readings are all held in the loft of a sculpture gallery. This guy lets us all hang out in his living quarters. First, the first floor is totally filled with this enormous sculpted mural. All three floors are decorated with the most interesting artwork ever. Then, after you pay your $3, you get entered in a raffle to win the artists' books among other things (like freaking Terrible Towels). Your entry fee also gets you homemade bread, many tables full of cheese, pizza, and other snacks the guests bring. Plus, it's BYO Wine.

So essentially, everyone gets good and sloshed and stuffed while we sit around an ancient bathtub, staring at the most interesting living space in the entire world, and then Tim begins to speak and the world stops moving. I don't even really like modern poetry too much, but he made me want to study it for years. His words seeped from his fingers as he closed his eyes and conducted the room while he read. He was amazing.

After, everyone went to a cool bar called Gooskys on Polish Hill. I drank several Cheap Bastard Specials (PBR from a bottle! $1.50!) and enjoyed free ping pong, a gas fireplace, and a dirty room filled with persian rugs and Johnny Cash. It was an altogether satisfying and awesome evening.

Where was Corey in all this?, you wonder. He was supposed to be taking his bike team to Penn State for a training weekend. But since it went from 70 degrees to 30 degrees last night and has been snowing steadily ever since, I think we can all agree it was a better idea to stay home. He went out boozing with the neighbors upstairs. I came home and we played Katamari together. It was awesome.


Max&Reno's parents said...

Wow! 60's redux. If only there had been a bongo player it would have been perfect. Were you wearing black tights?

PeaceLoveMath said...

i have two pairs of black tights...but no cool poetry readings to go to.

what is katamari?

Em said...

Dee says to ask you if you've finished Katamari 2 yet. Apparently she has and now whenever I want to play it she gets all smug with me.

JRoth said...

Actually, I'd like to point out that Gist St. isn't that kind of self-consciously hipster (or, worse, beatnik) scene - it's very down-to-earth and real and relaxed, with a focus on the readers while they read, and on just chatting while they don't. Part of the secret is that it's a very diverse audience - wacky oldsters from the neighborhood, students, artists, professionals.... I didn't make this one, but I heard that they turned away 80 people on top of the 80 they let in.

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