Last night was pretty damn close to perfect- even though nothing happened as I planned it.
The plan: Hang out at First Friday’s, maybe meet up with a friend and head down to Harborfest.
Unfortunately, we got slammed with a storm. Flash flooding, lightning, all of the elements that lead to the cancelation of both the First Friday celebration in the NEON District and also Friday’s Harborfest shows.
I was already in Downtown Norfolk when everything was cancelled. I drove through hellish traffic to get there from the Oceanfront and I knew the city invested a lot into making this a profitable, positive weekend for the businesses in Norfolk. So- I wasn’t going to give upon having a fun Friday downtown.
From the moment I got out of my car I knew I made the right decision. The very first person I encountered was my friend Jen of POWnd Cakes by Jen! It always brightens my day running into her! She was setting up some of her cakes for a show at Hurrah. The show sounded really interesting, so I filed it away as an option if I was looking for entertainment.
When I saw Jen, I was actually on my way to see a show at Push Comedy Theater. When I was sitting in my car looking for indoor activities, I saw that Push had a Facebook Live video announcing that they were still running free shows every 30 minutes for First Friday, even though the actual block party was cancelled. The audience was so empty. The cast made jokes about them guaranteeing that there would be a seat available, which told me they were probably just performing for themselves and a few personal friends. Remembering my theater days, I decided to go watch a few just so they could have at least one unfamiliar face in the crowd.
The shows were fantastic- mostly. There was one that I just didn’t really “get,” but that’s the way art goes I guess. I was able to start conversation with a few people around me who recognized me as an outsider and first-timer at Push. Super friendly crowd! My friend ended up joining me and we ended up heading out to get something to eat after we watched a show together.
Walking in the rain isn’t super fun, but we still made the walk down Granby Street to get some dinner at The Grilled Cheese Bistro. We had an incredible meal, I’ll post a review on Yelp later. I am actually really surprised I haven’t left a review, TGCB is one of my favorite restaurants in Hampton Roads.
The rain calmed down a lot when we left the restaurant so we just kind of walked around. We were doing some exploring and I went full-Yelp mode sharing tidbits about some of the different businesses we were passing. Before I knew it we were at Waterside! We didn’t hang out there too long, because it isn’t really my vibe. Instead we just kept walking around Norfolk eventually making our way back to the NEON District where we ultimately called it a night.
Improv, grilled cheese, good company, and local exploring- totally my perfect Friday night. Well- I could have done without the rain I guess. Still- five stars! 😉