Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pump up the Jams

I mentioned that last weekend San Diego was a-buzzin' with activity. On Sunday we headed to the Adam's Avenue Roots Festival - a two day music festival featuring a variety of musical styles. One of the performers I really wanted to see played on Saturday, but we still got to see some really great artists. And Thatboy fell in love.

Adams Avenue spans three areas - Kensington, Normal Heights, and University Heights. While your average tourist doesn't usually get over to this area, it could truly be called the "heart" of San Diego city. If you live in a city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, you can go for years without having to drive. Everything you need is right in "the neighborhood." Most of San Diego isn't like that, except for this area, which is home to stores, markets, fabulous local bars and some of the best restaurants in the county. And it also houses some pretty great street festivals.

The Roots Festival is no exception. Adams Avenue itself is closed off for several streets with several stages to showcase the performers.

There are food and crafts all along the street, and in addition to the stages, there were "street buskers" who played on the corners.

I used the opportunity as an excuse to play with the video camera part of my camera. I've had this camera for about 18 months and I've NEVER played with video function. I warn you - it's pretty shaky and might give you motion sickness. So when you click on the video, maybe do something else and just listen. After all, it's the music that matters.

First up we got to see Sarah Watkins.

Halfway through her set, Thatboy turned to me and said "I have a crush on Sarah Watkins." He spent the rest of the performance giving her meaningful glances and trying to get her to look his way. I have a bitty crush on her too - that girl plays a mean fiddle.

Next we heard Orquesta Primo, but the inlaws didn't want to venture to watch them perform. It's amazing how small minded people can be. TFIL put up with the fiddling, but there was no way he was going to stand and watch salsa/folklorico. But the music sounded very high energy and fun.

Also vetoed were The Devastators and Robin Henkel who were also deemed "not music" by the inlaws.

We settled on Joanie Mendenhall who played her music at what was determined to be an acceptable volume.

She describes her style as "acoustic pop/alternative" but to me, she sounded like a throwback to older times. We just watched An Education a couple weeks ago (jeepers I love Nick Hornby) and it reminded me of the music of that era. Especially with the French influence the music in the movie had.

After Joanie, we stuck around for Gregory Page.

He was a huge hit with the inlaws, beginning his set with "I'm going to sit right down and write myself a letter" which had TFIL (who was complaining that his legs were cramping from all the walking we'd been doing) grabbing TMIL and bringing her out to dance.

Sometimes I'm like a spoiled kid at Christmas - especially with music. I didn't want to leave and I wished we could have been there on Saturday too. It's just never enough with me. Luckily I don't have to wait till next year, because there'll be another street festival in September!

With all the inlaw meals I've been blogging, I forgot to add one fairly unimportant entry - the salad. TFIL likes a salad with every dinner he has, whether eating in or eating out. What has always struck me as interesting, is that he serves the salad course first. Not incredibly unusual, except for the fact that TFIL believes the Europeans are the only people who know how to cook. period. end of story. He refuses to eat barbecue, or Mexican food, or various Asian cuisines other than a certain Chinese restaurant by his house. Well, you'll never guess what culture eats their salads AFTER the meal.....that's right! Europeans. Just a little trivia for y'all because I love you so very much. So here is one of the many nightly salads we consumed with some of my favorite ingredients - fruit and nuts!

Apple Walnut Salad
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup greek yogurt
3 Tbsp vinegar (I have an assortment I alternate through depending on my mood)
2 tsp sugar
4 cups of your favorite greens
2 red apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1) Whisk together the syrup, yogurt, vinegar, and sugar.
2) Whisk in oil gradually until you have a nice thick dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
3) Toss greens, apples, cranberries, and walnuts in a bowl. Toss with dressing.


  1. It sounds like a fun time and a great ending with a fruity and delcious salad.

  2. WOW, can you send me some of the salad right now, I want some for lunch, it looks WONDERFUL!

  3. i love going to stuff like this! i'm not much into music, but it still looks like fun :)

  4. You make your IL's sound like wonderful people!