Saturday, May 30, 2009

saturday night

Big Disclaimer: This is not us in front of the Paramount Theater! It's a picture from the internet!

Regis and I motored to Austin (MN) last night to see Richie Havens at the Paramount Theater.

The last time we went to the Paramount, Austin's downtown was mostly strip clubs into which we would not venture. We know this because we printed a list of the restaurants downtown and they had normal names like Parrot Bay or some such, but eeeuww, I wasn't stepping foot into them and I'm not famous for high standards when it comes to bars or eating establishments. We ended up in a Mexican restaurant that served delicious food so that was our destination last night.

Alas, when we came down Main Street, we saw a burned out shell of a building where the restaurant used to be. But there seemed to be a few other places to choose from and none of them featured pole dancers. We ate at El Mariachi and it was very good. Rolando was friendly and helpful and said he remembered Richie Havens even though Rolando was only 21 and not even born when Woodstock happened. If you're ever in downtown Austin, we recommend El Mariachi.

Here's what their website says about the Paramount:

The Historic Paramount Theatre, originally constructed in 1929, is a unique atmospheric theatre with a Spanish motif. It is one of four atmospheric theatres left in Minnesota and the only one outside Minneapolis still used as a theatre. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 125 4th Avenue NE, downtown Austin.

That's not us in the picture. It was the best I could find on google. It's really a gorgeous place and a great venue for music. Richie Havens gave a wonderful performance that was almost spiritual. He has a low, slow voice and he started with All Along the Watchtower, one of my favorites, and ended with Freedom. He sang Here Comes the Sun and I was in tears. It was really something to experience. Of course, the place was full of old hippies like us...some who still looked like old hippies and some who shined up pretty good and looked like the might be doctors or lawyers. The youtube video at the bottom is Handsome Johnny, also one of my favorites and maybe one of the best anti-war songs ever. This is the opening act at Woodstock, which I did not attend but might have enjoyed.

Richie Havens played with a guy named Walter Parks who also plays in a group called Swamp Cabbage. No end to the mysteries in life. Walter looked more like George Custer or a Shakespearean scholar than this:

Swamp Cabbage is North Florida, fatback, boogaloo blues stirred into a gumbo of Louisiana ragtime. Walter Parks' fingerpicked electric guitar honks like a razorback hog. Jagoda's drums like he's leadin' a New Orleans funeral parade, and Lindey's bass barks like a tuba through a fuzz box.

I woke Regis up early this morning and we went to our local HyVee to buy some big, disgusting steaks of the beef variety and some of the tuna variety. One of my best current recipes is for pan seared ahi tuna but I've discovered it's great on the grill, too. Tom and Betty came to while away the summer afternoon with us. We sat on the new patio, gabbed with passers-by, and told stories. Tom brought barbecued ribs and I made stuffed portobello mushrooms for appetizers. Dinner was great. Here's the tuna recipe:

Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe


  • 2 (6-8 ounce) ahi tuna steaks (3/4 of an inch thick)
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or 2 teaspoons of wheat-free tamari for gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion (scallion) thinly sliced (a few slices reserved for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice


1 Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the tuna steaks with the marinade, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2 Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high to high heat. When the pan is hot, remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and sear them for a minute to a minute and a half on each side ( even a little longer if you want the tuna less rare than pictured.) Or cook over direct heat on a grill for the same amount of time.

3 Remove from pan and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with a few green onion slices.

My bike is back and I rode it downtown twice today. I went to The Pulse (not to be confused with Impulse Tattoo) to inquire about membership and classes. This is a place of exercise and is quite outside my realm of experience. The woman in charge was very nice and encouraging. Betty and I might start with a class called Zumba! on Monday night. We'll see how my adventure into the world of exercise goes. We've been swimming since December but that's more like old lady dog paddling. At The Pulse, we're going to have a personal trainer who tells us what to do. Rachel believes fitness is for everyone so I'm sure she won't kill us with jumping jacks.

Tomorrow will be our day of rest.

Hey, Bob and Marilyn: Thanks for the very nice note about my blog.

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