September 15, 2005
Enjoying the Open Doors Trolley Tour
from a veteran trolley rider: talk to the other kids, change your route,
It’s Open Doors Trolley
Tour time again. On Thursday, Sept. 22, the trolleys will pick up
passengers and transport them to more than a dozen art galleries,
studios and museums all over downtown Manchester, free of charge.
If you’ve been to this
event before, you might be wondering why you should go again. You’ve
seen one, you’ve seen them all, right? Well, here are a few tips to keep
the experience fresh and fun.
Bring a friend. Invite
someone along with you, preferably someone who has never done the
trolley tour before. Seeing the venues and the art through another
person’s eyes will give you a new perspective. If your kids are of a
certain age (that age being whenever the museum seems more fun than the
trolley ride), watching their faces while they take in all the different
kinds of art can be fun. Bring a camera.
Re-route your journey.
One problem I have every time I go to this event is that there are two
or three venues I never quite make, because I spend too much time at
other places. This year, I’m going to take the map of venues and start
at the end of the route, working my way backwards. That way, I’ll
finally have a chance to linger in the MAA Gallery on north Elm Street
and Art 3 Gallery on Brook Street, which are on the tail end of the
Don’t be shy. As
grownups, how many opportunities do we get to meet new people outside
our little circle of work friends? Talk to your neighbors on the
trolley; ask them where they’re from and how they heard about the event.
Talk about venues you recommend, and ask them which galleries they
like. I once met another mom on the trolley who was trying to wrangle
her kids, just like I was. Her children and mine hit it off famously. We
decided to join forces and stick together for the evening, so our kids
could play together and leave us to have a conversation about art.
Meet the artists. How
many times have you been at an art exhibit, looked at a painting, and
wondered to yourself, “What the heck was this person thinking?” At Open
Doors, there’s a good chance you will rub elbows with the featured
artists at most of the venues. Talk to them; ask them questions. Hearing
the story behind the creation of a piece of art always makes it more
interesting, and adds a layer of appreciation. If you see a painting you
like, find the artist and tell him so. I guarantee it will make his day.
Stay for dinner. After
you’ve seen all the venues, treat yourself to dinner in one of
downtown’s many restaurants. Though most of the venues offer light
refreshments, you will probably be famished at the end of the tour from
all the walking and fresh air. If you’re with a friend or a group, go
around the table and give everyone a chance to talk about what they
liked the best, and even what they didn’t like. If you don’t feel rushed
to hurry home and make dinner after the tour stops at 8 p.m., you’ll
enjoy the evening more. A leisurely dinner somewhere is the perfect end
to a great night out.
What is the Open Doors
Manchester trolley tour? The city’s arts and culture community holds an
Open Doors event four times a year. The fall tour will be held on
Thursday, Sept. 22, 5- 8 p.m.
trolleys will circulate throughout the city, stopping at these 11
locations: Art 3 Gallery, City Hall, the Currier Museum of Art, Langer
Place, the Millyard Museum, the NH Institute for Art (both locations),
the Franco-American Centre, the MAA Gallery, the Valley Cemetery, and
the SEE Science Center. Trolley rides are free; all locations have free
admission and many host special programs and provide refreshments. Catch
a special performance of musical selections from Majestic Theatre’s
summer production of “The Music Man” outside City Hall at 6:30. Actors
from the Majestic will also ride the trolleys in period costume
throughout the night. Trolley rides and admission to all participating
venues are free, as is parking at trolley venues and at Citizens Bank on
Elm Street. Open Doors Manchester has designated two park-and-start
locations: City Hall, with free parking directly across Elm Street at
the Citizens Bank Garage, and at the Millyard Museum on the corner of
Commercial and Pleasant streets. For more information on the Open Doors
trolley tour, call 669-7469 or e-mail OpenDoorsMnchstr@aol.com.