August 14, 2008


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Tuesday is the new Friday
By Brian Early

Tuesday nights with Manchester. It’s probably not as good as with Morrie.

Perhaps it doesn’t convey the same sort of introspective ideas, but it does provide for cheap drinks as well as musical and political inspirations.

Tuesday nights has the possibility of being a Friday night for many, including this reporter, as the Hippo goes to press Tuesday afternoons. It’s like a clean slate all over again, and celebrating the issue is only right. There are a variety of special drink prices, including $2 pints of all beers, even Guinness, at two local watering holes, and one that offers beers for $1 during happy hour. (In the interest of not getting anyone in trouble with the liquor commission, I’ll keep the names out of it and just say that such deals, as well as non-liquor related food deals, are easy to find.)

Manchuka, a sort of ’70s-style retro funk 10-piece band with a full horn section, has a weekly residence at the Shaskeen, 909 Elm St., on Tuesday evenings in the back room from 8 to 11 p.m. It’s a sort of practice night for the band, but they’re seasoned musicians, so even a quasi-practice is like a regular show. They play high-energy dance music that can easily turn the Tuesday blues around.

Tuesday nights tend to be packed at Strange Brew, 88 Market St. Two bands play, alternating Tuesdays: the funk-driven Hipology and the Strange Brew All-Stars. Brace for standing room only.

After imbibing a couple of pints (though don’t tell them I suggested it), head over to City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, and watch city government at work. It’s a hit or miss if the elected officials are in session. Until October, they’re in session the first Tuesday of the month, then it becomes the first and third Tuesday of the month.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen can provide great political theater. There’s even a balcony to watch the proceedings from. Alderman and State Senator Ted Gatsas is a fun one to watch in action. It appears that he derives satisfaction from questioning various figures, often with numbers that are bound to confuse the nervous answerer. I tend to smile just watching the interaction. Ed Osborne, who represents me in Ward 5, is always the best, most colorfully dressed, which is almost as good a reason as any to vote for him.

The best part of going to board meetings is that you can leave at any time, which many people who work for the city cannot. Many city officials sit in the benches, often appearing as if they could fall asleep at any second, just waiting for one of the aldermen to ask them questions. They don’t serve beer at City Hall, and you’re not allowed to talk.

But if booze and politics are your game, there’s always Taproom Tuesdays at Murphy’s Taproom, 494 Elm St. The politics there skew libertarian. Murphy’s Taproom during the presidential primary was the unofficial headquarters of the Ron Paul supporters. They like discussion, and they’re passionate about liberty.

If politics doesn’t float your Tuesday boat, perhaps singing will. There are also a few different karaoke set-ups along Elm Street. The Black Brimmer, 1087 Elm St., hosts a live band karaoke, where you can belt out songs with a backing band and feel like a rock star. The Flambeaux, 1181 Elm St., hosts a Deal or No Deal along with karaoke, where a person is selected to play the game with winnings of about $100. McGarvey’s, 1097 Elm St., hosts a straight-ahead karaoke.