Scene & Herd - Paddy Whack for

My daddy-O

I'm not Irish, nor am I a particularly accomplished drinker. Nevertheless, I've always been a fan of Irish pubs. Perhaps it's because my first bar hangout was a dim and sticky Irish bar in D.C. called Nanny O'Brien's. As I recall, Nanny O'Brien's was also a popular hangout for German and Irish au pairs. That's not why I hung out there, though. Honest.

I mention that because on Friday night, I was walking down North Highland Avenue killing time before Spy's album release party at 10 High when I decided on a whim to indulge my Irish pub-love by popping into Limerick Junction.

Entertaining the crowd was musician Chris Ricker. Ricker is a Limerick Junction regular. He also appears to be a graduate of the top-secret university of Irish bar musicians — the one that teaches musicians how to give audiences a precise blend of ballads, boozy sing-alongs and bawdy humor.

If you've been to more than one Irish bar, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I'm about to explain. You see, one of the things that makes Irish bars so welcoming is that, no matter where you go, Irish pub musicians play pretty much the same set. If you don't believe me, go into an Irish bar with live music. If, within an hour, you don't hear a weepy ballad (typically about a man going to war) followed by a sing-along version of either "Whiskey in the Jar," "The Wild Rover," or "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor," I will eat a raw potato.

Although Ricker's set was anchored by pub classics, it was not a strictly Irish set. Not only did he perform the Turtles' classic "Happy Together," but he also offered up a lovely rendition of "You Belong to Me," from the movie Shrek. Since Shrek is green, I guess he's an honorary Irishman. As for bawdy humor, at one point Ricker dedicated a tune to "the kisses we've snatched, and vice versa." It's a wonder I'm not at Limerick Junction every night.

When In Rome: On Sunday afternoon, I stopped by the Michael C. Carlos Museum on Emory's campus just to see wassup. The gallery is famous for its collection of ancient art, the largest in the Southeast. I realize that boasting more ancient art than museums in Mississippi and Alabama is a bit like saying, "Look at me, I'm the fastest turtle in town!" but by any measure, the Carlos Museum's collection is impressive.

Short of flying to D.C., New York or London, where else can you see 2,500-year-old Roman statues sitting just 20 feet away from 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummies? Since my last visit, the museum staff has revamped its display of Greek and Roman art. Highlights include a beautifully carved second-century sarcophagus and an intact decorated bathtub. People were short then.

Walk In The Park: Last Sunday, the 15th annual AIDS Walk Atlanta took place in Piedmont Park. The event raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million for several metro Atlanta organizations that help people with HIV/AIDS.

I arrived at the park about an hour before the 5K walk/run to have a look around. Displayed in the corner of the park by Park Tavern were sections from the AIDS quilt. I know what the quilt is, but I'd never seen it in person. Honestly, I wasn't prepared for the emotional effect it would have. Looking at the quilts wasn't dispassionate, like reading in the paper about some stranger dying can be. It felt more like standing in a living room, sharing the grief of the victims' loved ones.

Prior to the walk, there was an hour-long ceremony. It began with an aerobic workout performed to an extended version of the Pussycat Dolls hit "Don't Cha." Near the end of the workout, Midtown street personality Baton Bob (aka "the Ambassador of Mirth") appeared near the front of the stage wearing a tight red leotard and butterfly wings. After the warming up, there were several speeches from dignitaries and sponsors. Walk co-chair Dallas Austin spoke. He offered "love" from no-show co-chair Naomi Campbell. A representative from Delta spoke. She actually managed to mention Delta's ad slogan, "Good Goes Around." I thought that was tasteful.

Saturday In The Park: Good gosh, does this city have a lot of festivals. Not only did last weekend feature the Highland Games and about 471 different pumpkin festivals, but last weekend also boasted Candler Park FallFest.

Atlanta's intown neighborhood festivals are remarkably similar in large part because arts and crafts vendors quite often buy booth space at more than one festival. Going to as many festivals as I do for this job, I try to find what's unique about each festival. In this case, it was salt.

Scented salt, to be exact. There were two vendors sassily selling scented sea salt by the sackful. Said scented sea salt isn't for cooking, but rather, for bathing. It amazes me what people will buy.

I, unfortunately, was not around for their set, but before they went on, the guys from Johnny Knox and Hi-Test expressed concern that their profanity-laden songs might not go over well with the festival's family audience. Will someone tell me how it went?

For more of Andisheh's ramblings, visit andy2000.org.

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