Affair in the Square
Well, hello, Thursday evening!
If last Thursday’s ‘Affair in the Square’ is any indication it appears that this now-to-be monthly ultimate happy hour was a hit with the guests and merchants alike.
There was a great turnout, which kicked off at 6:00pm when the music from Balis Park jump-started the festivities. Then, dozens of merchants turned their lights on, opened their doors, or set up tables on the sidewalk for the after-hours shopping, gallery touring, wine tasting experience. People were everywhere their interest drew them; in the park, on the sidewalks, gallery-browsing, or shopping…and the next thing you know there was an affair in the Square out there! There’s plenty of time to get in on the fun, for it’s coming around every third Thursday of the month from now on.
This well-planned occasion sponsored by your merchants of San Marco, attracted families, couples, individuals, and groups of friends who ambled in and out of boutiques, shops, galleries and bistros, stopping to visit with neighbors, enjoy a meal, or a glass of wine, or the live performances under the twinkle-lit trees and golden light of the gazebo in Balis Park. The Performers Academy showed off their creativity with several numbers, while a group from Dance Trance got their Bollywood on and rocked a version of the popular Jai Ho.
Special features lent to the lighthearted vibe out on the sidewalks: wine tastings at several of the boutiques and galleries, where guests were offered Passports – cards that would be stamped indicating a guest had visited each location about the Square – and once filled, were left at Taverna or The Grotto for a drawing for $250 worth of San Marco shopping. It’s all about going local: getting acquainted, or reacquainted, with what your neighborhood has to offer you. There was face painting for children; petit dessert offerings; roaming live models representing several boutiques; two author book signings; outdoor, café-style dining from several restaurants and of course, the live entertainment in the park.
As twilight gave way to night, it was lovely to see the San Marco Square bustling, with people mingling; shopping, enjoying art in its many forms including a live model posing in the window of smART Gallery , slouching languidly while being painted by a sidewalk artist; watching young faces being transformed into little cats, or fairies, superheroes, or other animals, and witnessing their delight with the results, by Pink Ivy. People of all ages enjoyed the mild weather, the vibrant Square, its trees adorned with white Chinese lanterns, sparkling with activity past its usual closing time.
The Pizza Palace was doing a brisk family business inside and serving café-style on the sidewalk, where people where entertained by a live guitarist, whether they were lingering over dinner or just passing by.
It was obvious that the mood lingered for those who preferred a later evening. Taverna was hopping all night long, with sidewalk tables that appeared both intimate yet part of the street scene, and dinner and bar service brisk both inside and out; The Grotto, too, had patrons long past nine.
There are plenty of dining choices in San Marco depending on your palate, your schedule, and your circumstances, but you’ll definitely want to spend time in the your neighborhood on these Affair in the Square Thursdays-to-come.
Browse the photo gallery – perhaps you’re there? – and have a look at our YouTube channel to see two of the amazing performances, and mark your calendar for November 18: the next Affair in the Square. See you there!