Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Concerts in the Park


Ballard Park
 Ridgefield, CT
CHIRP Concert Series

Blue Grass band
from NYC
Is there anything better than a summer concert in the park?  Yes...a FREE summer concert in the park!  Every year, our little hamlet of Ridgefield has concerts at Ballard Park on Main Street, both Tuesday and Thursday evenings -- all summer long.  Being so close to the city (NYC), we get some great bands willing to travel up to Northwestern Connecticut.  I have not yet been to one of these events that wasn't a great success.  It seems like the whole town shows up, the youngest citizens crowd the stage to dance along, as the teenagers hang back behind the crowd on benches, chatting and just hanging out.  All the rest of us (the older people) sit in folding chairs or on big blankets sipping a glass of wine.  Mr. Lane and I like to ride our bikes to town (since we live only a few blocks south) and have a glass of wine and appetizers before heading to one of the sidewalk cafes along Main Street for dinner.  Last night, as we road back up our lane with the moon shining through the trees, I thought there couldn't be a more romantic way to spend an evening.  Plus, after all that fresh air, I slept like a baby (as I'm sure all the other babies in town did as well, after they danced the night away near the stage).  There's just something so sweet about summertime and neighbors all out enjoying the evening together doing something simple, like listening to music at the town park.  It made me think of the concerts of my youth, and not just the big, loud, stadium concerts, but the small gatherings in the park, or by the seashore or in an outdoor amphitheatre.  I grew up in Southern California, so I was lucky to be near some of the greatest places in the world for music.  But, some of my favorite memories are the smaller venues...free concerts at a nearby park, on the sand at the beach, at a local club, and even once, on a tennis court in Hawaii (Jimmy Messina wanted to try out a few songs one night at the resort where I was staying).  On my travels throughout Europe, it's always a treat to come upon a few musicians playing their instruments in a piazza.  Right across the harbor from our flat in Antwerp, there are regular outdoor concerts during the summer.  We can see and hear them for free from our balcony, where we sit and enjoy a glass of wine and watch the people coming and going.  To me, summer wouldn't be summer without music (and obviously a glass wine if you count how many times I mentioned it!)...and music in the beautiful outdoors, well, that's just heaven.  My life on the lane is like a song in the summer and I'm humming along.... 
Mr. Lane enjoying
the concert...