Archive for June, 2011

riverside

GREENWELL: Update: Riverside Smoke House

A while back I posted a blog about Riverside Smoke House in Canton, Mo.

Just a quick review—I took my girlfriend to Riverside on a Saturday for her birthday. I had a delicious pick two meal, which consisted of BBQ pulled pork and brisket as the main course, corn bread, cinnamon apples, a fully loaded sweet potato and corn on the cob.

Greenwell

We went back this Sunday for lunch with family, and, to my surprise, we got even more than we bargained for (if you can imagine) with a smaller bill, so I thought I’d provide this quick update:

Every Sunday Riverside has an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet beginning at 11 a.m. Best of all, the buffet consists of just about everything on their normal dinner menu—from salad to smoked beef and pork—for only $8.99. We loaded up plate after plate with steamed and seasoned green beans, potatoes, cottage cheese, fruit, pulled pork, breaded shrimp, smoked chicken, etc. The list of sides and entrees goes on for quite a while. We also had a desert with freshly baked, double fudge brownies covered in walnut chunks and chocolate sauce.

Riverside was a great place for a date because the food was both outstanding and inexpensive. Well, I guarantee we ate more for less this time around. I’ve only been over to Riverside twice, and I wish I could say I visit more frequently. It keeps getting better and better. I know I’m going to miss it after I move to Idaho.

Riverside Smoke House is located at 305 Lewis Street. For more info about services, menu and weekly specials, call (573) 288-3986 or access their website. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Eric Greenwell

Dreasler

DREASLER: When In Warsaw…

I can not tell you how EXCITED I am for this weekend. I get a day off work,  and I can’t believe it’s already the 4th of July!

There are tons of things to do around town … most of which you probably already know about: Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal, and the annual Quincy firework celebration being held at the Illinois Veterans Home. (Not at the river this year.) Which for those of you don’t know, it used to be held at the Vet’s home long ago… well long before I was born, and this year is the home’s 125th anniversary, so it will be held there this year, and rightfully so.

If you aren’t in the immediate Hannibal/Quincy area, and you don’t know of anything to do, besides setting off your own fireworks … which may I remind you Quincyans, you can’t shoot them off within city limits. Good thing, I don’t live in city limits. Note to sister: Don’t buy the crappy little $20 firework packs, they just got us a bunch of sparklers and poppers. Never. Again.

But I digress … this weekend there are other things to do if you aren’t planning on staying in Quincy or Hannibal.

Up at the Warsaw Fairgrounds, the Warsaw Community Coalition will host its Independence Day Concert on Sunday, July 3. If you aren’t sure exactly where this is, it’s at 1121 Francis Sartory Road, Warsaw IL. Plug it in your Garmin if you’re as directionally challenged as I am. It should get you there … but if it’s like mine, it will tell you to do things like “Take a ferry to get from St. Louis to Quincy”… Yeah.

Dreasler

It starts at 4:30 p.m. and goes until 11:30 p.m. The concert will feature Emily Riesen, Jerad Harness and Blackgrass, Staggard and Bocephus Casey. To be honest, I have no idea who they are, but I’m getting the idea, they could be some type of rock band-ish type groups. But, I could be wrong. Feel free to correct me. Google, didn’t exactly turn up the best results on them. But I’m sure they will provide great entertainment.

All ages are welcome, bring lawnchairs/blankets, etc. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Admission is only going to be $10. Kids 12 years old and younger are $5. The advertisement said to bring “appropriate” ID. Whatever that means. I guess it means to all you parents of 13 years olds who are upset you can’t a discounted price anymore, you need to cough up an extra $5 bucks. Well, or you could make your kid chip in since it’s their fault they turned 13 and all. Either way, make sure you bring ID’s they will be checking.. and no FAKES either.

Food and beverages will be very inexpensive, as no outside food or beverages will be allowed. T-shirts, souvenirs, and CD’s will also be available. Proceeds will help to fund future projects by the WCC, including the 2012 Warsaw Bicentennial.

Sounds like a great community activity to take part in, not to mention, Warsaw is a very pretty little antique town. I would highly recommend going to this event.. who doesn’t love fireworks, food and drinks. Well, and for my sake they better be serving more than just beer…margarita’s please!

For additional information email: warsawchili@gmail.com

Jenny Dreasler

Cemetery

O’DONNELL: A Horrified Summer Vacation

Summer has officially come and it is time to pack up the kids and head out on a family vacation.  Many will be planning cruises and ventures to theme parks while others will be visiting historical landmarks around the country. If you happen to be sick of waiting in endless lines for rides or watching your children being bored to death at museums, then perhaps you should take a different approach this summer. Enjoy the season by hitting the road to visit some filming locations of the most legendary horror movies.

O'Donnell

This summer marks the release of the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” starring Johnny Depp. What better way to celebrate the actor’s career than by visiting the sight of his first major role in a feature “Nightmare on Elm Street.” The house at 1419 North Genessee Road in West Hollywood, Calif., is home to one of the film’s most epic scenes. It was here where Freddy Krueger disposes of the handsome Depp by reducing him to nothing more than a fountain of blood. Unlike visiting museums or historic monuments, don’t worry about the kids sleeping through this attraction. Actually after they learn the story of Freddy Krueger, don’t plan on them sleeping for the rest of the vacation.

Just outside Pittsburgh, Penn., in Evans City, Director George A. Romero and his crew filmed the opening scenes of “Night of the Living Dead” in the town’s cemetery.  This location kicked off the zombie classic with the main character, Barbara watching her brother mutilated by one of the undead. Evans Cemetery is a potential fun photo opportunity for the entire family. Gather the brood and strike your best zombie pose. The picture will be a nice addition to a photo album already filled with boring shots of the kids crying on Santa’s lap and relatives no one has seen in years.

Simi Valley, Calif., is filled with many beautiful homes. No one would ever guess that on Roxbury Street where a sweet little home rests with a perfectly manicured lawn was the set for the frightening film, “Poltergeist.” My mother ranks this as the film that has frightened her most over the years. I, personally, cannot watch it  by myself.  Though it is said in the movie, the home itself is not actually built on an Indian burial ground, so don’t worry about bringing any evil spirits home with you. With that said, it should also be noted that there have been long standing rumors surrounding the film’s production being cursed. Fans of the film will be delighted to see the home looks just like it was portrayed, but I still would advise any photos be taken from the safety of the opposite side of the street.

The next destination proves you do not have to visit a roller coaster filled amusement park to see a place with a history cemented in projectile vomiting. At 3600 Prospect St. in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., stands “The Exorcist” house.  The site of the building alone immediately brings flashes of some of the films scariest scenes. Before venturing out to see this location, make it a theme filled day. Start off by attending church; this is partly for protection. Next, sit the whole family down for a delicious lunch of split pea soup. Those familiar with the production of “The Exorcist” will get the importance of this meal selection. Finally, make your way to the possessed house itself. I suppose since you will be near Washington you could visit other landmarks of importance, but in my opinion, The Smithsonian can wait.

The final vacation destination of the list holds a special place in my heart. The film Halloween follows the tale of Michael Myers, a psycho serial killer hellbent on killing babysitters. The film takes place in fictional Haddonfield, Ill. I’ve always loved this film and have dressed up as Michael Myers for more than one Halloween party. In the film, when Michael returns to Haddonfield, he takes refugee in his rundown childhood home. The house is actually located in Pasadena, Calif., on 1000 Mission St. Now that Michael Myers no longer occupies the residence, a far scarier resident has taken over . . . a chiropractor. The serial killer is gone but the sound of popping bones still resonates.

Summer is the time to enjoy the company of family and make memories. This year think outside of the box and don’t just go with the flow. While all the other kids will be talking about taking pictures with Micky Mouse or being dragged to the Grand Canyon, you can take pride that your children will have dramatic tales of zombies, evil spirits and maniacs dwelling in boiler rooms. Granted, you may have to pay a few therapy bills, but the memories will be worth it.

Jordan O’Donnell

A scene from "The Schwag" concert at the State Room

DREASLER: When Jenny Met Jimmy

A scene from "The Schwag" concert at the State Room

Yet another concert, yet another interview, and yet another…oh, who am I kidding? This assignment was by far the most fun I have had working for The Local Q thus far. I’ll just get straight into it.

First I showed up with my camera crew, which consisted of my shy friend. I had a long day working for the TV station, and had stopped by the newspaper to catch up on some work. So, this was my third job in one day. I was tired. Little did I know, this would be the highlight of my day!

Dreasler

We went upstairs to meet the band that was playing that night at The State Room, The Schwag. They are a Grateful Dead Tribute Band. I had only heard of The Grateful Dead because that is my professor from college’s favorite band, and I mean favorite. Like we get extra credit questions based on this band. Anyway, I trekked upstairs to the “Cast” portion of the state room. I walked into a quaint little room with purple walls and comfy little couches where the performers would sit before their show. I finally got to meet Jimmy Tebeau, one of the members of the band, whom I had talked to the week before to set up the interview. He said I would recognize him by his hair. When I saw him, I knew it was him … long dread locks — even longer than my hair — and he just looked like a band member. Those of you who follow The Schwag or any other band like them, you know what I mean. He had this swagger to him that was captivating, and his bandmates were just as equally enthralling. I know this wasn’t actually The Grateful Dead I was interviewing, but I still felt like I was in the presence of royalty.

Talking with Jimmy was quite entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time getting to know Jimmy and is band. He told me about all the different tours they had been on and the experiences they have had. Some of which aren’t suitable for print, and were definitely off camera. Sorry guys, that’s one of the perks of the job! That really made me feel like I wasn’t a burden on his time, and deep down these bands are people too. Not fame hungry musicians who have no time for the media. So to the band, I sincerely thank you!

The interview went off without a hitch, minus my many outtakes, filled with a few ­­­­ — ok, a lot — of mono-syllable words when I would forget or stumble over my lines. Thank you editing. After the interview with the band, we went downstairs to set up for the show.

We sat and watched the show, and ran into Tommy Van Ness, who basically started the Local Q along with Jessica M. Martin-Cate. We went with him upstairs to get some shots of the band from up above, and bingo. It hit me. I was going to do my tag out (my goodbye from the event on-camera) from the roof top of the state room! I mean, there is a life-sized window, that’s open, and leading to the rooftop, I’m going to go out it. So, thank you Tommy for helping me to stumble upon this idea. It turns out the volume was a little messed up from the rooftop scene. I still used it in my video, but beware of a little static feedback. I really think the shot was cool, so I would have used it even if there was no audio at all. I mean, come on, I was on a roof.

After I was done messing around on top of a roof, that may or may not have been completely stable, I came back inside, only to meet another popular local band, Harlot. I was introduced to the group and snapped a few pictures of them. They are playing at Kutter’s this weekend.

My time at The State Room was an amazing time. I was surrounded by a sea of tie-dyed shirts and Grateful Dead enthusiasts. I even had a little time to sit and enjoy some of the music. I must say, after really listening to The Schwag play, I would love to see them again, and have since looked up some Grateful Dead songs. I think Dr. Clark will be proud. Maybe I’ll be getting some extra credit points for this?

You can check out the video of the event below:

embedded by Embedded Video

Download Video

For more information on The Schwag, go to www.theschwag.com

Jenny Dreasler

"The Hands Resist Him"

O’DONNELL: Be Careful What You ‘Bid’ For

"The Hands Resist Him"

A few years back, I was sucked into the world of eBay, bidding on stuff I didn’t even want. My competitive streak took hold on way too many occasions.  The thrill of the auction resulted in many punched keyboards and closets of useless junk. Nevertheless, I do get some satisfaction knowing that if I ever need five Furby dolls, a Dukes of Hazzard wristwatch or a life size cardboard cut-out of the rock band Kiss, I have those departments covered.

O'Donnell

EBay is a wonderland for people who love yard sale hunting. The auction website affirms the old saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” When bidding on items on eBay, one should approach with caution. Be mindful of giving out credit card numbers and personal information, but before locking in your bid, bidders should make sure the item on the auction block is not haunted.

In February 2000, an interesting painting went up for auction on eBay. The auction site wheels and deals all kinds of art work, but what sets this piece apart from the rest is its paranormal history.

The painting entitled “The Hands Resist Him” depicts a young boy standing next to a smaller female doll in front of a glass door. In the windows of the door, hands can be seen through the glass reaching out to the boy. The artist Bill Stoneham described the meaning behind the haunting image on his website. He said the boy is modeled after himself at a young age, and the glass door is the barrier between the reality and the dream world. The female doll is meant to be the boy’s guide into the dream world.

The paranormal events surrounding “The Hands Resist Him” began with the gallery where the painting was being displayed. Within a year of the show that featured the painting, the art gallery owner and the Los Angles Times arts critic who reviewed the piece were both dead. Stoneham suggests on his website that this may be a coincidence but leaves room for others to decide.

“The Hands Resist Him” did not resurface until years later when a couple found it behind an old brewery. According to Paranormal News Central.com, the couple hung it in the bedroom of their four-year-old daughter. Soon after, strange things began to occur. The little girl claimed to see the boy in the painting trying to escape the canvas in the middle of the night. This moved the couple to set up a camera to document any strange activity. Bizarre color changes and peculiar changes in the faces of the boy and the doll were captured on video and now can be found on YouTube.

The sinister energy surrounding the painting became too much for the couple to handle, so they put the piece up for auction on eBay. News of “the haunted painting” spread around the Internet and generated more stories of paranormal activity. Paranormal News Central reports that a college student viewed a scanned image of the painting on the eBay listing and nearly went mad. The student turned beat red and hysterically spoke in tongues. When later questioned, the student said he had never been so scared in his life and that his computer screen went white and gave off an immense heat like that of an open oven door.

Another tale Paranormal News Central cites is that of a Native American man. After viewing “The Hands Resist Him” in person, the man fell gravely ill. He performed a ritual of burning sage to rid out evil spirits. The Native American man warned the owners to keep the painting away from children and that the piece contained evil.

Other common stories related to “The Hands Resist Him” is when people attempt to print the image from the Internet the printer will either just spit out a blank image or eat endless pages of paper. My home printer has not been functioning properly for about a month, so I had little hopes to get a copy of the painting. Oddly enough, when I attempted to print “The Hands That Resist Him,” my printer worked with no problem. I may be flattering myself, but I am taking that as a sign that the boy and the little doll in the painting are fans of my blog.

The auction has since ended and the original “The Hands Resist Him” has once again disappeared. However those interested can purchase copies of the infamous painting by emailing Kim Smith at hauntedpainting@aol.com.

The treasures that can be found on eBay really are amazing, but buyers must always be mindful what they are getting themselves into. In the film “Gremlins,” the main character Billy didn’t take the rules of his new pet Gizmo seriously and look what happened. My own eBay history can be used as a warning. Every time I go into my basement, I am haunted by cardboard likenesses of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in their stage makeup growling at me.

Next time you are about to put in your bid, think twice — you may be bringing more than added clutter into your home.

Jordan O’Donnell

 

Dreasler

DREASLER: Longest day of the year, spend it wisely!

Since today, Tuesday, June 21, is the longest day of the year, I thought I would give some ideas to the people of Quincy, on how to spend this day. Even if this includes getting off work at 5 p.m., there are still plenty of things to do, and not to mention for very cheap! I don’t feel that to have fun here in town you have to spend a pretty penny. Here a few things you can do tonight that are cheap, and not time consuming:

EAT:

1. The Patio, (133 South 4th St.) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings has an ALL YOU CAN EAT pasta bar. You can chose your ingredients and watch the chef prepare your favorite pasta, and the evening is one the whole family can enjoy, priced at only $9.95 for all you can eat. Now that’s amazing! The Patio is open Sunday through Thursday, 4 to  9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday, 4 to 10p.m.

Dreasler

2. Firehouse Pizza, (340 S. 36th St.) Monday through Tuesday Kids Eat Free, but for dine in only, and you can get 6 FREE breadsticks with any Large Pizza purchase. Yum!

3. The Abbey, (1736 Spring Street) today, has BBQ Honey flavored Chicken Nuggets 10 for $3.

4. Tower of Pizza and Mexican, (2635 Broadway) from 4 to 11:30 p.m. is serving HALF PRICE PIZZA.

PLAY:

1. Wavering Aquatic Center is having a teen pool party tonight — for ONLY $1 admission! This is open to the public and goes from 8 to 10 p.m.

Moorman Park also has a ton of things to do, and for cheap. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. Concessions are available. Below are a few activities you can take part in at Moorman Park for very little and have a lot of fun while you’re at it:

2. The Batting Cage, (Upper Moorman Park), offers baseball and slow pitch and fast pitch softball hitting machines. Token prices: 4/$2.25 and 10/$4.25.

3. Miniature Golf,  (Upper Moorman Park), is an 18 hole miniature golf course, beautifully landscaped with running streams and a large rock sculpture. Prices: 12 and younger $4.25 and 13 and older $5.

4. Paddleboat rentals are located in the same area on Moorman Lake. Four seat boats are available for rent. Those 12 and younger must ride with an adult (at least 18 years old). Prices: $7.25/hour or $4.75/30 minutes.

and finally…

5. The Blind Pig, (900 N 12th) Trivia Tuesday, FREE to play. Teams up to five players are allowed. It goes from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

There are many things to do TODAY, right here in Quincy, and as you can see, all of them can be done even after the work day is over and on the cheap. You can check out even more events at www.thelocalq.com on the calendar.

Enjoy!
Jenny Dreasler

Dreasler

DREASLER: Junefest reinforces good times and good people in Quincy

Sophia Soltwedel, 10, lets out a laugh as she is spun around by dance partner Mac McPike as they and others from the Heinze Dance Academy perform during the Junefest event Saturday evening at St. Dominic Church in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

My experience at Junefest this year was a very unique one. Not only was I to be covering the event for the Local Q, but also for WGEM! That is a pretty big deal in and of itself.

When I drove up to the event, I was alone, set out to shoot my first video that would be on live TV. Yes, scary. I walked into the event, and noticed it was a bunch of families with their children, as expected. I could smell the aroma of funnel cakes, I was actually offered one, but had to decline as I was working. I didn’t want to seem like a slacker, chowing down on funnel cakes on the job. So, to the kind woman that offered, thank you!

I was lugging my equipment around, I’m sure I looked absolutely ridiculous, as I normally do, and I was surprised to see that not many people had shown up yet. Then I looked at my clock and realized they hadn’t even been open for an hour or so. The weather earlier in the day was very questionable, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But as mother nature would have it, it was a beautiful night for a picnic, and eventually a lot more people did show up.

I was expecting to see the Heinze Dance Academy perform a few dances, and sure enough, I got some really good video of the girls dancing. I even took the time just to stop and watch them. It was like one of those childhood dreams, thinking to myself, I could have been a dancer, or a gymnast, but I chose the sports route, and I have played soccer all my life and continue to play soccer in college. I think it’s normal to wonder what it would have been like to be a dancer, and get to be girly with makeup, and pretty costumes. Instead, I chose to throw my face into the mud, coming away with numerous bruises, broken bones and sprains. But sometimes when you watch them dancing, you just get captivated in the beauty in the art of dance. The girls did a great job, and I really enjoyed watching them perform. I got some great video of the girls, too. The video did air live on Saturday’s 10 p.m. news. I was ecstatic to see it on there, and that I didn’t screw it up.

I continued through the event and the smell of food wafted through the air. Food I could not eat, but wanted to. I traveled over to the other side of the festivities where the silent auction and raffle items were. They had some pretty interesting things they were raffling off, nicely wrapped gift baskets filled with goodies, and next to this station was a quilting station. At this station you were greeted with a trio of cute grandmother figures. I didn’t have time to talk to them, but they greeted me with the biggest of smiles as I took video of them. Not to mention, some of those quilts were beautiful.

Dreasler

I have truly gotten to see the community of Quincy pull together some nice events, last weekend I covered the St. Francis picnic, and this weekend I covered Junefest. I wish that I could have stayed longer, but when duty calls, duty calls. Bands that I did not have a chance to see, as their scheduled times were a bit delayed due to wet weather, and with the schedule I was on, I couldn’t afford to stick around any longer, if I wanted to meet deadline. Tim Hart, and the Cheeseburgers played. I really was looking forward to watching them, but thankfully one of my friends went, yes the shy one, and she called to tell me that the bands were great. She just got back from Bonnaroo, which is a massive live band festival that took place in Manchester, Tenn., last weekend. So for her to say the live bands were great is a huge compliment. Great job guys!

I did get a chance to interview some really sweet ladies too, most of the people I came up to were very hesitant, which is normal. Not a lot of people like to be interviewed. It’s a scary thing. I got to interview Shari Keck. She was definitely a good sport about being interviewed, and not to mention she was my first ever interview for the station. She was really helpful in understanding this was my first time, and she did great. Her interview went really well, and not to mention looked great on camera. So, Shari, thank you again for the interview. You never know how much we appreciate people who are willing to be interviewed. It makes our lives a lot easier, and interacting with the people and getting their feedback on the events in Quincy is always something I find interesting.

I was very impressed with the setup of Junefest, and I was very happy that with whatever questions I had, such as the one about how many years this has been going on, a very nice woman, whose name I didn’t catch, went out of her way to go find the information for me. I really appreciate the kind people of Quincy. It’s the small things like this that you get to see in the field I’m in. To whoever she was, thank you so much for doing a bit of background research for me. I really enjoyed the atmosphere at Junefest, a place where kids could run around and play, and were monitored by volunteers, while their parents mingled with friends. It was a very safe environment, and I think that’s one of the main qualities I like about Quincy. This is a very trusting community filled with people who truly care about the community and the people in it. I didn’t have to stay at Junefest for longer than 10 minutes to see that.

Looking forward to next year’s events!

Here’s the video from this years event:

Jenny Dreasler

Dining Room of La Gondola in Quincy

GREENWELL: Quincy’s Traditional Little Italy

Dining Room of La Gondola in Quincy

A city, even a smaller city the size of Quincy, is a living, breathing, growing and (sometimes) dying thing, and I’ve witnessed the continued expansion of this city since I was very young.

Greenwell

I come from a family that shopped at Furrow’s for lumber and nails to build the treehouse and the plywood shed. The “Rescuers Down Under” at the Adams Theatre only cost a buck, and popcorn was cheaper. Everyone piled in the conversion van for Saturday fried chicken dinners at Elder’s, and when Mom and Dad wanted to shake things up a bit, they brought home a heaping tub of spaghetti and homemade garlic bread from La Gondola.

If you’re 20-plus years old and grew up in Quincy most of your life, the “eastward expansion” and commercial evolution near the intersection of I-170 and Ill 104 (Broadway) is mildly astonishing. It seemed like the city ended at Quincy Memorial Park Cemetery, and my Dad used to work on the edge of town, when John Wood Community College was located at 48th and Maine, before The Crossing bought the building and added on their mega worship building. St. Anthony’s Catholic school might as well have been in a different county. Now we have additional zip code, and the commercialization of east Quincy has definitely drawn people away from the river and downtown area for shopping and a night out.

Overall, I’m proud of Quincy. Rather than letting the downtown fall by the wayside while national chains and big box stores dominate Quincy’s relatively new commercial district, I’ve witnessed many locals invest money, time and effort in a pseudo-downtown revival of renovations, restaurants and businesses, and I’m even more proud of the local staples that stuck through it all. La Gondola definitely comes to mind. I’ve been eating their spaghetti and garlic bread by the tub since I was young enough to sit in a high chair, get away with smearing marinara on my face and throw my plate on the kitchen floor.

La Gondola is on the corner of Eighth and State, and it’s been there longer than I’ve been alive (or at least longer than my memory serves). I used to think it was unique to Quincy, until I saw one in Bloomington. Turns out, it’s technically a “chain,” but not in the sense that my generation is used to. La Gondola has 14 locations, all in Illinois. It’s not an international mega-chain. This is important. It gives the owners time to focus on traditional and unique recipes instead of mass processing and producing item after item on the menu. It also gives them time to decorate their dining room with a large array of country memorabilia, including dozens of signed photos and the best portrait I’ve ever seen: Aaron Tippin, mullet out, clad in sleeveless flannel.

Hot Sicilian at La Gondola

Even though I grew up on La Gondola’s spaghetti, my favorite thing on their menu is a sandwich called the Hot Sicilian. It’s baked Italian-style bread piled with marinara meat sauce, salami and topped with mozzarella cheese. They serve a variety of authentic Italian dishes, including spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, fettuccini and torpedo sandwiches. They also serve pizza and a few burgers for those of you who don’t like pasta. Above all, La Gondola caters to the family in authentic Italian fashion, selling pasta and sauces by the half gallon or offering the Family Feast (carry out only), which includes a half gallon of spaghetti, 16 inches of garlic bread, a 16 inch torpedo sandwich, and fresh bread or a 2 liter of soda for around $20.00. Whew! I’m full just typing it.

If you are thinking about a night out, you might want to head downtown and check out a Quincy cornerstone of Italian cuisine. La Gondola has been downtown for decades, through thick and thin, for a good reason: good Italian food for a good price. Just remember to bring cash or a check. La Gondola comes from an era before the international fast food chain and the debit card, which means, more than anything, that they’re used to taking their time, especially when it comes to perfecting the recipes behind their authentic Italian dishes.

Eric Greenwell

St.  Dominic Junefest

DREASLER: Junefest Preview

Previous Junefest

As I had mentioned in my previous blog, I had never been to a picnic or a festival in Quincy before. After going to the St. Francis Picnic, I found that I really did have a great time.

So, I have decided — my editors have decided — that I will get to cover the upcoming Junefest on Saturday, June 18, at St. Dominic’s Parish. Of course, I had to play it off as just another job, while discreetly acting somewhat taxed that I have yet another event to cover, hence 3 more hours of shooting, and 6 or more hours editing, while still subliminally using my work hour to scope out the event to see if I would like to come back later on my own time. Clever, right?

Dreasler

Needless to say, I am really excited to go to this year’s Junefest at St. Dominic’s Parish. The event starts at 5 p.m. The food tent will feature barbeque beef and roast beef sandwiches, home-made onion rings, beverages —and hopefully not just beer. As I mentioned in my last blog, I was saved by the margarita tent. So, if anyone from the Junefest committee is reading this, know I am coming, and if it’s strictly a beerfest, there will be a sugar-coated rant written about it later. Not really, but it’s a nice thought, right? But seriously, a mixed drink stand should probably be there. OK, the sarcasm will stop now.

Entertainment will begin with the Heinze Dance Academy at 5:30 p.m. and live music starts with Tim Hart from 6 to 8 p.m. and The Cheeseburgers from 8 p.m. until midnight. So whichever band I happen to catch, be ready for an interview, and if you want to get on my good side — so I will give you a good review — you can buy me a beer (of which I will not drink) and I will take part in a toast with you (of which I will pretend to sip), then casually throw the beer out in a dumpster as I leave the festival (I can’t drink on the job, sorry.) But either way, the kind gesture is appreciated.
There will also be games for children and adults, a bounce house for kids, basket raffle, silent auction and raffle drawings with cash prizes totaling $1900. Yes, that’s quite a chunk of change! So from the sounds of it, it looks like this will be quite an event for parents to bring their children, and the night owls of the city to have some fun. Let’s hope Rich Cain will give us the go ahead for the weekend though.
If you wonder what I’m doing at these events, because many people aren’t familiar with the video aspect of The Local Q, and when I show up and want to interview them, they seem a bit confused. So, here’s the low-down: Sometimes I decide to be on camera, sometimes I don’t— it all depends on if I have a crew with me to help shoot, a.k.a my shy friend. I interview a few attendees, and I do have to admit, I really enjoy getting to know the people I interview. Many of them aren’t even from Quincy, and it’s great to hear all the positive things they have to say about our town. For the most part, everyone is really open to the idea of being interviewed, so again, I thank everyone who caters to my requests for an interview, it’s really appreciated! After I interview the attendees, I interview the band members, and shoot some video of the event. Pretty easy, and not to mention, a lot of fun! You can view the videos I shoot at the bottom of each blog I write about an event.

I will be covering Junefest this weekend, and I could not be anymore excited. I am hoping to have a great time with some great interviews. So if you see me show up in a black t-shirt that says “The Local Q,” now you know what’s going on! See you at Junefest!

Jenny Dreasler

The Heidelberg Band

DREASLER: First time at picnic proves a good time in Quincy

 

 

The Heidelberg Band

I’ve never been one to go to the local picnics or festivals. I always found something a little cliché about them. Maybe it was the little kids running around that made me feel too old to be there, or maybe it was because I was doing something else that night, or maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t 21, and couldn’t drink. I’ll let you pick the real reason.

Either way, I went to the St. Francis Picnic on Saturday.

I wasn’t feeling particularly good, nor was I feeling particularly bad. It was just one of those days where you want to relax and sleep the day away. I made my way into the picnic, in my black “Local Q” t-shirt, realizing I was without my shy friend that I usually mention. As I walked in, I really couldn’t tell where the band I was supposed to be shooting was. I got there at 7 p.m. and Raised on Radio hadn’t started playing yet. I was looking for The Heidelberg Band, and all I saw singing on the stage were a bunch of men dressed in German-style folk dress with beer mugs in their hands playing instruments and singing. I was under the impression I was looking for a hard-core rock band. Confused, I kept walking aimlessly through the crowd of partying parents and wild children.

So I continued on my search for the band. I was getting some pretty odd looks, as some people aren’t familiar with The Local Q yet. So when I decided to interview two sisters, who were about seven and 10 years old, for the website and I had to tell their parents, “Yeah, I’m interviewing your children for an entertainment website on the internet,” which didn’t sound too safe. They told me they were from Elgin Ill., and that’s when I realized they would obviously have had no clue what the website was, so thank goodness for press passes. Although they never gave me the impression that they felt that way, I still commend them for their parenting, and I have to say sorry that I couldn’t use their children’s interviews because they were so short. Either way, Abby and Kassidy, you two were great!

Dreasler

I eventually found my interviews, and ran into some old friends that I hadn’t seen in years and took in all the festivities. There were a lot of people there and the food smelled great. Not to mention there were beer tents everywhere. My first thought, OK, I’m not a beer drinker. I’ve only had beer a few times in my life, and I’ve always heard the saying, “it’s an acquired taste,” I don’t know how I could ever “acquire” that taste, because to me beer tastes like regret and bad decisions. I won’t drink it. But I did manage to find one little margarita tent, so for all the non-beer drinkers out there, which didn’t seem like many, we were saved by the singular margarita tent in a mass of beer trucks. I was starting to change my mind about the pre-conceived notion I had about local picnics and festivals. This wasn’t a kiddie carnival. This was parental play time, and on top of it, the weather was beautiful, it couldn’t have been better.

Eventually, I heard the announcement that the German band playing on stage was indeed the Heidelberg Band. So it was apparent I hadn’t done my research. The men of the band were done playing, and off mingling to the side. I decided to make my way through and ask for an interview. As it turned out, the member who gave the interview, Jeff Schuecking, knew my family and my grandparents. I don’t know why I was surprised, it’s Quincy. He was very nice, and his band even fired their piano player that night to have me play in the band. Not really, but the offer was out there. They had their beer mugs and were drinking away, when one of the members had come back with some cups of beer, and offered me one. Even though I don’t drink beer, I thanked the member for the beer and took part in a toast for the band. Yes, I took a sip. It wasn’t that bad, but you won’t catch me with a beer in my hand any time soon.

After I was done mingling with the Heidelberg Band, I made my way back to my car and started my drive home, and then got a text from a friend who wanted to go to the picnic that night. Like I said earlier, I was never one to go to these type of things, but I did end up going back later when my age group was there, and let’s just say, the one margarita tent was my savior, and I will be looking forward to Junefest next Saturday!

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Jenny Dreasler