Archive for May, 2012
By now, everyone has seen it on YouTube. The flash mob has infiltrated all types of communities, from shopping malls to subways and even nursing homes. With this concept so prevalent recently, I did a double take when I heard that there would be a Cash Mob coming to the downtown Quincy ice cream parlor, Ice Scream. The Cash Mob is a concept being employed by the Historic Quincy Business District as a way to showcase Quincy’s unique, locally owned businesses. Much like a traditional flash mob, a Cash Mob uses social media to spread the word about the time and place that the Cash Mob will occur. Everybody shows up and instead of dancing, supports the local community and gets to hang out with like-minded Cash Mobbers. For its first-go-round, the Cash Mob headed to Ice Scream at 616 Maine in Quincy.
As soon as I realized that getting a scoop of ice cream was something I could justify as a work-related, good cause, I was in. As if I needed a reason to stop into one of the coolest — pun whole-heartedly intended — places in Quincy last Thursday. Not to mention a 7-day forecast that read more like the temp to preset the oven, this was the perfect day to head to Ice Scream for a dip.
For those of you who have never been to Ice Scream before, I will give you the low down. Ice Scream is not you grandma’s ice cream shop, though if your grandma is as cool as mine, she’d probably love it. With its comic book shop feel, you could hang out there for an hour before you realize that your ice cream has melted down your hand. And let me tell you, there is nothing vanilla about the flavors you can order. Literally, if you want a scoop of vanilla you have to order the “Blando Calrissian.”
While I was enjoying my Jabba-sized Flash Gordon — what we in the know call a large cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream — I was able to enjoy the vintage comic book memorabilia, old movie posters and my personal favorite, the life-sized Frankenstein hanging out in the corner.
Aside from the delicious ice cream and fun atmosphere, the beauty of this event was the range of people that it brought together. I saw babies, toddlers, high-schoolers, young professionals and retirees alike. There are not too many events that appeal to such an array of people. Kudos to the Historic Quincy Business District for coming up with the idea. I look forward to many more cash mobs in the future.
Editor’s note: The Local Q is pleased to introduce Anna Oakley, our newest blog writer and The Local Q intern for summer 2012. Anna is pursuing her journalism degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Before transferring to VCU, Anna completed two years of AmeriCorps, a national service program. Read more about her here.
Have you ever been to Riverview Park in Quincy? If so you have probably seen the statue of George Rogers Clark. As I was at the park recently, I saw a group of visitors looking at the statue as one explained to the others that it was the man from the famous Lewis and Clark expedition depicted with a bronzed, cool elegance. I know that I have heard that fact relayed before, but something about it just didn’t sit right. Now my westward expansion history leaves much to be desired, but I did remember that it was William Clark, not some guy named George who led the historic journey.
Ok, so slip of the tongue, no big deal right? I mean we all secretly think that half the facts we learn on any historical tour are fudged anyway. The whole incident got me thinking though. If the statue in Riverview Park isn’t that famous Clark, who is it? And why does everyone I ask seem to think it is William Clark?
Well with a little clicking I found a biography of George Rogers Clark on the Indiana Historical Bureau website. It seems that George Rogers Clark was the older brother of William Clark and had much to do with securing areas in Kentucky and Illinois for the newly conceived country.
So the next question is, why the big mix up among Quincyans? The statue that resides at Riverview Park was dedicated in 1909, and presumably for a number of years the citizens of Quincy knew the difference between the two Clark brothers. But then, as the collective memory begins to fade, one person misspeaks and facts are lost. One Quincyan remembers work at Quinsippi Island as a teenager in the ‘70s when the admission tickets perpetuated the falsehood. When park officials discovered the error, the teen was tasked with manually crossing out William Clark’s name from each ticket.
While the mistake was eventually corrected, I think it was too little too late. For many Quincians, it was as good as fact that William Clark, leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition was memorialized in Riverview Park. Never fear though, I am here set the record straight for ya, George. As a girl who has been confused for one of my sisters more than once, I feel George’s pain. I would like to take a moment to validate George Rogers Clark and his accomplishments, and while his little brother William’s fame may have eclipsed his own, I am sure their mother loved them both equally.
If you haven’t noticed a trend by now, I like to do things that are not only fun but also for a good cause. I also like to eat. So, when I heard that One Restaurant and Bar donates food sales to non-profit organizations on Tuesdays from 4 to 9 p.m., my heart about burst. I discovered this philanthropic food fest last Tuesday when One was donating 10 percent of its food and non-alcoholic beverage sales to Quest, a local organization that rescues horses, re-introduces them to riding and utilizes them for therapeutic riding for children. As it turns out, they are booked solid every Tuesday for a different organization.
Most of you have probably been to One and have raved about its awesome Thai dishes, but if you haven’t been in a while, please check it out on a Tuesday! There are some new items on the menu, but all the classics are still there. I, as always, had the red chicken curry and paired it with a Skinny Girl blueberry/pomegranate vodka water with a twist, and I had a grand old time for charity. Kudos to you, One, for feeding our bellies and our community’s charities.
Take Mom out to the ball game! This Sunday, May 13, is not only Mother’s Day, but also it is a Cardinal’s game in St. Louis. This is not just any Cardinal’s game, either: the Quincy Blue Devils Varsity baseball team will be playing against Pittsfield at Busch Stadium after the big game.
I don’t know about you, but this is pretty amazing. How many of you get to say that you played in Busch Stadium? Not many. These kids are getting the opportunity of a lifetime. My only high school claim to fame is that I once got to sing on stage with Art Garfunkel, not even Paul Simon. While that’s still pretty cool (OK, not really), it is small fries compared to playing on a professional field.
Anyone can go. The two high school teams will be playing each other directly after the Cardinal’s game, and you can get tickets for just $30 by calling the QHS athletic office at 224-3771. The Cardinals are playing the Braves at 1:15, so forget the flowers this year: get your mom some peanuts and cracker jacks and root, root, root for the home team!
One of Quincy’s biggest and baddest events is this Saturday: Bridge the Gap. If you don’t already know, Bridge the Gap is a walk/run to benefit MedAssist, a non-profit that provides medications to the needy. There are competitive 5K, 10K, and half-marathon runs and 10K and half-marathon walks. If you’re not into competitions, you can leisurely run or walk any of the routes.
This event attracts people from all over: St. Louis, Columbia, the Quad Cities, even Chicago. Why? Participants get to run across both of our beautiful, characteristic bridges. Lanes are shut down to traffic to accommodate thousands of runners and walkers. Yes, thousands. Last year, it was estimated that more than 2,000 people participated in this incredible event.
Other than the obvious draw of being able to say you ran across the Bayview and Memorial Bridges, this race has lots of other bells and whistles. The Senior High drumline boosts runners’ morale as they are running, McDonald’s milkshakes and a hot dog greet everyone at the finish line, and live music and a beer tent provide entertainment in the early afternoon. To top it all off, participants and volunteers alike can celebrate the day later that night at Johnny Bang Bang’s with no cover charge (but be sure to bring your finisher’s medal if you’re a participant and your yellow card if you’re a volunteer).
I, for one, can’t wait for this colossal event. You can still register to participate or volunteer at http://bridgethegaptohealth.com. I am actually a runner, but will be volunteering this year and am looking forward to running (leisurely!) in 2013.
Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday. While I love our local Mexican restaurants and will most likely celebrate my “Mexican heritage” (Everyone is Mexican on May 5, claro que si!) at one of these fine establishments, I would like to offer an alternative to the cuisine that Americans think authentic. So break out the sombreros and have your amigos over for some bona fide nachos and margaritas.
Original nachos are actually very different than those we know today. Unlike today’s nachos, the first nachos were a neat, precise, uniform snack. Each triangular fried tortilla was topped with a small serving of cheddar cheese and a pickled jalapeno. Invented in the 1940s for some soldiers who came to a restaurant after hours and wanting to accommodate the soldiers with a limited kitchen stock, Ignacio Anaya became the forefather of the nacho. While I am a huge fan of the sloppy, gargantuan pile of beans, cheese, meat and guac, sometimes it’s refreshing to get back to my “Mexican heritage” and keep it simple. To make, just cut corn tortillas into fourths, and fry lightly, both sides on low heat in a cast iron skillet. Take the tortillas out of the skillet and place on paper towels to drain. Put the tortillas on a baking sheet and top each with a hunk of cheddar cheese. Bake these at 400 degrees just until the cheese is melted. Top each tortilla with one pickled jalapeno. Serve these up with the most refreshing bebida in the mundo, and you’ve got a fiesta.
The true margarita has three — count ‘em — three ingredients: triple sec, tequila, and lime juice (and salt on the rim, que sabroso!). A shot glass of triple sec, two shot glasses of tequila and one shot glass of lime juice shaken and poured over ice is all it takes to make the original concoction that has somehow over time been degraded to a sugary, corn-syrupy , 0 percent juice margarita imposter.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos!
How to Make Nachos — powered by ehow