What's the best way to spend another ungodly cold evening?
The obvious aside (still not there yet), listening to live music, of course.
It was the monthly Live at Ipanema show tonight with Josh Small performing and as a bonus, his Dad playing with him for the first half of the set.
Pop Small played banjo and harmonica and had a good-sized repertoire, everything from Vietnam-era songs to bawdy Christmas tunes.
He even did a song to apologize to his wife for what he did at Wendy's today that put him in the doghouse.
It became clear with each passing number the source from which his son gets his talent.
I've seen Josh perform before and he excels at the earnest singer-songwriter role.
For a change, the crowd respectfully shut up, so it was a wonderful atmosphere for focusing on the music; often that's not the case at these shows.
Then too, enjoying the performance sans cigarette smoke only made it more pleasurable. Josh is a favorite in the local music scene, as evidenced by the large number of musicians present in the crowd tonight.
It's like choosing an ethnic restaurant where lots of people from that ethnicity eat; you know it's going to be good if they're there.
I met one of the tattoo artists who works above Ipanema and he shared some great stories about life over top of the restaurant.
Everything from water leaking down from their Christmas tree stand into the restaurant (not that I realized tattoo places put up Christmas trees) to the VCU cops lecturing them about setting off firecrackers which might scare old ladies into thinking they were gunshots (don't these cops have bigger things with which to concern themselves?).
What we had in common was our daily view of Grace Street, always a ripe setting for colorful characters and goings-on.
And now an excellent evening of live music is over and it's still an ungodly cold night.
I guess I'm still hoping for a late night way to make the best of this obscenely cold weather.
I'm thinking that warm thoughts alone won't do it.