Tuesday 16th March : Sleeves And Ice Hockey

Long day.  We started by wandering down to a place called Maria’s.  It’s 10 minutes from our apartment and awesome.  It has a massive bust of Maria outside and looks like it should be in a Wild West town.  Inside it’s amazing.  All plaster walls and dark wood, framed pictures of performers, regulars and newspaper clippings of Maria herself.  There’s a Virgin Mary shrine in the corner, guitars, bull horns and rollerskates thrown over beams and above the bar.  I want to live there.  It also serves an amazing Mexican breakfast.

After that we walked an hour into Downtown.  In the rain.  We passed Airstreams selling pretty much every foodstuff imaginable, 745 restaurants, a handful of bars, a marvellous mini golf tribute to fibreglass, some tramps and a Hooters.  I’m glad we walked.

We collected our passes, found a museum selling impressive embroided shirts and walked to Waterloo Records where I bought my third pair of shades on this trip.  We scoped out 6th Street and sussed out where the venues were before getting the bus back and chatting to helpful local.  Picked up supplies (cheese, bacon flavoured potato skins, coconut M&Ms, Coke, random real ale and Milk Duds) at the 24 Supermarket and headed off home.

Headed back out about 9 without any clue as to where we were heading.  We ended up in Latitude 30 and met up with Rich (Clwb Ifor Bach) and Bethan (Radio One).  Paul and Erika went off for food while I made use of the free bar.  The band we saw were pretty shit so I’m not even going to mention them.  I got chatted up by a woman that was seemingly insistent on rolling up the sleeves of my top because they overlapped my hands.  She scared me a little.  Paul and Erika went home for and early night, I headed to Death Metal Pizza and then to get a cab.

The cab driver was brilliant.  Grey hair, moustache, truckers cap all present and correct.  We talked SXSW, Britain, local students kicking his car, Cardiff and ice hockey.  His nephew has earned a scholarship to a Canadian college, his netminding skills saving him $30,000 a year in fees.  I told him about Cardiff Devils and the fact that Brad Voth makes the rest of the team look like pygmies.  At the end of the journey the meter read £12.50.  It was only when I got through the front door that I realised he’d given me a £10 back from a $20 note.  Nice guy, I hope I find him again this week.  Stranger things have happened.


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