August 01, 2006

Reno is Artown

Reno is a quirky place.
Despite the jokes that are made about the area it really is quite a wonderful place to live. We are still the "Biggest Little City in the World". In the past few years (probably in the past decade actually) Reno has really tried to pull itself up by it's boot straps and become a destination- not just because of the gambling (actually as an alternative to the gambling since the Indian casinos have become all the rage on the other side of the hill), but because of the amazing outdoor activities it has to offer. Seriously people, there are some of the best hiking, fishing, camping, swimming, kayaking,skiing and other recreations in such close proximity it isn't even funny. They are also doing a ton of work down town to draw people out of the casinos and into the streets. They re-engineered the Truckee River in order to create a kayak park, and every year their is the White Water Rodeo that draws competitors from all over. There is also the Tour De Nez that has been a staple in the summer time for longer than I can remember.
The city is also going through a major face lift, many of the casinos are being converted into condominiums with retail on the first few floors. It is actually turning into a down town that you want to visit, not a place that you avoid. There are cool little shops, and good eats. The movie theater is a regular haunt for us on the weekends and the RTC has a bus that loops around town that you can ride for free.
One of the coolest things that Reno does in the summer time is the Reno is Artown. For the entire month of July there are artsy fartsy things going on just about every single night as well as throughout the day. Last night was the final evening of this celebration... So the girls and I headed out on the town for some 'culturing'.
We had dinner at a nice little infill development projects (we are all connected to the city/regional planning efforts by trade so this is the way we talk). A great little Italian place called La Famiglia. They offer SF style ambiance - good wine, good service and good food. After a few glasses of vino, and some eats we walked ourselves down to Wingfield to see DBR- for free. It was awesome.
Check out this guy's music, seriously different and really cool. Plus, he is HOT...

Goodbye until next year Artown...
Hello Hot August Nights and Street Vibrations (can someone get me my earplugs?)


Jennifer said...

Wow! It sounds like a lot is happening in Reno these days! I haven't been in a long time...

caro said...

I've always had fun in Reno. A few years back I was there for a ski industry conference, met up with some pals and did some rafting on the Truckee. As we passed down the river there was a dead tree with ladies undergarments hung all over it like christmas decorations. Right of passage? Dunno, but I donated my favourite little blue bra to it. Might still be there for all I know.

Rachel said...

Gotta say I didn't know about all the changes in Reno -- they sound great! Don't you love it when civic planning actually WORKS and makes a real difference in making a city nicer?

Stacie said...

I'm with you, when I was in a touring band, we played in Reno a few times, and that is one rockin town! Lots to do, and soooo beautiful. I love cities with lots of festivals, and I also love Reno 911! What, it's funny!

KnittyOtter said...

Heh. I've purchased some lovely hand dyed yarns at La Bussola. Nothing like going there and then Jungle Vino for a few glasses and good conversation.

I used to think Reno was some kind of sleazy place where the gamblers and divorcees went when they ran out of the money to stay in Vega$. Granted this was before I visited or moved here. Fell in love on my first visit. Within minutes likely. No matter what we do to our city we will always have our big blue sky and the wide open places to breathe and that's why I love Reno.

Now I know more about the city that has become my home and I am blind to the gambling (don't gamble) and instead see all the possibilities. There are so many cool little places and entertainment options as well as the huge array of outdoor activities. This city is really what each person wants it to be. Kind of like those new knitpicks options I suppose. *L*

The only thing left for people to do is just get out of their houses and decide what they want to explore. :D

Oh and Reno really is hell. I can see Sparks from here. :P

(Which was really funny on the 4th when I could see their fireworks from my backyard. *L*)

Anonymous said...

What a delightful blog---knitting and Reno, also!!!
I drive home from work three evenings a week serenaded by goings on at the Sands and the art festivities at Wingfield. Also enjoy being able to "meander" again down town.
So happy to see down town coming alive again after the brutal casinoization of it all.
Somehow though, I miss the old wooden structres that used to be at the river. Haven't quite got used to the Golden Gate Bridge at Wingfield Park.

Becky said...

Yeah, we'll be at Street Vibrations. We take over the Sands. Vroom Vroom!

Coming home from Sturgis, we rode through the crazy Reno traffic on Saturday -- 15 hours in the saddle -- how crazy is that?! I waved. :) (I'm still exhausted!)