Last Friday, T and I met up in Redwood City for the Tempest concert at the "Music on the Square" series in downtown Redwood City. A lot of local cities have similar programs during the Summer. The formula is simple - a free outdoor concert in the early evening to get people to come downtown and spend money. Redwood City takes it a step further and has movies, dance, plays, etc on the other nights, as well as lunchtime concerts.
In many ways, Redwood City is a typical of the towns along the San Francisco peninsula, which sprouted in the last 100 years. There is a downtown that is bordered by El Camino Real and on the other side by the Caltrain tracks. During the 70's and 80's, the downtowns were pretty stagnant. My own town, Sunnyvale, actively changed its downtown by building a mall in the middle of it. (What can I say - the Sunnyvale City Council has a long record of stupidity regarding the downtown area.) Most other cities, including Redwood City, just ignored their downtowns. T still calls it Deadwood City* - old nicknames die hard. Lately there's been a bit of a Renaissance.
The concert was at the Courthouse Square from 6-8 PM. I had swim class from 5:30-6:30, so there was no way for me to get there before 7. I didn't want to drive all the way up there if they were going to be done by the time I got there. Fortunately, through Facebook I was able to verify that they would play until 8. I got there around 7:15. T had gotten a good seat by the fountain. I couldn't look up the fiddler's kilt like i normally do, but it was a prime spot for hanging out and people watching.
There were a couple of thousand people there. The whole square was packed. A lot of people had brought food and wine and were picnicking. It was a more diverse crowd than is typical for a Tempest concert. Afterwards, I bought a Tempest T-shirt and T and I went for dinner. It was a pleasant way to spend an evening.