Seeing children be children warms columnist's heart [Hampden]

Hampden Column

March 26, 2013|By Benn Ray,

Sometimes, it's the small things that make you happy about where you are. Here's what I mean.

It was an early spring day and I was walking back from the post office when I heard a bunch of commotion from kids, so I crossed the street to steer clear of it, anticipating the worst.

As I progressed up the street a bit further, I saw what the racket was. Like a row of teeth with one knocked out, there was a grass lot in the line of row homes where a house used to be (it blew up a few years back, and now it's just an empty grass lot). The commotion was a dozen boys and girls playing football where the house used to be.

I'm not sure why, but seeing these kids act like kids, which is something that can be surprisingly uncommon in the city, my heart melted, and I had a large grin on my face the rest of the way back to work.

Here are some events that will hopefully make you smile.

On March 28, I will be co-hosting the Atomic Fiction Series with local writer Kathy Flann at 7 p.m. at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road. Our guests will be Michael Kimball, who has a new book called "Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (On A Postcard)," and Leigh Newman (deputy editor at who has a new biography called "Still Points North."

On Friday, March 29, one of my favorite local beers, Raven, will have a beer tasting at the Wine Source, 3601 Elm Ave., from 4:30-7 p.m. They've recently added an ale and a pilsner to accompany their special lager. I've sampled all three and I recommend them all. So much so that I may have to go to this event and, um, "sample" them again.

On April 1, the Hampden Community Council is hosting its monthly meeting with a special focus on neighborhood parking. The meeting takes place at the Roosevelt Recreation Center, 1121 W. 36th St., starting at 7 p.m. A number of people have ideas about how to handle parking congestion as a result of Hampden's increasing population density. Some of these ideas may affect your ability to park and may even end up costing you money.

Also April 1, Teepee, Christopher Nobody & The Nothing and Natural Velvet will play The Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St. Doors open at 10 p.m. and admission will cost you $6.

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