Grass versus Velvet

I realized something recently that made me a little sad, but mostly made me laugh.

My husband and I have officially moved from being lawn seat people to Taft Theater people.  For those of you who aren’t from Cincinnati, here is what it means:

– Lawn Seats are at Riverbend Music Center, an open air venue where you can sit under the pavilion, in normal “concert” seats.  Then beyond that there is a huge expanse of grass where there is no assigned seating and the seats are cheaper.

– Taft Theater is a lovely venue in downtown Cincinnati with ornate carvings, cushioned chairs and air conditioning.

You can see where this is going…

Last summer, we took in a concert at Riverbend, and picked lawn seats on purpose. I shopped for a lovely collection of picnic-date-night-music food (think olives, focaccia bread and mozzarella), wore a sundress, brought a blanket.  We arrived relatively early, staked out a space on the lawn and prepared to enjoy our evening of music and finger good.  But it wasn’t too long before we were surrounded by people standing, holding ginormous cups of beer, and gesturing a lot who kept stepping on us or over us.  Our romantic picnic became hand to hand (more like hand to knee) combat with lightly intoxicated people about 10-20 years our junior.

I can’t even remember who was playing in the concert. Our attention was soon completely diverted to watching people argue over blanket boundaries and whose time it was to pay for beer. We left early.

We weren’t mad that it wasn’t what we hoped for, just oddly rattled.

And then a few weeks ago, when we talked about going to a concert, it hit me. No more lawn seats for us. Taft Theater from here on out. I don’t want to stand the whole time. I don’t want a portion of my brain worried I’m going home covered in beer. I don’t want, hawk-like, to track the uncertain trajectory of my fellow concert goers’ steps.  I want to sit, listen and quietly sing along.  And though there is some sadness in this realization, mostly I’m ok with it. I’ve done the lawn seats; time to move on and let someone else take them.  There is a lovely, velvet covered burgundy seat waiting for me on 5th street.

Leave a comment


  1. Laura Tanno Smith

     /  December 20, 2011

    Maureen, this is brilliant.

  2. Karen Kreutz

     /  December 20, 2011

    sadness…the outdoor concerts can be lovely..why not a seat in the pavillion. both the Taft and Riverbend can be in your acceptable brand set.


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