Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nifty New Venue—The Blue Grotto

This past Tuesday I traveled from New Jersey to Philadelphia for a reading with J.C. Todd and Sally Bliumis-Dunn, all three of us published by Wind Publications. Sally came in by train from Westchester, NY. J.C. lives in Philadelphia. We met in the parking lot behind the venue, then walked to The White Dog, a casual restaurant, where we had dinner. Then we returned to the venue for the reading.

The Blue Grotto is the newest series being run by Mad Poets Society. This is one of the coolest venues I've ever read in. It's the basement room of the Community Center. When we first headed downstairs I could smell the typical musty basement odor, but that quickly dissipated and I was charmed by the room. The entire room is an art installation designed by Randy Dalton.

As you can see, the room is entirely blue. It consists of dozens of blue lights and all kinds of blue statues, buttons, chairs, hangings, and so on.

We were just the third reading held in this venue. We read in the area where you see the chairs and one guest. We ended up with just 13 people (and that's counting the poets!), but it was a warm reading. Those blue lights certainly added to the atmosphere. Hopefully, as the word spreads, the venue will attract more people. It should as it's within shouting distance of both Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania.

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