Awesome People-watching Op

I spent some time last night in an environment rich with people-watching opportunities, an unexpected bonus to an evening whose original plan was a live music performance and dinner with a friend.

The setting: a weekly summer event called Downtown Bethesda Free Summer Concert Series, held each Thursday evening on a small plaza in downtown Bethesda. My goal was live music and I would have gone to this no matter who was playing but it was extra cool and unusual to hear a ska/reggae/rock band. Eclectic to the max, The Players Band’s instrumentation looks like the reject pile from the high school band … trombone, trumpet and baritone sax … but these guys make it cool. Their set list ran from originals to Jamaican-infused versions of songs by artists from other islands to a show-closing reggae version of the Peter Gabriel song “Sledgehammer.”

Random people-watching observations:

- Bethesda, like most of the Washington DC area, is a salad bowl of race, age, socioeconomic and generational people.

- A stereotype based on factual observation: old white men really cannot dance.  But some very young girls can:

- Saw a well-dressed 30-something man talking up a storm with a very attractive young professional looking 30-something woman. They both probably work in one of the nearby offices. Best guess: they met there, had an obviously flirty ‘get to know you’ interview-ish conversation, exchanged cell phone numbers, left together. Hmmmm.

- Crazed kids were running circles around a fountain, screaming and chasing each other while their clueless parents watched. Kids should be kids but parents should be parents too, and that includes teaching their kids to exercise some measure of consideration for the people who are there to see the band. Translation: “stop running, shut up, sit down, listen to the music.” I probably wouldn’t be much fun as a parent, would I?

- Senior-aged couple strolled in, sat at one of the tables, listened to the music. Their clothing and movements verified their probable age – 70-something – but the cool stereotype-breaking moment came when the man stood up, whipped out his iPhone and took a picture of the woman.

- More flirting: college-aged guy chatting up a college-aged girl. She seemed to tolerate his questions but he realized she wasn’t that interested and he left. She looked at me and smiled. If I wasn’t twice her age I might have chatted her up too but what would we talk about after discussing the band and Bethesda?

- Moments later a very attractive young woman dressed in a hot-looking casual black dress and flip-flops walked right up and sat down next to me and said “Hey, I made it.” It took me a second to realize she was the friend who was joining me for dinner. Damn, I have some great-looking female friends. She and the others are all “just friends” but the fact that they look so good is great for my ego. Fortunately she was the object of my people-watching for the next couple of hours of food, wine and conversation.

- One more thing … I saved the best for last … I just discovered that my little pocket digital camera can shoot video too.

So there you have it, two great staycation days in a row filled with fun and music. What’s in store for today? Boring house crap. Oh well. It’s still been a nice week.