I always held the opinion that the best forms of entertainment were free, and CoolTowns have plenty of it. Here’s a few reasons why:
1. Plenty of outdoor ‘stages’. Entertainers need stages, and piazzas, squares, plazas, courtyards and amphitheaters provide these with ready-made audiences. We simply need more of these natural stages.
2. Indoor stages, aka third places. Outdoor stages are third places as well, but because they’re not enough good examples in the country, they’re not mentioned in the press.
3. Lots of people who aren’t afraid to have outside-of-the-box fun. San Francisco has the Midnight Rollers, a 13-mile Friday night skate through the heart of the city. The record is supposedly 702 skaters. My favorite part was circling under the Palace of Fine Arts dome, one of the grandest stages anywhere in the city.
4. Did I say plenty of outdoor stages? Whether it’s swing dances in my neighborhood square, bon dances in Hawaii, or dance festivals in the piazzas of Europe, it just seems antithetical to have such events without passing the CoolTown water test.