This past weekend marked the Artisphere celebration in downtown Greenville, which was a perfect excuse for us to get off our asses and do something different from the norm. I had bragged to Steve about Fall for Greenville and we were sad that we moved just a couple weeks too late to experience it last October, but when I read up on Artisphere I realized how similar it was and knew that we had to go!
Basically, the city of Greenville shut down South Main Street downtown, from the Peace Center to the split of South Main and Augusta.
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The street was lined with booths of artists, both local and national, selling everything from jewelry to photographs to digital art to oil paintings to handmade leather goods. Everything was high-quality...and a little out of our current price range ;o) But it was great to see so much beautiful art, and Steve did end up picking out a handmade leather belt, which the artist fitted to him right then and there. It's quite a feat for poor willowy Steve to find a belt that fits properly, so he was obviously very excited.
Artisphere was free, but we did purchase tickets to use toward drinks and food. That's right, during special events like Artisphere and Fall for Greenville, the closed-off areas of downtown drop those silly no-open-container laws and allow people to drink in the streets! Steve grabbed a beer (I stuck with bottled water for the time being) and we used the rest of our tickets to sample food from Takosushi and Larkin's, two restaurants we had/have yet to visit. Everything was delicious and after wandering around for a bit longer, we finally meandered back up to North Main. For whatever reason, I had been craving a margarita and some chips and salsa for nearly a week, and as we hadn't visited any of the local Mexican restaurants we decided to try Cantinflas, which supposedly has the best margarita in the Upstate.
The verdict? Not enough tequila, too much sour mix in our pitcher of margarita. The chips were good and obviously homemade; the salsa was amazing as well. But the queso was barely passable and we decided to move on to bigger and better things.
By the end of the night, we ended up visiting five different bars (including Cantinflas)--four of which (Cantinflas being one of them) we had never been to! And the best part? There are still more to experience! Although we gave a thumbs-down to the Cantinflas margaritas, to the late '90s techno and rude doorman at Addy's Dutch Cafe, and to the claustrophobic's nightmare that is Blu Martini, we can't wait to re-visit the Brown Street Club for the live jazz, and we also ended up returning to DT's Tavern (which we had visited the previous weekend), which is sure to become one of our usual hangout choices (decent DJ and drink prices, and it draws a crowd that tends to be in our age group).
Wow...that's a lot of parentheses. Sorry.
My point? We really do fall in love with this city a little more all of the time, and we can't wait until our next chance to hit up the town and check out a few more new places...plus re-visit old favorites!