My husband and I have been married for thirteen years. We have a son, we both work and do side projects and often feel like life is moving really, really fast. One thing we’ve tried to maintain since becoming parents 8+ years ago is to have at least semi-regular date nights. We are lucky, in that we have local family that are kind enough to watch our son so that we can do this, and I realize that not everyone is so lucky. If I could wave a magic wand, I would give everyone amazing, local, fun grandparents who love to babysit!
I would like to encourage everyone to continue to date their significant other, on a regular basis. It’s so important to just be two people, reconnecting and staying in touch with one another, sharing fun experiences together – remembering why you like each other. I don’t want to someday find that our son has gone off to college, and my husband and I are left to just sit and stare at one another in the house, as we didn’t put the effort into staying connected to each other while life moved by too quickly. Ok, blah blah blah… enough arm chair 5 cent therapist lecturing…
What I’d really like to suggest to you (and possibly on a semi-regular basis, if you, FresYes readers like the idea? Let me know, k?) is ideas you can use to plan local date nights. It can be so easy to slip into a pattern of doing the same things again and again, and though it’s fun to eat together at your favorite restaurant, it’s also fun to try new places. Personally, I like to learn about places to go from friends and people who’ve tried a place and enjoyed it rather than just choosing a place at random using the Urban Spoon restaurant spinner, though, there have been times indecisiveness has tempted me to go that route. I will be doing my best to use my Date Night Idea posts to highlight locally owned and operated places, and hopefully in different parts of our city, too. After all, science has even proven that experiencing new things together is very good for relationships! Science proves it – so you gotta try it!
This past weekend, my husband and I went to a concert at Strummers in the Tower District. It was my first time there, and we saw Zella Day and opening act, Hawai. My husband had been listening to Zella Day, and saw that she was coming to town, so I bought us tickets for his birthday. Neither of us had heard of Hawai before (and at the concert we learned they haven’t quite yet released their first EP) but we were very pleasantly surprised as we both enjoyed their music as much as we enjoyed Zella’s. Hawai has an indie-pop rock sound that’s melodic, but not cookie cutter. The song Fault was one of my favorite songs that they played, and you can also stream In My Head directly from their website. Zella has an awesome voice that is both powerful yet at times haunting and soft. Though she’s only twenty, she sounds like one of the greats, almost from an earlier time – though her music is definitely current. She had a great stage presence (as did Hawai) and both mentioned how pleasantly surprised they were by the crowd and enthusiasm of their Fresno audience – as they didn’t really know what to expect having never been to Fresno before.
Strummers (which is in the former Starline location) is a mid-sized concert venue, a bit smaller than downtown’s Fulton 55 but still spacious enough to host a good-sized crowd of well over a hundred people in its bar and concert area. Strummers also offers a restaurant on the other side of its building, Flacos, which caters to vegetarians who also love good Mexican food. With live music offerings often multiple times a week, at affordable prices (and frequently available free!) Strummers makes finding an enjoyable live show to take in on your next date night pretty easy. Plus, the fun atmosphere of a diverse concert going crowd, dancing and having fun brings back that “first dating” feeling – it’s a nice change of pace from the typical dinner and a movie routine many of us naturally fall into. So what do you say, why not check out Strummer’s show schedule, grab your date and get outta the house for a fun night out in the Tower?
If you’re hoping to grab a bite before a concert, my personal favorite Tower District restaurants are Zen Wok Fusion for stir-fry (try the Mongolian Beef!) or drinks and appetizers (don’t miss the tempura green beans with sriracha aioli – they are the best!) or Casa de Tamales for amazing gourmet tamales (jalapeno cheese, shredded beef and creamy chicken poblano are my personal faves!).