A protest against hybernation season

Leah Sewell

inter. It’s a time to curl up in front of the fireplace, sip hot chocolate and re-connect with loved ones. But if you are anything like me, you have no fireplace, only gas bills, which you wish you could use to start a fire if you had a fireplace. You prefer a strong latte to Swiss Miss and your loved ones aren’t exactly dropping by to curl up beside the heating vent in your floor.

But all that put aside, I am determined to be an optimist about winter. Bitter cold, sleet and ice be damned. I will leave my house. I will get out and do things around town, I will participate in Topeka’s entertainment scene and I will be completely oblivious to the cold. I wish you would do this, too. Otherwise I might be alone out there.

While retail stores and Internet shopping sites thrive during this season, our local entertainment spots do not. People become reclusive in the winter. The reasons are obvious. As I write this, it is a frigid 28 degrees outside. The wind is howling and little patches of snow are stationary on the hard ground. It will be a while until the weather permits comfortable travel. How ironic that this is a time of leisure for students, a time when we are allowed guilt-free trips to see live music, attend plays, hang out at coffee shops till closing or simply do what we feel like, no syllabus-referencing involved whatsoever.

In this second issue of the ARGO, there are a many happenings that might provoke us to emerge from our expensively heated havens out into the local entertainment scene. Melissa Treolo talks with Son Venezuela, a local Latin band whose music prompts listeners to fervently dance the salsa. Son Venezuela will be playing at the Granada Dec. 16. Melissa Sewell spends a night fearing for slightly intoxicated girls who dance precariously on bars at Jul’s Cocktail Club, open Wednesday through Saturday nights. The New City Café is featuring artist Alissa Sheley this month, and invites patrons to join them in welcoming her with an opening and wine tasting Dec. 7. The Kansas History Museum is showcasing antique party dresses, from Victorian ball gowns to flapper attire. In fact, there are so many events going on in Topeka alone that I was unable to include them all in the ARGO calendar.

There is one exception to this, however. In the week leading up to Christmas, there are very few things happening in the arts and entertainment world. This is to be expected. Someone out there is trying to force us to curl up in front of our non-existent fireplaces. But when festivities subside, just know that there is something going on outside the comfortable confines of home.

If you choose to remain behind closed doors this month, the venues will still be there when you emerge again. But it’s nice to be a part of something good, to be a supporter of the things you love in your town. The die-hard supporters won’t be stopped by a little cold.