Aug. 15, 2002 – Starting this weekend, folks will once again have "Friday Night Alternative" as a Friday night alternative for two hours of live music and socializing on St. Thomas's East End.
FNA house musician Sally Smith will have her keyboard set up on the broad Marlin Deck overlooking the American Yacht Harbor marina. She has put out the word among fellow musicians, and "a lot of the folks say they'll be coming over," she said Thursday.
AYH, the site of the weekly sessions from their inception more than a year ago, is now the presenter as well, what with founder Corinne Van Rensselaer having recently relocated her Color of Joy gallery and gift shop from the complex to the Ritz-Carlton area.
Smith, whose day job happens to be at AYH, and Jennifer Schubert, AHY director of operations, are now the coordinators, with continuing support from XO Bistro and Premier Wine and Spirits.
Friday Night Alternative — which got its name well after it got its following — was never planned, Smith said. It just evolved. For art show openings at The Color of Joy, "Corinne was doing her wine and cheese thing on the deck outside the back door. "There was so much response — people would just stop by and play, and it just kind of grew."
The event's appeal, Smith believes, is that "it's a nice way to put a little distance between the end of the work week and whatever your weekend plans may be, without being loud or boisterous."
The only difference now is that patrons are being asked to contribute $2 for a glass of wine or $1 for a non-alcoholic beverage. Cheese and crackers will still be complimentary.
"We're kind of feeling our way along as we get back into it. We want the emphasis on community," Smith said. She added that the beverage fee "is not to make money. It's to be able to pay some musicians now and then." Toward that end, FNA T-shirts will still be sold, too; they're $15.
The time is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The place is the second-level Marlin Deck in the AYH complex in Red Hook. For those commuting at day's end from St. Thomas to John, it's a few minutes' stroll to the ferry dock or drive to the barge loading area. To learn more, call 775-6454.
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