Monday, April 21, 2008

Ode to Cache Valley

Ask any USU student what there is to do in Cache Valley and the response is likely to go along the lines of "uhh, well, hmmm.... I like to hike, and uh, well, it's Logan flippin' Utah, there's nothing to do! Flip!" Sadly I, too, once counted myself amongst the numbers of these bored unfortunate souls, pining after my hometown and whittling away the hours with reruns of "Friends" and "Grey's Anatomy." Lucky for these students, I do have good news. Besides saving a bunch of money on my car insurance, I decided to do a wee bit o' research in order to find means with which to entertain myself and my friends. And what did my research reap? Things to do, of course. I mean, there's only so many hikes one can take in one week!

Granted, Logan isn't a big city with a lot of nightlife going on, but it is a city based around culture, and not only the religious kind. Cache Valley is just brimming with artistic opportunities, with everything from sculptures and paintings to poetry readings, live opera, and coffee house jazz performances. All this and more can be yours for the simple price of, well, actually, all you have have to do is look in the right places.

One of the best places to go in Cache Valley if you're looking for a classier date night is the Ellen Eccles Theater, located in the heart of Logan on Main Street just south of Center. Tickets can run anywhere from 5 bucks up to about 40, depending on the show and seating in the theater. I've been to my share of performances at the theater and every time I am simply astounded by the intricate designs and elegant artwork that seems to dance along the walls and even the ceiling. No performance is ever disappointing, and most leave me wanting more. Their next show is Beauty and the Beast which runs April 25, 26, 28, 30 and May 1-3, 5. For more information on performances and tickets visit the Cache Valley Center for the Arts website

Another place where entertainment is guaranteed for the small price of a 5 dollar ticket is the Logan Art Cinema. I've mentioned it before, but it's definitely worth mentioning again. Anybody who has ever been outside Cache Valley knows that the theaters here just aren't normal; they only play a select few movies that usually have opened elsewhere in the country much earlier and have proven their ticket-drawing worth. I'm not saying it's bad to base a business off of sources of income that are sure and for certain, but once that business fails to expand their horizons even slightly, well, then they become pure evil. Although I'm not a typically a fan of huge corporation, I sure do wish there were a Harkins or an AMC nearby. The Art Cinema, however, plays the rest of the films the bigger(albeit smaller than normal) theaters around here don't play. They'll play one at a time for several weeks then move on to the next. The films are killer and the tickets are cheap. The downside? Only one employee- so don't count on buying popcorn if there's a line at the ticket counter. The cinema is located at 795 N Main in Logan.

Okay let's see, so far we have classy night at the theater and the rogue feel of maverick films, what else could anyone possibly want? Hmm, music, perhaps? Caffe Ibis is arguably the best thing to happen to Logan. Besides making the best Chai Latte this side of the Prime Meridian, Caffe Ibis plays hosts to many local artists on a regular basis. They have live music every Friday from 7-9 PM and 12:30 PM on Sundays. Being the environmentally conscious business that they are, it seems only appropriate that they would support Earth Day in one way or another, but they went way beyond the call of duty. On April 22, 2008 Caffe Ibis will not allow "to-go" cups outside the store(so bring your own mug) and Phil Leffler, a local folk rock and acoustic artist, will be performing from 12-2 PM, along with bio-friendly awareness speeches and a way fun raffle. Oh yes, did I mention that it's free to go and listen? Woohoo! Visit their myspace page to learn more

Ellen Eccles Theater, Logan Art Cinema, and Caffe Ibis are definitely my top three(in no particular order) but there are many more things to do in Logan, just maybe not so awesome or convenient. For now, however, feel free submerge yourself into these flowing wonders of the artistic world of cultured Utah.

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