Nice Nebraska Ya Got There…

So let me be fair here: I was not looking forward to Omaha.  I mean, it’s Omaha.  In Nebraska.  Just the sound of these two words rustle up images of flat plains and…yeah, that’s about it.
Not that I was gonna think it was gonna be hell on Earth, mind you.  I just figured I would have a nice, uneventful week, catch up on sleep, and frankly anything would have been better than that literal Sh#thole that we left behind in Nashville.
(Picture is actually from our travel day to Nashville – if I only knew.  But nothing can get me down on St. Paddy’s, and I wanted to express the joy I felt that was extremely crushed by the MILLENNIUM MAXWELL HOUSE IN NASHVILLE, TN.  Can you tell I am utterly disgusted still?)  Loki also enjoys this picture, as he feels I am worshipping him by wearing his favorite color.  I tried to explain to him the concept of Irish pride, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lost cause.
Anyway, what I was met with brought tears to my eyes – The Magnolia in Omaha was truly a beautiful, heavenly oasis that I wanted to burrow into and never leave.  They even served free milk and cookies at night – it was like going home to your mom’s house, if your mom was Oprah.
Turns out I got my wish, in the worst of ways.  After I opened as Mary Patrick in Omaha and getting to play 2 nights in a row, I was struck with the resident plague that was eating its way through the cast.  A viral throat gunk went through half of us, stealing our voices and otherwise making us go slowly mad.  I ended up laying in bed, bemoaning my fate, but at least I had a shrine of a hotel to suffer in.
And honestly one of the coolest cities we have been to, hands down.
When we would venture out to forage, we would go to the old downtown area which was about 3-4 blocks down.  There we found some of the coolest stores and restaurants I have ever had the pleasure to check out.  Even Loki was fascinated, and nothing fascinates that little turd.
This was the best coffee shop in town, Howlin’ Hounds.  It was passed down in the family, where it once was a bar.  Now it still looks like a bar, but serves coffee instead.  You can borrow a book to read for the afternoon, or even belly up to the bar and just chat with the owners for an hour (or 2 – Loki wouldn’t shut up.)  Truly the coziest, most welcoming place that was hard to leave behind.  And I’m saying that knowing full well that it shared a block with a prison.  Yes, an honest-to-god prison.  I asked Loki if he had anything to do with the placement, and all he would do was shrug and say that it was a sad necessity.  He then fixed me with a heavy, non-blinking stare and I had to chug my coffee just to make the moment less chilling.
There was a lot of weird-ass art…
But nothing beat “The Imaginarium.”  It was…your parent’s worst nightmare and your every childhood dream come true meeting in one gigantic store.  Loki could not tear his eyes away.  He immediately found a new army to do his bidding…
A center of operations…
A wise and noble General for his endeavours…
And a pelt to display with his many spoils of war.
There were many manuals and representations of Earth’s past and current heroes, so he could continue to research his enemies…
(Can you find the Loki?  If you do, you win a kewpie!)
It came equipped with distractions for those who try to infiltrate his new lair…
A surplus of bones to build a throne upon, so that he would no longer have to sit on his throne of lies…
And he even found a mode of transportation fit for a king.
He also brought the local residents to wailing subjugation, simply by the mention of his name…
He discovered what can only be described as the cause for the future fall of civilization…
…and we saw some real unsettling shit.
That freaked us both out.  We bounced after that.
Our favorite place to hang out was “Drastic Plastic,” which was a real record store that also sold a ton of sci-fi and horror memorabilia.  Everyone was incredibly cool, and Loki felt their mission statement was one that he could support once his imminent rule went into effect.
Our favorite place to eat ever on the face of this planet was called “Wilson and Washburn.”  It used to be a real brothel back in the day.  For serious.  How bomb is that?  Loki definitely enjoyed the décor.
They even host burlesque there.  We didn’t get to go, plague and all that.  But that is still my one regret.
So if you are ever wondering to yourself, “I wonder what it’s like in Omaha?”  You can tell yourself this – Omaha is seriously the hippest little slice of the Midwest you can get.  A week wasn’t enough time for me to enjoy it all, and even if the rest of the state is backwards, keep an eye out for Omaha.  It is striving to change the world.
And oh, the Omaha airport has a Vintage Pac-Man 2-Player Table in it.  You’re Welcome.
End of Line.

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