Up in the Aether – Steamboat Shenigans!

Friends and Family at Steamboat Shenanigans

Friends and Family at Steamboat Shenanigans

Last night after a bit of a drive I checked into my hotel and made my way to the Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park, Michigan.  I have been trying to work this monthly gathering into my schedule for months and was excited to finally make it.

When I arrived the street was deserted and the door to the cafe locked.  Needless to say, I was disappointed at having arrived too late for the event even though I was certain it had been slated to go on for a couple more hours.

The cafe was packed and overflowing

The cafe was packed and overflowing

Fortunately a couple fellows came around the corner and said, “I think you have to go around the back to get in.”  So I grabbed my field pack and went around back.

The back of the Phoenix Cafe was overflowing with steampunk clad attendees

The back of the Phoenix Cafe was overflowing with steampunk clad attendees

So I went around to the back of the cafe and found that there were several groups of steampunkers haunting the alleyway.  Relieved that I hadn’t just driven for hours and checked into a motel for no reason, I entered the cafe.

The cafe was full of steampunk suited celebrants dancing, chatting, and generally having fun

The cafe was full of steampunk suited celebrants dancing, chatting, and generally having fun

The cafe is in a building that is quite reminiscent of the New Orleans shotgun houses.  They are called shotgun houses because you can open the front door and back door and shoot a shotgun from the backdoor through the front door without hitting anything in the house (or so I am told.  I have never seen a demonstration of it.)  It makes for a rather intimate setting no matter where you are in the cafe.

Steampunk treasures are on display from end to end

Steampunk treasures are on display from end to end

As you enter the counter for libations is to the left but more interesting is the steampunk display of amazing artifacts of the steampunk era on the right.  Though, truth to tell, there are steampunk treasures from end to end of the cafe, at least during the event, as the revelers themselves are mini galleries of steampunk artistry.

What could be more awesome than a steampunk Keyblade?

What could be more awesome than a steampunk Keyblade?

For Friday night steampunk fun the Phoenix Cafe is an excellent destination!  For more photos from last night at Steamboat Shenanigans check out the photo album.  There are also albums from the World Steam Expo 2012, the World Steam Expo 2011, and The Kalamazoo Living History Show (an amazing March event in Kalamazoo where over 10,000 folks come together to display their Civil War era wares and to buy the replicas and antiquities on display.  If you love this era, this show is a must see!)

Time for me to hit the road for the Charlton Park Civil War Muster over near Hastings.  This event is today and tomorrow and an awesome event for those who want to learn more about the era, get great pics with authentic buildings and folks in accouterments from the Civil War, and to see authentic Civil War Canons shooting during the historic battle reenactments!  Don’t take my word for it though.  Here is a bit of video I put together from last years even with music by The Clockwork Dolls (editors note, I just put a video with the Fire Breather from the Phoenix Cafe and the night cannon fire from the Charlton Park Muster at the end of this so I could get it online quick.)

As a final note, thanks to all who have Friended us on Facebook and Followed us on Twitter, and if you haven’t hit Jon Magnificent’s Kickstarter page, get over there quick and get some amazing, award winning music for cheap and support a wonderful guy, Jon Magnificent!  Oh, and if you kick in on the kick starter, tell ’em you heard about it on The Weird Review! (and don’t forget to tag, comment, tweet, like, etc. your photos in the albums, and Facebook! 😉

About the author

Weird AKA John Collins

John N. Collins is a writer, photographer, game & coloring book designer and a bad dancer. Any resemblance to the King John character is merely a coincidence. Follow John N. Collins: Google Plus YouTube Facebook Fan Page Facebook Personal Account Instagram Twitter