Local Open Mic Venue Has Something For Everyone

Local Open Mic Venue Has Something For Everyone

The Clarence Center Cafe not only houses great coffee, but a great music and atmosphere.
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On Tuesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., artists and music players alike flock to Clarence Center Café, in the heart of Clarence, to play two or three songs in front of a small crowd, get some coffee or just enjoy the atmosphere.

The open mic sessions were started about 10 years ago at the Clarence Center. They have progressed from a microphone and no stage to a beautiful PA system with a stage and amazing acoustics. Everyone is welcome to come out to see locals perform their music.

Stu Shapiro is the man that puts the entire show together, he is in charge making everyone sound good and also being the Emcee by announcing who is about to go on, to keep the night moving. Shapiro is also a great hype man to make all the performers feel appreciated. But he also loves the perks.

“I like the opportunity to hear original music,” said Shapiro, in an interview after the festivities had died down. “And to encourage people to come out and play stuff, also when they are just beginning, we have all levels of people coming out to play.”

The open mics have an array of music for everyone while I was there on the beautiful Tuesday night of March 29, I heard some country, blues, rock and pop covers, and people just jamming out on their instruments. There is something for everyone.

The maximum amount of performers they have had was a rousing 25, but they average a solid 18 performers per open mic, and they bring a nice crowd of people.

People that come to the Open Mics also enjoy the cafe. The capable baristas are able to make you delicious coffee, cook up some tasty meals, and for the adults, they can enjoy some wine. The cafe is decked out in a wide assortment of different types of coffee beans. It's delicious and also nice to look at.

Besides being able to enjoy some good music and good food, the atmosphere there is out of this world. There are tables that surround the stage and bar stools for the audience members to sit and enjoy the music. And the decorations are a collection of interesting statues, pictures, and lamps of different cultures. In a quick look around, one can find African, Indian, Asian and Irish cultural references. Also, you can find local art displayed on the walls.

Shapiro and all the staff at the Clarence Center Cafe encourage everyone to come out and sing a song or two. It's a good way to perform and practice getting your music and talent out there.

"This is a wonderful venue the acoustics are good, we improved it," Shapiro remarked. "We have stage lights now, we have a stage, we have a very good speaker system and we do our best to make people sound good and that's what it's all about."

Cover Image Credit: Jade King

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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