Omaha’s Benson neighborhood jumped on the chance to get people to its area by starting “First Friday.” The first Friday of each month, art galleries will stay open later and bars and other entertainment venues enjoy a large flock of visitors.
We took in our first trip to Benson on a “First Friday.” We had a nice time. We started with dinner at the Benson Brewery. Lisa and I agreed that the sandwiches we tried were delicious and Benson Brewery should be on everyone’s dining bucket list for Benson.
We had the season’s first Campfire pie dessert. It’s an apple pie in a small cast iron skillet. So very, very good. Another table ordered one after seeing and smelling ours as the server delivered it.
After we stuffed ourselves, it was time to walk off dinner with a self-guided tour of the neighborhood’s business district. Benson was once its own town before being absorbed as part of Omaha. Its high school is known as the Bunnies. Don’t laugh, because the mascot is a vicious-looking rabbit.
We checked out an art gallery. Pet Shop is located just off the main street in the area. It is a small two-gallery facility. It offers a unique take on contemporary art. One exhibit consisted of photo copies of an artist’s shoe treads as he walked and took photos of his tracks. We found the display and others very interesting. We tend to be open about art. If someone finds art in their view, who are we to say otherwise?
We decided to “find” our own art, so we headed back out. As we strolled the neighborhood, we checked out vintage clothing stores and antique stores. I think the way some store fronts are arranged should be considered art.
Benson’s Paper Doll store is full of vintage wares. The storefront was well decorated and arranged. We spent several minutes browsing the store. My favorite item was an “Ugh” coffee mug.
Mishmash was a cool store. We actually came across a couple of framed plaques highlighting Bushmills whiskey from Northern Ireland. We loved our trip there (hard to believe it’s been 10 years) to visit our daughter Mallory while she studied in Coleraine for a semester.
We found some other neat objects there, too, such as a unique living room set.
We found some old gas pump models that work in the home office once we get around to renovating it.
Nearby was a trip back in time to the days of the Bombshell Pin-up. Daisy Jones Locker specializes in the bombshell style, but with a twist. The owner mixes contemporary designs with the bombshell style. Since we were visiting before Halloween, the store featured some horror-themed items, including a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” set of purses.
Of course, the store features the bombshell-style dresses and other clothing items. The style has always impressed us. There is a market for it in the Omaha area, as well as around the United States. Women and men who dress in the 1940s-50s style do so as a lifestyle commitment. I give them props.
The Imaginarium is a collector’s dream store. It had so much stuff inside I didn’t know where to start. Star Trek geek (like me)? They have stuff. Star Wars geek (like Lisa and me)? They got stuff. Love old Husker stuff (memories of past glory)? They got it for ya. They have so much stuff. So much stuff. And it’s all cool. We spent almost an hour there.
You can get an Original Star Trek show lunch box. Or, how about Mr. Spock’s album?
Into the Avengers? Captain America would like to go home with you…as a lunch box. Unless, Iron Man and all of the Avengers join efforts to carry your lunch.
Lisa was very disappointed as she saw a sign that said not to feed the zombies. She felt bad for them. All zombies should have someone for dinner.
If you are interested in a cup of coffee, then check out Aroma or Omaha Bicycle Company. We’ve been to Aroma in the Old Market. We visited that location and the Omaha Bicycle Company during a Caffeine Crawl last summer. Both are nice. Being Benson, we thought the Bicycle Company was a perfect fit for an eclectic area. The Omaha Bicycle Club has a nice mix of coffee products and actual bicycles and equipment.
If you’re looking for something a little stronger than coffee, you have a wide selection of choices. There’s always the Benson Brewery.
But, if you want to enjoy some adult beverages while playing youth games, then Beercade may be the place for you. The place is part bar and part arcade. We found a young couple playing a game Lisa and I enjoyed playing at a movie theater. Area 51 is a shooting game where you have to gun down aliens that have escaped and attack the game players.
If being a pinball wizard is more your style, Beercade has plenty of pinball games. Beercade definitely is a place to hang out and have fun.
We enjoyed our visit to Benson’s First Friday. We’re interested in attending some other cities’ First Friday events, as well. But, Benson lets its hair down for a good time on First Fridays. You can create your own fun.
For more information on Benson and its monthly event, check out www.facebook.com/BensonFirstFriday.