Line Out Music & the City at Night

Saturday, March 16, 2013

All of the Fun: Balkan Night NW (Tonight!)

Posted by on Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

It was easy to spot the Russian Community Center on 19th from a few blocks down the street—light from an open door illuminated groups of people entering and leaving Balkan Night Northwest. As we got closer, it became apparent that these people were sweaty and alive, many taking a break from the frantic dancing inside. I overheard a conversation that last year's attendance was so overwhelming that it spilled out onto the street. This year, an extra day has been added to accommodate the crowd. Just then we saw somebody we knew. "It's so fun in there," he said. "All of that dancing is exhausting."

Orkestar Zirconium on the Floor
  • Orkestar Zirconium on the Floor

Inside was a not-uncomfortably-crowded scene of people laughing, talking, eating, and drinking. Oh, and the dancing! A huge circle of people on the floor surrounded Orkestar Zirconium, every person holding the hands of the person on either side of them. The circle rotated and swelled while the dancers did a series of complicated-looking steps. I remarked to somebody that I'd never met that it looked so hard. "Just grab somebody's hand and follow everybody's feet, it's very easy." Everybody was so friendly, we'd stumbled into a wonderland!

Lucinda & Nick
  • Lucinda & Nick

"I made the sauerkraut myself," a tall man in an apron said has he thrust a plate into my hands. The sauerkraut was mixed with potatoes and there was a kobasica on a bun along with it. I was hardly hungry but I usually don't turn down food, especially when it's out of the ordinary. It was beyond delicious. There was talk of a must-try flaky pastry filled with cheese and egg and plates of dessert went back and forth. A tall bottle of Karlovačka Pivovara appeared in my hand. This kind of night just magically happens when you don't expect it, a night that you can't recreate and everything is wonderful. The tall man in the apron was now on the floor dancing to great applause, using the apron in a mock striptease.

Red Pants, No Shoes, Get Wild
  • Red Pants, No Shoes, Get Wild

Balkan Night NW is an annual celebration of the cultures of Southeast Europe, attracting people from the far stretches of the PNW. The second half of this year's celebration starts today at 4pm and goes until midnight. You should go!

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Balkan Night Northwest 2013 / 704 19th Ave E / Kids under 12 admitted free, adults $20

 

Comments (12) RSS

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1
Nice to meet you Derek, Emily, and Jonathan! (I think that was all of your names, sorry if I messed up). Thanks for making us guest celebrities of the night.
Lucinda Roanoke
Posted by roanokell on March 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 2
i stumbled by a balkan night a few years ago and peeked inside because i was curious.. i thought 'this looks like it could be fun, but ain't no black people'.. take my word for it. things can get weird when you're the only black person around a eastern european culture. hoedown. or so i thought. and then i got pulled inside with an invitation' you wanna dance with us ?'.. and i politely said 'no..i was just looking'.. dude says' but you gotta dance ..you gotta...come on.. it's gonna be fun'.. and oh my god.. after 5 minutes i was laughing and twirling so much i got shin splints.. and then some lady said' you look hungry'.. because fat people always look hongry right?. she ignored my trip and said we got some food in the other room and oulled me into that scene. and then i ate .. and danced some more .. and ...well it was THE BEST GODDAM TIME...so go.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on March 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
3
It was a tall bottle of Karlovacko Pivo. "Pivovara" means brewery.
Posted by Faber on March 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Beetlecat 4
Opa!
Posted by Beetlecat on March 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
5
Racunajte na nas
Posted by Faber on March 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
6
Anyone know if they are serving Velebitsko?
Posted by dutifulbog on March 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Kathy Fennessy 7
That made me very hungry. Reminds me of nights I've spent at Dom Polski, though it's been awhile.
Posted by Kathy Fennessy http://kathleencfennessy.blogspot.com/ on March 16, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Larry Mizell, Jr. 8
This post made me feel like when Kevin Arnold went to Paul Pfieffer's bar mitzvah, especially after I read your comment, Riz.
Posted by Larry Mizell, Jr. on March 17, 2013 at 2:13 AM · Report this
Estey 9
Yeah, this is wonderful coverage! Thank you, Derek (and Riz).
Posted by Estey on March 17, 2013 at 7:01 AM · Report this
10
DAMN IT, I really, really meant to go over there, and I forgot, and that sound you here is SELF-KICKING.
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on March 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Beetlecat 11
@BCJ --- Next year! ;)
Posted by Beetlecat on March 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
12
I am so glad you had a good time and enjoyed the food.

Sincerely,

The Tall Man in the Apron
Posted by Tall Man in the Apron on March 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM · Report this

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