Sunday Afternoon in Downtown Eugene — Jazz, Literature and, of course, Rain

Well, Megan and I learned the hard way that late Sunday afternoons are not the most exciting time to be in downtown Eugene. Most area businesses — even the coffee shops and restaurants — are already closed by 5:00, whether because of the recession or the old-fashioned notion that this is “family time,” and loyal employees should go home to be with the ones they love. But, fortunately, there are still a handful of things to do in this area, even on a dreary Sunday afternoon.

J. Michael’s Books — located at 160 E. Broadway in downtown’s Historic Broadway Pearl District — is a great stop for any avid reader who’s also on a budget. They buy, sell and trade books, and also carry new books on a variety of subjects, from Military History to Travel to Classics. J. Michael’s also has a well-stocked selection of notebooks, journals, pens, postcards and everything else a writer could need. There’s a little bit of something for everyone who’s interested in the printed word here.

Further downtown is The Jazz Station, which stays open until 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. This month, Sundays feature the All-Ages Jazz Jam from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in which one can sign up to collaborate with other local musicians for an impromptu jam session. Interested persons are simply asked to provide the instrument they will be playing, information on whether they can sight-read or follow chord changes, and a list of well-known songs they might already be familiar with in order to better accommodate the other musicians. Non-musicians are also encouraged to join the fun and stop in for a listen, which is made even better by the Station’s well-equipped coffee and drink menu.

So, though there isn’t an abundance of things to do on a Sunday in the downtown area, it just requires a bit of perseverance in order to find little-known gems such as these. And a pair of galoshes doesn’t hurt, either.

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