No one remembers exactly when Matthews Park started opening their multipurpose room to a small, ragtag group of geeks and students every Monday night, so they could have a free, massive, indoor, high-ceiling place to practice throwing and catching more objects than they had hands with which to do so. What I know for sure is that I started attending these casual sessions circa late summer 1982, which everyone agrees was probably only a few months after its inception.
Nearly 30 years later, it’s still happening – and it’s still free.
The Neverthriving Juggling Club is a place where new jugglers practice, old jugglers socialize and ill-prepared non-jugglers get props thrust into their hands and a lesson, no matter how strongly they protest.
It doesn’t get much more wholesome than this. Free juggling lessons, free practice space, without having in bring your own equipment (at least not initially), open to all ages. Moreover, when you decide you need to take a break from dropping things and picking them up off the ground, the free entertainment of watching some of the best jugglers in the country practice and goof off is the juggling equivalent of watching the sound check at Lollapalooza.
As we careen into yet another rumored-to-be long and brutal winter, this weekly indoor escape and excuse to wear a tank top is pretty hard to beat. And did you know that juggling actually makes you smarter? I kid you not.
The Neverthriving folks are also largely responsible for putting together the annual MONDO Jugglefest, one of the largest, annual gatherings of jugglers, unicyclists and yo-yo enthusiasts in the country, coming up on February 17-19, 2012.
Further to the previous promise of free entertainment at Neverthriving, here’s a video of me and MPLSSteve doing, well, the uniquely ungraceful yet lively thing that we do best, passing six clubs.