FFP Omaha: Comedy camaraderie, fresh catch, plant share

FFP Omaha newsletter

Hey Omaha and beyond. Chris here.

Imagine a cramped basement. Cracked concrete floors. The low-hanging ceiling. A thin curtain that hides laundry machines and signals to people muscling guitar amps heavy as old tube TVs down narrow stairs that this is the “stage.”

For a while I played in a band that performed in places like that, rarely getting paid or drawing crowds of more than 15 people. Omaha’s comedians have similar stories, according to today’s story by Nebraska journalist Pat Janssen. Open mics spent sandwiched between slam poets and bands. Trying to eke jokes over the din of a packed but uninterested bar.

But the comedians kept going. More people joined. Eventually they got their own venue and built a community, which is so important for Omaha.

Sure, I can go see a touring band, comedian or show, but watching someone local kill it on stage is different. I know they had to grind it out here and thought often about moving somewhere with more opportunity. But they stuck around, added a necessary layer to Omaha’s art scene and made the city a more inspiring place to live.

Even if you haven’t seen a show at The Backline, it should make you a little proud to know someone is trying to make Omaha a bit funnier.

Read the story here (or click the photo above).

Sand Point takes a tough order – seafood in Nebraska – and mostly pulls it off

Sand Point, which opened in west Omaha last year, chose a challenging path in Omaha: a menu of seafood dishes from the upper northeast. Not only are ingredients tough to get here, the dishes require a deft touch, and the kitchen doesn’t always nail it. But when it does — like in a lovely bowl of steamed mussels or in a surprisingly nostalgic peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich (I know, right?) — it works well. 

Read my review here (or click the swordfish and mushroom risotto).

The Bellevue Native Plant Society is hosting its annual plant share at Bellevue’s Whispering Timbers Park from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 25. I’ll be there to see if any native species would work well in my shady backyard. Stop by to learn why native plants are crucial for preserving biodiversity and explore new plants for your garden!

Read This Next

Eastern Nebraska’s biblical spring weather continued as heavy rainfall caused flooding across the Omaha metro. Some drivers had to be rescued from their cars by first responders after trying to plow through high water.

In 2022, The Reader looked into abandoned solutions for flooding along Saddle Creek Road. It’s an interesting look at the collision of intensifying rains (probably related to climate change) and city policy. Full disclosure: I (Chris Bowling) edited this story at The Reader so I’m a little biased.

It was all champagne for the Supernovas as they claimed the Pro Volleyball Federation’s first-ever championship title on Saturday. The upstart league has been a smash hit in Omaha, where fans routinely broke indoor volleyball attendance records at the CHI Health Center Arena. (Note: Some readers may need a subscription to read this story.)

New census estimates suggest exurbs — cities like Plattsmouth and Valley that lie outside of inner-ring suburbs — have seen more population growth in recent years than the core of the Omaha metro area. 

Omaha voters passed a series of amendments to the city charter during last week’s primary election. The World-Herald’s Chris Burbach explains what passed and wrote a great lede to boot. (Note: Some readers may need a subscription to read this story.)