My week has been bookended by the fastest dance footwork I’ve seen since my job’s annual Hip Hop Festival for children, and also the slowest dance I’ve seen probably ever.
First, the fleet: My partner and I were invited by a friend to check out India Jazz Suites, showing at the Boston ICA. All I knew about the show was that it featured a contemporary of Savion Glover, one of my favorite dancers. First we attended a half-hour lecture on the two choreographers, including a description of a classical Indian dance form called Kathak. Next, we were charmed and blown away.
Second, the slow. Part of Harvard University’s ARTS FIRST festival, Slow Dancing is an outdoor video installation by David Michaelek shown from April 20 to 29 (7-11 PM) in front of the Widener Library in Harvard Yard. I stopped by on a chilly Tuesday, just to take a peak, and stayed an hour. Lucky for me, I had an apple in my backpack and the folks running the show were kindly offering wool blankets to keep warm. As the artist explains, at first it’s excruciating to watch something go so slow (snails, anyone? paint drying?), but then the magic happens and you are transported to a place of exquisite observation.
Like many people, I’m of multiple minds about graffiti.
Mind #1: I don’t like it: if it’s not your property, you shouldn’t alter it. If it’s public property, it’s even LESS cool to lay your mark. (Do unto others: I’m almost 100% sure the average graffiti artist would frown the frown to end all frowns if, heading into his/her bathroom in the morning to brush his/her teeth, discovered a pink hippo riding a tricycle spray-painted on the shower door.)
Mind #2: Show me a book on graffiti art world-round, and I’ll spend at least half an hour flipping through. I won’t deny that there’s something intrinsically attractive about in-your-face art. And sometimes the graffiti is truly beautiful; the skill of the artist enviable.
Mind #3: Place and context: is the graffiti just tagging (hi! I’m here! Lookatme! Lookatme!) or is it social commentary? Was it skillfully applied or slap-dash? Is it marring the side window of some little neighborhood coffee shop (you know the owner’s going to have to go out there with gray paint), or interrupting the monotony of a train ride down the Northeast Corridor?
I think it was last year that the Southwest Corridor multi-use path was repaved, making many cyclists, runners, rollerbladers, and rowdy high school students happy to enjoy smoother travel. Not long after, someone trailed red paint in a erratic line from one end to the other, inciting in me a surprisingly possessive and self-righteous sort of anger (you kids! get out of my back yard!) Not long after that, somebody else stenciled the word Bold between Green Street and Stonybrook Stations. Recently, the erratic line and Bold have been joined by a cyclist wearing a hat.
My second thought was more a resigned sigh.
What do you think?
Sometimes, a person might receive with barely an ask.
Take, for example, my newest digital camera – the Sony Cybershot. This little pocket point-n-click was gifted to me by friend almost before the words “I really need a new digital camera” left my lips.
The J-Street Camera Fleet welcomes two new members:
1.) Sony Cybershot (I’m still learning how to use, stayed tuned for many over and underexposed snapshots)
2.) David’s Digi Clover San (a birthday gift from me, right in the instructions it is referred to as “quirky” and “toy camera,” so you can imagine the types of photos it produces)
I’ve been remiss in posting to Whole Heart Local. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I am doing too much, which leaves scant energy for writing or crafting. Good thing the HEAT descended on Monday (over 80 degrees . . . in April!) I thought I’d never have the opportunity to laze around the neighborhood, doing nothing, accomplishing even less…
Of course, it’s also true that my annual custom for Marathon Monday is to move as slowly as possible to counterbalance the twenty-thousand-odd runners thundering through the Brookline and Back Bay as part of the Boston Marathon.
So my day consisted of:
Snoozing under the Cherry Blossoms in the Arbs
Watching the laundry dry
Watching the cat, hotbed of activity that he is
Trying out a new two-person board game
What did you do on Hot Monday?
Oh, naive urbanite! So unsuspecting when you should have very well anticipated your well-known lack-of-fiscal control when facing a gym filled with tables, tables lined with farm fresh veggies and value-added delights at the much anticipated Cambridge Winter Farmer’s Market.
Oh, city-girl. How you underestimate your ability to leap to excitement, time and again. Why did you think you could stroll in, coolly observe, walk out only a dollar or so poorer, homemade marshmallow chick in pocket? When was the last time you exhibited such decorum at a farm stand or food truck (never?)
To think you assumed anonymity, when you’ve made so many friends of farmers! And besides, you are a swirl in the social pudding of Cambridge. Not a chance you can step into the most happening (and only) winter market in the “People’s Republic,” and then away without bumping into a friend . . . or six. Without making a new friend, or two.
Phoebe, Phoebe. Really! You should have known.
One of my favorite quirks of the main branch Boston Public Library is how items move around within -appearing and disappearing seemingly on the whim of the library staff. For example, there’s a little nook (vestibule, foyer?) where statues reside, just outside of Bates Hall in the McKim building. I’ve seen many different statues there.
Most recently, this one:
(Please excuse the dark photo; new point-n-shoot! Just getting adjusted.)
So what is happening here, you ask?
1.) The child appears to be either teasing or feeding the swan.
2.) Is that a swan, or perhaps it’s a goose?
3.) Why is the clothing so loose on this child? Any moment, to the floor!
In a world filled with decorative items, I suppose statues aren’t required to make sense. In any event, I’m curious to see what will replace it when the time comes. Whenever that is.