Weekly Rochester Events #322: Riddle Me This, Antoine: Why Would Water Boil at 80 Degrees?
Thursday, March 10, 2005So this past Wednesday I finally canceled my dishNetwork service. I've had it running since February 1997. I quit for a couple reasons. First, I really didn't feel like I was getting $35 worth of entertainment each month, and they recently increased the package I had by another $3. Second, I have this old receiver: a Model 4000 which hasn't even been available for years. Given that I've spent thousands of dollars on their service over the last 7 years, they were only willing to give me a new receiver for half of their special price of $50.
I understand that I'm not entitled to a new receiver just for being a longtime customer, but they had added programming features like on-screen bill payment and a better guide available to all their customers, but my receiver wouldn't work with them. The way I see it, that's false advertising: when you say that all customers can access these features, you better make sure that all your customers actually can: and when they say they can't that's a problem they should fix.
Anyway, this has given me a few spare hours a week to not watch South Park, Monster Nation, and Mythbusters. So (among other things) I've been working on a new theory of why Rochester doesn't seem to have much luck with creative expression. I guess not so much a "new" theory as an addition to what I've already determined. And I guess not so much about creative expression as how it's different from the west coast.
From what I've seen, east-coast people are more critical than west-coast people. More importantly, though, east-coasters are more likely to be negatively critical during early parts of the creative process. I think being critical is important, it's just that you have to remember to be supportive early-on in a creative idea. As an example of east-cost criticalness, I think that the further west you go, people tend to be less discerning with what's crap and what's not — that or they're just less concerned with letting anyone else know.
Now our western neighbors have a lot going for them. I've found them to be more excited about meeting new people. Like with the members of Visqueen whom I saw on Thursday at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.). The band — musically — was excellent. They do power-punk-rock with a power-pop edge, so it's very high energy and just generally fun to listen to (at least for me.) The band — personally — is also tremendously friendly and outgoing. They expressed a genuine desire to meet everyone in the crowd. They epitomized what is so great about people on the west coast: their creativity, vibrancy, and their willingness to not prejudge others.
That non-judgmental attitude can be taken to an extreme, though, and leads to the stereotypical hippie-stoner who thinks it's "all good, man." [Oh and by the way, I may someday get used to the interjectional acknowledgment, "right on" but I'd still rather have people just nod occasionally or say "uh huh" while I'm speaking to them.] It's this hippie-stoner group that causes all forms of terrible groove-rock bands to have the confidence to continue performing and to lack the wherewithal to "just put the bass down" — man.
But what I wanted to get to was the new thing that dawned on me. See, my best friend Sondra lives out in Denver now, and things are really really inconveniently far apart there. Denver itself is sprawled across 20-something miles which means it's typically a minimum of 15 minutes to get from one place to another (unlike here where it's a maximum of 15 minutes.) It's even worse for her because she's living out Aspen-way which is 3 hours to the west — pretty much like Rochester is to Albany.
While it may be convenient here for all kinds of day-to-day stuff, it's hell on "tribes" — groups of people who support one another in part because they like to do the same kinds. See, out where it's a commitment to go do anything, if you get out of the house to some event, you're going to run into a lot of people who have a similar mindset to you. Avant-garde art openings draw more people interested in the subject matter than to the free cheese. [Mmmmm ... cheese.] So my theory is that most venues around here are just extensions of people's living rooms. Why clean up when you can just hang out at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.)?
This dawned on me a few weeks ago as I realized some unique common ground between the attendees of a snowy Wednesday-night event at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) as the Rochester weather and the unusual scheduling led to a confluence of committed individuals. So it can be done: the trick is to create inconvenience without making it artificial.
Now, I got a double shot of this in action [that's two words, you critical east-coaster] on Monday. First, I went to The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) to see what the presentation of The Frederick Douglass School of Journalism was all about. When I got there all the doors were locked, so not only was it inconveniently on a Monday afternoon, you couldn't even get in — plus, the "auditorium" is technically part of Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop.)
Anyway, my friend Vessey Jivkova is trying to set up The Frederick Douglass School of Journalism. Her idea is to inspire young people to turn to journalism through the legacy of Frederick Douglass. Aside from Vessey and myself, the four other attendees had a serious interest in getting this thing off the ground. Unfortunately, most of us (including myself) were afflicted with that uniquely east-coast early criticism in the form of lack of confidence in the idea. For me, it was "what can I contribute?" since I don't have any business in the business of journalism, nor in figuring out how to set up a school. Then again, maybe I'll go back and see if I can get anything started.
Let me take you on a little aside correlating with the real-life intermission following the meeting: I went on a hunt for the perfect cheeseburger. This all started Friday night when I had in my head the desire for a cow to be killed, its muscular meat cut away and fed through a device to chop it into a pliable, lumpy paste which is then formed into a round patty and cooked to perfection in the presence of high heat. Oh, and with cheddar. Mmm ... sounds good, doesn't it, hippie?
Anyway, I started at The Clarissa Room (293 Clarissa St., formerly Shep's Paradise) but they don't serve food so I said, "but I'm not food" [rimshot.] I was there to see Maria Gillard perform with a bunch of other people including the incredible keyboardist Charles Jaffe. Not only was there no food, there was no Maria. The remaining members persevered, though, and I was sadly unimpressed. Their guitarist played some tight blues guitar with soulless mechanical precision, and their drummer was ... well ... lackluster.
The quest for the perfect burger led me to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) where I had perfect burgers in the past. This time, one bite revealed that it wasn't going to be repeated. See, owner Alan Hughes (who died in 2002) insisted on certain things at his bar, and one of them was that the food quality be top notch but sold inexpensively and the costs be made up in drink sales. Back in the days before some asshole ran off with all the money, the food was great. They got some kind of high-grade ground beef which was skillfully cooked and served on a fresh roll. Well, times have changed, and both the roll and the meat were cheap. Bummer.
So this Monday night I went to Hogan's Hideaway (197 Park Ave.) and got a cheeseburger. It was just, well, good: it was impressively served lickety-split, but apparently the cooking time was sacrificed a bit. At least the quality of beef was far better than at the Krown although not as good as Alan's days there.
Back to the Rochester-as-everyone's-living-room-defying Monday: I made it out to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Jim Healy present another Surprise Cinema. Apparently, most of the people attending were true enough cinephiles to have returned after last month's Bu san (Good Bye Dragon Inn) which most non-die-hard-cinephiles would have found intolerably boring. This night's films were boxing-related, and both were 35mm prints in excellent shape. The first was an early Stanley Kubrick film: a documentary titled Day of the Fight which outlines the day that leads up to an up-and-coming fighter's evening match. It's really quite a display of pensive tension. The feature film for the night was one of Jim's four favorite boxing films: The Set-Up. The film was great: an over-the-hill boxer keeps trying to win, but when he finally does win, he loses anyway. The thing about it that's so incredible is that the extended prizefight is excruciating to watch — not because it's particularly gory, but because it shows such a test of endurance.
So that's all I wanted to say about the weekly events, but at least I think I see a way to bring creative people together — and just maybe I can help Rochester become a place where people want to "come to" instead of "be from."
| Read Guestbook
| Sign Guestbook
| Contact Jayce
See more polls
Internet Movie Database
On this day ... March 10
Link of the Week:
Zoom Quilt - Here's a trippy flash animation made by multiple artists.
DreamHost Web Hosting
I use DreamHost to run JayceLand.com. Click the ad to buy hosting and I'll get money to run my site. Hooray!
Store at CafePress
Buy some JayceLand junk at sky high prices!
Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
WGMC Jazz Calendar
Delusions of Adequacy
Mystery and Misery
Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... Antoine de Réaumur was born 322 years ago in 1683 and invented the alcohol thermometer and the Réaumur temperature scale where water freezes at 0° and boils at 80°.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, March 10, 2005 (Thu, Mar 10, 2005, 3/10/2005, or 3/10/05) Friday, March 11, 2005 (Fri, Mar 11, 2005, 3/11/2005, or 3/11/05) Saturday, March 12, 2005 (Sat, Mar 12, 2005, 3/12/2005, or 3/12/05) Sunday, March 13, 2005 (Sun, Mar 13, 2005, 3/13/2005, or 3/13/05) Monday, March 14, 2005 (Mon, Mar 14, 2005, 3/14/2005, or 3/14/05)
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 (Tue, Mar 15, 2005, 3/15/2005, or 3/15/05) and Wednesday, March 16, 2005 (Wed, Mar 16, 2005, 3/16/2005, or 3/16/05).
Send a message to the JayceLand webmaster
Copyright © 2005 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.