Weekly Rochester Events #368: Begonia and Magnolia are Born
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Well, lots of non sequitur things to have done last week. Thursday I started off going to The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) for Thursday Thinkers for a discussion on The Changing Skyline: Designing the New Troup-Howell Bridge. The project is part of a series of projects all along 490 — the website is http://www.490gateway.com. Howard Ressel, the The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) project design engineer said that aesthetics was comparatively important on this project since it's a prominent downtown feature rather than some rural crossing. I was glad to hear that they had included plans for walking paths on both sides of the river and there are plans for those paths to run continuously all the way to Lake Ontario. On the other hand, I thought it was kind of dumb that the plans included pylons on either end of the bridge that are purely decorative. But they're also including some interesting lighting options: white lights (as opposed to the yellow sodium-arc lamps or blue-green mercury lamps around town) will be part of the bridge structure rather than on poles. However, this project doesn't include removing one of the two redundant (and confusing, at least for newcomers) ramps to 490 east from South Avenue.
Steve Percassi, Jr. is from Erdman Anthony Consulting Engineers who helped develop the design, and said they looked at several options. They're installing what's known as a "true-arch" bridge where the arch supports the weight of the road deck and distributes it through the ends of the arches into bedrock or pilings. Many similar-looking bridges are "tied-arch" bridges where the road deck actually attaches to the ends of the arches and prevents the ends from sliding out, so the weight is distributed straight downward at the ends of the bridge. Also, the new bridge will be a unique 3-arch bridge: it will be the only 3-arch, true-arch bridge in the United States, and may be the first three-arch bridge in the U.S. if it's completed before the I-195 Providence River Brige in Rhode Island (which is a tied-arch bridge.)
On Friday I started out by stopping at the reception for the gallery show Unseen America at The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery (70 Brown's Race). To be honest, I didn't really care for much that was there. It was all okay, just not much that stood out to me to warrant a second look. From there I went to a friend's birthday celebration at MacGregor's (381 Gregory St.) I had a few beers, stopped by Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) after that, and called it a night around 3 a.m.
Saturday night I headed out to see the opening for Facts and Fables at The Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St.) I generally liked Julie Cardillo's oil paintings of some fantastic, bizarrely sexualized other-world. I thought Richard Jenks oil paintings of human figures were good as well, but in his natural scenes, I really disliked the random strokes he included in moving water that defied physics. From there, I went around the block to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to the Dryden Theater to see Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). There were a lot of people there seemingly exclusively because of the Miles Davis soundtrack. I came in without such a bias, but as I was watching, I've got to say that soundtrack accounted for at least half the quality of the film. The other half was the plot of two lovers divided by serendipidy surrounding the errors made around a murder.
I finally got out to see some live music afterward: I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) First up was The Pushrods and I thought they were okay — they do competent punk-rock but not all that captivating. Next was Breakerbox who had something indescribably better ... otherwise they competently play rock-and-roll with a few surprises. Finishing up, Bee Eater really strut their stuff, keeping the crowd worked up with their power rock.
Finishing up the week on Tuesday, I was back at Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) this time to see One, Two, Three. In it, James Cagney plays a Coca-Cola executive in Berlin just as the city becomes divided. I was glad to finally find a screwball comedy to out-screwball Bringing Up Baby. The jokes and one-liners came in a continuous flow for the entire film, and the knocks against both communism and capitalism were terribly incisive — although at the pace of the film, you might miss some if you look away. Or were laughing.
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... January 26
Link of the Week:
Black People Love Us! - I found this to be a hilarious send-up of racial perspectives from a Wonder-bread-white point of view.
Lousy Online Calendar Award:
This week's award goes to
The Mercer Gallery at Monroe Community College
for having an
events calendar listing exhibitions from 2002-2003.
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Kids Out and About
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About the title ... Frenchmen Michel Bégon and Pierre Magnol were both born 368 years ago in 1638 and became immortalized by the plant genera Begonia and Magnolia, respectively.
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.
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