Weekly Rochester Events #380: New Netherland's Capital
Thursday, April 20, 2006
First off, beware that every damn stoner you see is going to talk non-stop about it being "4-20 and you know what that means" even though legends that "420" is related to marijuana are largely false. As a BMX jump, however, the "420" is considered by some to be impossible to successfully execute.
Last Thursday I started things off by going to The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) for the lecture by Pepsy Kettavong on his sculpture, Let's Have Tea of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass in the park near Susan B. Anthony House (17 Madison St.) He showed a very good documentary about the making of the sculpture and seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. He also designed the meditation park on the corner of South and Alexander.
From there I went to join the group of Drinking Liberally people at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) Oddly I don't talk too much about politics while I'm there because I'm not that well versed in who's who and what's what, but I do sometimes get disheartened that I'm far more socially tolerant than almost anybody. I don't get there every week, but at least this time I got to meet one of the regional representatives.
On Friday I headed to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According To Saint Matthew). Now I'm no Christian by any means, but it was a fascinating movie — the dialog was essentially taken straight from the Gospel of Matthew which made for a lot of scenes of people just looking at one another silently to establish their relationships (since no dialog was annoted in the Book.) The film made me even more confused about Christianity because the messages seemed very clear — help the poor, don't hoard, trust your heart, etc. which directly opposes all the hatred and wealth I see in today's churches.
I got to thinking about property values and race. I've heard that certain races and ethnicities will affect the nearby property values — for instance, I've heard that property values drop if a black family moves in. I wondered if there were particular ethnicities who would raise property values, and would it be possible to subsidize those ethnicities with the increased value of neighboring properties.
I'm just being facetious, though: I was calling attention to how stupid it is to adjust property values in that way. I mean, it ultimately comes down to how well the owners maintain the property and whether they are involved with crime: the preemptive correlation between ethnicity and property values is simply prejudice. I thought about how gut-wrenchingly horrific it would be to know that something you can't change about yourself (like the color of your skin) could make people resent you for negatively impacting their life.
Deeper still, though, is the idea that dollars are the ultimate unit of measurement. In theory, a Chemlawn-green yard and weed-free flower gardens will net a higher selling price yet (for instance) the ecological impact (i.e. groundwater contamination with pesticides) is certainly negative overall. The same goes for things like allowing kids to play upon and damage your lawn, or the presence of clotheslines — either of these would negatively impact the selling price of a property yet they can also both be considered good (conservation, and community-building, irrespectively).
Just something to think about.
Completely unrelatedly but also on Friday, a friend of mine had given me the number of some woman and said I should call her. Considering my dismal dating record, I resolved to not call, and I'm pretty sure that led to my karmic misadventure on Saturday night.
I was going to bike out on my tall bike and go to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and get some late dinner but the front tire was flat so I decided to drag out my old summer bar bike. I rode about 20 minutes and almost got there when I realized I didn't grab a spare bike lock. I rode back and by then the kitchen had closed at the Krown so I drove to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) figuring I'd just get a wrap instead. One of the bartenders discouraged me from the Buffalo chicken wrap because they were apparently all soggy so I got roast beef instead. However, Open Face (651 South Ave., right by the corner of Hickory) has someone new making them and they were smaller than normal — probably weighing only half as much as before. I decided to take it anyway — it was fine, just small.
In an attempt to patch up my relationship with the universe, I decided to give the girl a call on Sunday and left a message because someday I'd really like to get normal-sized wrap.
For Easter I spent a quiet afternoon with a couple friends and had some delicious honey-glazed ham. That night I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) for a really good show. Tiger Cried Beef started things off and proved themselves once again to be a perfection of clean, crisp rock-and-roll. Brian Glaze played with members of The Gris Gris for some quite good pop-edged western rock-and-roll [I was dying to say "pop-glazed" to recall the ham, but just couldn't leave the unintentional connection to the guy's name]. The Gris Gris finished off the night — I liked their experimental near-synth-pop sound but not the excessive repetition in a lot of their songs. Unfortunately my favorites, The Mathematicians, had arrived much later than expected and the show had already been retooled to run late and they couldn't play. Rumor has it they'll be back in May to play at the roving gallery Door 7, wherever it may be at the time.
Monday I dropped off some Beta video stuff at Clutter to Cash (1925 South Ave.) and it went up on eBay: a Sanyo Betacord 4650, and a Sony Betamax SL-2000 Portable VCR and Sony TT-2000 Tuner/Timer. Unfortunately they couldn't accept the tapes because they're labeled with commercial movies and home movies, and they weren't interested in the 1980's pre-CCD camera (even though it has good color and fancy features like autofocus.)
That evening I got to talk with my friend's friend for a bit and we arranged to go see My Dinner With André at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) on Tuesday. I though the film was quite brilliant — the fact that it's captivating while only watching the discussion of two men having dinner is a testament in itself. I found it interesting to note that it touched on a lot of topics that have been gaining ground in my own life — generally resurrecting an old idea that we should all be really living from our hearts rather than acting in the manner we think others expect us to. More personally, I particularly enjoyed a moment when I was aware that I was both watching a movie and experiencing it at the same time — concurrently suspending disbelief and disbelieving. In a particularly intense monologue by André I observed the face on the screen as a projection — the best analogy, ironically enough, is that it was like what a movie projected in a theater looks like on film. The screen itself was simply a plane of reflective material being observed by dozens of actual human beings.
As for how the date went, well, you're just going to have to wait for the Louis Malle movie adaptation. [rimshot]
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About the title ... New Amsterdam was named capital of New Netherland 380 years ago in 1626.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
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