Weekly Rochester Events #391: Seeing Lake Huron From Champlain
Thursday, July 6, 2006
I thought I'd start out by mentioning that The Rochester Outdoor Museum of Art (ROMA) has started accepting entries for the Big Picture Photo Mosaic Contest. You can either enter a picture for free that may be used as a 4-inch by 6-inch tile or for $20 you can enter the contest for the image that will become the 64-foot by 42-foot large image. See, the tile images get placed so the composite of their color makes a small part of the large image, and the combination of all the tiles creates a large image viewable from a distance.
Anyway, last Wednesday I made it to the Polapalooza festival at The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) As far as I knew, this was the first time the event was held, and as such, it was pretty well established. There were a handful of vendors and several stages with bands. Attendance was diminished from the rain. My only concern was the security situation. They blocked off the streets around the Liberty Pole, but there were only entrances at Main and on Liberty Pole Way at Achilles yet not at Franklin, even though it was also closed. The police were present to direct traffic a bit further away from the gates, but the main security had on coats that said "Eastman District" (I think.) I never saw what exactly transpired, but I saw a few people angrily chased away at the gate (twice with black men who appeared to me to be beggars) and one guy get handcuffed and paraded through the festival via Franklin Street. Considering the small population present, it seemed overly aggressive to me.
Later that night I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to check out the show there. I noticed they had painted the back room with bright orange swirls — it's nice to see some color back there. Anyway, the first band I saw was Love of Everything whom I had seen in a different form 2 years ago. This time it was an electronic effects soloist who ends up with a bright, synth-pop-like sound ... a synth-pop-acoustic-soloist if you will. Next was Cex who were spectacular. If you can imagine starting from 1990's house beats divvied up between a synth and a drummer and adding a male and female vocalist all distorted and effected to psychedelic proportions, you'd be somewhere close.
Thursday night after stopping by Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) with the Drinking Liberally crew, Peri, Ali, and I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) We missed all but the last synth-pop/novelty song from Worm Quartet but stayed for The Torsos from Space. I hadn't noticed their satirical element before — their straightforward groove-metal performance kept me from noticing their oft silly lyrics.
On Friday I spent most of the day working on a new pocket LED light. It's pretty sweet [either that or "not interesting at all," depending] in that I used a microcontroller to drive everything. It has a true-color LED which the computer can make output any color, a UV LED, and a laser. It all packs into a former car alarm remote no bigger than a box of matches. Plus I can reprogram it ... right now it just acts as a basic flashlight/laser pointer, but I'll add cool stuff later.
Ali and her friend Stacie came out my way late and we headed to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) for a bit then made the "good idea at the time" mistake of staying out way too late at Mark's Texas Hots (487 Monroe Ave.) Naturally I had a cheeseburger plate, and decided that I needed to eat the whole thing. This did not make me feel good on Saturday.
So on Saturday I got the bike trailer hitched up and headed to The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) Expecting that things might close early, I went to Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) after that then went to O'Bagelo's (165 State St.) which was closed. I crossed to St. Paul over The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge) and loosened the trailer hitch/axle bolt crossing those railroad tracks. Fortunately I was blocks away from Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport (180 St. Paul St., in the Smith-Gormley Company building) so I borrowed a wrench for a minute and got it all tightened up. From there I headed down South and found Open Face (651 South Ave., right by the corner of Hickory) closed as well. I stopped in the new place Nook (658 South Ave.) and checked out all the neat, charmingly kitschy stuff they have. I ended up having lunch up the street at Taco John's (489 South Ave., formerly Ly Lou's Pearl of the Orient) for another excellent meal.
Unfortunately all that riding left me burnt out and exhausted. That night I stopped briefly at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) and got to see Whatsie. They're a duo with a male singer/guitarist and a female singer who sound great together ... they do covers and originals in the light acoustic-rock genre.
On Sunday Ali went to Connecticut for a vacation. She had encouraged me to follow my idea of taking a day off and not doing anything for the rest of the day, so I tried pulling that off.
Well, almost: I had a situation-comedy-situation present itself when I got a call from my friends Tom and Dani to help move a piano. Seriously. It was an easy task in description: barely 350 pounds to be elevated 4 steps and rolled into place. Well, it was more like 800 pounds and included borrowing the cargo ramp from a new neighbor's rented moving van to negotiate the four-steps-plus-threshhold. Nonetheless, this was the only time my day of rest was interrupted. At least I got some food out of it.
When I returned home, I washed up a bit then retreated to the porch for cheese, crackers, wine, and pink grapefruit marmalade. I started reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. As I read into the dusk, I came upon the passage, "as men on a dark prairie liked to see the lighted windows of a train going past, her achievement, the slight power and purpose that gave them reassurance in the midst of empty miles and night — so she wanted to feel it for a moment, a brief greeting, a single glimpse, just to wave her arm and say: Someone is going somewhere . . . ." This was just before the words on the page succumbed to the darkness. I took a moment and listened to the sound of the street, consoled that there were people who had somewhere to go. That's why I like the city, I guess.
Monday I decided to cut out caffeine for a while to reset myself. This of course, leads to being completely dysfunctional and depressed, not to mention a bit of a headache (but nothing as bad as a lot of people get.)
Tuesday I got out again ... this time to see the fireworks downtown. I thought the show was quite good this year, especially toward the end when they really brought out all the colors. As a side note, though, avoid the east side of Court Street because Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) completely blocks your view of the low stuff.
But related to the whole decaffeinated depression, I got to thinking about how our whole country can be crumbling around us — rampant poverty, unsustainable standard of living, etc. — yet people seem to be unusually concerned lately about when I'm going to paint my house. What the fuck? I mean, what set me off was the police description of an armed robbery on the street near my house and I'm getting chastised a bit for allowing the "Hedge Bindweed" / "Wild Morning Glory" / "Calystegia sepium" to grow unchecked. Again, I ask, "what the fuck?"
Slowly the Federal Government is chipping away at our rights granted in the Bill of Rights but nobody seems to care. It's pretty much just a handful of people who are trying to stop it, and they are mocked and belittled as being no-good activist hippies.
Wasn't our country founded by people who all cared? Didn't they all get involved?
Well, no. Just like now, nobody really wants to be hassled. We don't want someone else meddling in our affairs, and we complain when we have to pay taxes, and we don't like the people at the airport looking through our bags. However, as long as things aren't too bad — especially for us, or rather, as long as somebody else is getting screwed worse — we roll over and don't really care.
The only difference is then the people in charge decided to give the little guy a shot. They set up a government that was forbidden to hassle people. Unfortunately now, the people in charge want to tighten the screws.
Well, as long as it's people like me who get screwed worse, it's all okay, right? After all, the Bill of Rights is so 217 years ago ...
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About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) Samuel de Champlain first noted Lake Huron 391 years ago in 1615.
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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