Weekly Rochester Events #440: Pitching an A
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Last Wednesday I headed to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Billy Liar. It was pretty good, actually ... I was going to say it was okay — in that it wasn't overly funny — but the message was interesting and clear: this poor guy is lost in his fantasy and can't seem to get out of it at all. He's delusional in his belief that things are going quite well when in fact they are not and by the end, he nearly hops a train with his fantasy but fails even at that.
On Thursday I went to The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) to see Sherrie Baver discuss Ciudad y Suburbia: The Changing Nature of Latino Immigration. She presented a lot of information — her central thesis was that Latino people are migrating directly to suburbs rather then to cities first. Several people in the unfortunately-sparse audience wondered about the behavior of Latinos and Hispanics (Baver notes that the terms have become largely interchangeable although the former is considered more progressive) since when the United States invades a country, they tend to flee to the U.S. — apparently this is because the U.S. is actually liberating them from violence of civil wars and the fact that those fleeing Communist countries are often given preferential immigration status.
She gave a brief history of Latino immigration: in the late 1800's, Cuba and Puerto Rico were the last Spanish colonies and the vied for independence, and during the early 1900's, Latinos began to take over cigar manufacture in New York City which was originally a Spanish trade. Later in the 20th Century, many sought asylum from Communist countries and countries in turmoil in recurring waves. One of the big booms in Latino immigration began in 1965 when the immigration policy was changed to permit more ethnic groups than just those from Northern Europe.
Baver concluded by noting (her self-described controversial view) that countries with policies that dramatically limit immigration tend to suffered socially and economically for it often the fresh, hopeful views of newcomers that revitalize a country. Concerning the relationship between education and language, the United States is "40 years ahead" of other countries — if only the fact that it is up for discussion.
Afterward I joined Drinking Liberally crew at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) for a few beers and a chat. Friday I headed to The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) for the Preview Party for the Annual Art Auction. I was only inspired by a few pieces and it was unfortunately sparsely attended — perhaps because of The Rochester International Jazz Festival, but maybe people just showed up later. I left and went to get a snack at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) but they had switched from counter-service to table-service (I guess just on music nights) which I thought too formal. I was heading to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) anyway so I just got a snack at the cafe there — at least I could just lounge and read stuff for a bit.
I was there to see La moitié gauche du frigo (The Left Side of the Fridge) which was good — an innovative look at the work world. In it, the first-person filmmaker is making a documentary about his roommate's job search that goes horribly awry. The filmmaker keeps getting money and the engineer is unable to get financial assistance of any kind and friction develops between the two because of it.
Jim Healy gave the introduction and outlined much of what I had said. I remember thinking that it was a particularly poor way to start off the film — by outlining the plot and character development point-by-point, but after the fact, I'm scratching my head as to how one would do otherwise. As Healy pointed out, the pseudo-documentary structure is just a vehicle to reveal the inner workings of the job world. I think the shadowy undercurrent in the whole film is the mandatory nature of wanting to work. For it's not just that one should have a job, it's critical that each employed person actually wishes to have a job.
Why is it so unreasonable to want to take care of your own needs but to not want a job? — that was the essence of the undercurrent: that for Christophe to acquire a "professional" level job in his field, he must want to have such a job. His desire for a job that is suitable to his skills is not acceptable for it is not for him to decide whether a job suits him, only that others decide whether he suits the job. Those who refuse to cower in the face of such authority are considered troublemakers on some level.
But then again, maybe that's just my own experience ...
Ali joined me after the movie and we headed to Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) When we arrived, though, a friend of mine said we had just missed The VEiNS — it seems Ali will never get to see them perform live. However, The Isotopes put on an excellent show with their surf-rock (and pretty much any other style) interspersed with their funny prerecorded commentary. Plus, their new group of dancers is much better choreographed than before. And they even threw in a Neil Diamond tribute with a performance of "America". I happened to see my friend Don, and was among several people who wondered why he wasn't on stage singing — once a karaoke regular, he'd nail a spot-on Neil. We also stayed through a bit of the last performance of BML and although they put on an excellent instrumental hard-rock show, I was getting tired and we called it a night early.
After biking to The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) and Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) and cooling off at home for a bit, I headed to Open Face (651 South Ave., right by the corner of Hickory) for a wine tasting. I had a great soup, sandwich, and iced tea. A couple people from Casa Larga Vineyards (Turk Hill Road, 223-4210) showed up and set up to sample wine. I tried the reds: their new "Ciao" red was awful — about like alcohol and artificial flavors mixed together and then sweetened to tolerability. The cabernet-merlot was actually quite good, though. Anyway, I also signed up for the raffle for a Vespa scooter — which, unbeknownst to me, wouldn't be held until September. At least the proceeds from the raffle are going to The CURE Childhood Cancer Association (200 Westfall Rd.)
Ali and I got to bed early because on Sunday we headed to Darien Lake (9993 Alleghany Rd., Corfu) for some amusement with her friend from work and assorted siblings. We got there early and started on the gigantic, fast "Ride of Steel" — this time sitting in the much more jarring rear of the train of cars. And, like last year, we also went on the wooden roller coaster, "The Predator". We took a break for lunch, having a picnic in the parking lot which worked out great. We got back in and tried out the water rides, including the Tornado — which I found to be a lot less scary the second time around (since last year's trip). We waited for the relatively new "Big Kahuna" ride which was marginally okay. While in line, several security guards headed to the top, and after a few minutes, we saw a guy go down with no tube — I suspected that after waiting a half-hour, they told him something about not being allowed to ride (shoes or something) so he argued about it then decided to do it solo; the footnote is that it didn't appear that he got kicked out of the park as he wasn't escorted out. Anyway, the other highlights were the kids water area, the big ferris wheel, and the bumper cars.
On Tuesday I visited Ali at her place and we went to El Pacifico (1680 Rochester Rd., Farmington) for another great dinner there. I'd note to anyone going that they tend to put a lot of cheese on things with cheese — and I like cheese, but it gets to be a bit much. Check out the margarita deals as well. Anyway, I came back to the city and headed straight to A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) I arrived and Autoanimal was playing (I am really quite certain it was Autoanimal, anyway). They did a disorienting blend of noise-music with a light show. Next was Pengo who did a really good set of overwhelmingly loud ambient noise-drone. Likewise, the out-of-towners 16 Bitch Pile Up also did some great ambient noise-drone.
Anyway, I thought I'd fill people in on the whole barefoot running thing. Last Thursday I got out and comfortably ran for a bit over a quarter mile unshod. I took a break for the weekend and got back to it on Monday — this time covering about 3/4 mile. Because of the way I run using the balls of my feet to land, my calf muscles ended up getting quite sore and I was limping right through Wednesday. My feet have apparently calloused enough to no longer be a problem.
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About the title ... "International pitch" or "concert pitch" is a 440 Hertz note that is represented by the A above middle-C.
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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