Pictures from Running

I went for a run this morning and brought along my camera.

Along the canal path a recently painted note appeared on the trail. I always get a chuckle out of it: it says, "JPL Lock of Love" in a heart with an arrow pointing to the guard lock and the date 7/5/05.

Painted tag on the Canal Path near the west guard lock that says "JPL Lock of Love" in a heart with an arrow pointing to the guard lock and the date 7/5/05.

"Lock of Love" tag that appeared about two weeks ago.

Then I get into Genesee Valley Park (Hawthorn Dr.). I've always appreciated Frederick Law Olmsted's designs for paths to be varied in an ornamental fashion without becoming inefficiently winding.

A trail heading west in Genesee Valley Park

Heading West in Genesee Valley Park

For months now, I've noticed that nearly every car parking in the lot by Building 520 on The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr.) is in a handicapped-accessible parking space. I commend the University for their progressive thinking to hire people of different abilities. Of course, things weren't always that way.

The University of Rochester Building 520 parking lot shows all but one car parked in handicapped-accessible spaces.

The University of Rochester Building 520 parking lot.

I think it's funny how pervasive cultural norms are. When I say I run barefoot on sidewalks and streets, about 90% of people say, "what about glass?" I seem to be gifted and have an instinct to not step on things. When I run, if I just look toward the ground in front of me, my brain automatically sets my footfalls so I don't step on things — all without thinking about it consciously at all. Of course, when I see glass, I make a deliberate effort to go around it: I'm not concerned that I'll cut myself badly stepping on a big piece, the nearby tiny shards that get stuck in my foot are more likely and terribly irritating.

Broken glass in front of 185 Elmerston

Broken glass in front of 185 Elmerston.

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The Beaumonts at Taste of the Gate at Village Gate

The other day, I met the drummer for The BeaumontsMySpace link. He mentioned playing in Hypnotic ClambakeMySpace link and I knew that JoAnn VaccaroMySpace link also played with them (among a cast of thousands, I guess) so I had seen him again at the show last weekend. Well, we got to talking about The BeaumontsMySpace link and Rochester people, and he mentioned that Marianne Buckley would be in town and would be playing with them today. I had known Marianne (and Steve from The Beaumonts) for years — they were among the first people I ever met in Rochester in the "music scene".

So today I'm at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) to see the band. I discovered it was an event called Taste of the Gate by a group called Rochester A-List. Their deal is that if you sign up for the mailing list of the "best" events in Rochester and had RSVPed for the Taste of the Gate event, it would have been $10 instead of $15. I gathered that some or all of the money collected went to an adoption service which was there and had a raffle as well.

The event was — I guess — a way for restaurants at Village Gate to showcase their food. California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) took it seriously and produced a great number of sushi rolls. Salena's (274 N. Goodman St., at Village Gate), I believe, provided a chicken wing tray with a kind of salsa sauce that was quite good. And although I only hovered near their table for part of the time, as best I can tell, The Gate House (274 N. Goodman St., in the Village Gate; formerly Salena's location) put out two sandwiches and (possibly) a pizza. Nonetheless, the $15 "buffet" wasn't much of a deal for the 200 or so people who were there.

Well anyway, The BeaumontsMySpace link were excellent. They play a sort of rock with a ska-ish fluidity. Steve's influence in the band is at the forefront, and their CD is (so far) fantastic. Plus, I got to chat with my old pal Marianne — formerly of White Cotton Panties. I wore the T-shirt for the band that I had autographed at Norton's Pub (1730 Goodman St.) or some such place. It's sure been a while …

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Ali and I Get to Not See Gaylord at Boulder

Ali and I stopped by Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) to see GaylordMySpace link. When we arrived, the crowd was unusually sparse, but I figured I had just predicted on the wrong end of things: I commented when we were leaving Ali's that if I get there at 8 p.m., the band won't start until 10:30, but if I arrive at 9 p.m., they will have already played — more often than not, it's the latter case. I even checked their chalkboard schedule and Gaylord was listed — I was concerned that I mistakenly arrived at the other, identically named Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.)

Well, we waited for an hour or so, but no crowd began to form. In fact, I saw nobody else who I've become acquainted as friends of the guys in the band. I asked at the bar and was told that Gaylord would not be playing. Apparently every other Gaylord fan got the memo.

It would have been helpful if Boulder had updated their website earlier than today: I last checked it yesterday. It would have been courteous if they had a sign at the bar — or, perhaps, offered the information without prompting. In the past, I have found the serving staff (not necessarily the people working this night) to be apathetic at best and downright hostile toward live bands. They'd turn off the "house" music so the band could play only with great reluctance and repeated prompting (sometimes, not at all). They'd be openly negative about nearly every act I've ever seen — usually making snide comments about how much they suck whenever I'd get a drink. And I've never seen them be supportive of unusual requests, like when a performer would like to extend the night for an enthusiastic crowd. To top it off, the start-times of shows tend to vary, and bands appear and disappear from the schedule at an alarming rate.

But you know, it works from a business sense. After all, if I had known beforehand, I probably wouldn't have come down and wouldn't have spent any money. So thumbs-up to you, Boulder. Good job!

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Star Trek and The Brothers Bloom at the Cinema

Ali, Amber, and I went to The Cinema TheatreMySpace link (957 South Clinton Ave.) to see Star Trek. As you might expect, it's a decent movie and an innovative way to kick-start the franchise once again. Ali and I enjoyed it and I think Amber did too although she had some complaints. Anyway, they left and I stayed for the second feature: a movie I'd heard nothing about called The Brothers Bloom.

Apparently it came-and-went from The Little (240 East Ave.) and possibly corporate screens as well, all with little fanfare. Reviews have been lukewarm at best. My mood was to give it a try at the beginning, and my alternative was to meet Ali out at Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.): a not unattractive option.

Well, I figured I'd hang through the "early days" introduction: two brothers, Stephen and Bloom, had been in-and-out of foster families for quite some time when they stumbled into the notion of playing cons. I didn't know if I was in for a kids movie but I figured I'd linger to the credits. Once the relationship was established, the film heads for 25 years in the future when the brothers are adults, and still con-men.

Ok, so it's hooked me for 10 minutes.

Bloom doesn't want to stick with the game after their last job, but his brother ropes him in it for one more: woo a naive heiress — Penelope — living alone in her parents' estate. She's a handful, though, as she has a surprisingly fierce appetite for adventure (especially considering her apparently self-imposed exile) and she's extremely smart in a myriad of practical and philosophical fields.

Anyway, the movie runs along in a whimsical fairy-tale style. The simple surface conceals a more interesting philosophical bent: is it valuable to plan ahead? As such, the story — largely led by the plan crafted by Stephen — leads Bloom and Penelope on what should be a romantic and bond-forming adventure. But it's only in the fringe deviations from said plan that those things actually occur. I've found it's pretty much the same in life: it's no the planned trip to Chimney Bluffs State Park (7700 Garner Rd., Wolcott) that I remember as much as it is when Lucy ran her hysterical orbits through the muddy waters along the trail. It's the unplanned moments that make things worthwhile.

So … why plan?

And I think that's what The Brothers Bloom is getting at. To speak in music reviewer parlance, it's sort of Hudson Hawk meets Adaptation. meets The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: the lighthearted comedy and uneven production of the first, with the film-as-life-as-film metaphor of the second, and the attention to detail and understanding of fantasy of the third. It's not the best movie ever, but definitely worth a visit … hang in there the few times it really lags, and just have a good time with it.

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