Dueling Interests

Cyro Baptista performing at Geva Theater during the 2019 Rochester International Jazz Festival
Cyro Baptista performing at Geva Theater during the 2019 Rochester International Jazz Festival

Brazilian percussionist, Cyro Baptista, played with Laurie Anderson, Gato Barbieri, David Byrne, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Milton Nascimento, Carlos Santana and Caetano Veloso. He has been here a few times, always with a completely different band, and he is always irresistibly entertaining. Joyous Brazilian rhythms are the foundation of his music but his ensembles, exceptional team players, work with a full palette of world music. They opened the set we saw with a Don Cherry composition.

I wore my Spain shirt yesterday and tried to stuff my soft spot for their beautiful game. I expected the US to run over them but Spain gave them a real test. I’m happy for that. Rose Lavelle played great and Rapino, of course, but the US defense looked shaky. We are going to have cheer especially loud when they meet France.

I hated to see Canada go home but their match with Sweden was a duel between two teams with similar skills and approaches and consequentially they trapped each other in the center of the pitch. Canada had an edge in possession but Sweden was a bit tougher and put one in in the second half. I’m pulling for Italy and I was so happy to see them take down the tactical Chinese side. Valentina Giacinti is a joy to watch. I will cheer them all the way up to a possible confrontation with the US.

I’m tying to keep up with the Jazz Fest here.

Leave a comment

Switch Without The S

Switch, street band, performing at the 2019 Rochester International Jazz Festival
Switch, street band, performing at the 2019 Rochester International Jazz Festival

Switch was tearing it up in the street. The band tip box was was chocked with quiet money and the singer, a commanding force, had East Avenue full of people doing dance moves in unison. She briefly broke it up by the announcing “the cops have asked us to for a minute so a big-ass truck can get through.” We headed into Christ Church for Empirical.

Our schedule for the last few days revolves around festival because those start times are fixed. We’ve been time-shifting the World Cup, watching a match before and one after the festival. The Norway/Australia match went beyond overtime and into a penalty kick round on Saturday. That kept us up past one and France and Brazil went into overtime last night against Brazil, the team we love but know aren’t able to go all the way.

Leave a comment

Bring It On

View of High Falls from Genesee Brewery on Saint Paul Boulevard in Rochester, New York
View of High Falls from Genesee Brewery on Saint Paul Boulevard in Rochester, New York

Not much of a lineup for opening night of the annual Jazz Fest but we did find a gem.

Girls In Airports will probably reconsider their moniker when they get a little older. A five piece from Denmark, they appeared here with only one sax player and he was filling in for the other two. The keyboardist’s layered, sweeping, full range soundscape was the foundation with drums on one side and a percussionist on the other and a breathy saxophonist. There was no lead instrument, just dreamy textural magic.

I have moved my yearly Jazz Fest Notes to new location.

I won’t have to keep doing this if they keep bring back the same artists. Here’s a link to photo I took of Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele YouTube sensation, from eleven years ago. Julia Nunes, a local ukulele YouTube sensation, can be seen down front. Jake in Rochester 2008.

Leave a comment

Everyone’s A Winner

Furry black guy at Rochester Contemporary 6x6
Furry black guy at Rochester Contemporary 6×6 show

Still no strawberries. The clerk behind the counter a Aman’s said they had two suppliers and both said they expected their strawberries to be ripe enough for market by the end of this week.

I finally won at horseshoes. First time this year. My neighbor keeps track of these things. We’ve played eight times, best out of three, and he had won them all until yesterday.

We may be overusing our iNaturalist app. We are stopping at every strange looking tree and ordinarily ones that we should already have in our database. Today we identified something we thought was an unusual oak as a Silver Maple, and two different Locust varieties.

We stopped in RoCO’s 6×6 show and this furry guy caught my eye.

Leave a comment

Viri Probati

Dandelions in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester, New York
Dandelions in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester, New York

Out of sheer desperation Pope Francis is open to ordaining elderly married men, “men of proven character” or ”Viri Probati” in god’s language. He needs to get a lot more desperate.

Rochester used to be a soccer town. I have no idea what happened. In 1975 the Rochester Lancers filled the old Aquinas Stadium when they met the New York Cosmos, featuring the great Pelé. The Rhinos carried on that legacy and all I have left is a hat. They got local government to build a soccer specific stadium in a run down part of the city. Of course there was public money involved but a good bit of the public was afraid of setting foot in that neighborhood.

It became the home stadium for a women’s profession team, the Flash. They became the best team in NWSL. They outdrew the Rhinos (before they went dormant) and won the championship in their final season here before the franchise moved to North Carolina.

We’re currently loving the Women’s World Cup, cheering for the US with former Flash members, Carli Lloyd, Sam Mewis, Jessica McDonald and Abby Dahlkamper. But also cheering on Australia with Sam Kerr (four goals last night) and Alanna Kennedy, former Flash members. Christine Sinclair, playing for Canada and four goals away from Abby Wambach’s record,  was named MVP of the 2011 Final after the Flash won the championship. And most every international star came through Rochester playing for their club teams including the great Marta and Heather O’Reilly.

I’ll stop here but I’m still wondering what happened.

Leave a comment

iNaturalist

Fallen tree on Hoffman Road.
Fallen tree on Hoffman Road.

Our backpacks were full., a lot of can goods this time, mostly beans and peanut butter and jar of tahini so they were heavy too. But we soldiered on, down East Ridge to Aman’s, on the chance they had fresh strawberries. We spotted Bob, who runs the place, and he said he had just talked with the farmer, who told him “this is the first time in fifty years that he didn’t have strawberries by Father’s Day.” Bob added, “Too wet, too cold.”

To get out of our neighborhood and up to Wegmans we have to walk by a dog at the end of our street. There are many dogs on the street but this one does not like us. He comes at us barking loudly with his teeth showing. I had a dog take my hand in and it bit down so hard I couldn’t get my hand out without shredding my fingers so I’m a little gun shy. The dog has come at us five or six times now and if the owner see’s what happens she says she’s sorry.

Today we got by the dog without a hitch and we ran into a young woman who told us she was also terrorized by the dog. She showed us the scar on her leg from a dog that had come after her while she was walking a few years back. While we were talking a large branch fell across the road. It hit the power lines and a crackling bolt of electricity shot down the line that ran just above our heads. We continued on up to Wegmans and by the time we returned the power company was restoring our electricity.

I got up on the roof to blow off all the stuff that has fallen from the oak trees and the power went off again. A large Hickory tree fell across the road behind our house. I know its a Hickory because I took a photo of the a leaf cluster and used the iNaturalist app to identify it. The same power company crew and tree surgeons came down to address this problem. We asked for the firewood and they told us we had until Monday morning to pick up the wood.

1 Comment

Just Say Nothing

Turquoise house along Lake Ontario on Culver Road
Turquoise house along Lake Ontario on Culver Road

With the lake level at an official record high we tossed around the idea of driving across the river and walking along the lake but we decided to just walk from our house. So we zigzagged our way over to Titus Avenue Extension and wound our way down to the bay where the road became impassable. In fact a mother duck and her six little ones paddled across the road as we stood there. We are lucky to have so many dreamy little neighborhoods to wander around in within a five or six mile loop.

We passed a neighbor on the way out and we told him we were going down to look at the lake. He said, “people say it’s global warming but we had more rain in (some year, 2014 maybe?) and the lake wasn’t this high. It’s because of the IJC didn’t let enough water into the Saint Lawerence. Having spotted Ann Coulter’s “How to Talk to a Liberal” book on his shelf we just kept quiet.

1 Comment

Zimmerman

Bob Dylan screen shot from RollingThunder movie
Bob Dylan screen shot from RollingThunder movie

Bob Dylan reminds us, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, or finding anything. Life is about creating yourself, and creating things.”

Dylan’s Rolling Thunder movie on the big screen at the Little Theatre was a blast. It was like going to a concert without the sameness that sets in. We saw the rambunctious tour when it stopped at the War Memorial in 1975. Scorcese captured that and so much more of the heady era. With masterful editing we hear just enough of the songs before getting another glimpse of the enigma that is Dylan, our generation’s foremost bard.

Joan Baez is strong enough to wrestle Dylan. Patti Smith, influenced by Dylan is shown influencing Dylan. Scarlett O’Hara is the foundation of this band’s gypsy sound. Joni Mitchell’s guitar rings above all the strumming. Allen Ginsberg cuts above all the cynicism with an optimistic mystic’s summary of what we’ve witnessed reminding us of our duty to create. The long movie felt short. We will watch it again on the small screen.

1 Comment

I Love Rose

USA team in warm-ups at Red Bull Stadium, the last match before the 2019 World Cup. Rose Laverre is shown with red USA tape on her hamstring.
USA team in warm-ups at Red Bull Stadium, the last match before the 2019 World Cup. Rose Laverre is shown with red USA tape on her hamstring.

Finally coming up for air after the World Cup’s twelve opening matches. Yes, we watched all twelve matches. We only manage by time shifting most of them. Our recording of the Sweden Chile game, which was 0-0 when thunder caused a delay, ran out before the game was resumed. Sweden should have run away with that one but the fact that they didn’t made it all the more exciting. Japan Argentina went scoreless in a thrilling match where technical expertise was stuffed by a brilliantly stubborn defense. 

Brazil, with almost the full squad returning, is the most colorful and one of our favorites, even with Saint Marta on the bench.. We are partial to Spain but realistic. France and Germany both look tough and Canada could get to the final four. The Italy Australia matchup has been the most fun to watch but the Cup is still in the early stages.

Even the lopsided US Thailand match was fun to watch. Especially because Rose Lavelle got two! We have the best team ever by a long shot but the whole world is getting better. 

Leave a comment

Big Picture

Mary Rouse artwork in Colleen Buzzard Studio
Mary Rouse artwork in Colleen Buzzard Studio

My cousin showed me the family tree data base that she is building on Ancestry.com. She did their DNA test, they confirmed she was 100 percent Irish and they have been providing hints as to further family connections. She found some real surprises, relatives she didn’t know we had. I don’t like the idea of having to subscribe to a service. There is completion, 23 and me for instance, but if I do Ancestry she can share all her work with me.

My father built a family tree the old fashioned way, by going to court houses, libraries and cemeteries, and his database is on a hard drive. I wish there was a way for all these databases to share information with each other but then that would be too much like Big Brother. I’m not looking for a new hobby but I would like to see the big picture.

1 Comment

WW H2O

Flooded Seneca Road along Irondequoit Bay in Rochester, New York
Flooded Seneca Road along Irondequoit Bay in Rochester, New York

It is hard to resist the pull of the lake especially when the water levels are at historic highs. We checked out what’s left of the beach at Durand when we walked Peggi’s sax over to the repair shop. And walked down to the pier at Sea Breeze when the waves were pounding the shoreline. Wind surfers were out but hardly any boats. The emergency speed limit is 5mph and the state boat launch is closed. A big sign on Mayers Marina read, “Repeal IJC Plan 2014.”

In the Schnackel Drive neighborhood on the east side of the Bay, where many of the homes don’t have automobile access, we saw a sign calling on “every able-bodied resident/owner and renter” to get out and help at Saturday’s “Road Work Party.”

“The road and drain systems have taken a beating from all the heavy construction equipment and deliveries to properties that invested in flood fortification. We would especially like to see those properties represented with this work effort.”

You hear that when someone fortifies their shoreline the water hits their neighbor’s harder. And here the neighbors who brought in sand bags and heavy equipment tore up the road for everybody.

We live near the world’s largest fresh water supply and we have more than ever but our friends on the west coast are watching every drop.

1 Comment

Helicopters And Tumbleweed

February 8th tree at the end our street
February 8th tree at the end our street

I positioned our sledge hammer in from of this stump so you could get some idea of the scale. This oak tree fell on Peggi’s birthday. It took down the power lines and trapped our whole neighborhood. The power company cleaned it up but there was three log lengths of good firewood still on the base so Peggi and I went down there with our chainsaw, the one we bought from John Gilmore when he retired. It has a sixteen inch blade and it wasn’t quite long enough to cut halfway through. We wrestled with this one for a few hours.

In our neighborhood it is all tumbleweed. We have a lot of oaks and they are dropping the male flowers called catkins. It gathers in big clumps. One block over it is all helicopters from the Maple trees.

We are addicted to walking and always looking for a destination. Today we took Peggi’s sax over to Carl’s place. He used to run the musical repair shop next the Little but works from home these days. We caught him just before his busy season, when high schools drop off horns that have taken a beating. Peggi’s sax needed a new cork, the lining between the brass horn and her mouthpiece. Carl did it while we waited.

We estimated he was an hour away but it was more like an hour and twenty minutes. And we were wrong about which route was quicker. We went down Center Entrance, through the park on Log Cabin and along the lake to Colebrook and then up Oakridge to Carl’s place. We guessed that was the quicker route but coming back by continuing on up Oakridge and then down Pinegrove to the end where we picked up what’s left of Edgerton Road, behind the sewage treatment plant and across the golf course to Hoffman Road was much quicker.

Leave a comment

Very Dreamy

Gardens at Wynona and Saint Paul Boulevard Landmark Society Tour 2019
Gardens at Winona and Saint Paul Boulevard, Landmark Society Tour 2019

The 1000 foot span of the Veterans Memorial Bridge led to the development of West Irondequoit, an early bedroom community for Kodak Park on the other side of the Genesee River. Gullies run all through Irondequoit, most so deep they remain undeveloped. Left here when the glaciers receded, their wildness is the prime attraction. Many homes have picture windows in the back that look out at them. The original owner of 959 Winona, on the corner of Saint Paul, cultivated his portion of a gully but the gardens were swallowed up by time. In the late seventies, the new occupants of the Neo-Classical home restored the garden and it was a feature of 2019’s Landmark Society Tour.

We picked up our tickets to this year’s event at Saint Mary the Protectress, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Saint Paul Boulevard. Cynthia Howk was sitting at the welcoming table and she introduced me to her colleagues as “Leo Dodd’s son.” This is Olga’s church. We were here for the funerals of both her parents and their services, sung in four part harmonies in Ukrainian, were extremely beautiful.

My watch said we walked four miles between houses but even the ones not on the tour showed nicely. The wet weather this Spring has been especially kind to plantings. There was a stately 6000 square foot mansion with dual staircases and two Arts & Crafts style Bungalows with wrap-around porches and a tiny little French Cottage, built in 1927. One house had a Speakeasy style bar in an inner room with no windows, just a wrap around bench, dark wooden paneling and a corner bar with just enough room for one person to stand behind and serve cocktails. The liquor bottles were lit and displayed on glass shelves in front of the mirror backed corner. Very dreamy.

1 Comment

Say It Isn’t So

Red glove on the street in lower Manhattan
Red glove on the street in lower Manhattan

The neighbor across the street found a tick on her back, a big one, big because it was so engorged. She went to Urgent Care and the attendant called another worker in just to look at it. It was the biggest one they had seen. It was easy to get off because it had already done its thing. She was given some antibiotics and sent home. No symptoms of Lyme as yet. If you can believe what you read, the chances of that are only one in fifty.

We’ve both had ticks attached and we know a few people with Lyme so we are somewhat short of super-vigilant. We wear Permethrin-treated socks for the most part and if we’re gardening or walking in the woods we wear pants that we have sprayed and a hoodie we bought at LL Bean that is treated. Ticks are on our radar but I don’t want to buy into a conspiracy theory.

I remember someone we worked with coming in with a video about the government being behind 9•11, something produced by a guy named Alex. And we have a few friends who still believe there’s much more to the Kennedy assassination. Our niece won’t vaccinate her kids! I try to steer clear of the theories.

The research on Lyme is so sketchy. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey wants Trump to investigate and he is calling attention to an explosive book that alleges the epidemic started with an American biological warfare experiment gone awry. The theory has been around for years. A naval base off Long Island where the government ran experiments and deer swam from there to Lyme Connecticut with the tick borne virus. Say it isn’t so.

2 Comments

Summer Of Our Years

The Rich Killed NYC graffiti in Brooklyn
The Rich Killed NYC graffiti in Brooklyn

I needed an extra cup of joe this morning so I suggested stopping at the coffee shop on Exchange Street up near the Elmwood Avenue Bridge. Its pretty laid back in there but we managed to get waited on and my latte was perfect. They have a nice little stage and sound system for bands and I noticed the cooler was stocked with 3 Heads The Kind. Margaret Explosion needs a few summer gigs so I notice these sorts of things.

We walked up the west side of the river from the Ford Street Bridge and back down the east side to Gloria’s house in the South Wedge. UR was really quiet as school is already out for the summer. We picked up some small kale plants at the CoOp and planted those as soon as we got back. Our cilantro came back, a little late for some reason, but we we won’t have to plant any seeds this year.

Rick cancelled our horseshoe match so we will just get an early start on the three month free HBO package that Spectrum TV was forced to give subscribers for some sort of bad behavior.

1 Comment

Turning Point

Man on yellow bike at Turning Point Park in Rochester, New York
Man on yellow bike at Turning Point Park in Rochester, New York

On the way home from our Margaret Explosion gig we saw someone riding a bike down University Avenue, a bike with lights on the spokes, a mini light show on wheels. Do they have LEDs that work with a generator, something like that old setup where your tire spun a gear that powered the light on your handlebars, or do we have technology now that has leap frogged that?

We used to have a man child who rode his bike down our street, turn around at the dead end and then ride by again. We could never get him to say hello, or look up even. Was he seventeen? Forty-five? We took a walk in Turning Point Park on the boardwalk that is built out over the river where the big ships used to turn around after they had dumped their stuff on the docks of the Port of Rochester. And we came cross a few sartorial bikers. The guy above was wearing yellow pants that matched his wheels. He was riding a tandem bike and head not found his soulmate yet. He said hello just after I took this shot..

Man on red bicycle listening to Righteous Brothers at Turning Point Park in Rochester, New York
Man on red bicycle listening to Righteous Brothers at Turning Point Park in Rochester, New York

A party boat, patio boat, what do you call those things, passed us, headed upstream with the best sound system I have ever heard in the open air. They were playing salsa and I wanted to be onboard. And then this guy rode by. He blew our minds, or mine anyway. With fenders, saddle bags and a light on the front end he was fully loaded. But his sound system, the black thing hanging from his handlebars, was playing the Righteous Brothers Greatest Hits. I told him I loved it. He parked his bike and pulled out a Genny 24 ouncer which he worked on while we listened to a few more tracks. On the air valve of his front tire he has a red die.

Leave a comment

Thank You

Two flags out front on Memorial Day 2019
Two flags out front on Memorial Day 2019

Garry Winogrand’s photos, the color slides projected on the Brooklyn Museum’s walls in the show, “Color,” are slices of humanity that are so rich you digest them viscerally, just as Winogrand shot them. And then you savor the expression, the composition, not studied in any way, but just as the world is. You want to say, “Thank you” for each and every shot.

Peggi secured tickets to the Women’s National Team last friendly before they play their opening World Cup match in Paris. And this was the real reason we were in New York this weekend. Red Bull Stadium was packed for the match against 26th ranked Mexico. We’ve US team in their last six or seven matches and the team keeps playing better as the lineup gels.

If Jill Ellis, coach of the the national team, had said, “Paul, why don’t you pick the starting lineup .” It could have not have looked as good as this one did. This one was perfect in every way.

Naeher in goal
Dunn, Saurbraun, Dahlkemper, O’Hara across the back
Mewis, Ertz, Lavelle in the mid-field
Rapino, Morgan, Heath up front

The subways in NYC were covered with posters of the star payers but Rose Lavelle is too new a sensation to have been featured. I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with Rose Lavelle. SBNation says, “There’s no one in the USWNT who’s more exciting to watch with the ball at her feet than Rose Lavelle.”

They were passing out flags at the game and we planted ours out front for Memorial Day. Note the horseshoe stake above the right hand flag. Maybe there will be time for a match today.

Leave a comment

Beyond Knowledge

Piero Manzoni “Lines” show at Hauser Wirth in Chelsea.
Piero Manzoni “Lines” show at Hauser Wirth in Chelsea.

“The artist knows what he is doing, but for it to be worthwhile, he must take the leap and do what he doesn’t know how to do. In that moment he is beyond knowledge.” – Eduardo Chillida

Hauser Wirth has been a must stop in Chelsea for years. Their incredible stable of living and dead artists (Guston, Hesse, Golub, Bourgeois and Chillida), their book shop, cafe/bar and their exciting new exhibition space going up next door are all hallmarks of an advancing civilization.

The Shed, a brand new performing arts space at the top of the High Line, is the only sign of an advancing civilization in the former Hudson Yards. It is completely engulfed by piles of new glass buildings and a Neiman Marcus shopping experience. We walked up here for a 5 pm performance of “Reich, Richter, Part” and it was a transcendent experience.

We were studying Richter’s gorgeous tapestries and floor to ceiling Rorschach prints when performers, standing in our midst, one right next to me, began singing Arvo Part’s choral composition, a piece that enriched the visuals. The Shed attendants opened the second gallery where we heard an ensemble playing Steve Reich’s Patterns while an animated, nothing short of psychedelic, Richter film animated one of his paintings.

1 Comment

Amplification Of The Human Body

Luis Herrera Guevara self portrait 1943 MoMA
Luis Herrera Guevara self portrait 1943 MoMA

Ran into Doug Rice in MoMA today and had a free-range chat. We were just wrapping up a whirlwind tour, truncated by the closing time message in a UN stew of languages. Spent most of our allotted time with Miro’s “Birth of the World” show. And then a sprint through “Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern,” a collection of work showcasing the New York City Ballet’s cofounder’s influence on MoMA and art. Some beautiful Gaston Lachaise drawings and this Guevara self-portrait.

1 Comment

No Low-Ballers

Red 1963 V8 Automatic Rambler for sale
Red 1963 V8 Automatic Rambler for sale

For $3800 you get a “drivable project.” What more could you ask for?

Most years we have our garden in by now but this is not most years. It has been cold and rainy. We planted lettuce seeds a few weeks ago and only a few sprouted. They were last year’s seeds. The spinach seeds were old too but they are up. And we have a few cilantro volunteers from last year.

We had dinner at the Little tonight before our gig. Band gets half price there. It was so crowded the week before the voices almost drowned out our recording but this week there was some breathing room and the band sounded better.

Between sets we talked to a friend who is organizing a “Creative Journaling” workshop, something for women only in a “safe” environment. I made the mistake of asking why it was for woman only and then just quickly realized it was because of manly questions like mine.

1 Comment