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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exodus underway and the best review ever


1/30
The exodus is underway. Rafael tells me that it was a little rough last night. But that he calld on a couple of Dominican cops he’s befriended, who’ve been cruising by regularly, to help out. They hung out for four hours, helping the move out, removing folks who didn’t want to leave. This guy has something. He and his crew are doing set up and security for tonight’s symphony concert. Not exactly like the Hell’s Angels and Grateful Dead, but....
I realize that I have seriously come to care for these guys. Like I did last summer with the Tenant crew.   And in some way that can’t be defined they are connected. You live with people you know, they become, well, people. And will miss quite a few people. It’s that Hair revival again.. and a little bit of godspell as well.  I’ve come face to face with my own prejudices. Relearned that some who look sketchy are stand up and some who look stand up...well, but I didn’t meet any like that. Real relationships have developed. That’s us again. 
It’s going to be a busy night with a concert and another Times Square Playwrights night. Danielle’s in for the duration. I go home, hopefully to run, but that’s not going to happen. 
Get back just in time. Toniught’s concert is entitled Concert for the West Park Restoration.  I speak to the symphony audience. Tell them all about the Center and how this may be the first symphony concert ever with security and services by Occupy Wall Street. And that this would have warmed the heart of Jens Nygaard whose Jupiter Symphony lived here back in the day. Jens who survived bipolar and homelessness to craft his own unique symphony. Who lived with Mozart and never forgot the streets. Some of his alumni are here, tonight, in the Spectrum Symphony.
Never sure what to expect from these pick-up orchestras that are pulled together for a concert, coalesce (or not) into being and then disappear only to reappear in new configurations. These are the journeymen, the music for love people. The ones who can’t live without playing. 
Within the first notes of Copland's Quiet City, I relax. David has pulled it off. The litmus test of these ensembles are the strings and horns and he has nailed it. Even placing the horns behind the strings. Clean and smooth.  And in the balcony on English horn is Jerry, Jens’ old go to guy. After Jens passed and the Jupiter fell into OWSesque infighting, Jerry wanted to create his own successor at West-Park but it didn’t happen. Now his notes flutter down from the balcony like soft snow. 
Bob, Beverly and David
Beverly Butrie hits all the marks on Verdi’s D’Amor sull’ali rosee and Mozart’s Non mi dur...a voice cries from the audience, almost startlingly, Brava Diva!
I go out at intermission. Rafael is anxious to come inside and listen. He’d heard rehearsals last night. Dying to be in there. So I make sure Steve knows that’s got to happen. And Rafael makes it in for Beethoven’s Fourth. 
After the concert he says, I love that music. The Beethoven, my heart, it’s bright and dark, at the same time. Last night that woman, that soprano, I don’t know, it’s...it’s..it’s better than crack. I couldn’t stop crying. (I later tell David he will never get a better review) Why can’t our kids have this, why? Why do they keep it from them?
And he’s right. I remember when classical music was as much a right for kids in the city as education and health care. (Was.) Now except for summer concerts in the parks and philanthropist funded special school events, classical music is like the seats behind the concrete moats at Yankee Stadium. Classical music as privilege and a charity offering. Sucks.
After the concert, Steve introduces me to a friend, a classic UWS by day, closet OWS by night. Successful real estate agent and 86th street condo owner with her heart on the streets. (Lenny, where are you when we need you?) Got to figure Steve out. Just showed up one day. Somewhere between Capra and Runyon, the guy fixes things. 
Jamie and Steve

Congratulations all around. My friend Taki from Mani Market provided great platters. (And yes, he’s part of the Sweat Shop Free campaign). A violist remembers Erasmia. The Jupiter alumni share memories of Jens.  The remaining occupiers begin to arrive. That great moment when the groups flow through each other. West-Park.
A classical crew

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