Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nowhere to run...


The San Francisco Marathon Runners

Barney Greengrass is filled to overflowing with what feels like a larger than usual Saturday morning crunch. The woman ahead of me is lean and rangy, black hair, pierced lip. Seems a little old for that.

Later outside on the steps, I see group of people, including the woman, all eating lunch. Lots of Barney Greengrass bags. I walk over, half afraid they’re a visiting church group, but I have to know. So are you guys a group? 
A guy answers, yes we are, we are a group
So, if you don’t mind my asking, what are you doing here? 
The guy smiles. The question is, he says, is not what we are doing but what we are not doing. 
And what we are not doing is running the New York City Marathon tomorrow. 
Don’t hate us, says a woman. 
I am so sorry, I say.  Don’t be, a woman says, we get it. 

Up until yesterday afternoon at 5:30 PM, the mayor had kept insisting the race would go on. Spirit of the city. Need the  money. It may have been the photos on the front on the New York Post that did him in . The eight generators along Central Park West to keep tents in Central Park heated and lit while all over the city, people are in fearful darkness. So, too late for all those runners who had already arrived, he cancelled the race. 

No. I’ve done the marathon myself. Many times. It’s really special. I know you’ve got to be disappointed. Just wasn't the right time...So we do a round of trading cameras and picture taking.Then I invite them in for the architectural/social history tour. I ask them what they’re doing tonight. Drinking says one. Hey, it’s a church says another. Don’t worry,I said, we’ve been sponsored by Brooklyn Brewing and Lagunitas. 
And one responds, Wow, like California, he says.  I smile. Yeah, we’ll take that. (l I have learned they’re from the Bay Area. )

As we’re having this conversation, Jeremy G arrives to get ready for tonight’s performance of You Will Make a Differecne...His fiddle player is in the front of the sanctuary, warming up with some scales...Jeremy offers them free tickets to tonight’s performance...They’re very thankful. Say again that they have decided to drink tonight, do volunteer work tomorrow. 

I explain that they’re part of a long tradition. Their spirit goes into the walls. Becomes part of the spirit of the place.

Stan and Matt of the theater group who does plays in apartments, the Representatives, are here checking out rehearsal space. So we do the all over tour and Matt and Stan are reminded of how many different performing spaces we have.   They are the most serious and professional of any of the groups we work with. We had wanted to do a retrospective of their plays in December, but that looks as if that will have to wait awhile. 

Noche is having classes so I track down Martin. We sit down to talk. Nayelli has found shelter. It will take months to restore her ruined house.. At least. But she should be back to me before the end of the day. We want to wrap this up no later than Monday. I share this  information with Danielle.

Time to go home and get ready for the house concert with Shannon Beck from Seattle. Details from our organizing for hurricane relief are starting to  fall into place. Danielle still hard at work as I head out. 

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