Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A certain imprecision


The farmers are arriving and setting up their stands. They’ve come from upstate and far away to share their wares today...grass fed beef, fresh organic eggs, sunflower oil....

Stephen helps me set up a stand to pass out West-Park information. Kimberley comes to sit at the table with me and also to discuss her service for Pentecost tomorrow. The smell of cooking burgers on the grill begins to float my way. Soon Pat and Larry have arrived and put down a new rug, bookcase and lamp in  the ongoing transformation of the office into a more organized, usable, professional space. 

Tours of the church are beginning, not a constant flow like last fall, but about one an hour. 

Martin stops by and we talk about Marina and Sol on last night’s flamenco performance and where the numbers now stand as we try and arrive at a workable plan.

City Council candidate Helen Rosenthal pedals up on her bike and renews again her pledge to rally the neighborhood for the support that has been promised (and not delivered) since landmarking. 

Lisa from next door is by to schedule a party for her alumni group but the conversation turns to next year and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Goodman, Schwerner, Cheney murders in  Mississippi during the Freedom Rides. Andrew Goodman had lived right next door to West-Park. (That was when the Upper West Side was the Upper West Side...) We need to plan something here. 

Don and Stephen
Don drops by to help with me. In between China trips with a gig in Inner Mongolia to come. I do a tour with him, docent training if you like. The afternoon is turning cool and rainy.

Deacon Linda stops and says Hello.

A man comes up and asks do we have programs to help homeless musicians and when I say no, gets indignant and walks off. 

The smell of fresh popcorn is in the air. 

Leila comes to join me at the table and we discuss whether food or art is an easier street sale and she clearly believes food. 

Carman Moore and his Sky Orchestra are arriving for their final rehearsal before tonight’s concert. Beppe comes in to share a slice of pizza while other are rehearsing their own numbers.  They’ll be taking a break soon.

Lonnie the business manager for the Rioulh dance company drops by and swaps service stories with Steve. We realize that we haven’t done programs yet for tonight’s concert so need to scramble to do that.

The farmers were planning on staying until tonorrow’street festival but forecast of continued cold and rain leads them to pack up and head home, many miles to travel. There’s a predictable last minute rush to buy farm products. Some are anxious to establish a regular market. It’s an opportunity to not only establish an urban market for their food but also to engage the Upper West Side public in a conversation about food justice issues like the negative effects of corn dependence and how wheat production/distribution contributed to the social causes of Arab Spring.

The afternoon ends on an upswing....

                           * * * * 

The audience arrives for Carman’s concert. His followers have been waiting ten years for this reunion. The opening piece begins with Beppe on bowls and builds and swirls from there with Catarina’s projections filling the screen and Kiori dancing on the pulpit.

I’ll bet you’ve never had a dancer on the pulpit before? someone asks.
No but we’ve had actors on the altar. 

We have Eric Johnson’s performance  on the Beckstein. Premik Russell Tubbs sax ranging from Kenny G mellow to far rangier places, Eli Foubtain’s Afro-Latin percussion, Daisy Jopling’s violin....

The musicians love the sound, the roundness of it, far better than the echo-delay of massive cathedrals like St. John the Divine where they were in residence for ten years.  Kenneth Bichell says how good it sounds, I invite him to come back, he tells  me he’s come all the way from Mexico City for this reunion.

Then after the concert, things fall apart. Stars with my missing iPhone. I use my Find my iPhone app on my Ipad, expecting it to appear right here. But the green dot is moving to 88th and Amsterdam, then 89th and Broadway so I panic and a Keystone Cops scene ensues as I take off in pursuit. Sergeant Keith asks what’s up? I tell him and he’s all Marines to the rescue and he takes off with Los  Rodriguez, it's all the lost patrol on a mission. Then I see the green dot go back to West-Park then move towards me again. Long story but it appears it never left the building. I am relieved, but realize there are must be certain imprecisions with the app.

A dispute has arisen starting with one of my people. It gets further and further off the charts. I forget my first rule, never try to have a rational conversation in an  irrational situation. I should have said, this is an important conversation, but we’re not having it now. All please leave. But I get sucked into trying to resolve the unresolvable. 

People observing are disturbed. I know that some will feel exhausted and not come to Kinberley’s farewell tomorrow. It gets later.

Bob and Carman
Finally I get to spend somne time with Carman, but iI missed Beppe and Cararina and....

And there it is again. The West-Park reality. Stunning, exquisite beauty as a dream gets fulfilled a reuniuoin takes place....and then disturbing madness. A certain imprecision in the apps....

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