Monday, June 28, 2004

Sunday night - Monday morning, my visiting niece is still awake, laying on my chaise lounge looking at me smiling, inquisitive wanting my conversation when she should be asleep. Her level of energy is amazing, I would like to exhaust her just one day - but youth prevails again.

This was my birthday this weekend - my sister and niece came to visit from LA. On Saturday to celebrate my birthday I organized a picnic at Stinson Beach. Stinson is an old resort beach town. I chose the location because I like the flexibility of the location which includes a beautiful beach, picnic area and town -- different strokes for folks. It went nicely - the weather was sunny but the beach was windy. I was covered with sand when I arrive home but no complaints from me.

Today, we took my niece to her first jazz concert, we went to Yoshi's in Oakland at Jack London Square. Yoshi has family matinees on Sundays and Dee-Dee Bridgewater with David Sanchez were performing. We arrived about 5 minutes before the show but was able to get good seats because of my niece. Thank-goodness we weren't trying to be late. It just hard coordinating with a toddler. But the show was good
their were many children present and Ms. Bridgewater did a wonderful job. I especially enjoyed her version-rendition of A Night in Tunsia. After the concert we strolled around Jack London Square - the weather was warm and the atmosphere was pleasant. Then we finish the day by going to Fenton Ice Creamery. Love this place it an old fashion straight up Ice Creamery - the Sundae are super-size. Ok I'm a greedy-gut but it's a treat.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tuesday night, I'm still recuperating from the weekend. Actually, I recuperating from poor sleep. I woke myself up this morning snoring, now that's strange....I think it's my head position while sleeping. Hopefully, a little body adjustment will get me sleeping back to normal. I've been waking up tired for two weeks. I'm hoping tonight a new pillow will do the trick.

Sunday I went to a friend's birthday party - afterward I went to see the movie Badaasssss. I have to admit that I didn't like Sweet Sweetback's BAADASSSSS Song when I saw it twenty years ago. I found the imagery confusion, the sexuality unattractive and the plot difficult to follow. But love it or not the film was extremely influential. This film started the 1970's Blaxploitation, black action film movement and while it didn't strike a cord for me - many soul folks responded to the brother winning - beating and escaping from the man. The concept was and is still revolutionary.

Baadasssss, is a film documenting the making a Sweet Sweet Back, watching Van Pebbles dedication to his ideas was inspiring. The film is cool and catches the feelings of the 1970's. Melvin's son Marvin directed the film and unknown to me Marvin was in the original film. For those who don't know Bill Cosby helped finance the film. With the controversy around Bill's statements and African-Americans achievement - what a twist to see him as a financier of a revolutionary/controversial film. I really recommend seeing Baadassss and I'm going to rent the original and watch it again.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Sunday afternoon on Father's Day, called my pop's to wish him a good day I'm planning to visit in June. He's in warm Las Vegas but what happened to San Francisco? Where has the beautiful weather gone? It's Summer solstice today, hopefully, I'll be able to see the sun sometime today.

Last Sunday it was blue skies and warm. I road my bike to Stern Grove to enjoy the first concert of the year and picnic. Regina carter was performing and the Tin Hat Trio. Stern Grove has a free summer music festival annually, the artist are top notch and the location in San Francisco proper is beautiful. Since it's free it's best to arrive early get a good spot and enjoy the day.

I would like to checkout the Juneteenth festival today but this weather is making me homebound. The wind is blowing and moaning. Well I need to exercise and look for the sun, so I'm going to get up and get going.


Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'm still purging from my apartment, I can't believe I have collected so much junk through the years. I can honestly say this is my first spring cleaning in 10 years. My sister and niece are coming to visit in two weeks. Hopefully, I'll have the place clean by then, but I doubt it. It's interesting to see the items I've held on to - cards and letters ok. Monthly transit passes from 1999 well that seems a bit excessive. But as I remove these items from my space hopefully it will unburden my place and provide more space for grace.

During the summer San Francisco can be extremely dreary and foggy especially in the Richmond District where I live. Well, blame it on the green house affect but the weather was gorgeous today. Two days in a row on my bicycle hopefully Sunday will make three. I rode both days to the Brava Theater in the Mission District to checkout the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Friday, I saw the film Redemption, it was about Stan Tookie Williams one of the founders of the Crips who while on death row was nominated for the Nobel prize in literture and peace.


Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm at work, it's time to leave and my body is still very tired from the weekend. Moving back into my apartment has been a rough experience. Especially realizing that I'm so tired of some of my junk.

It's really time to purge and I've had some success but I'm starting to wonder if I have a compulsive hoarding disorder. Well, my main solace is I am throwing things alway.

While the weekend's main tasks were painting and dumping I did get a chance to get out on Friday night. I hooked up with two of my favorite guys and saw the Mission Movie. For those who don't live in San Francisco, the Mission is a neighborhood in San Francisco. It is - was primarily a Latin neighborhood which had a healthy dose of artist bohemian types - but during the dot-com boom it really started to gentrified. While the neighborhood still has some favor - it's definitely on the slippery slope on becoming another boutique loving boring neighborhood.

Back to the Mission movie , it was free to attend, shown outdoor it was a beautiful evening in San Francisco - no fog in site. The audience looked like the old Mission crowd - mixed race, gender, class -hopefully, and age. Not the homogeneous crowd you see on Valencia Street hanging out in the bars and restaurants. Before the film started we had music from DJs and the community youth drum group Loco Bloco. There were a few speakers, some were a little toasted which was interesting.

The movie was good, the script and photography was strong. The acting was not consistent - some performances were much better than others.

What I like about the film, was it did capture certain experiences that I could really relate to just hanging out in the Mission. It was a thoughtful film that captured some of the contradictions of the community.

Afterward, we headed to Slims, I won two tickets on the mighty KPOO community radio station, so without knowing a thing about the show we went to check it out. Slims is South of Market a young people clubbing area - when we arrived at Slims no music was happening, so still no idea what was happening. When we entered I knew this wasn't a typical night. The room was full a soul folks, but an older crowd. Actually, as a group they didn't even look like an older club crowd and they weren't. The groups tonight were performing Gospel Music Roy Tyler and the Stovall Sisters. It was an enjoyable show - gospel with it's positive lyrics and moving rhythms is an uplifting music. When I arrived home I felt much better than I usually do after an evening in a club - positive energy cannot be denied.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I was lagging today, I might be dehydrated from biking and not drinking enough water, fluids are a necessary. Over the weekend I traveled only by bike or foot -except Saturday when I got a ride to Ikea in Emeryville - Sunday rode my bike to the Mission District for Carnival. The parade started promptly and was over by 1:00 pm. it's a multicultural event with a focus on the Caribbean and Latin Africa.

The street faire was a little flat this year -why ?? my guess are: 1. The parade ends arounds 12:30, which is really early compared to previous parades, that the parade participants leave earlier - 2> Too much corporate sponsorship, the Street corners usually belong to a Samba group. This year it was a radio station, TV Station or brooze company. The weather was nice and my return ride through Golden Gate Park was quite beautiful. The park was empty -everyone was in the Mission - my ride was peaceful.

Today lag day I took advantage of free gallery day at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to quickly checkout Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Fela, a man whose music I've just started to listen to beyond the rhythms of the Afro-beat....to actually the message of his lycris.
The collection of work was a interesting mix - some pieces were successful for me other weren't. Some of my favorite artists in the exhibit were Victor Ekpuk, Olu OGUIBE and Barkley Hendricks. What I didn't like was the use of space in the gallery. I felt like I was walking through a warehouse.


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