Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Well, it's July, I've been so busy that I haven't been blogging lately. Between summer school at City College San Francisco (CCSF) and IT fires at work, a crashing server with multiple hardware failures and without warranty. I've been too exhausted to write about the entertaining activities I've been squeezing in my schedule. Currently, I'm in Los Angeles for the 4th of July weekend it's been a quiet weekend visiting family and friends. I'm actually getting a chance to catch up on my sleep and post a long overdue entry in my blog.

Last Friday I was working on the crashed server, the parts had arrived from the vendor but the server wasn't booting properly I was a resident of frustration city. Having won tickets on Pacific KPFA for some international music saved my day and was a pleasant way to start the weekend. The tickets were for a show at Ashkenaz in Berkeley to hear some North African Berber music by Moh Alileche with Danse Maghreb. Ashkenaz is one of my favorite places to dance in the Bay Area. It is relaxed, children are welcome it's very Berkeley. The program was a mixture of Berber music and dance I haven't read much about the Berber people experiencing their music inspired me to learn more about them.

Saturday afternoon game, Oakland A's versus Giants I entered the Devil's layer to watch my beloved but slightly struggling Giants battle the Oakland Athletics. It was my first time in the Oakland Coliseum we rode Bart from the Civic Center Station in San Francisco and arrived in under 30 minutes. I was very impressed, the Oakland Coliseum Bart Station is a short walk to the actual Coliseum. The stadium isn't the most impressive piece of architecture in the Bay Area but the $9.00 bleachers provided us a good view to watch the game and the weather was great. What I didn't like? The $9.00 seats were not assigned our group was spread across the stadium. The food selection sucked, it seemed like the only item the concessions had in abundance was peanuts. The score, the Giants made 5 errors I though was watching a pre-school little league game seeing so many balls popping out of gloves.

June 26th was Gay Pride Day in the City, with the parade, street fair, and general Street traffic it's a rough day to traverse the City by car. Fortunately I was on bus heading toward the San Francisco Memorial Opera House. This was my first traditional Opera and my expectations were high, what unique qualities of Opera has sustained the art form through the years, how is Opera different from American Musical Theatre, how elaborate are the productions and would I enjoy the singing or find it a distraction? Ah so many questions what were my answers?

The Opera we saw was the Pearl Fishers it was an Opera about two Ceylon brothers being in love with the same girl AKA the Priestess and what ensues. The plot may have subtleties but it was still very simple. The music and singing was enjoyable, the jump from foreign cinema to foreign theatre wasn't difficult especially with the leisurely moving subtitles above the stage. I enjoyed the Opera and hope to see others soon but my first experience didn't rise above a Andrew Llloyd Weber musical, except for the Orchestral music which I found outstanding. Opera struck me as an Old World experience imported to the New World that is define by our culture as an upper class activity. Opera gives folks a reason to dress up and experience a certain pre-defined class of art. After Opera we headed out for a good German Dinner in Hayes Valley at Suppenkuche I'm a fan of German food it's good sturdy pleasant food. Suppenkuche is a minimalist restaurant simple wooden tables, with little decorations on the walls. We had a window seat ate Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and watched festival goers from Pride Day make their way home.


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