Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A West Village Institution

Club Groove, the corner of MacDougal St. and West 3rd, heart of the Village in Manhattan. It has always been one of those reassuring landmarks for me. I don't know how long that mural has been there, but it has to be at least 30 years.

I was passing it recently and having my camera in my bag, got nostalgic, thinking wow, it is so great this place still exists. I remember being 18 years old and seeing this mural and marveling at it. I walked past it for years because I went to college then worked in that area, for almost two decades this sight was a part of my daily life. Ironically I have never been the club in all the years I have lived in NYC.

It is true that I am not really up on the local music scene and never really was, but at one time I had friends that were and I would follow them to various places. But I don't think we ever went here. I think I am going to have to create an "opportunity" sometime soon. Even if it isn't what I consider to be "my type" of music, I bet it will be fun, and even if it isn't I will have a story to tell.

Has anyone been there? Sometimes people come to NYC as tourists and see more than some of us locals (or in my case long-term transplant) do.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Renn Faire & the Battle of the Sexes

Clearly I am not a natural blogger, it has been quite some time since my last post. Being a journal keeper (diarist?) I already write quite a bit, but most of it is too personal or too boring for public consumption. But it does seem unfair that I read so many blogs and don't respond in kind.

Instead of going to the 1st annual Chinese Film Festival in NYC (because despite being on every film list in town I didn't know about it) I went to the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, NY with friends. I guess the film festival was only promoted in the Chinese language press, which didn't just leave me out, left out many Chinese Americans who cannot read Chinese. But let's hope it was still a great success and there will be a 2nd annual festival next year.

I did have a good time but re-enacting the Renaissance isn't really my thing so going two years in a row wasn't a good idea in retrospect. On second thought it gave me a totally different perspective this time because instead of going to every little booth, one particular friend and I concentrated on getting good seats for the shows, last year we could barely hear or see because we arrived too late to each event.

What I found interesting about the Renn Faire how obviously they have updated the era to be more politically correct, more inclusive almost to the extreme, at least in terms of gender. Women take on just as much leadership, dancing and fighting roles as men do--and they win. Clearly more fun to watch than the reality of the time so it is understandable I guess. The comedy duo, The Washing Wenches, get a lot of laughs targeting the men in the audience. During the live Chess match, when Will Scarlett and Robin Hood are supposed to fight, Maid Marion takes Robin's place because she couldn't bear for her husband-to-be and brother to fight. Actually this was the most fun and funny fight to watch, because she used every weapon in a sister's arsenal which had nothing to do with swordplay but she also had some decent sword moves. And the final event of the day, the Joust, was to determine whether the challenger to the throne, a male, would usurp the Queen. And you can guess who won.

Every event starts with a dance

Maid Marion kicking her brother's butt

Washing Wenches and one of their "volunteers"