Friday, February 23, 2007

Off Topic Posting

This posting has nothing to do with books or theatre but with my friend's sports blog. From a very early age, my dream was to be a professional hockey player. I love ice skating. I'm fast and aggressive on ice. Where I grew up, we were fortunate to have a public ice rink at the county park. Among the burnouts it was the cool place to hang on weekends. In high school, I acquired a pair of Bauer Turbos, boys size 5, the coolest skates of the day, which lasted me 10 years. Unfortunately, ice hockey was not an activity young ladies were encouraged to pursue in that time and place.

This posting is a tribute to my old friend Eric McErlain, who doesn’t need my help on the public relations front. Eric encouraged me to was receptive to my idea to join his amateur league (which I was too busy to do because of law school and a demanding full time job) and advised me on the purchase of my Rollerblades in 1996. While the dream of NHL stardom is a long faded memory, I look forward each weekend to an 8-mile blade on the Capitol Crescent Trail, something I would not have taken up without Eric’s encouragement. So here is a link to Off Wing Opinion.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mark Parascandola at Nevin Kelly Gallery

I'm far from unbiased here, so I'll be brief: Mark Parascandola's first gallery opening at Nevin Kelly Gallery on Thursday, Feb. 15 was a success, despite the biting cold.
Mid-Atlantic Art News
Nevin Kelly Gallery Blog
Mark Parascandola Blog

Double Vision: The Photographic Work of Mark Parascandola and Yanina Manolova is at Nevin Kelly Gallery, 1517 U Street, NW, and runs until March 11.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Orquestra Ashe at Duke's City

Just walked in the door from a night of Afro-Cuban salsa with Orquestra Ashe at Duke's City down the street. First of all, my dance partner and I need some dance lessons. The one-hour lesson two years ago at Chief Ike’s -- and no offense to Chief Ike's, which offers great basic salsa lessons on Saturday nights on a drop-in basis -- doesn’t cut it here. The salsa tonight was rueda, where an announcer calls out the steps, like square-dancing. The rueda dancers provided a lesson at Duke’s at 10:30pm, but we just missed it.

Orquestra Ashe was phenomenal. For their tight sound and repertoire, which includes classics from Buena Vista Social Club and innovative pieces interspersing soul samplings with salsa (an engaging mix of Just the Two of Us to a salsa rhythm comes to mind), the twelve band members are surprisingly young. In terms of skill, they probably rival the bands that play in Miami at Lario's and the clubs on Calle Ocho. Plus, Cuban salsa is a rare treat in Washington, DC, where we don’t have a large Cuban community.

Orquestra Ashe opens for SI*SE at the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street, NW, on Saturday, February 24, 2007. It’s probably worth it just for the opening act.