Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2nd Quadrant 9/17 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of September 17, 2007

Tiny Sharks

The Daily News reports that a Coney Island lifeguard rescued a 2-foot sand shark from a mob of panicked swimmers. According to the lifeguard, some of swimmers actually hit and smacked the baby shark in the face.

Another shark was seen at South Beach in Staten Island on Sunday, following the 5-foot thresher shark that startled swimmers at Rockaway Beach on Saturday before its lifeless body washed ashore the next day.

The 80th Annual Feast of San Gennaro

The 80th Annual Feast of San Gennaro will be held September 13th through the 23rd in Little Italy. The street festivities will include free entertainment, food stands and a professional cannoli-eating contest. There will be indoor and outdoor dining at 35 of Little Italy's most famous Italian restaurants, and more than 300 licensed street vendors will sell international foods.
It is hoped that this year’s Feast will again bring more than one million people to the streets of Little Italy. (Sangennaro.org)

(Photo courtesy watz/flickr)

The West-Indian American Day Parade

The West-Indian American Day Parade, the largest West-Indian festival in the United States, was held on Labor Day in Brooklyn. According to the festival’s website: Its roots come from the festivities of the original civilization in Ancient Kemet (Egypt). The many tribes that gathered around the Nile Delta practiced similar ceremonies. Some of those tribes migrated to northern Africa with some of the members being taken to the Caribbean in the slave trade.

During this early period the French, Spanish and British aristocracy held lavish costume balls, feasts and parades. Slaves were not permitted to participate. After the abolishment of slavery, thousands of freed slaves celebrated by lampooning their former masters and mimicking the dress and behavior of the European people.

Ms. Jessie Waddle started the Carnival in Harlem in the 1920's by staging costume parties in large enclosed places - like the Savoy, Renaissance and Audubon Ballrooms. The earliest known street Carnival was held during the 1940's when Ms. Waddle, secured the first street permit for a parade on the streets of Harlem. During the 1960's, another Trinidadian - Rufus Goring, brought Carnival to Brooklyn.

Jason Booher’s cover for Like You'd Understand, Anyway

Joseph Sullivan of the Book Design Review says of Jason Booher’s cover for Shepard’s Like You'd Understand, Anyways, “The more I look at this (albeit online; it's in shops on 9/25) the more I like it: it's quirkier than at first glance, which seems nicely appropriate for something from Shepard. To wit: how many heads do *you* see?

Booher has a BA from Princeton University, and an AAS Parsons School for Design.

Brooklyn Book Festival

From the festival's website: The second annual Brooklyn Book Festival on September 16, 2007 is a book lover’s dream come true! The festival presents exciting and innovative fiction and non-fiction programs with author discussions and readings...! Nearly 100 booksellers and thousands of books will fill beautiful Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park. You can hear a poetry slam, participate in a define-a-thon, and have your favorite book signed by the author. Children can hear their best-loved books read at the Target Children’s Pavilion; teenagers will find sports, fantasy, graphic novels and more ...

September 16 at 10am-6pm Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, 209 Joralemon St.
Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall.

Martha Plimpton in “A Midsummer Night's Dream”

Judith Jarosz says in her review of The Public Theater's production of William Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” that Martha Plimpton is especially funny as the hapless Helena.

Martha Plimpton was nominated for a 2007 Tony Award and won the 2007 Drama Desk Award for her performance in Tom Stoppard's trilogy “The Coast of Utopia.” She appeared on Broadway last season in “Shining City.”

She goes on to say that, “For those who don't know, Midsummer is Shakespeare's magical classic comedy that involves two pairs of lovers who, after facing a romantic dilemma, flee into the woods only to become the playthings of a group of fairies who are having their own romantic challenges.”

The play closed on September 9, 2007.

Luciano Pavarotti

The New York Times reported that Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian singer whose ringing, pristine sound set a standard for operatic tenors of the postwar era, died on Sept. 6, 2007. He was 71. The cause was pancreatic cancer.

In July 2006 he underwent surgery for the cancer in New York and had made no public appearances since then. He was hospitalized again this summer and released on Aug. 25. He became a titan of pop culture. Millions saw him on television and found in his expansive personality, childlike charm and generous figure a link to an art form with which many had only a glancing familiarity.

Thousands attended his funeral in Italy this past Saturday.

(Photo courtesy of Peri-Percossi, via European Pressphoto Agency, via The New York Times)

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