August 25 – September 4

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Dear Friends,

Last night we had our first Jazz in the Garden performance as part of SummerStage’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. It was beautiful! Esteemed trombonist Art Baron and his quintet gave East 6th Street a treat of music. This small series focuses on community, taking place in community-built and driven spaces while embracing artists from the neighborhoods where Charlie Parker lived (the East Village and Harlem) Today is the final show in Harlem with Bill Saxton in the Harlem Rose Garden, a delicious appetizer to CPJF’s main event for the evening, Anat Cohen Tentet at Marcus Garvey Park, just a few blocks away. It will be amazing. Come join us and get there early; space is limited. And thanks to the Jazz Foundation of America for being a wonderful partner and doing amazing work generally. Check them out.

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A post shared by Ariana Hellerman (@arianaslist) on

Last weekend was a dream weekend, filled with one of my favorite past times in the world: urban exploration.

Saturday morning began with a car-less bike ride down Lafayette St (which usually has northbound traffic) because of Summer Streets. I continued over the Brooklyn Bridge and docked my Citibike at Fort Greene Park. I had signed up for tour of Wallabout (if you don’t know, now you know.) I only recently heard the name of that neighborhood  in the last few years and was really curious to explore the area. Geez, I learned so much. I don’t want to give away too much since the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership will continue to give these tours through October on the third Saturday of the month. But if you have the opportunity, GO ON ONE. It was so interesting.

After the tour, I wandered around Clinton Hill, and stumbled upon Pratt Institute. I had passed the campus a billion times growing up (my family’s business was a few blocks away) but had never entered. This changed on Saturday. And OMG. It’s amazing! It’s like a little New England campus in the heart of Brooklyn, with incredible sculptures made by their grads (it’s an art school), scattered around. I love myself some green space and this might become a regular hang. Although I may change my mind once school is in session.

I continued my exploration and wound up at BLDG 92, the relatively new museum of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. And another OMG! I learned so much there too! I had no idea so many American naval ships had been built there and how many prominent people worked in the shipyards during WWII (Howard Zinn, the Grand Rebbe Schneerson, Arthur Miller, etc.) plus women and black people for the first time ever. I mean, I knew about Rosie the Riveter, but I didn’t realize that type of stuff was happening in Brooklyn. I absorbed everything in about an hour but took my time. I really enjoyed myself.

After, I hopped on another Citibike and began meandering the streets. I didn’t know a United Talmudic Academy existed on Waverly (written mural style, across the building), or that Sweet N’Low’s headquarters (everyone’s favorite pink-packeted artificial sweetener…or not) is on Cumberland. One of my Wallabout tour-mates earlier in the day was the owner of the Kings County Distillery, currently on Navy Yard land, and told us to stop by. I had to keep moving and only took a quick glimpse of the space but it was pretty and I’d return (though the clientele seemed to be more “new Brooklyn.”)

The last part of the excursion allowed me to cross off a place I’ve wanted to visit/experience for many years now: Bargemusic. And I will definitely be back! Think classical music performance on a docked boat near Brooklyn Heights, overlooking New York harbor. It was amazing. Along to Prokofiev, we collectively rocked back and forth (literally) from the wake of other boats that passed by. The pianist played a Chopin piece I played when I was younger and it made me emotional. What a beautiful experience. They have great programming always and you should support them. And on Saturday afternoons at 4PM, their Music in Motion series is free, catered for people of all ages. Check it out.

On Sunday, I went to Corona, Queens to meet my friend Clara (hi Clara!) for a mini-exploration of the one block of Argentine and Uruguayan businesses in the neighborhood. This outing was a year-and-a-half in the making (we tentatively made the plan when I first got back from Argenina)…and it was SO cool. Clara is an empanada connoisseur and also Argentine, so I would obvs follow her recommendations on all things on this front.

I arrived to Corona Ave. and there were a handful of flags from Argentina and Uruguay and more noticeably, the telephone poles were painted blue and white (luckily both flags are these colors.) We started at El Gauchito, a restaurant/butcher shop that’s been around since 1979. We did it right by Argentine asado (grill) standards with chorizo, morcilla, empanadas, provoleta, asado de tira, entraña, and papas fritas, topped with lots of chimichurri and followed by cortados y tiramisu (there is so much Italian in all things Argentine.) It was cool that the butchery was part of the restaurant. Not only could we get our own cuts of bife de chorizo but we could also buy terma or your own Boca Juniors jersey or Argentine flag.

Something fascinating to me was that the default language was Spanish. I’m pretty obviously a gringa (or “yanqui” as the Argentines say) and people in most places I’ve visited in the world automatically speak to me in English. But here, Spanish delightfully ruled.

After, we crossed the street to Cherry Valley Marketplace. By the name, I imagined regular-old grocery store, perhaps with a reference to George Washington (he did chop down his father’s cherry tree, after all) but as we know, names can be deceiving. This market catered to its Central and South American community. Outside of Argentina and Uruguay, I have never seen such a huge mate or dulce de leche selection in a grocery store. I was in heaven and became supermarket tourist, photographing all of the surprising food options. We left with a mutual bounty of gnocchi and alfajores.

I said goodbye to Clara and continued to Jackson Heights where I had to get my fill (64 ounces to be exact) of paneer, chana masala mix, and green mango candies at Patel Brothers. All my groceries came with me to a SummerStage concert later that evening.

It was such a wonderful weekend, I wanted to share it with you. Thanks for indulging me. I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram soon.

Have you explored a new neighborhood lately? Which one? What did you do? Tell me about it!

 

Aight, this is what I got for the final week of summer:

 

Friday, August 25

 

💁 Music: Day 2: Jazz in the Garden with Bill Saxton. This year, I’m partnering with SummerStage and the Jazz Foundation of America to deepen the community focus of their Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. We’ll have community garden concerts in the neighborhoods where Charlie Parker lived, featuring jazz artists from the respective communities. Today is Harlem and we have Bill Saxton in the Harlem Rose Garden, preceding CPJF’s main event for the evening, Anat Cohen Tentet. Space extremely limited! NYC

Music: The Ancient Jazz Quartet includes members who have played with Keith Richards, The Skatalites, Steel Pulse, Monty Alexander’s Kingston Express, and Levon Helm, Queens

💁 Music: World-renowned clarinet player, Anat Cohen leads her Tentet as a part of Day 2 (of 4) of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, NYC

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. First up: Mozart’s Magic Flute, NYC

 

Saturday, August 26

 

Music: Jazz Age Lawn Party. A Prohibition era-inspired gathering, “the biggest (not to mention the cleanest and most family-oriented) regular event in the ‘Retro Noveau’ movement,” (The Wall Street Journal.) Dressing up and picnicking is highly recommended for this magical opportunity to travel back in time. Note that you must pay to get into the small performance space but you can also easily enjoy the event from outside the gates, Governors Island

Music: Jazz veterans Lee Konitz Quartet and Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science along with Louis Hayes and Charenee Wade pay tribute to innovator and Bebop master, Charlie “Bird” Parker in Day 3 (of 4) of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, NYC

Music: Every Saturday afternoon, Bargemusic, a great presenter of classical music (and also a cool location: an old floating barge on the East River with amazing views of the city) has free concerts, including a Q&A with the musicians. I wrote about my experience above this week! Brooklyn

Music: Lady Moon & The Eclipse, influenced by R&B and afrobeat rhythms, create inspirational music that explores the cosmic soul, Bronx

Music: Trombonist Papo Vazquez and his Pirates Troubadours play on the beach, Queens

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth (thru August 27th), Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Up today: Verdi’s Rigoletto, NYC

 

Sunday, August 27

 

Led by the former lead singer of the internationally known Harlem Gospel Choir, the Anthony Morgan Gospel Ensemble performs in Harlem, NYC

Music: Joshua Redman Quartet, Lou Donaldson, Tia Fuller, and Alicia Olatuja play the final day of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park, NYC

Music: The Jefferson Market Garden might be one of the most beautiful in New York. Tonight they have jazz with the Miki Yamanaka Quartet featuring lauded saxophonist Melissa Aldana, NYC

Music: Valerie June’s voice is singularly unique that blurs the lines between genres and eras, resulting in an eclectic blend of folk, soul, country, R&B and blues. She’s amazing. It’s also the final concert of the SummerStage season, NYC

Theater: New York Classical Theatre creates experiences out of Shakespeare, this time, with Macbeth, Brooklyn

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Up today: The Barber of Seville, NYC

 

Monday, August 28

 

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: L’Amour de Loin, NYC

 

Tuesday, August 29

 

Music: Inkarayku plays Peruvian folk music against the idyllic NYC skyline, Queens

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Manon Lescaut, NYC

 

Wednesday, August 30

 

💁 Music: Tucker Park invites Music Under New York (i.e. subway buskers) above ground in this daytime series. Today multi-cultural funky Karikatura and french-reggae group The Blue Dahlia perform, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Roberto Devereux, NYC

 

Thursday, August 31

 

💁 Music: It’s Underground System’s summer. They’re all over town. Check them out this time in Brooklyn

Music: The wonderful ladies of Mariachi Flor de Toloache take on Brooklyn

Music: The only resident big band of a techno club in the world, Munich-based Jazzrausch Bigband has been revolutionizing the German club scene and now they take on NY, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Act I of Tristan und Isolde (save 9/1 for Acts II and III), NYC

 

Friday, September 1

 

Film/Music: It’s the Bronx Museum’s First Friday and they’re celebrating with DJ Eli Efi and Davi Vieira’s Hip Hop Axe featuring Cissa Paz, followed by an outdoor screening of Martha & Niki, a documentary about two young Swedish women of African descent who became the first female champions of the Juste Debout in Paris, the largest Hip Hop street dance competition in the world, Bronx

Theater: As You Like It. The Public Theater’s program Public Works invites diverse communities from across New York of amateur performers to join in creating high-quality works of participatory theater. This year, Public Works presents Shakespeare’s As You Like It,  with two hundred community members and professional actors performing together. I have seen Public Works in the past and it is a true model in community engagement in the arts. It had me in tears; it’s really beautiful. You have four days to catch this; this is day #1, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Act II and III of Tristan und Isolde, NYC

 

Saturday, September 2

 

Dancing: Beginners Capoeira class led by certified instructor Camaleao from Capoeira Nago Queens, Queens

Music: Every Saturday afternoon, Bargemusic, a great presenter of classical music (and also a cool location: an old floating barge on the East River with amazing views of the city) has free concerts, including a Q&A with the musicians. I wrote about my experience above this week! Brooklyn

Theater: As You Like It. The Public Theater’s program Public Works invites diverse communities from across New York of amateur performers to join in creating high-quality works of participatory theater. This year, Public Works presents Shakespeare’s As You Like It,  with two hundred community members and professional actors performing together. I have seen Public Works in the past and it is a true model in community engagement in the arts. It had me in tears; it’s really beautiful. You have four days to catch this; this is day #2, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Eugene Onegin, NYC

 

Sunday, September 3

 

Parade/Music/Dance: Brazil Day! Experience a lot of celebratory energy on 46th St, NYC

Music: Boricua Legends, created by Pedro “Pocholo” Segundo plays salsa dura; dancing encouraged!, NYC

Theater: As You Like It. The Public Theater’s program Public Works invites diverse communities from across New York of amateur performers to join in creating high-quality works of participatory theater. This year, Public Works presents Shakespeare’s As You Like It,  with two hundred community members and professional actors performing together. I have seen Public Works in the past and it is a true model in community engagement in the arts. It had me in tears; it’s really beautiful. You have four days to catch this; this is day #3, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Nabucco, NYC

 

Monday, September 4

 

💁 Parade: J’Ouvert Parade. Beginning at 6AM this year, start your day with the start of Carnival, Brooklyn

Parade: Caribbean Day Parade. Celebrate Caribbean pride! These events are always so colorful and spirited, Brooklyn

Theater: As You Like It. The Public Theater’s program Public Works invites diverse communities from across New York of amateur performers to join in creating high-quality works of participatory theater. This year, Public Works presents Shakespeare’s As You Like It,  with two hundred community members and professional actors performing together. I have seen Public Works in the past and it is a true model in community engagement in the arts. It had me in tears; it’s really beautiful. You have four days to catch this; this is the final day, NYC

Opera: The Met Opera is back with their end-of-summer HD series, sharing high-definition video of their operas out in Lincoln Center Plaza. Today: Verdi’s La Traviata, NYC

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Aight, that’s what I got. Have a great weekend everyone. I’ll be back next week with my final post of the summer.

 

All good things,

Ariana

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