Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jazz in Autumn Central Park, New York

Jazz and Colors was advertised on many NYC event guides as a great way to take a stroll around Central Park while listening to classic jazz performances. I was surprised this was only the second year for the event. Just to note, I didn’t research the set list or the bands. Sometimes it’s better to just walk and enjoy and see what’s playing. I started out with egg/cheddar on a sesame bagel for breakfast (prepared for walking!) and headed to Columbus Circle. A banner indicated the band/location: ELEW and Nature of the Next / Columbus Circle. They had a huge crowd probably because Columbus Circle gets quite a bit of foot track. I wonder if most people just walked by and learned about the event. Maps and pamphlets were available at the information table.


While I walked to nearly 7 or 8 bands, the only three I remembered were Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (Bandshell, not pictured), Jason Marshall Quintet (Pineband Arch), and Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars (Olmsted Bed on the Mall).



I know I had a perfect autumn day/weekend in Cambridge [blog entry] but New York also has its perfect autumn days. With foliage all around me in orange, yellow, red, and some greens too, I just wanted to keep walking and taking pictures. Dark branches with character spiraled out of nowhere. Ginkgo, maple, and pots of chrysanthemum looked even more lovely with the various sculptures / buildings inside the park. I also liked Central park’s benches, pools, lakes, bridges, and reflection of the leaves and buildings. Even more pics on shutterfly.




Other highlights from the weekend

Go go Curry typical comfort food. Try the chicken katsu or pork katsu and you won’t be disappointed.

Jiro dreams of sushi movie.
A movie about work and passion, with just a dash of sushi food porn in the mix. Linda and I both agreed that the food critic was awesome. He’s able to articulate just what sets Jiro’s sushi place a step or two above others. The movie was also a keen study on father/son relationship as well as the relationship between sushi chef/customer and sushi chef/fish market/fish dealer. I don’t think I’ll make it to Tokyo’s Ginza district any time soon, but may check Sushi Yasuda because it’s well regarded in the city.

Dim sum in 8th Ave Chinatown (Brooklyn Sunset Park) for the first time with friends was great. I didn’t get the name of the place but am sure we’ll go back there. Good service and very delicious shrimp dumplings. Pretty cool to have had dim sum in Manhattan, Queens, and now Brooklyn!

Windy Sunset Park made it difficult to take a picture of the gorgeous skyline. I recommend people take a trip out here though.

Whole Foods almond milk latte. Yes it’s not a secret that Whole Foods has almond milk available if you’re not interested in milk or soy. I like to switch it up a little and find it fun to get an almond milk latte whenever I’m in a Whole Foods. In this case, we were waiting for the movie to start so had some time to chat and sip coffees.

Miyazaki movie Wind is Rising or Wind Rises. I don’t know what the movie is called but it was a sold out crowd (possibly because everyone heard the ad on NPR or because it’s only playing at the Landmark Sunshine theater for one week). I enjoyed the visual effects but found the love story a bit difficult to relate. I did like the main character’s pursuit of his dream though. That was powerful.

Speaking of jazz, there is also an excellent jazz anime called “Kids on the Slope”. It’s currently available on stream on Crunchy Roll. I found it because I heard Yoko Kanno also worked on the music. There were a few love triangles but the overall character interaction was genuine and relatable. Best part was of course the music but it’s rare to find anime more focused on friendships and growing up than the regular school romance. Who is your favorite character? It’s a toss up between the two male leads at various points of the storyline.

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