Long Distance

Thursday, I had AS try out the SlingBox using the new PocketPC version of the viewer software from Taipei. After some fiddling, it seems to work just as well as the laptop version, but it fits in the palm of your hand. Rats, only one person can register their PocketPC with SlingBox to use it.

Friday, saw Man of the Heart, which I described on Thursday. Nominally, it is an attempt to bring back awareness of Bengali mystic Lalon Pkokir, who is an original source of Bengali culture, and have been used as a focus of a nonsectarian Indian way of life. However, the subtext is a conjoining of John Lennon’s utopian song “Imagine” and something of a gnostic Islamic-Hindu belief system (gnostic Christianity being more familiar to the public from the DaVinci Code and the Matrix movie series). The play takes a lot of getting your mind wrapped around. The singing is extraordinary, and it immediately brings the impressions and thoughts into feelings, even though it is sung in the Baoul caste style. (The projected supertitles help out, too). The work toured through Southern California, and will journey to India after this run.

Saturday was the 150 mile round trip journey to Mommonth, New Jersey for P-‘s friend’s wedding. Very simple – 15 minutes for the actual ceremony, where the groom’s brother managed to get ordained from some church to be able to preform the multidenominational wedding. The area was beautiful, and the DJ did his best to get Hava Nagila blended with Pulp Fiction and Motown.

Sunday we helped P-‘s other friend move to Long Island City. The place is really starting to take off, development wise. Afterwards, we went to the 25th annual Sakura Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which was sponsored by Inuyuama Council Member and Brooklyn son Anthony Bianchi. We visited him last year at this time, and the NY Times covered this year’s tour. To celebrate the anniversary, he brought a 60 person contingent of cultural performers, a calligraphy expert and an artisian tofu maker. Families who had recently sent their children to Inuyuama offered homestays to the Japanese visitors, completing the circle of cultural exchanges. Anthony wants to use his good offices to formalize these exchanges into a two year cycle between Brooklyn and Inuyuama, which are similarly situated to cities such as New York and Nagoya. He is up for re-election next year, and he looks like he has a good shot – he’s done all of the right things and brought transparency to the way government works in his area.

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