I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

July 07, 2016 - 8:49 p.m.

Klezmer Goes to Church

wow I opened word 45 minutes ago and just now began to write. Who stole the my time? Oh right, the Chronoklepts. This evening writing of Wise Madness throws everything off. I hope people read it.

I didn't write this morning because I went out and didn't have time to write beforehand. On the bright side I didn't have anything interesting to write about this morning and now I do.

Today I went to a lunchtime concert by Metropolitan Klezmer. Do I have to tell you what kind of music they play? Who said Metropolitan? There's always one in the crowd. The band is an octet but it's hard to get 8 musicians free to play at the same time, today there were a sextet. Three of them, Eve Sicular, Debra Kreisburg, and Pam Fleming, who didn't play today, are also in Isle of Klezbos.

The concert was at Abe Lebewohl Park in the East Village. I had never heard of the park even though I know the area well. Abe Lebewohl was the owner of the Second Ave. Deli which was across the street. It turns out the Park is the plaza in front of the St. Mark's Church, now that I know. I've hear music inside it and love its small cemetery. I have been to that cemetery many times without knowing it's most famous, um, resident? Peter Stuyvesant, the last and best known Dutch Governor of New York. I found out today because the band's accordion player and co-founder, Ismail Butera showed it to me. I never noticed it before because it's a vault under the church and the headstone is black and very hard to read. Take a look along the wall and you'll find it once you know it's black and hard to read. It's now part of the Gordon tour of New York.

I love Metropolitan Klezmer. They play traditional klezmer and are very open to outside influences. You won't hear many klezmer tangos anywhere else. It's not as uncommon to have jazz; klezmer and jazz have a lot in common. Many musicians play both. Todays' configuration was trombone, clarinet or saxophone, vocal, accordion, bass, and drums. I listed that from right to left on the stage because it's Yiddish. I liked that Eve who is the leader and front man, from the back row, referred to Debra the clarinet/sax player as playing reeds. Part of me objected as the accordion also has reeds. I had thought about this as if you call the accordion a keyboard each instrument is in a different family.

I think I've only seen them once before, I've seen Isle of Lesbos a few more times, but they immediately became one of my bands. They play music that I can get lost in. There is so much to hear. It can engage my mind with its intricacies or bypass the brain and make my body move. They make me happy and are my people. By that I don't mean that they are Jewish. I feel the same way about several Irish bands. Music and mind are far more important than genetic heritage.

Why am I posting this to the Falcon Ridge Group on Facebook? The last time I saw them guess who was at the next table, Anne Saunders. She saw them, liked them, and booked them! I'm assuming they are going to play the dance tent. It's about time FRFF had some klezmer. This is one of those things that is very good for the band and very good for the festival. You will love them.

I ate across the street at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. I love that place but had never been there for lunch. I didn't get the apple blintz I usually get because I couldn't resist the very well-priced lunch special, a hot pastrami sandwich and fries for $7. That would be $20 at Katz's deli. Katz's is better but three times better? Too bad they were out of pastrami and I settled for corned beef. Of course now I want to go back and get an apple blintz. Oh well, next time I'm in the neighborhood.

Let's stick to food. Yesterday I bought American cheese so today for the first time in ages I made a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy sausages even if they are twice the price on City Island as in Brooklyn. I can't figure out how to get frozen food from Brooklyn to here.

I don't have any commuting stories today, everything went like a breeze. Because it was so hot I didn't want to get there early. I gave myself an hour and a half not the two hours I normally would to make sure I got there. I made it in an hour and a quarter. It's much easier to get to the East Side from here even if it means going from the to the then back to the . It helps that the was running express both ways so the trip home was a breeze too.

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please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile July 07, 2016
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