Summer Solstice Weekend

On heels of the miscommunication and technological misfires that are a hallmark of a Mercury retrograde period, this weekend was a soothing balm filled with art, music, food and friends. I kicked it off with my Prefuse 73-loving friend, Lafiya, at Whitney Live, the museum’s Friday night showcase of eclectic musical performances. The small space was filled to the rafters with fans of the multi-aliased musical wunderkind, who listened with rapt attention as he spun ambient sonic silk.

Wanting a little something to nosh on, we headed down to the wonderful Kasadela, an izakaya on 11th Street near the corner of Avenue C. The service is friendly and fast and the menus, both food and sake are outstanding. We nibbled on the creamy Japanese-style potato salad, lotus root chips and delicious chicken wings and nursed a couple of tastings of the beautifully smooth, appropriately chilled Ginban

As I made my way back home, the low-hanging, waning moon brightened my path and crossed it with that of a friend I’d been missing (a delightful remnant of the just-ended Retrograde.) In a near-wordless reunion, imbued with meaning, we reconnected. Logophile though I am, it is affirmation that language is not always spoken. With a smile, we parted, and I carried some of that enchantment with me the next day to share with my 7-year-old friend at her very first Mermaid Parade. (more on this in the next post)

After a day of parading in Sun and Surf (Avenue, that is) I happily communed with a vibrant group of artists and arts supporters at the return of Avant Yard at MoCADA. It felt like a family reunion, with so many of the artists (like Sadikisha Collier, Laura James and Dirk Joseph) I came to know in the nineties when I curated the art exhibitions at Brooklyn Moon. Music from a host of musicians, was performed live throughout. My former roommate, multi-hyphenate artist, Malik Yusef Cumbo organized the exhibition and event.

Malik Yusef Cumbo by his photo illustration.

Jennifer Cruté is perhaps best known for her hip, cheerfully-rendered illustrations, but she has come to tackle serious matters in her paintings. Her meditation on misogyny’s detrimental ramifications on women is powerfully startling.

Jenn Cruté sits before her painting.

The party continued just across the street at the home of Brooklyn activist, Eric Blackwell with more music, food and mingling. My buddy Dan and I strolled back to our Clinton Hill nabe and capped off the night at Bar Olivino (Fulton Street between Vanderbilt + Clinton), the quaint, intimate new bar from Katrin Polinari, owner of the nearby wine shop, Olivino.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of being photographed with several other Brooklynites from the creative community for A Great Day in Brooklyn (more on this in another post) followed by more artistic communion at the opening reception for the Jamel Shabazz-curated photo exhibition, Positivity at Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery.

from Positivity, the work of Toronto’s Che Kothari.

Though I’d intended to round out the weekend with the Salif Keita concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell, fatigue and a deluge prevented me from going. I hear from the die-hards who withstood the momentary monsoon, that it was a show not to be missed.

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