Washington Square Music Festival Two Concerts Left — Tuesdays, July 22nd and July 29th – Don’t Miss It!

Washington Square Music Festival July 8, 2008

Washington Square Music Festival July 8, 2008

The New York Times review (July 18th) of last week’s concert of the Washington Square Music Festival at Washington Square Park included some history, commentary on the Park and festival audience:

Perhaps it’s an illusion fostered by the fenced-off reconstruction work in Washington Square Park, but it seems as though the Washington Square Music Festival is shoehorned into a smaller section of the park every summer. The festival, in its 50th year, has done its own shrinking as well. Once a series of orchestra concerts, it is now a handful of chamber music programs, framed by folk and jazz concerts, with ensembles amplified to overcome the ambient noise of the park and the not-so-distant rumble of traffic.

But the festival has an audience, a larger one than its tiny slice of the park can accommodate. On Tuesday evening a reasonably large crowd watched from outside the metal barriers that set off the seating area, and as soon as a seat emptied, someone came in to fill it. In terms of age and race, you could hardly ask for a more diverse audience.

* Next Concert! * Tuesday, July 22nd at 8 p.m.

Pianist David Oei and Gamelan Son of Lion

An eclectic concert of works by (more…)

Recommended Film: “The Visitor” * Footage of Washington Sq Park Pre-Construction * Now Playing at Cinema Village

The Visitor
The Visitor

A few months ago, on a spur-of-the-moment whim, I caught the film “The Visitor” while it was playing at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). I was very touched by the story and recommend seeing it.begins with Walter, a professor at a college in Connecticut, who is sleep walking through his life when he is coerced into presenting a paper at a conference at N.Y.U. He has an apartment in the Village that he rarely frequents. Once he arrives, he discovers he has house guests and, in an unusual mode of behavior, he invites them to stay with him. This opens him up to a re-awakening of his spirit and soul through music, friendships and locales. The story takes some unexpected turns, some sad, some sweet. The acting is all very strong and holds up the premise of how a chance encounter, the moment when a person steps out of his day-to-day conventions, how the reaction to that moment can change a person’s life and open up new vistas.

The film at points takes Walter through Washington Square Park and the footage of the Park, pre-construction, is bittersweet.

It’s a bit heartbreaking to see the trees that once lined the fountain (now chopped down). They were an integral part of the much loved look and feel of Washington Square Park. (How many movies feature that shot from above of the Arch, the fountain, and the trees lining it? Yes, the fountain unaligned with the Arch, this was a classic shot – New York City, Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park.)

“The Visitor” is now playing at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street between University Place and 5th Avenue, #212/924-3363.

A. O. Scott of The New York Times’ wrote of “The Visitor”: (more…)