The weekend really began on Friday evening, when we rented "Training Day," to see how Denzel Washington finally won his Oscar. Very violent, lots of screaming, and over-the-top acting by Denzel Washington. A better performance by Ethan Hawke. Three Farklempt stars--all for the violence.
Saturday evening, we parked in the basement of our new apartment at Center Place, brought up some paintings, and walked over to the Vets. We crossed a large field (big enough to shoot golf balls downtown!), and looked at the panoramic view at sunset. The East Side bathed in golden light, the tall buildings of downtown, the river and Waterplace Park, the Mall, the Vets Auditorium, and in the center of it all--Center Place. We are looking forward to moving in June.
The concert that night was directed by Francisco Noya, the Assistant Conductor who is using our apartment until we move in. The orchestra received a grant from the NEA to do a Portuguese concert, and Francisco had to find Portuguese music that was not Fado songs. He found a symphonietta and harpsichord concerto by a 17th century composer named Seixas. This music is rarely played...for good reason. Still, the harpsichordist, Mark Kroll, had flying fingers and played a brilliant Scarlatti encore. The next piece was by a contemporary Portuguese composer named Coelho, musical impressions of a night in Lisbon. It was surprisingly interesting, beautiful, exciting, and lovingly played. It was clear that the musicians liked it, as did the audience. The program closed with a triumph for Francisco: Holst's The Planets. It has its moments of John Williams-like bombast, but it is beautifully orchestrated, familiar, and exciting. It brought a standing ovation. While the Providence Journal's critic faulted the concert because the hall was too cold for him (I do mean cold in temperature--this critic, Channing Gray, has his moments), Carol and I thought it was a great concert. Of course, we feel very warmly toward Francisco (I mean in feeling).
Sunday morning, a guy came over and bought my large color TV and my huge living room speakers, so I had a pocketful of cash. We dropped off some more paintings at the apartment, parked in the garage, and walked across the street to a rally in support of Israel. A whole mélange of Jews was there, from Rabbi Laufer and his boys, offering passers-by the chance to put on t'filin
to left-wing radicals who wanted a total withdrawal from the settlements. Alan Brier, always ready for a photo-op, quickly joined this group.
The speakers included the entire congressional delegation, David Cicilline, our Italian-Jewish liberal gay state representative who is running for mayor, and, arriving late, as usual, fresh from his appearance in Federal Court, where he is on trial for corruption, stealing the show by parading in with his two bodyguards and shaking the hand of everyone on the dias, Mayor Buddy Cianci, who opened his speech with "Tzaharayim Tovim! Good Afternoon!" Somehow, he was able to connect the birth and growth of Israel with his own revitalization of downtown Providence.
As we walked back to the our car, we once again took in our new home.
Spire of First Baptist Church on left, train station in foreground, our building behind it, downtown in the distance
On to Pizza and Sushi
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