Sunday, September 20, 2009

a multi-cultural weekend

On Friday night I had an orchestra gig at the KORUS Festival in Annandale, accompanying the local Korean-American community's answer to The Three Tenors. They sang a few Italian arias and the orchestra played The Barber of Seville overture.

In between the opera segment and the US and Korean national anthems, there was a spectacular performance by the Gambling Crew, which is an ensemble of Korean break dancers. I don't know about you, but Korean+break+dancing are three words I never thought I'd see in a row, much less on stage. I guess I don't get out much. Anyway, their show was really impressive and exciting. And for some reason it didn't occur to me that boys would also get tramp stamp tattoos, but again, I just don't get out very much.

On Saturday a friend of Doug's who was visiting from Texas stopped by to see all the work we've been doing on our house. Afterwards we went to grab a bite to eat at the Ukrainian Festival which was happening nearby. We had pierogies, sausage and sauerkraut, and borscht. They also had stuffed cabbage and various pastries, along with regular hot dogs and hamburgers, and a Ukrainian beer garden which we did not indulge in because we had work to do.

There was lots of dancing and assorted musical performances. It was interesting to hear virtuosic Russian gypsy violin being played with a disco style backup track. I can't say I liked that aspect, but hey, I guess that's multicultural too! I was disappointed to not see any balalaika bands while I was there. The various Russian dance troupes were excellent and almost as exciting as the Koreans. But their costumes were much more interesting and the dancing was a lot closer to their actual cultural origins. Nearly everyone who came to this festival (except for us and a few others) were wearing embroidered Russian peasant shirts or costumes of some sort.

Another thing that tied these two events together for me was that one of the songs the Three Korean Tenors sang was O Sole (get it?!?) Mio, and then on Saturday one of the virtuosic violinists who performed was named Solomiya Horokhivska. Really! Okay that was really really bad. But true! Anyway, she played beautifully.

I wonder if my geese migrated over to this nice pond at the back of St. Andrews Orthodox Church.

And one last thing - if you ever happen to be in outer outer Silver Spring (as in Cloverly, way out on New Hampshire Avenue), be sure to stop in at O'Keefe Orchard and pick up some fresh, crisp, juicy apples.

I think it's pretty close to the end of peach season by now, but the ones we've been getting there for the past month are the best I've had in years. Incredibly delicious and impeccably unblemished. But their apples are also equally outstanding.


lacochran said...

Looking at that girl swinging over the water, the only thing I can think is "She's dressed so nicely. I hope she doesn't get her outfit messed up." Clearly, I'm old.

Barbara said...

How is that little girl doing it? I just kept looking for the post she was sitting on!

Good idea for apple picking. It can't get much more local than that!

I live in the middle of the melting pot of NoVa. I should take greater advantage of "cultural" opportunities like those you mentioned.

Bowie Mike said...

That is a great picture of the girl on the swing. It's an interesting combination of formal attire, pond with manufactured water feature and a Huck Finnian style pass time of swinging out over the water on a rope swing.

Solomiya Horokhivska? Really? I have a love/hate relationship with funny names. I find them interesting, but wonder what parents are thinking sometimes. Maybe Solomiya is a common name? I recently heard about a family in rural Maryland that had named their daughter Indiana Jones and their son Dow Jones.

Brother Without Order said...

I love the picture of the girl swinging. Those apples look delicious. I got some on the way out to Chesapeake Beach yesterday. Nothing like fresh fruit. mmmm

Kristin said...

What a wonderfully cultural weekend! I might need to head out for some apples, too.

Cyndy said...

lacochran - If I had taken a turn on the swing, my outfit would have gotten messed up - from my rear end dragging in the water.

Barbara - the swing was a rope hanging from a tree and the seat was a circular piece of plywood. I was amazed at how nearly every business in that section of Annandale was Korean except for the MacDonalds, Wendys, and Kmart. I think the suburbs actually might have more cultural variety than DC does. I could be wrong.

Mike - yes I enjoyed seeing all of those elements as well. I think the violinist may have moved here from Russia where her name would probably not be that unusual. Maybe it's related to Salome or Solomon in some way. I was just enjoying the phoenetic coincidence.

Garrett - Thanks for the photo compliment. The apples not only look delecious, they are delicious!

Kristin - it was interesting and unexpected, which made it extra enjoyable. And now's the time to get good apples, for sure.

Washington Cube said...

They have got some bizzaro churches out on New Hampshire Avenue extended by Cloverly. It's like...take your pick of exotic. And I love that orchard. There's a good restaurant out there, too.

Cyndy said...

There are some very interesting churches out this way. I've actually been planning to do a post showing some of the more interesting ones. I'll get around to it one of these days.

The best restaurant around Cloverly now is the Greek place. It's very good. There used to be an inn in an old house on 198 that was outstanding. I think it might have been just a little too fancy for the area at the time and unfortunately it closed a few years ago. I think they also had a fire, which didn't help matters. I know how that goes.