Here & Now, Art Book, a Car-free Life, Dumitrescu, Takei, Semper, Betasamosake Simpson, and Sainte-Marie.
HERE & NOW
First, a correction: The last issue was mistakenly numbered #95, but it should’ve been #94. I revised that, so we’re back to #95 with this issue.
I continue my adjustment to being “carfree” and am pleasantly surprised at how my perspective on the neighborhood—especially downtown—is changing. In other words, I’m feeling grateful. Downtown Monterey has nearly everything I need, and there’s so much good food here! It seems that having a car, and being dependent on a car, had spoiled my ability to appreciate what’s right in front of my eyes and nose.
Although I need to take a bus to see my doctor, it’s just a short walk to the Community Hospital for lab tests. I can easily pick up prescriptions nearby and get vaccinated. Local pharmacies have taken the place of what used to be the “five and dime” stores of my childhood. If I’m not too picky I can get almost anything there—even cheap art supplies, dish soap, and underwear!
And of course, there’s the freakin’ beach, three wharves, and bike trails—all in walking distance from my house. During the summer, there’s even free trolley service to Cannery Row and other tourist areas, as well as bike rentals.
Luckily, my disability (an arthritic knee) is relatively slight. I need a walking stick for walking more than a couple of blocks, but I am still able to ride a bike. I’m under no illusion, though; someday I will need more help. Two helpful resource sites are Share the Care and Monterey’s Aging and Disability Resource page.
I’m also becoming more aware of the growing car-free movement, which I learned about from doing searches in social media for “carless” and “carfree.” When I put the latter into my profile, I started getting follows from people several decades younger than me. Until recently, I would’ve assumed such a group would be made up of annoyingly aggressive bicyclists (an idea I picked up when I lived in the Bay Area during the early years of San Francisco Critical Mass). But with a little research I see that carfree is a broad movement that cuts across age, class, and color lines. Check out the “Safe Spaces, Community Places” video, advocating for carfree spaces in San Francisco:
Four pages from another artist book I’m working on. Although the book isn’t large, I wouldn’t call it tiny at 6.5 x 9.25 in. These are drawings done in local public spaces.
ART & CULTURE LINKS
Car-free Oslo (on City Beautiful):
Thinking about everything you didn’t get done last year? Irina Dumitrescu (in The Process) asks, “Who Told You To Be a Machine?”
George Takei is making his London Debut in the play Allegiance at Charing Cross Theater. In a recent post (in universeodon.com) he wrote: "In just six days I make my London stage debut. Don’t ever let anyone say you can’t keep dreaming and having to pinch yourself, even at age 85."
Philippine Artist Gromyko Semper’s “Every Breath I Take” is among a number of artworks in “Gallery F” to be sent to the moon in a “Lunar Codex” time capsule. The gallery showcases a selection of works from "The Nova Collection" and "The Polaris Collection," representing only a small fraction of the total works archived by the Lunar Codex.
Thanks to Leny Mendoza Strobel for pointing me to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson: “Break Up” (from Theory of Ice) Lyrics, in Blackwood Gallery.
“Break Up” (Video) from Theory of Ice:
Interview with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson:
A former boyfriend introduced me to Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Fire, Fleet, and Candlelight album in the 1960s. She was young and beautiful then (and still beautiful), but she always sounded like a wisewoman crone—like something much older inhabited her voice. Today, in her 80s, she sounds the same.
The chilling “Lyke Wake Dirge,” from Fire, Fleet, and Candlelight:
Buffy Sainte-Marie performing for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, 2022:
That’s it for now. I hope you are following your own way and having a peaceful and happy weekend.
If you happen to be on Mastodon, you can find me on Mastodon.art (@jeantangerine) and MontereyBay.social (@jeanevergreen).
My website is https://jeanvengua.com
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You’re welcome to do your laundry at my mom’s whenever you can drive to Salinas.