Even NYC mellows out on a Sunday but still, being NYC she always holds a few surprises just to keep you on your toes. Following are some images from when the day was still young.
Archive for June, 2013
This morning while strolling I came across the First Street Community Garden. Other than myself and the ghosts of the great women on its walls, the garden was completely empty. It was very peaceful there and I stayed a while looking at things and trying to see them. And then I took these pictures.
> Harriet Tubman
The parent activist group ChangetheStakes held a press conference this afternoon on the steps of Tweed, the Department of Education headquarters to bring attention to the continuing chaos of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies and the incompetence of the DOE bureaucracy.
The parents drew attention to the fact that over the past few weeks the DOE has sent letters to thousands of students informing them that they have not been promoted despite their passing and even excellent grades. The letters have baffled and enraged parents, teachers and principals in equal numbers. As with so much of education in the age of accountability, the discussions are based entirely on standardized test scores and have no reliable protocol in place for those parents who have their children opt out of the test.
Parent after parent told of their misery in dealing with the clueless DOE and how such incompetence has utterly disrupted their lives.
Present for the entire press conference was Councilman Robert Jackson who also spoke out against the harmful dependence on standardized tests and the chaos of the DOE under Bloomberg.
Several parents pointed out the fact that, despite Tweed’s relentless championing of teacher accountability, there is no accountability measures or methods for the leadership at Tweed whatsoever, nor has their been for the entirely
One of the few things that Bloom does not encounter (even if his thinking returns to her continuously) is his wife Molly Bloom. Molly, for her part, is to cuckold Leopold that very afternoon with one Blazes Boylan, a Dublin dandy, (even as her thinking continuously returns to her husband.)
In between these two events just about everything in the world except the end of it takes place. Some of it is very, very sad. Much of it is very, very funny.
Structurally, Joyce designed Ulysses to contain every literary form in existence but he saved the one that is arguably the most intimate – the soliloquy — for Molly, to whom he gives the last 30, 000 or so words.
This Bloomsday my wife and I had the joyfully exhausting experience of hearing Molly’s soliloquy read by Eunice Wong at the Lynn Redgrave Theater at Culture Project on Bleeker Street. Wong’s performance was nothing short of magnificent.
The soliloquy, on one level a stream of consciousness recapitulation of Molly’s day, and on another an endless riff on sex, death, menstruation, politics, theology, the female body, the male body, faith, betrayal and, above all, love, is nothing short of symphonic and as such demands an interpreter of enormous emotional courage and breadth to do it justice. Wong, as Molly, pondered, exclaimed, wept, laughed, whispered, whistled, sang, farted, giggled, danced, cooed, and much more throughout, did it justice. She also displayed Olympian level stamina in the process. An Asian American, Wong chose not to employ a Dublin accent, but rather than take away from Molly’s Irishness, her performance heightened the universality of Joyce’s monumental creation: the sublime Molly Bloom.
Wong was humbling to watch. And also hilarious. And also beautiful.
In short, her rendering of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy was art of a very high order and we were grateful to have experienced it.