My First Perfect Fall Weekend of 2008

I’ve been working WAY too hard for the last four weeks. So, my boss forbade me to do any work this weekend. Being the good employee that I am . . . I listened to him. This resulted in a perfect Saturday in Brooklyn (and Sunday is starting out pretty nice too!). First we spent a lazy Saturday morning at home. I got a nice hunk of my bam boo top done

After deciding it was time to leave the house (after many Scrambulous rounds with Nell), we checked out the program for Open House New York. I’ve never even heard of this AMAZING weekend. I only wish it lasted a month. There are hundreds of free programs all over the city. After much debate we settled on a dance installation in Greenwood Cemetery. We love Greenwood, and it was a perfect fall day, so we figured, if the performance/installation was a bust we would still have a nice day. The installation was fantastic!!! I found it eerie and beautiful. It was called Angels & Accordions. It is really hard to describe. It starts at the main gate of the Cemetery. . .by the way, for those of you who don’t know about the wild parrots of Brooklyn, I should mention that there are giant nests of bright green Monk Parakeets that live in the front gate. Their squawking only added to the strange and delightful afternoon. (on a weird side note, the other city that I lived in, Chicago, also had a mysterious population of Monk Parakeets that lived in Hyde Park. There were many theories on how they got there, but nobody knows for sure.)
* I forgot my camera, so these pictures come from a fab Brooklyn Blog, Atomische*

Back to Angels & Accordions. . . it started with a trio of accordion players & the dance performance in front of the gate. First a group of mourners came out all dressed in black under black umbrellas.

Shortly after one mourner laid some flowers on the ground, a group of dancers (presumably the dead) appeared in white flowing costumes. They danced with the mourners, and then after the mourners embraced the dead, they slipped out of their arms and left the mourners with empty arms.
The dancers then walked up the hill into the cemetery and the whole crowd followed. For the next two hours, hundreds of us followed guides holding large black and white umbrellas, throughout the cemetery.

As you walked you came across the dancers, singing mournfully, draped eerily and dancing beautifully all around the graves. It was really spectacular. My favorite was walking under a low hanging willow and finding the dead hidden amongst the branches quietly singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (later we found out that Frank Baum was buried near by).

Another favorite was walking though the catacombs past people ringing bells and projections of pictures, and the soft speaking of names. All to accordion music

It all ended with a final, full ensemble dance, by the chapel. A magical afternoon.

This morning started chilly and rainy, so I lit my first fire of the season (yeah)

and David made blueberry pancakes. Now we’re mulling over going out and doing yet more fun Brooklyn things This weekend is just what I needed to prepare me for the upcoming weeks.

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