Monday, July 12, 2010

The Second Annual Bastille Day

On Saturday Terry and I drove to the Audubon Park Garden District to find out what Bastille Day was all about. Of course in France Bastille day is a celebration of French independence from the rule of monarchs. When we drove past Stardust Video and Coffee there were one or two tents in the parking lot and a water tank set up to dunk a mime. We almost left since it looked like nothing was happening. I expected to see waving flags, a huge crowd and plenty of French costumes. We wandered the side streets looking for a parking spot and braved the heat to walk over to Stardust. A thermometer in Terry's car indicated it was 101 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
The door I usually use to enter Stardust was locked. We entered the door right in front of the food counter. I could hear a trumpet wailing in the room to my right so we walked that way. We were stopped and told that it would cost $10 to see the concert. I was annoyed since the event page said nothing about a $10 entry fee. He went on to explain that we would get 2 free drink tickets with the price of admission. I was ready to leave but Terry said, "Well, we are already here. Lets go in." She obviously has a higher entertainment budget that I do. So we paid and got orange wrist bands (not red, white and blue?).
The Benoit Glazer Quartet was on stage. Terry and I sat in an empty booth close to the stage and I got to work on my sketch. The last time I had seem Benoit playing trumpet was at a concert at his home where he played with his kids. Once a month Benoit opens his home, referred to as the White House or Timucua, to musicians and artists. The quartet was really good and Benoit would end each song with some independence themed riff. The fact that he would introduce each song with his authentic french accent added to the days Bastille theme.
Between sets Darlyn Finch came over with her fiance Brad Kuhn and Beverly Browning, an author who had been on Yo Soy Latino a radio show with Darlyn that morning. Darlyn broadcasts a show called Scribblers Corner which talks all about literary events in and around Orlando. I was still rushing to finish my sketch. I was in a panic since Benoit and the other musicians were getting off the stage so I was quickly noting the colors of their clothing. I quickly threw down washes on the performers even as they packed away their instruments. I might have seemed rude but I couldn't stop just because the music had stopped.
The next performers were Serina Jung and Lisa Firestone. Both are performing moms and their children were in the audience. Serina's beautiful voice and acoustic guitar playing set the tone of the performance. Lisa offered back up on several of the songs on the piano but later she got off stage to let Serina serenade the audience on her own. The whole time she sang I was finishing up my sketch of Benoit adding delicate layers of watercolor washes. When she finished my sketch was complete.
Terry and I left Stardust in search of other events that were going on such as a Waiter race, a fencing demonstration and a dog show to see which mutts could best look like a french poodle. We walked over to Park Avenue CD's and looked around the air conditioned store. The Moulin Rouge stage was still under construction. A few more craft vendor tents were set up. The Orlando Sentinel had a tent and table but no one was there. I joked with Terry that they must have all been fired as soon as the tent had been set up. We never did find any of the other scheduled events. We decided to get back in the air conditioned car and head off to hear some jazz.

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Mme Paulita said...

I hear ya. I went at about 3:30 to Palmers to hear about French Gardening and was sad to hear an impromptu lecture that lasted about 5 min. My daughter and I walked down to Park Ave, nothing was set up and then over to Stardust where there was music playing. It was so hot and we ended up leaving after an hour :(

I have never heard Benoit play but I remember his son, who is the same age as mine. They were in the same class one year and it wasn't unil a few months ago that I realized what they were doing with their home.

Petit Nuage said...

I love your daily sketch! Surprised to see that the French flag is vertically hung!

brad said...

Not rude at all. We totally understood. Peace

Lynne Chapman said...

I am always really imopressed by your ability to so neatly capture people who are in constant movement.

Ja Rome said...

As far as nothing going on at Park Ave, that has more to do with the willingness of the musicians. There were plans to have them play on the stage from 6PM on, but all refused to do so due to heat.

A lot of places that copied the event listing forgot to include the prices of the contests and the Benoit concert. Unfortunately, APGD has little control over that.

There were some people dressed up in costumes, but the sun was way too hot for many. At the table for tickets in Stardust, there was an event listing for what time was what. Maps would have probably been nice.

The church was a bad idea, I think. It was so spread out, and not easy to see with the random construction that just decided to pop up.

Thor said...

Sounds like lessons were learned and next year will be better than ever. Love how this neighborhood is reinventing itself.