It's 10:30am on Wednesday as I type these words. Believe it or not, this is my second blog entry in the same day as I try to catch up.
Stopped by Alliance Dance Institute yesterday (Tuesday) to meet up with dancer Marsha Bonet for a quick rehearsal. We're doing a private gig tonight (Wednesday) in Adams-Morgan at a club that's celebrating its anniversary. We go on at about 11:00pm. Should be fun.
For our rehearsal (all 30 minutes of it) we just did a few run-throughs to get the choreographic structure down and left plenty of room for improv. Afterwards I got some lunch, caught the bus and headed towards the Van Dorn metro to get on the train towards Dupont Circle to pick up my sound equipment at Cafe Citron.
It was a little after 3:00pm, the rehearsal earlier went well and I had plenty of time to chill out before the show at Las Tapas so I was in a pretty good mood.
Saw this girl standing on the train platform who caught my eye. OK, so she happened to be beautiful, but something about her seemed familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it. Kept to myself until the train arrived. Got on and grabbed a seat near her. She took the initiative, made eye contact and started up a conversation:
"I have seen you perform."
I'm used to being recognized in public places but this feeling never gets old, "Cool! Where? Cafe Citron, Las Tapas..."
Before I could finish reciting my list, she interjects, "Las Tapas! We met. I have your business card."
I pride myself on remembering names and faces, but it wasn't happening at this moment, "Forgive me, what is your name?"
"It's OK. My name is Tatiana. Where are you from?"
We continued talking until she got off at her stop. Turns out she's also a singer/guitarist, from Colombia, who occasionally performs at La Tasca in Chinatown (incidentally, another La Tasca is opening up down the street from Las Tapas) with a group called Cafe y Caribe. Got her card and promised I'd check out one of her shows sometime. Anyway, one of the cool things about being a performer is that you meet a LOT of people. You may not remember them all but at least they remember you cuz you're the center of attention on stage (at least for a short while).
Genoveva and Miguelito. June 27, 2006 8:58pm (photo by Drew)
A few hours later, I was at Las Tapas doing my usual Tuesday night show. I had the pleasure of performing with dancers Genoveva and Sarah Hart.
It's not too often that I have pics of my shows here, but Genoveva's friend Drew was kind enough to take a few during our second set.
Yeah, I'm kinda lagging on my blogging so let's backtrack to Monday when I had just arrived to Dulles airport from a red eye flight from San Francisco.
Wasn't the most comfortable airline seat but I managed to sleep through most of da trip. We got to the car and headed towards Arlington where my brother dropped me off at the Rosslyn metro. He offered to drop me off at the Pink Flamenco (in Chevy Chase) but before going home to catch up on much-needed sleep, I decided to get one necessary chore out of the way : transferring my sound system from Cabanas to Cafe Citron.
But the problem was that even if I did stop by Cabanas at this early hour of 9:00am and picked up my system, there'd be nobody at Citron to let me in, so I had to kill some time until a typical decent hour for night club employees to arrive to work. So....where to go in Georgetown to keep myself entertained for two hours? Barnes and Noble, yes!
Still feelin' groggy from the trip, I stopped by Starbucks for a doppio to jolt my system and went to the washroom to splash cold water on my face. And I was good to go or at least good enough to browse books for a few hours. Of course, my eyes were bloodshot and I looked like I just crawled out of bed after sleeping in my clothes from the previous night. Doesn't it always seem like you "randomly" run into people you'd like to impress on the days you look your worst? Oh well, I was so tired I almost didn't care anyway.
I was instinctively drawn towards the self-help section. I don't know why. In my groggy state, I suppose I needed something easy and uplifiting to read and this seemed like the place to go. I found a book titled No Opportunity Wasted : Creating a Life List and started skimming the first few pages. It had a good intro that drew me in and made me want to go on and on, but I couldn't help it, I started nodding off. I put the book back on the shelf and decided that I just needed to keep walking and get the blood pumping through my body. So I wandered the streets of Georgetown and eventually made my way to the Georgetown Harbour and came across something I had heard about but never seen before:
They have these steel walls that rise out of the ground (see pic) when the Potomac river level rises higher than usual. Of course I had been away in San Francisco most of the past weekend and hadn't been reading the papers or checking the news so I had no idea of the heavy rains and flood conditions that were happening here in DC.
It seemed like business as usual at Cabanas when I went in to pick up my sound system. The cooks were in the kitchen doing their usual food prep chores, the floor was freshly mopped and the wait staff hadn't arrived (probably late due to flood-related road closings and metro delays). But it was about to rain, again, and I was about to be caught in a downpour while walking from Georgetown to Dupont Circle with my equipment as I usually do.
Caught a cab and got to Citron around noon and found it filled with people watching the Copa Mundial on a large screen TV. Quickly parked my sound system in a corner by the bar and left to catch the metro and dive into bed and get some rest so I could have some energy to perform at Citron.
Here are the pics from that night. Enjoy!
For my flamenco friends: I don't want to bore you with family pics, so I'm focusing mostly on the touristy pics from my weekend in San Francisco. Just so you know why I was ignoring all your phone calls and emails this past weekend.
I arrived at the airport on Saturday at around 5:45pm and made it to my Dad's birthday (his 70th) in nearby Belmont a little before 7:00pm, a few minutes late. Oh well. It was good to see some of my relatives for the first time in quite a while. It was also good to be in California, my home state. It's so beautiful out here.
Ate lots of filipino food, hung out with relatives in my huge family, met quite a few that I didn't know or haven't seen in a long long time. Made it back to the hotel a little after midnight (3:00am DC time).
The next day, we did the tourist thang. Although I had been to San Francisco many times as a child, it felt like my first time. Anywayz, got lots of email to catch up on and phone calls to return, so I'll keep the commentary minimal and let the pics speak for themselves. Enjoy!
Safoura Safavi, María Roncal, Johan Moberg and Miguelito. June 23, 2006 10:43pm
It's 9:43am on Saturday as I type these words. The bus for Dulles leaves at 10:44 and I'm still at home, yikes! But I gotta do some blogging before I leave for the weekend.
My Dad's celebrating his birthday with a two-night party. The first night was in Los Angeles, but I couldn't make it. The second night (tonight) will be in San Francisco where I'll be arriving around 5:00pm California time. Anyway, I'm pretty excited cuz it's the first time I'll be in on the West Coast since 1996 not to mention the fact that my Dad is turning 70!
So last night after my gig at Cabanas (dancers were Shahram Tehranian and Sarah Hart), I headed over to Karma Lounge at 19th and I St to hear my friend Safoura's band perform. It was Persian pop music so I couldn't understand the lyrics but the band was really tight and their performance was very energetic. Safoura has a very engaging stage presence that makes the audience feel at ease, as if it was a private party.
She came to Citron almost exactly a year ago to check out my show. Apparently she knew of me through my website. Turns out she studied flamenco guitar and singing in Sevilla through the Cristina Hereen Flamenco Foundation. The least I could do is return the favor and check out her band Abjeez and I'm glad I did. You know me. I like performers that connect with an audience.
Pictured above is me with Safoura, local dancer María Roncal and flamenco guitarist Johan Moberg. We took several pics but Johan kept closing his eyes. Great guitarist but sorry Johan I don't think modelling is in your future.
Abjeez. June 23, 2006 10:56pm
OK, I better go so I don't miss my bus. I'll be back in DC on Monday morning. Ciao!
It's 9:19am as I type these words. I started the day yesterday (Thursday) meeting up with some flamencos to discuss details for an upcoming gig. It was at a coffee shop just down the street from my house, so of course I waited until the last minute to leave the house. Being the first to arrive, I got my usual drink, a doppio, grabbed a CityPaper, sat down and read News of the Wierd--my favorite section.
It's not too often that I have meetings since most of what I do is tablao gigs and a few private gigs here and there. So I actually had to bring a notepad and pen and take notes. Normally, I'd use my Palm Pilot but it croaked on me a couple of weeks ago--actually I dropped it on the ground one night on my way home from a gig when I dozed off waiting for the last metro of the night and my hand relaxed and it fell. When I picked it up the screen was still intact but it only displayed colorfully psychedelic lines of gibberish. Oh well. On the upside, now I have an excuse to buy a more current model, preferably one with built-in WIFI. Yes! On the downside, since I'm already saving up for my trips this summer by staying in a few nights a week, gulp, I gotta do more of the same. It's OK. It's worth it.
Well, at least one of my roommates who happens to be a serious mambo dancer is going to start taking flamenco classes, so soon I'll have someone to jam with at home. We'll see how that goes.
Fast forward a few hours, it's 7:00pm and I'm at home getting dressed and cleaning myself up when I get a call from the Andalucía telling me that the show is cancelled for tonight. Of course I was disappointed since flamenco is my drug of choice and I needed my daily fix. But on the other hand, I had a couple of social visits to squeeze into one evening afterwards and now my schedule was freed up, yay!