Memorial Day Samba

It’s been a big week in samba. Samba NY rehearsal on Tuesday. Manhattan Samba rehearsal on Thursday; we had a workshop on os sinos, the cowbell tree. Holding those suckers made my left bicep sore the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up early to get on the train to Princeton; Samba NY had a gig at the reunion. We didn’t know what to expect, but I’m not sure any explanation could have prepared me. The Princeton campus looked like Hogwarts for American teenagers; people of all ages were dressed alike on purpose. We didn’t get picked up at the train station, so we waited for a while, and then walked the short walk onto campus. By the time we showed up the only lunch boxes left were kids meals. Hmph.

I can’t even describe the Princeton reunion parade. Alumni line up in their classes and then parade for each other in orange and black swag. Each decade had an accompanying musical group; we belonged to the 1990s, and we were given bright orange shirts that said “Keeping it Rio.” Get it? Real = Rio. Chuckle chuckle. Another group had taiko drummers; others had bagpipes. One group was dressed in china hats and had fans and signs that said 虎 (tiger). It looked weird to me because I’m used to 老虎.

We drummed along to a recorded track, which was a bad idea, but we couldn’t talk the organizer out of it. At the end of the parade, we played our way back through campus, and by then everyone had gone. C found a box of fruit and I had the most delicious pear I’ve ever eaten in my life.

I wasn’t able to make it to the Manhattan Samba’s Brazilia Grill gig, but I met L and S at the World Trade Center when they got off the PATH train. The three of us hung out at Café Dante off Bleeker St. before walking over to S.O.B.’s

S.O.B.’s was a hell of a gig. I played sinos and caixa, and the dancefloor was packed; somebody was leading steps at the front.

(photo by Stan Rifken)

At the end of the gig, we packed up the van and I subwayed home.

I slept until 3pm today, then did laundry and got some lumpia ready for tomorrow’s big picnic.

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