Monday, November 21, 2016

The Annual Venice Oceanarium Moby Dick-A-Thon - Plus

It sure was a beautiful weekend in Venice, highlighted by the annual reading of Moby Dick on the sand at the Breakwater. It's an all day/all evening affair put on by the Venice Oceanarium each year on the sand.

There are maritime props set up like a whale bone and a harpoon next to the chair and microphone for the readers. Listeners post up in the sand, and there's something just so lovely and mellow about lying on the sand and being read to as the sun sets.

It all got even lovelier as the sun sank below the horizon, when the kind folks from Enterprise Fish Company showed up with their donated delicious clam chowder and warm bread from Bay Cities. As the evening had turned chilly in the sea air, this was a most welcome warm up.

Several young students were sprawled across the sand, probably to get extra credit for a class, but it was nice to see all of them so eager to participate in a quintessentially Venice tradition. All read with gusto, and most likely also created themselves a wonderful memory. I know I did. Thanks always to the Oceanarium's Tim Rudnick for being such an advocate of the sea, and for putting this on each year.

I had a birthday party to get to, but along the way there was something I wanted to check out in the Canals. I'd seen on Facebook that there was to be an interactive tap dance light show at a house on the canals, and everyone was invited. Of course, I was there.

A gracious host called Hilary invited us in to his gorgeous home (bedecked with a big Jules Muck cat portrait on the side), offered us libations, and introduced us to the friends gathered for the performance by Laura Kriefman of the Guerilla Dance  Project. They brought out a bunch of containers of dry ice to create a smoky stage outside, then Kriefman tap danced in an LED light dress that changed colors as she danced. The music was controlled by the tap shoes and the lights were controlled by the music. It was interesting and cool and the kind of out there experimentation that I love to see continuing to thrive in Venice. Thank you to Hilary for his true kindness and generosity in opening his home to a bunch of stranger Venetians. That's how we all build bridges. I loved it.

Sunday finally brought sorely-needed rain to Venice, and a farewell to Danny's Deli closing party that I totally blew it by missing. I had in my head that it was a night-time affair, but it ended at 4. Shoot. I'm so sad to have missed the chance to celebrate all the good memories created in those walls over the years. We're all very sad to go, and can only hope and pray that whatever replaces this Venice institution will do right by it and honor its history. Please.

Thanks to everyone for another classic Venice weekend! We can all use all the fun we can get these days ... keep up the good work!

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