Hottest ticket in town

In my totally bias opinion, it’s Spirit of Brazil!

I’ve been watching the rehearsals and can confidently say, even if you want to watch baseball playoff games, there’s enough time to watch both. From October 18-21, ABADÁ-Capoeira San Francisco (ACSF) presents the SPIRIT OF BRASIL: “Mar de Tradições” (Sea of Traditions), at the ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Because I am a little lazy, here’s the scoop from the website: “ACSF’s performance troupe teams up with visiting Brazilian artists, Professores Mobília, Goma and Yara, as well as local talents, master percussionist Gamo da Paz and his group Quimbanda, musician Alfie Macias and choreographer/dancer Raffaella Falchi, and SAMBAXÉ Dance. The performances explore the evolution of Capoeira and Maculelê, from the post-slavery era to modern-day Brazil, and trace their movement from the northeastern state of Bahia to cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro.”

I’m going. So should you!

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Que pena!

I dislike attention. I dislike being on display. I dislike presenting in front of people.  But this year I pushed myself and participated in Carnaval in San Francisco so I could get past some of my shyness. P.S. Can I say “I” and “dislike” more?  Yes, I can!

But the thing is, I adore Carnaval.  I’ve loved it since I was a kid.  No, I never went to Brazil until I was an adult, but I was always fascinated by the spectacle and the energy.  And because of that, upon invitation of a very sweet Baiana friend of mine that I met in my 20s, I went to and was enchanted immediately by the event in Salvador, and have therefore danced in Carnaval in Bahia a handful of times (anyone can do it). So I it’s a “No, duh!” for me to be part of it in my home base.

For the past few months I’ve been rehearsing every Sunday. For skilled performers, the choreography isn’t complicated, but for a newbie performer like me, I needed practice.  LOTS of practice. And up to today, I could have still used more practice, but I committed to it, and that’s all there is to it.

So, earlier today as I drove to our capoeira studio, I commented on how the streets could pose a challenge because they were uneven due to construction (Tucanare, do you recall?).

Now I’m sitting here with an ice pack on my ankle that took a nice roll into the asphalt.

To the following questions I answer yes: Could something worse have happened? Am I frustrated and pissed?  Do I want to try it again?

It’s put a fire in me to give it another go; if not Carnaval, to performing, to practicing, to anything that pushes me out in front of people.  Not because I need accolades, per se, just to prove it to myself that I can do it.

All I can say is, I went out running and dancing with all of my energy, and in that, there can be no regrets.

Fun on the ferry

I’ve commuted to work all sorts of ways: trains, automobiles, trams, buses, bikes subways and on foot.  Though the bike is still the top choice for me due to its reliability, flexibility, health benefits, etc., my new favorite is riding the ferry between Oakland and San Francisco.

It’s always been my favorite part of any trip.  I’ve crossed New York Harbor to Governors Island for a concert, ferried over Baia de Todos os Santos in Salvador, Brazil, and one of my best-loved crossings, passing through the Gulf Islands on BC Ferries.

A longer commute deserves a bigger boat.

It’s not the fastest way to travel, but it’s the most civilized.  The water is calming and the scenery is stunning.  Fellow passengers feel more free to chat with each other, on the San Francisco Bay Ferry you can sip a wine on your way home at the end of the work day (too bad, Canadians), and if you’re lucky maybe there will be live music and free snacks like there was today.  That beats sitting in traffic or a smelly BART train any day.

It’s nothing new. Before all of the bridges were completed in the 20th century, hundreds of ferries day crossed the San Francisco Bay every day.  One went all the way to Sacramento, others carried trains, and even some served a sea plane service in the middle of the bay.

And I just found out there is a new ferry service set to start running from Alameda and Oakland to South San Francisco in June.  Now if we could only have more ferries between Oakland and San Francisco.