Amsterdam’s World Peace and Health Organization celebrated Chinese New Year today at the Goddess of Mercy Temple on Grove Street. 2015, according to the Chinese astrological charts, is the year of the Ram. Visitors from as far as New York City as well as Amsterdam residents attended the simple ceremony. Guests were invited to light an incense stick and make a wish for the new year on front of an ornate wall composed of over 1000 images of Buddha. After the incense lighting, guests gathered around a table of traditional sweet treats that all had symbolic meanings. Jennie Wong explained the cultural tradition of the Chinese New Year celebration after which, guests travelled to the Five World Buddha Temple on East Main Street to receive a 2015 Chinese calendar screen printed on bound bamboo. Buddhist Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi was noticeably absent from today’s ceremony.
The Albany based Latin-American band Tropic Rhythm closed out the 2013 Riverlink Park Concert Series with a repertoire of Boleros, Merengues, Salsa, Rock and Roll, Oldies (50’s and 60’s), Motown, R&B and Jazz.
The rain did come down as soon as the band set up their equipment under the bandshell saturday evening, but the storm blew over and the sun peaked through the clouds as the concert began. Although the rain and Memorial Day weekend may have kept the regular Riverlink Concert crowd away, those that did attend were in for a real treat. Tropic Rhythm is composed of Eduardo Nieves/Lead Guitar, Joseph Carrick/Rhythm Guitar, Dave Andrews/Bass Guitar, Roberto Rodriguez/Congas-Bongos-Percussion, Manny Grau/Timbales-Congas-Percussion and Dashira Cortes/Lead Vocals. Last night we had Leo in for Dave on Bass and Alex on Keyboards.
The star of the show was Dashira who has an amazing voice with a huge range. Whether a Spanish ballad, a current pop song or a 50’s song, Dashira can sing it, hitting all those hard to reach high notes with ease. I must say she is the most talented vocalist that performed at Riverlink Park this year by far! I did record a few videos of last night’s performance that I will post as soon as I get them processed. For now I have these images from our last concert of the season.
The rain fell last evening cooling off the hot summer air just in time for The Grand Slambovians to perform at the Greater Amsterdam Riiverlink Park. AKA Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, their music is being called everything from hillbilly Pink Floyd to psychedelic folk music. They truly entertained a very receptive crowd with music and storytelling.
The show must go on! Despite the rainy, muggy and dark day, Girl Howdy performed at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park, bringing along some twangy country tunes to brighten up the day for the few braves souls who came to be entertained. It was the first time the new event tent was used for the Riverlink Concert Series. There were a few that could not make the walk down to the tent area so they listened in their cars. It would have been nice if there were some folding chairs to go with the tent performance but that was not the case. If you didn’t bring a chair you had to stand. Some didn’t mind, they even took the opportunity to dance to Girl Howdy’s country tunes.
The last two images are of the concrete pillar from the World Trade Center tragedy that Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane wants erected as a monument in Riverlink Park. This writer has another idea in mind for that pillar, a location where the pillar won’t suffer from the effects of the sun’s rays.
The summer heat has been hard on lawns but really sparked growth in gardens. With no room for a proper garden, I use the south-western facing porches of my house to grow a potted garden. Red Geraniums, Portulaca, Sunflowers, Asiatic and Day Lilies help dress up the place while Parsley, Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Beefsteak Tomatoes serve a practical function.