Tag Archives: castell

My Year in Review: 2012

4 Jan

What a full year 2012 was! Here’s a quick little recap:::

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In January I announced that the rumors were true. But it took the full year for it to finally look like this.

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In February I joined Pinterest to discover how it may help me as a writer and have been happily pinning ever since.

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In March my personal essay was included in the book Creating Space.

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In April I was one of the editors representing the Burnside Writers Collective at the Festival of Faith & Writing. It was so special to get to catch up with the other editors and writers, whom I just adore. I also had the opportunity to teach a writing workshop while I was there.

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Image via On the Road with Bob Holman / Rattapallax

In April I also worked to create awareness about what we lose when we lose a language. My interview with poet Bob Holman appeared in BOMBlog.

In May I received my MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School. I had a fantastic thesis advisor and a beloved peer group, who challenged me to dig deeper in my memoir about growing up Greek American. After I read a snippet at our thesis reading, an instructor I’d never even had came up to tell me how much he liked my work!

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Image via The Human Tower / Rattapallax

In June I witnessed the world record being broken for the tallest castell on a rooftop.

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In July I heard Amber Tamblyn read for The Paris Review at the Strand. Afterwards we somehow ended up on the elevator together, and I didn’t say anything to her. I never know in those situations if it’s polite to say something like “nice reading” or if the person just wants her privacy. I know she’s involved in the Beat literature community, though, so I should’ve probably talked to her about that.

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Image via The Millions

In August an article I wrote about a funny incident I had related to Jack Kerouac sparked a fiery debate and went viral, getting mentioned everywhere from The New Yorker to The Paris Review.

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Photo via RA Araya

In September I had one of the most surreal moments of my life–reading with David Amram. I got to hear him perform again, this time as an enthralled audience member, in December.

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Photo via RA Araya

That month I also read for poet Miguel Algarin‘s birthday bash.

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I also road tripped through northern and central California, visiting Cannery Row, City Lights Bookshop, The Beat Museum, and attending my college friend’s wedding.

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In October Hurricane Sandy hit New York, and I spent a lot of time in bed.

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In November I failed miserably at NaNoWriMo, but I had a lot of fun creating this ever-evolving Pinterest board for the book I never wrote.

I also gave a reading that got upstaged by a wedding proposal.

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In December there was a flurry of Jack Kerouac-related activities to promote the film adaptation of On the Road, and I got to see author Ann Charters and film director Walter Salles in person at IFC. I also got to take a writing class with screenwriter Jose Rivera at 3rd Ward.

I also went out to Lowell and got to meet Jack Kerouac’s friend and pallbearer Billy Koumantzelis.

 

What were the highlights of 2012 for you?

Your Invite to the Record-Setting Human Towers Being Built Tonight at 230 FIFTH

20 Jun

 

Filmmaker Ram Devineni is proving to the world the beautiful complexity of human language.  In On the Road with Bob Holman, he traveled the world, documenting the plight of languages headed toward extinction.  In The Human Towers he picked up his suitcase again, this time to film the art-sport-poem that is castells, human towers.  Castells have been recognized as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Tonight, 150 people from the Catalan’s finest castell group will attempt to build the first-ever eight-story human tower on a rooftop at 150 FIFTH  (@27th Street, NYC), and YOU can witness the incredible spectacle for free.  It starts at 8pm.

The Wall Street Journal has already created some buzz.

Here’s the press release:

One of the world’s most unusual and spectacular team endeavors – the Spanish region of Catalonia’s three hundred year old tradition of building multi-storey human towers called castells – will make its New York City debut on June 20 at 230 FIFTH, when the 150 member Castellers de Vilafranca will attempt a new world record by building the first eight-level castell ever assembled on a rooftop. The performance, which will also include the building of several other towers in different configurations on 230 FIFTH’s palm punctuated roof deck, will inaugurate a series of free public castell buildings throughout New York City from June 20 to 24 in honor of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Each tower will be an exercise in intense concentration, strength and balance as the bare footed participants form successively smaller tiers – resembling a human wedding cake – by climbing up the bodies of each layer to mount the shoulders of the previous tier until the tower is topped by a single 9 years old child. An almost balletic, decidedly athletic and heart-stopping feat orchestrated to the inspiring melodies of a quartet playing Catalonian music.

The series of performances will be the first by any castell team in New York City; the Castellers de Vilafranca, considered Spain’s best, have been planning for years to build in the Big Apple as a means of introducing to the United States the activity which UNESCO has recognized as being amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Their trip coincides with an official visit by President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas.

The Castellers de Vilfranca will perform in Central Park and Battery Park for the Make Music NY Festival on June 21st. They will also build a human tower at the United Nations on June 22nd and are scheduling other venues throughout the city including Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, the team will participate in the presentation of the global documentary about their passion as practiced in Catalonia, Chile and India on June 22nd at Goldcrest Studios Theater, West Village. The Human Tower is directed by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas and distributed by Goldcrest.

The record breaking roof building of a human tower by the Castellars Vilfranca at 230 FIFTH will take place at 8:15 p.m. again at 9:30 on June 20, with several different towers created by the team between 8:20 and 10. Like all of the team’s performances in New York City, the event will be free and open. 230 FIFTH is located at 230 Fifth Avenue at the corner of 27th Street, (212) 724-4300, www.230-fifth.com. The rooftop event is supported by Barcelona’s Estrella Damm Beer.

See you there!