Ta-daaa – 180 Days of Magic

Sleights of moment, waving the family wand

The beat

Posted by PlayGroundology on May 15, 2008

We wound our way to fun up Park Boulevard’s hill yesterday morning riding the number 7. It’s a good run from the hostel, right up Noah-David’s alley as it’s a 2-bus excursion. Public transit has been a constant blast for him throughout the trip and it’s worked well for us though the waits for connections can be long.

There’s a miniature train just outside the zoo that we thought Noah would enjoy. We looked quickly at the sign on arrival and saw an 11h00 opening – just 30 minutes later. We decided to get in a little kicky ball on the green, green grass of Balboa Park and ride the rails when the train pulled in. The soccer play was brilliant pitting as it usually does Noah’s Barcelona against my Manchester United. The results of these games are never in doubt – Barcelona is perennially victorious.

Following another international football drubbing, I sheepishly left the field to check on the progress of the great train ride. Well, we hadn’t read carefully enough. 11h00 was the opening time but only on weekends – beware the fine print. Until summer rolls around, it’s similar hours for the marvelous carousel they have in the same area.

Rebuffed by the train’s weekend only schedule, we sauntered northish to discover what the museums had to offer. There was a lot to choose from but with two babes kind of running the attractions component of the show we opted for the science centre as the most likely to engage the toddler psyche. Turned out to be a good choice with the exhibits and play area fully engaging for upwards of an hour. If you have a science centre in your own town you may be prone to making comparisons. You can always explore the Reuben H Fleet Science Center before you go.

Our last stop on this excursion was the World Beat Center, a meeting place for the African diaspora. There were parrots in cages at the entrance – one who whistled and jabbered away though I can’t recall any of his World Beat Centerinsights. The center is housed in a former municipal water storage tank a low rise cylinder now filled with another life-giving gift – the one love, one heart, one humanity rhythm, the universal mystic flowing through the air.

We were able to take in a percussion session for toddlers led by Ghanaian drummer and storyteller, Nana. The kids danced, beat their drums, rattled their shakers and participated in a call and answer story. The parents got the chance to play along too. Despite the excellent caliber of the session, there was only a handful of toddlers present. There is a lot of interesting cultural programming being organized out of the center including reggae concerts in Tijuana.

Tijuana concertWoke up a couple of mornings ago to find a rastaman sitting in the kitchen. He had checked in the previous evening after performing at a reggae show at one of the local American Indian casinos. Suba is based in Claremont and plays with One Drop Redemption who jam out Big Bob tunes for audiences large and small. Suba knows a couple of guys I had run into in the early 80s – Clive, Bunny and Wally from the band Bloodfire. They are all alive and well and doing the session musician thing in CA. It’s a one beat, one drop world. It’s nice to know that theses rastadreaddies are doing well. They always treated us the best when we went to their shows neary 30 years ago. Too bad that we’re not able to do a little skanking to One Drop Redemption’s tunes this time out.

 

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