Saturday morning, Robin, Steve and I drove four and a half hours to Baltimore, a trip with several objectives. Our primary incentive was Charna who was singing in a choral concert on Sunday afternoon. First we checked into our hotel. After all those very spare Japanese hotels, and my monk’s cell in Chicago, this was a stunner.
The lobby wasn’t anything special but the room was amazing. You walked into a kind of sitting room with a small basin, coffee maker and refrigerator opposite a large sofa. Just beyond a sort of divider was the bedroom. I had two double beds, in case we had to stay over Sunday night; Charna could room with me. Opposite the beds was a bathroom with tub and toilet, and next to it, the basin, lots of counter space, and a real closet, also mirrored.
If that wasn’t enough, there was a flat screen, HD TV, 42 inches. You could watch from either the bed or the sitting room. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to stay at some very fancy hotels, but I don’t think I’ve ever had so much space in one room.
Robin’s best friend, from kindergarten through high school, lives in Baltimore. I haven’t seen her since then so I was very pleased she came to the hotel with her children.
We all walked around the Inner Harbor and it was lovely to catch up with her again. But it was hard to get used to seeing her as an adult. I had only known her when I was an adult and she was a child. I found it different than the few occasions I’ve met my own friends after not seeing them since childhood. We were children together, and now we are elders together.
Sunday, before the concert, we went to the American Visionary Art Museum.
After the Met, in New York, this is my favorite place. Renee and I happened upon it several years ago. We made a special trip to Washington DC to see the, then new, Museum of the American Indian. I had heard so much about it; it seemed like everyone wanted to see it. I joined the museum and made sure we had tickets for the day we wanted to be there.
I wanted to be sure of getting in. We were very disappointed: too much to read; not enough artifacts; too hard to see the ones that were on display. We stopped at the Visionary Art Museum on our way back and it was worth the whole trip. We’ve been raving about it so much, Robin felt she had to see it, also. We all loved it.
Finally, the concert. HaZamir is the International Jewish High School Choir. Each local chapter meets weekly in its own city to rehearse Jewish choral music. Once each year the groups meet, rehearse together for two days and present a concert. There were 250 kids from 17 or 18 groups around the US and from Israel.
It was awesome to hear them sing; those 250 voices have a lot of power. You can listen to them here; there are four selections at the bottom of the list.