Anne and I bicycled over to Tower Grove Park to attend the Festival of Nations. We’ve done this for quite a few years running and this weekend in August always seems a bit more sweltering than most. As we passed through Forest Park, the rumbling bass sounds of the Rock n Roll Loufest, could be heard. It was kicking. Fresh from last night’s screening of “Premium Rush”, it was only with some effort that I was able to restrain my red-light running tendencies as well as I did. Others were not so restrained.
On the way over to the Festival of Nations, we stopped off at the botanical gardens. This summer’s big Chinese Lantern Festival has closed and the remnants of the lantern sculptures were on sale in the parking lot. There were still a few good pieces looking for a good home, but most of the artwork had already been sold off. Interestingly, the pair of porcelain dragons that were set in front of the Climatron were off-limits. I got two conflicting stories about this. The first had them being packed up and shipped back to China for another show. The second story also had them shipped back to China, but because they were all lead based and they were not allowed to remain in the country.
At the festival, we saw Bobbi, who was working one of the charity booths. She was on lunch break when we saw her in the food aisle and so were we. Today’s repast included Malaysian. We had their sweet sesame ‘meatballs’ for an appetizer. Our main course was from Nigeria. It was a spicy beef stew that was served upon this tortilla thin spongy white ‘bread’. It had a rather elastic consistency, which made it excellent for wiping the plate clean of all the beef sauce. We had Iranian for dessert. It was a sweet frozen cup of something with noodles in it. All of these dishes were good, if a bit foreign.
Brett, a friend from work and also a neighbor alerted us to COBU. COBU is the premiere act at the festival. COBU is a Japanese girl band that is one part Taiko drumming and one part punk. They’ve actually transplanted to NYC, where one of their members also performs in Stomp. Their motto is, “Dance like Drumming, Drum like Dancing”. I got enough video of them that a movie is in the offering. It will do more justice to their art than still photography ever could. While we were saving our seats for COBU, we watched Aalim’s Arabian Silk, what I would call belly dancers. They were actually pretty good. I missed the little Polynesian girls in their grass skirts, but that is probably just as well.