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Meet the Tuareg, Have an Egg-cream

I did not meet them to speak to, just to smile a little. Husband met the band, and helped sell some T shirts. But I got to hear them perform at Lincoln Center Outdoors last night.

Husbands uncle is one of the organizers of Festival in the Desert. He has been going to Mali every year for years now. Only last year he could not go, as it was too dangerous there.

Last night was New York magic, in all it's sweaty, sore footed, surreal, astonishing Beauty. Everyone looked a little strange and lovely. Lots of older people, my age and up, lots of babies.A surprising number of young kids.  Few teens and 20's. My daughter came and brought her friend.  There were two police who walked around together, smiling. Good nights work for them, and they get overtime pay for it. There were dogs, There was a tail wagging joy-wiggling cop dog, who did not have her mind on the job. She was wearing a vest that said 'K-9 Police, do not pet.' but she just wanted to have a good time. It was hard not to pet her.She was sort of a beagle-ish thing. She was a sniffer dog, probably trained for explosives rather than drugs. They choose the sniffers for nose ability but also kind appearance. She had that. There was also the most enormous Great Dane I have ever seen. He had the sad dignity of the giant breeds. He accepted being patted as his due, and leaned his head against my middle for a moment. I have seen ponies not much taller than him. His ears were so soft.

The music bore some resemblance to jazz it had that 'you think you know where we are going-- nope, hah, fooled you--' thing going. And indeed the music of that place is the ancestor of blues, jazz and all that came after. It is in the pedigree of the music of the US, and that which spread to the rest of the world. It was heavy with drums, but not metal sounding drums, warmer than those and closer. The voices came in over that, high, and sometimes singing, sometimes making that back of the throat uvula sound, a call to travel over distance. It made me feel like the top of my head was floating off.

They made all the announcements and introductions in French, and I could not really keep up, but it was ok. I think they sang in French too-- but it sounded like nothing I had ever heard before.

They wore onstage the clothes they wear at home-- light floating robes, loose pants underneath, head coverings that can be brought over the lower face. .They protect against heat and sand and sun. I have seen the wise men depicted wearing those clothes, no need to change what works. Flattering too. Husband says his uncle wears them when he is there.

Anyway, here is the link


As for the egg-cream, i had that this morning. Contains, famously, neither egg nor cream. Delicious. I had it for breakfast. And coffee too. I did not buy any of the 12$ tiny cups of wine (daughter said, who 'who would buy those? Just bring a bottle from home!')  but I still felt kinda dragged out.  Now I should get to work. Laundry, people to feed.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Gosh, that looks amazing! I've had a thing about robed camel riders since seeing 'Lawrence of Arabia' at an early age! Lawrence was another very strange and interesting person. And Omar Sharif was the heart throb of my youth, of course!
Aug. 2nd, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
They looked just exactly like 'Lawrence of Arabia.' I have Lawrences book on my kindle-- but have not really read it yet.
Aug. 1st, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
Wow. I am more than a little jealous. I have always wanted to go to the Festival in the Desert. I've never been that far west but I've seen the deserts in Jordan and North Africa and fell in love with them. I adore the Tuareg music too, we've got a few of the festival cds here. Amazing that you have a family connection to the festival. Also the Great Dane and the sniffer dog sound lovely. I hope they enjoyed themselves.
Aug. 2nd, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
Makes the world all small and cozy, doesn't it?

I think the dogs were having a good time. I have seen some dogs at concerts where the music was painfully loud for me-- they must have been miserable. But this was not like that, you could hear yourself speak, and think.

Apparently Mamadou Kelly, and the members of Tartit, and Imaharham are staying at uncle's house in upstate NY. (He has outbuildings,) They headed out of NYC, at about 11:30-- I cannot imagine that they arrived before 2 or 3. They must have all been exhausted.

Aug. 2nd, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
That sounds so cool! Thanks for expanding my world a little!!
Aug. 2nd, 2013 02:10 am (UTC)
It was cool. I am someone who really has to be pried off the sofa with a crowbar-- but I had a good time. It was pretty impossible not to.
Aug. 2nd, 2013 03:18 pm (UTC)
I couldn't wait to have an egg cream when I went to NY. Though the one I had probably didn't count because it wasn't chocolate. Because I don't really like chocolate in non-bar form. I'm strange.

Still, the egg cream was gorgeous. You have no idea what I imagined when I first came across it in a book as a teenager. Heh. I think it was The West Wing that eventually provided me with a description of what went in them.
Aug. 2nd, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
The chocolate ones are the classic-- but I like the vanilla ones better.


Here is the wiki, for those who want the recipe.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )