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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

earth dazed

in honor of earth day, i chose to take a yoga class with rudy mettia at truyoga earlier this evening. given the myriad of yoga options i had at my disposal, it was the most environmentally-friendly one for these reasons:

1. truyoga is located in santa monica, just a few blocks from where i live. which means that once i got to class from the office, i didn't have to use much more gas to get myself home afterwards.

2. truyoga is a "green" yoga studio; that is, its interior was built using recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow plumbing. even the props used in class -- mats, blocks, and straps -- are eco-friendly and non-toxic.

3. truyoga participated in last weekend's earth day at the promenade, an ecofest that featured vendors and environmental awareness groups that spread the gospel about greening our homes, our transportation, and more importantly, our lifestyle.

4. in observance of earth day, truyoga offered a FREE yoga class at noon today for all those who brought in recyclable goods: batteries, printer cartridges, cell phones, and so on. not only that, but there was FREE food after class, too!

5. best of all, while budgets are getting tighter due to increasing fuel and food charges, it's good to know that great yoga classes are still accessible, thanks to classes like rudy's that are donation-based.

and many more thanks to rudy for turning down the power, so to speak, in our class tonight. instead of my having to work at 125% of capacity to keep up with his instructions (he usually teaches a very demanding class), i only had to work at 75%. which really was just about all i could muster, given that i was still a bit jetlagged from my recent trip to DC.

speaking of DC and earth day, i was one of the thousands who showed up at the green apple festival on the mall this past sunday in washington.

the list of performers who were scheduled to appear was quite impressive. it included:
~ the roots & friends (featuring doug e. fresh, ne-yo, talib kweli, will.i.am, chrisette michele, wale and more)
~ gov't mule
~ umphrey's mcgee
~ o.a.r. (special acoustic kickoff set)
~ thievery corporation (dj set)
~ toots & the maytals
~ warren haynes solo acoustic
plus a special national anthem performance by american idol winner jordin sparks

considering that both friday and saturday were comfortably warm and sunny, i had hoped that sunday's forecast for rain and cool temps would somehow never come to pass. sadly, it was not to be.

it was already raining by the time i woke up sunday morning, and save for the few times the sun tried to peek through the clouds during the concert, it never really let up. i tried to weather the storm along with everyone else, but it just kept raining. and raining. and raining.

once the wind, the lightning, and the thunder were unleashed upon the now-dwindling crowd, the organizers realized that the battle had been lost; they canceled the rest of the event and sent us all home.

the next morning, the washington post published a recap of the earth day event. so in the spirit of conservation, instead of my expending more energy to give you the details, i'm going to share with you excerpts from that article (ok, call me lazy, but my body's still running on east coast time and is about to power down):

A Watered-Down Lineup
For Bands, It Paid to Play Early at Rain-Shortened Earth Day Concert on the Mall

By J. Freedom du Lac, Washington Post Staff Writer

They threw an environmental-themed party yesterday on a grassy patch of the Mall, but Mother Earth turned out to be a most disagreeable host. The Green Apple Festival was interrupted by a mid-afternoon electrical storm, which sent thousands of concertgoers scurrying for shelter in the nearby Smithsonian museums. After a 50-minute delay, the concert resumed -- but not for long: Organizers soon canceled the rest of the show because of the weather.

The Green Apple Festival partnered with the Earth Day Network to stage free concerts in eight U.S. cities yesterday, from San Francisco to New York. "And," Shapiro said, "we had great weather -- sun -- in the other seven cities." But the concert on the Mall was to have been the largest of the eight, a 7 1/2 -hour event featuring an eclectic lineup of artists and an equally eclectic group of activist speakers, from actor Edward Norton to NASA climatologist James Hansen.

Shapiro said he'd hoped to draw more than 100,000 people to the Washington concert, but the inclement weather kept attendance down: He estimated the crowd to be about 30,000 people throughout the day.

Still, spirits seemed to be high, as did some festival attendees themselves -- this being a green-leaning concert staged on April 20, which, of course, is shorthanded as 4/20, which, along with 4:20, happens to be counterculture code for smoking marijuana. (T-shirt slogan spotted in the crowd: "It's 4:20 Somewhere.")

As always at a concert-for-a-cause, art and message mixed and sometimes collided here. O.A.R., for instance, performed a cover of Bob Dylan's enduring protest anthem "The Times They Are a-Changin'," along with five of its own breezy, perfectly pleasant songs, which are a little bit reggae, a little bit lite-rock-and-soul. The group usually performs as a six-piece but pared down to an acoustic trio for the festival.

In the crowd, which seemed to be filled with college-age people, plus or minus a few years, somebody was passing out "Meat Is Murder" fliers, and there was a kid wearing a poncho with Bob Marley's dreadlocked visage on the back. There were guys going shirtless, and girls wore shorts and flip-flops, which kept getting stuck in the soggy grass. Garbage bags became popular rain slickers. A Frisbee was used as a rain hat. When the skies cracked open and drenched the festival-goers, which happened more than once, the festival-goers responded by cheering.

"Maybe they'll look back and call this Woodstock 2008!" said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network, in reference to the rainy 1969 celebration of peace and music. She then gave the fans the number for the U.S. Capitol switchboard and urged them all to call their congressional reps on Tuesday -- the actual Earth Day -- to voice their concern about the environment.

The festival was temporarily suspended just before 2:30 p.m. when the skies parted. "Holy Moses!" actor Chevy Chase marveled as rain began to drench the crowd. Moments later, an official announced that an electrical storm was passing over the Mall and that attendees should head to the nearby museums. A soggy sprint ensued.

The announcement came just after a powerhouse performance by the Indiana band Umphrey's McGee, whose singer, Brendan Bayliss, said: "You're all getting wet for a good cause."

After the delay, Chase returned to the stage. He was incredulous to discover that thousands had reconvened in front of the stage, given that it was still raining heavily.

"There's still some smoking going on, but apparently the wrong thing," he joked.

After a little more speechifying, another guitar wizard, Warren Haynes, performed a solo set in which he alternated between acoustic guitar and his signature Gibson Les Paul. The adopted Allman Brother also toggled between his own catalogue and covers, opening with "Fallen Down" and closing with a warm, soulful cover of "One," the popular U2 anthem about tolerance and unity. His walk-off gesture? A peace sign, natch.

Five minutes later -- just after 4:20, in fact -- the concert was called off, with another thunderstorm approaching the Mall.

Billed but never staged: Haynes's power-blues group, Gov't Mule; Toots and the Maytals; Washington-based electronica duo Thievery Corporation; and the hip-hop band the Roots, with special guests including Doug E. Fresh and Will.I.Am.

"I'm bummed, but one thing that helps is that there are seven other shows that are going great," Shapiro said. Then, he quickly went into promotional mode, promising to return next year for the second Green Apple Festival on the Mall.

"April 19, 2009," he said. And he already has a weather forecast: "I hear it's supposed to be a lot nicer than today."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how far did you have to drive to this Eco-Yoga studio, to celebrate Earth day...100% irony intended!

11:53 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi cometier --

since i had to drive home from work that day anyway, the answer to your question is ZERO MILES, since the studio's a couple of blocks from where i live :)

1:15 PM  

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