jocelyn called me when i was getting out of work and i ended up going with her and john to a birthday party in shaker heights that a friend of hers was having. having been a west sider my entire life, this was the first time in my life that i've ever hung out in shaker heights, much less a beautiful brick home with persian carpets on the floor, a gorgeous coffee table book of rumi's poetry, the stereo playing afrobeat, romanian techno,arabic pop, and a grand piano in the dining room.
i was a little intimidated at first by the people all dressed up (i was still in my work clothes so i was passable) and the wine glasses but everyone was really friendly
and from somewhere else for the most part: students from india, egypt, israel, china, three girls who were au pairs from costa rica, peru, and turkey.
ended up having a really good time. i love getting new perspectives and seeing things that are familiar to me through the eyes of someone for whom it's all new. attempted to explain various american slang and dialects, was invited to go salsa dancing, got to hear suphi and a friend of hers break out the violin and piano for some arabic pop songs and a jazzy middle eastern styled rendition of 'hotel california.'
ended the evening perfectly with a teapot full of jasmine tea in chinatown at a little place called 'sweethearts cafe' which normally has korean karaoke, but since no one was there to sing, they were playing slow jams instead.
took kevin to the funwall after church and got some more graffiti shots. now that the weather's warm, the taggers are out and there's new pieces where the paint was still wet. he used to be part of a graffiti/breakdance crew when he lived in new york so he was all excited about this wilderness off west 25th where there's walls and walls covered in paint and trees and plants breaking through the concrete.
we hung out the whole afternoon, driving around in the sun listening to damian marley, hanging out in my kitchen, hearing stories about growing up in nyc. they're moving over to the west side soon so it'll be great having them as almost-neighbors.