Posts tagged ‘culture’

October 10, 2012

Bicyclists

Biking on a Saturday morning!

Something I’ve noticed since I’ve started living here— this whole area has way more hardcore racing bicyclists than I’ve seen anywhere else. Throughout the weekend, they’re a common sight, and you just get used to sharing the road with them.

Hi there!

Unlike the bikes in New York City, which will run you down on the sidewalk and blast through red lights as though they’re green, these racing bikes are pretty good about following traffic laws. They keep to the right on the road, they use hand signals, they stop and yield everywhere they should.

Look, it's a pack of bikers!

When some of the roads around here were repainted last year, they included a nice wide shoulder, which acts beautifully as an unofficial bike lane.

Hello Mister Biker!

These photos were all taken in the Great Swamp, which provides some scenic routes that are really popular with bicyclists, but the routes are unfortunately quite narrow. Navigating the road requires a lot of leapfrogging with all the bikes on your side of the street, all the bikes on the other side, and all the oncoming cars.

It’s not a problem— just requires some patience.

(Which I unfortunately have in short supply.)

October 2, 2012

Harvest Festival 2012 – Dancers and drummers

Hi there!

I’ve never seen a lot of Native American culture around here. We’re taught from an early age that the Lenni Lenape were the original people in New Jersey, but Europeans chased them west in 1758 with the Treaty of Easton. That was before the U.S. even became its own country!

I wish I could remember the name of this dance.

A lot of town and road names in New Jersey are derived from Lenape words, and most park systems will include historical educational exhibits on the mundane aspects of Lenape life, but the people themselves have been displaced from this area for so long that we rarely see active aspects of native culture in New Jersey.

And what a cute kid, too.

With this in mind… watching the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe perform at the Harvest Festival was something I’ve never seen before.

Crouching.

As with everyone in this Big American Melting Pot, different nations have commingled for years and years— just as I’m German and English and Irish and Swedish and who knows what else, most of the performers who were introduced came from at least three or four different heritages. Robert Boldeagle (featured in the top photo, and the one below), for example, is of Mayan, Taíno, Cherokee, and Natchez descent, according to the troupe’s website.

I don't like the background in this shot, but it is just a *classic* dance shot.

Without aligning themselves with any specific nation, the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe offers an opportunity for Native American people to celebrate their own culture and share it with the rest of us.

Laughing at a squashed Dixie cup after the show. I didn't hear a word of this conversation, so I can only guess.

I’m glad they did!

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