Amblin' Alameda: Playing with strings

Amblin' Alameda: Playing with strings

Morton Chalfy

It's summer, and outdoor activities are all the rage. With that in mind, we took ourselves to Franklin Park on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the sun, the greenery, the soft breezes and the music being made by members of the Alameda String Academy. Several young virtuosi filled the park with the sounds of the old masters and were rewarded with a significant part of their audience running around in circles and flapping their arms in semi-rhythm with the music.

It should be said that the audience was comprised of a large crowd of children - at least two-thirds of the attendees - and their attentive parents. It was delightful to see so many youngsters at this event and to see them responding to the music so joyfully. They were not asked to restrain themselves, or to sit quietly or not to run around. So they responded by really enjoying themselves and the music, and the freedom to dance by themselves or with each other.

I had made the mistake of reading the news this morning and was fighting off feelings of disappointment with my fellow humans. The past week's carnage in the Ukraine and the Middle East has been particularly ghastly and, if one is not careful, can engender negative and despairing emotions about the fate of humanity. But Franklin Park and the happy children provided the perfect antidote.

It does seem that Alameda exists in a bubble of peace and happiness. The children, of all colors and ethnicities, play happily with each other, and look happy in general. The parents - who are themselves hardly out of childhood to my aging eyes - are handsome, look intelligent and, because they brought their children to a concert in the park, are clearly tuned in to the arts.

While there will never be an end to competing interests, even here in this idyllic setting, the general attitude of life in Alameda is peaceful and congregations of Alamedans always seem to ring with laughter and friendliness. We sat on a convenient bench and listened to the music and watched the children play with enjoyment. Our grandchild is away at camp right now, leaving us in want of the energy young people provide to brighten our day. The concert did just that. Dozens of bright and shiny faces enjoying their time in the sun.

The future is in good hands in our fair city. One of Alameda's outstanding attributes is its kid-centric point of view, and contact with its kids is always uplifting.


Submitted by Anya (not verified) on Sat, Aug 2, 2014

I agree, contact with children lifts my spirits and puts things in perspective what life is all about. I enjoy your writing and looking forward to more.
Thank you.