Summer is in full swing, and in Northern California that means an endless number of wonderful options for spending one's free time. Over the past month I've attended the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael; enjoyed an evening of traditional song, dance and food at the annual O-Bon Festival at Sebastopol's Enmanji Buddhist temple; photographed a lively Hispanic wedding; took the high, serpentine road to Fort Ross to experience its annual Russian Festival; and caught a Cuban art film, La Guarida del Topo (The Mole's Den) and met the talented young director, Alfredo Ureta, at Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
I take great pleasure and pride in how my native state embraces diversity. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area (especially Sonoma County) are enriched by these cultural experiences.
Italian Street Painting -- an ephemeral art
O-Bon Odori at Enmanji temple. O-Bon is similar to Day of the Dead -- it's a time for honoring one's ancestors and celebrating with music, dance and food. Life, like art, is ephemeral.
All the best to the beautiful bride and handsome groom!
The annual Fort Ross Festival features demonstrations of traditional Russian arts and crafts, and historical vignettes, music, storytelling and more. This year St. Peterburg's Horn Orchestra of Russia performed music from 19th century Imperial Russia.